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Morning Java: Rebonding redux

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Tuesday column from the Pirates’ 128th opener attempts to sum up a truly ‘special’ day.

Here’s Andrew McCutchen afterward …

And a collection of some of the pregame fare …

Neil Walker’s walkoff wins it, by Travis Sawchik.

Even the replay rulings went the Pirates’ way, by Karen Price.

Barry Bonds tried to make nice, by Rob Biertempfel.

Game notebook, by Biertempfel.

Random blogginess from the scene: No question Francisco Liriano had a terrific opener, with six scoreless innings and 10 Ks.  Especially coming off a late-spring injury, that’s above and beyond. At the same time, 104 pitches and only four groundouts run counter to what Liriano himself cites as his main goal: Be more efficient. … Let the record show that Travis Ishikawa not only went 2 for 3 but also looked a lot like the player we’d seen this spring. Professional-looking at-bats. We’ll see. … Clint Hurdle always balks at using the term platoon, even when it’s wholly merited, but it sure sounds like that’s exactly what we’ll see in first base and right field. Credit to the manager for bypassing whatever glamor sometimes accompanies an opening-day start. Just win the game. … Replays happened. Calls were overturned. Big whoop. Welcome to the 21st century, baseball, where the other three major sports had been living for a decade-plus. What next, a salary cap? … There was a broad disparity in the accounts of whether or not Bonds was booed, cheered or both. My view, tweeted out almost immediately, was that he was heavily booed. Because he was. Where I was listening. For that matter, most writers seemed to see it that way, while most TV/radio guys seemed to see it the other way. Simple explanation? The press box is right behind the sections filled with displaced season-ticket holders from Three Rivers Stadium. Total diehards. That’s where we writers were. The broadcast guys were down on the field. … That was quite an atmosphere in there. I’m fascinated by how the rest of the homestand will shape up in that regard.

Here’s our opening-day photo gallery featuring the work of Chris Horner, Chaz Palla and Steve Adams, including this gem from Palla:

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Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page and our Bucco Blog.

Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com. Among those, of course, you’ll find this …

>> Highly encouraging news for the Penguins: Paul Martin back at practice. Chris Adamski reports from Consol.

Brooks Orpik won’t be punished for a perfectly clean hit. Imagine.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page, including setup for tonight’s game against visiting Carolina.

Here’s Hurricanes news from the Raleigh News & Observer.

Here are official game highlights on NHL.com.

>> Former Pitt man Orlando Antigua, already owner of an incredible backstory, is the new head coach at South Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Here’s our WPXI-TV Subway Final Word panel talking about the Steelers’ offseason …

>> Thank you, as always, for reading. I’ll have another baseball column for tomorrow, and then it’s off to Winnipeg.

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. Wild Bill says:

    On a day that was all about the glory of the long ago and very recent Pirates, how very fitting and cool it was to see the Pittsburgh Kid be the one to end the game with a glorious blast.

    And how can we be anything other than optimistic about the games to come?

  2. Wild Bill says:

    DK, your article captured this so well.

  3. theplanisworking says:

    Great Day. Great Game. Great Column.
    The Pittsburgh Kid wins it for Pittsburgh.

    And, the Bucs lead the division.
    That’s all I got.

  4. JohninOshkosh says:

    Very interesting rift going on in international soccer. Mexican club Puebla will not release American National Team defenders DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco to play in an International Friendly Wednesday between the United States and Mexico at Glendale, AZ.

    As exhibitions go, this is a doozy. Both countries are major players in the sport in this hemisphere. Orozco is fighting for a spot on the final roster for the American National Team that will compete in the World Cup this summer. Of course, no love is lost between the two nations in international soccer play. Add on top of it that this year is a World Cup year, the most important event in the sport.

    U.S. soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann is apparently quite angry at the Mexicans and has not exactly hid his anger at the situation in talking with the media.

    This is a completely bogus move by the Mexicans in a World Cup year. And Klinsmann is the real deal. Americans got a gem with him.

    PS to the Trib. Give that Chaz Palla kid a raise. Brilliant. And a great asset for a city with Pittsburgh’s artistic heritage.

  5. Baywatch says:

    And Lloyd McClendon is 1-0! :-) And Evan Meek is back in the big leagues, I think for the first time in at least a couple years – and had a HOLD yesterday for the O’s!

  6. Mizery says:

    What a great game. Fitting that it was walker that hit the walk off. Bonds was my favorite player growing up. I had all his cards and mimicked him in little league. With that being said he is still a horrible person, and I could care less how he was received or that he even showed his face in Pittsburgh. Even if it was for only 2 hours.

    Watch out!!! The Pens are getting healthy. Perfect timing.

  7. Brandie says:

    Good Morning All.

    Great column DK. This just affirms my thoughts that, with AJ gone to the Phils,the training wheels are indeed off. It is time for the Pirates to take what they have and blossom. The FO, coaches, and players must continue to make Pittsburgh a go to destination for the baseball elite. Give me good pitching and timely hitting and I am all in.

    Congratulations to Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, and Clint Hurdle on receiving their well deserved awards. A special congratulations to RDNW, PRNW, The Pittsburgh Kid, The Pine Richland Rocket for the walk off blast!!!!!

    LET’S GO BUCCOS!!!! KEEP THAT JOLLY ROGER FLYIN’!!!!

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!!

  8. Brandie says:

    That is an awesome recapture Planny Sanguillen!!!

  9. Brandie says:

    The Great Bay Searage loves him some timely pitching!!!!

  10. Brandie says:

    Mizery…you are the silver lining. If the Pens can play and coach as an actual unit, play responsibly (finish checks, manage the puck, get back on “d”, shoot the puck, rinse, repeat) they may make it interesting. Maybe having a bit of adversity is good to shake up the Country Club atmosphere.

  11. Brandie says:

    You have nailed my thoughts Untamed William. One thing to remember is baseball, especially with these Buccos, is a marathon and not a sprint. Time will tell how the moves, both actual and non, (even no move is still a move) will affect the team in the long run.

  12. tdb1977 says:

    I dont know how to put down what I saw yesterday at the game. From the parachutes landing on the outfield, the ovation that Hurdle, Liriano, Alverez, and McCutchen got for the awards they gathered after last year, to Mrs McCutchen signing the national anthem, to 9 innings of scoreless baseball, culminating with the Neal Walker’s walk off in the bottom of the 10th inning, baseball is back in Pittsburgh again. This team grinded out a tough victory against the Cubs yesterday. Yes, Liriano had some rough patches, but he did what a staff ace does, he mowed them down for 10 K’s. The bats fell silence for most of the game, but that’s what we saw last year. Pedro needs to stay in that 4 spot in the lineup. If he gets on track and stays on track for most of the season, he will give the needed protection that Andrew needs behind him. I know Polanco will be up at some point this season, but that point cant get here soon enough. But none of that matters as we are tied with the Cardinals and the Brewers. The Red’s are looking up at us right now. With the win yesterday, we actually took a month on the calendar (March record 1-0). If memory serves me correctly – I think we play NL Central teams for just about the entire month. This could go a long way in determining this division.

  13. 21sthebest says:

    Nobody ever says that a marathon is like a baseball season.

  14. Thundercrack says:

    I was listening to part of the O’s game on the ride home from work last night. Meek didn’t finish the inning and had 2 walks. The announcers were saying that he has a lot of movement on his ball but he doesn’t throw it all that hard. (90mph). The one announcer wasn’t even sure what type of pitch Meek was throwing ….he ‘guessed’ it was a slider.

    I hope he does well.

  15. Thundercrack says:

    ‘What next, a salary cap?’ That’s a funny one!

    ‘came the explanation from Bonds’ visibly smaller head’ – You’re in top form already DK.

  16. Thundercrack says:

    Donnie Veal had a HOLD yesterday too!

  17. Pucknutz says:

    Very nice opener for the Bucs. First really warm and sunny day around here for a long time.
    Just loved it when Walkers hands went up in the air 3 steps from the plate !

  18. JAL says:

    JAL’s That’s the Tune Morning Links

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxE8XpSHbJc

    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 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dDNkaWxFNWIwNDVUQzEwYXp5SlpGNkE&usp=drive_web#gid=0

    BLOGS and such

    4 Pirates 101

    Good, Bad and Ugly from Pittsburgh Pirates’ Opening Day Victory

    http://www.sportsmedia101.com/pittsburghpirates/2014/03/31/good-bad-and-ugly-from-pittsburgh-pirates-opening-day-victory/

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Two Things That Will Keep the Pirates Contending in 2014 and Beyond

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/first-pitch-two-things-that-will-keep-the-pirates-contending-in-2014-and-beyond.html

    The Pittsburgh Pirates Walk Off Opening Day Win in Photos

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/the-pittsburgh-pirates-walk-off-opening-day-win-in-photos.html

    Andrew McCutchen’s “This is SportsCenter” Commercial (Video)

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/03/andrew-mccutchens-this-is-sportscenter-commercial-video.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Neil walks off in Pirates’ 1-0 Opening Day victory

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/3/31/5567950/neil-walks-off-in-pirates-1-0-opening-day-victory

    Pregame: Hurdle comments on platoons, bullpen roles

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/3/31/5566740/pregame-hurdle-comments-on-platoons-bullpen-roles

    7 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Shark Tank…..Business as Usual in First Win

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/03/31/pittsburgh-pirates-shark-tank-business-usual-first-win/

    Pirates Neil Walker Hits Walks Off in 1-0 Victory

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/03/31/neil-walker-walk-off-pirates/

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Take Opener 1-0

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/03/bucs-take-opener-1-0.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    A Perfect Opener: Pirates 1, Cubs 0

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2014/03/a-perfect-opener-pirates-1-cubs-0/

    10 WHYGAVS

    Game 1: Pirates 1 Cubs 0

    http://whygavs.com/march-2014/game-1-pirates-1-cubs-0.html

  19. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Chicago Sun Times

    Run production dogs Cubs already in 1-0 loss to Pirates in 10

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/26558251-419/run-production-dogs-cubs-already-in-1-0-loss-to-pirates-in-10.html

    12 KDKA

    Frank Coonelly: Pirates’ Brand Has Never Been Stronger

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/03/31/frank-coonelly-pirates-brand-has-never-been-stronger/

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Cubs come up empty on opening day

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-cubs-pirates-spt-0401-20140401,0,7560704.story

    14 Pirates Site

    Walk-off HR from Walker hands Bucs opener

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_03_31_chnmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    15 USA Today

    From Bonds to replay, Pirates win with walk off homer

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2014/03/31/pirates-cubs-first-replay-challenge-neil-walker-walk-off-barry-bonds/7138971/

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Doc: Think you had a bad Opening Day? You didn’t.

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/columnists/paul-daugherty/2014/03/31/doc-daugherty-reds-opening-day-not-bad/7142333/
    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers earn shutout victory on opening day

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/brewers-earn-shutout-victory-on-opening-day-b99237062z1-253263521.html

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie: Young relievers justify Cards’ faith in them

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-young-relievers-justify-cards-faith-in-them/article_51cd4277-6e3c-5585-8e37-5019efd4fd9d.html

    19 Fangraphs

    Five Things I Believe About the 2014 Season

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/5-things-i-believe-about-the-2014-season/

    20 SB Nation

    This chart shows how much it costs to propose at every MLB stadium

    http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2014/3/31/5566626/how-much-does-it-cost-to-propose-at-mlb-stadium

  20. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Ex-Steelers S Ryan Clark signs with the Washington Redskins

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/3/31/5568320/nfl-free-agency-ryan-clark-washington-redskins-Steelers

    Cook: Barry Bonds, Kordell Stewart among Pittsburgh’s “most detested” athletes

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/3/31/5567092/cook-barry-bonds-kordell-stewart-among-pittsburghs-most-detested

    Soccer(football)

    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    BSports Football Report: Man Utd & Chelsea in the Champions League

    https://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/man-utd-chelsea-champions-league

    23 BBC Football

    Robbie Savage: How flexible Rodgers has put Liverpool on top.

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/26806404

    24 World Soccer

    Japan ready to step in to replace Qatar as World Cup hosts

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/news/japan-ready-step-replace-qatar-world-cup-hosts

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Monday Pens Points: End of March Better than Start

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/3/31/5566190/monday-pens-points

  21. Brandie says:

    I do and I am somebody…not (a) nobody. :)

  22. Jandy says:

    +++

    Happy 2nd day of work, Sistah :)

  23. Jandy says:

    Hubby and I watched the replay of the game from about the 4th inning on last evening. Even knowing the outcome, I was totally caught up in it.

    Then the blast from PRNW…and we both just smiled :)

    Loved the column, Dejan.

    I’m glad Leyland and Groat were there to make it special.

    Happy Tuesday everyone. PLAY BALL!

  24. Brandie says:

    Real Deal rocked it!!! Thanks for the vibes!!!!

  25. Karen22 says:

    Pure joy all around when Walker and the baseball collided in the 10th. That’s what I LOVE about baseball. Pure JOY moments!

  26. Thundercrack says:

    I see (in the PG) that the Frontier League is proposing a rule change: Each batter begins with a 1-1 count. They’re hoping this speeds up the pace of the game. The rule still needs to be approved by a majority of the 14 league owners. (The Wild Things play in that league).

    That just seems wrong. Starting each at bat with a clean slate just seems like a rule that shouldn’t be changed. Just like there are 3 outs per team/inning.

  27. Jandy says:

    Are you kidding me? That’s pure horse manure!

    Hooey!

  28. Wild Bill says:

    Sports web sites were busy reporting the length of delays for challenges in games like ours yesterday. What they fail to mention is the amount of time saved without managers out on the field arguing with umpires to no avail. Not to mention the hostility avoided by everybody, including the fans.

    I’m liking the first day of this new system a lot.

  29. NMR says:

    What about if there were only two strikes in a strikeout and three balls in a walk? ;)

  30. Thundercrack says:

    Good points WB – and I agree.

    But I wonder if after about a month or so if they did a survey of managers and asked “How many calls did you challenge that you would not have normally gone out and argued?” what would be the results. But at least they are getting all calls correct now.

  31. likeabugonarug says:

    Hmmmmmm. Does “April Fools” follow????

    Kevin

  32. NMR says:

    Speaking of former Pirates, I turned on the Marlins game to catch Jose Fernandez and almost lost it when the Marlins lineup was announced.

    After weeks of hearing how Garrett Jones was acquired to be Mike Stanton’s “protection”, I was admittedly giddy to hear that none other than Casey “Glue” Mcgehee was in fact the Marlins cleanup hitter!

  33. Pucknutz says:

    I believe you are correct Bill. Managers out arguing prolly takes longer than replay.
    Seemed to me the the guys in NY had already made a decision by the time the field ump got a headset on.
    2 1/2 minutes to get the call right…. worth it.

  34. Jandy says:

    More hooey!

    ;)

  35. Jandy says:

    +++

  36. Jandy says:

    TC,. are you jerking my chain????

  37. Jandy says:

    Jealous!!!!

  38. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord! lol

  39. Thundercrack says:

    I read it in the notes section of the PG SPORTS section

  40. Jandy says:

    well…

    ;)

  41. TJA says:

    Baseball thought(s) for the day:

    “May the sun never set on American baseball” – - – Harry Truman

    “I know little about politics, but know a lot about baseball” – - – Richard Nixon

    “A hot dog at the ballpark is better than a steak at the Ritz” – - – Humprhey Bogart

  42. Happy Atheists Day, J-girl! (I’m writing this to you as not to offend non-believers, as I know you are a Believer).

    Psalm 14:1 A fool says there is no God.

    Disclaimer: Not meant to offend atheists, fools or anyone else.

    Sports related: Clint Hurdle has resigned and been replaced by the 49-year old, skinnier Barry U.S. Bonds.

  43. Jandy says:

    Spunky, I feel sorry for Atheists. They have nothing to believe in…not much anyway…

    Sports related; After replacing Clint Hurdle, Barry Bonds was tarred and feathered and chased out of town with pitchforks!
    Clint Hurdle decided to come back to take his old job back :D

  44. Baywatch says:

    Planny Sanguillen!! Came over in that Bay Searage trade! Did you know Planny lost 50 pounds? He’s very good at “blocking the plate!”

  45. Baywatch says:

    Lippy The Lion AND Hardy Har Har!

  46. Baywatch says:

    I always liked Casey! I think he was the best .220 hitter we ever had.

  47. Baywatch says:

    +++

  48. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think I like the idea of less arguments and probably less ejections.

    I also don’t understand the point of letting the umpires control replays from the seventh-inning on. It seems like Hurdle went out in the 10th and made a challenge anyways.

  49. DJ says:

    Bonds, Gwynn and Boggs are the three players with the best batters’ eyes I’ve ever seen play. With Bonds’ ability, he could have been part of baseball royalty but squandered his opportunity through his own narcissism — a spoiled kid who has never grown up.

    I’m certainly not buying what he’s now selling. You reap what you sow.

  50. Karen22 says:

    THAT is pure CRAP!!!!

  51. Karen22 says:

    Ditto!!

  52. Wild Bill says:

    21, if I have read this correctly, managers still may challenge from the 7th inning on. But the umpires may initiate a review on their own from inning 7 on. If for example, a manager had used his challenge unsuccessfully, like the Cubs did yesterday, their manager could still ask for a challenge from the 7th on and it would be up to the umps whether to do it.

  53. Karen22 says:

    YUP!

  54. The Bucs definitely needed yesterday’s opening win! And now, let’s hope this will be the start of something great!

  55. Wild Bill says:

    should have said “ask for a review” – the challenge would be gone

  56. Jandy says:

    +++++

    His sense of entitlement really, really irks me.

    That is all.

  57. buggee says:

    This Pirates team just continues to blow me away despite TBMTIB. It’s all about the Men on the Field.
    Yesterday ranked right up there with the Cueto game last October in my eyes. I know it’s just one game, but it was almost magical.

    Etch it and then stuff a Jolly Roger in there and then eat a cannonball ‘n’ ‘at

  58. DJ says:

    His head may have gotten smaller but not his ego.

  59. Wild Bill says:

    Is it April Fools’ Day, Tc?

  60. Jandy says:

    buggeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Holy Shuttlecocks, Batman :D

  61. Jim S. says:

    I heard them say on MLB Network last night that it is not true that managers lose their ability to appeal after the 7th inning. There seems to be some confusion, at least among fans. I have heard it both ways now.

  62. JohninOshkosh says:

    Fernandez, to me, is like Lincecum’s early years in SF. I just want to watch every one of his starts.

    Quite the ballplayer.

  63. I wouldn’t worry too much more about Barry Bonds since he’ll probably have more to do with the San Francisco Giants since he’s popular back in San Francisco, where he spent most of his career like his father before him.

  64. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I once played in a softball league where you started with a 1-1 count. I asked why they didn’t just make a strikeout 2 strikes and a walk 3 balls. The ump said they thought that was too confusing to remember for everyone.

  65. Jim S. says:

    Especially when it’s OUR pure joy.

  66. Jim S. says:

    I had to work really late last night, so I set up the DVR to watch when I got home. Found out I only set it for 3 hours. The recording ended in the top of the 9th. At least I got to see Walker’s HR on the Pirates’ website.

  67. DJ says:

    Apples don’t fall far from the tree.

    I’ve read a little about the career of his father, Bobby, and understand he was a real a-hole as well.

  68. Baywatch says:

    Our Phil Irwin Tweeted last night that seeing Fernandez’ slider made him want to “THROW UP!” I guess with the young people of the day, that’s a positive, like something that’s “sick!” :-)

  69. Jandy says:

    And men talk about women!

    Yeah…ok…

    ;)

    :P

  70. Jandy says:

    Really? See I never looked into that…interesting…

  71. Jandy says:

    Zactly! It’s a compliment of the highest degree ;)

  72. Dom says:

    The Steelers sign DeSean Jackson:

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000338548/article/desean-jackson-to-surpass-eric-deckers-contract

    April Fools!!! It’s actually Washington!

    You all should see the look on your face right now.

  73. Jandy says:

    OK, JAL? What’s the real scoop, buddy?

  74. Baywatch says:

    How does someone’s HEAD get smaller, and WHY do I feel the Fish That Saved Pittsburgh has something to do with it?

  75. Baywatch says:

    Dom, if you can see the looks on our faces right now, YOU must be the guy in New York with all the instant replay!

  76. Jandy says:

    Not touching this one ;X

  77. That sounds much better!

    :D

  78. Baywatch says:

    Is Father Time finally catching up with Cliff “I Gave Up EIGHT Runs Yesterday” Lee?

  79. Baywatch says:

    LOL!

  80. Milo Hamilton says:

    Each manager gets 1 challenge. If he uses it & gets it right, he gets one more. From the 7th inning on you may ask the umpires to have a play reviewed even if you’ve exhausted your ability to challenge. If you haven’t used your challenge after the 7th inning you aren’t at the umpires whim. What we saw yesterday was Clint Hurdle using his one challenge, in the 10th inning. No umpire conference was necessary.

  81. Thundercrack says:

    People were raving about how good he was in Spring Training.

    See….ST doesn’t matter!!!! :-)

  82. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Mye-lo!

  83. 21sthebest says:

    Thanks guys. The only thing I could really find was this:

    “Umpires can request a replay on a play from the seventh inning on, though if a manager has not used his challenge and wants a call overturned, he must call for the replay.”

  84. Jandy says:

    Pot Stirrer! ;)

  85. Baywatch says:

    What a barn burner for opening day! 14-10!! Why is it when you’re watching a scoreless 9-inning game like we were yesterday, you DROOL at the prospect of seeing a slugfest like that … but after Neil hits the home run, your game becomes the greatest thing since sliced bread … well, pierogies anyway!

  86. Jim S. says:

    I think Dejan makes a good point, above, about Frankie’s efficiency. 104 pitches in 6 innings is probably a little more than he would have liked to throw, but I’m sure he’ll take it with 6 scoreless. I assume they’d like to see a little more Ground Chuck (early count groundouts) and a little less Tyler Glasnow (high amount of K’s and high pitch counts) going forward, to preserve him for the season. But, that’s nitpicking on my part. I’ll take 6 zeroes every game, if he can do that.

    The Bucs need a new plan of attack vs. Smardzija. The guy’s a good pitcher, but we make him look like Verlander from a few years ago. He got through 7 innings on only 89 pitches. I believe Marte had a 9 or 10 pitch walk, but everyone else was getting finished off pretty quickly.

  87. Baywatch says:

    Let Timmy Smoke!

  88. scapper says:

    This avowed atheist believes in Sidney Crosby and Andrew McCutchen.

  89. scapper says:

    Agreed that me must be a truly unpleasant teammate, and I’ve yet to hear a writer defend his personality.

    But man, he’s the greatest ballplayer I’ve seen in person, the Babe Ruth of our times, and I cherish the memories of watching what this guy did, especially with the Giants. Stunning stuff.

  90. JohninOshkosh says:

    You know, when I saw Bonds yesterday, I didn’t even think of him as a Pirate. Been so many years ago. He’s a Giant to me. And, if he hadn’t cheated the game, he would be enshrined at Cooperstown wearing a Giants hat.

    I thought he looked out of place in that stadium he never called home quite frankly.

  91. Jim S. says:

    If it did, Bay, it sure happened in a hurry because he was tremendous last season. 222 innings, 193 hits, 222 K’s, 32 BB. 1.01 WHIP. I think yesterday was a blip from him, but we’ll see.

  92. Baywatch says:

    That one guy, Strop, came in and made JHay look pretty foolish! JHay was missing his pitches by a FOOT!

  93. Baywatch says:

    John, I’d say he FELT the same way, booking his flight out for just after watching 2 innings of the game!

  94. Mizery says:

    I agree there’s a lot more that goes into it than being healthy Brandie, but having all your weapons in time for the playoffs is exciting. Now we just need to hope that there isn’t a boston bruins part deux this year.

  95. Jim S. says:

    You’re darn right we do. ;-)

  96. Jandy says:

    +++++

  97. Jandy says:

    Oh trust me, I know! :P

  98. Jim S. says:

    I think they say that after you run your 162nd marathon! ;-)

  99. 21sthebest says:

    I think making a pitcher throw a lot of pitches is overrated and often not the right strategy. I think you need to hit fastballs, preferably mistakes. You’re luck to see one of those in an at bat. There was a decent amount of first pitch fastball swinging and I think it happened in the right situations mostly. Cutch did it at least twice.

    Marte had a hard out or two and Martin drilled a ball into the left field corner (maybe after Somemargarine left the game). Pedro got unlucky when he hit into a double play from my vantage point. Yes, our situational hitting wasn’t good but we had a lot of bad luck too, IMO.

    The only at bat that had me fuming was Snider’s, after Marte’s double, when he popped out to the left side.

  100. Thundercrack says:

    John, I actually had a somewhat different feeling about him yesterday.
    I quit being a fan of his as soon as he left the Pirates.

    But seeing him yesterday made me remember how great he was in a Pirate uniform, and how good those teams were. And it made me think about how respected that club was – - – we were actually picked to win the division and some picked us for the World Series during those years.

    Of course I think him shrinking down back down to a ‘normal size’ made it easier for me to remember his Bucco days.

  101. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think DK undoubtedly got it right about the different perspectives on Bonds’ introduction. Depended on where you were sitting, And, speaking of that, I didn’t know what a great day weather wise it was until we were leaving. We were in the shade the whole game. And everyone around us kept their coats on. It was chilly at times, especially when there was a breeze, even with decent coats on. Nothing like last year, though, when your feet were frozen. OK, it was only interesting to me. ;-)

  102. Jandy says:

    Somemargarine

    LOL!

  103. Jim S. says:

    I know not everybody gets baseball or is happy that it is back. But, I’m glad to count myself among the people who are glad it is back.

  104. theplanisworking says:

    I am not an atheist, but I am a fool.

    Good thing Bonds head shrunk, eh Reverend? This way he can fit through the clubhouse door………. ;)

  105. Jandy says:

    ME 2!

  106. Arriba Wilver says:

    On seeing the replay on Root last night, I thought Leyland looked uncomfortable. He is definitely a Pittsburgher, but I wonder if he thinks more of himself as a Detroit manager now.

  107. Thundercrack says:

    I can’t remember who the batter was (maybe Martin) but Walk & Brown mentioned that if they were still in Bradenton, that ball that was hit would be over the Boardwalk at McKechnie.

  108. theplanisworking says:

    Yawn. :)

  109. 21sthebest says:

    126 to go!

  110. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree on Pedro. Without the shift it was a sure hard hit single over the second base bag.

  111. NMR says:

    GREAT comparison, John!

  112. Jim S. says:

    I wonder about that as well, Arriba. I think he is still employed by Detroit as some sort of an advisor to Dombrowski, right?

    I think he doesn’t quite know where his place is with the Bucs. He never wanted to leave the team, but felt they gave him no choice since he wanted to win a WS. He doesn’t want to get in the way or be a distraction, as I see it. But, he knows so many people wish he were still with the team in some capacity.

    I think Jim Leyland is a really good guy. But, I think he’d rather just go to PNC anonymously, if he could.

  113. 21sthebest says:

    I roasted in the outfield.

    I thought Bonds was booed pretty well and then it quickly turned into cheers. The whole thing lasted about 10-15 seconds and I thought to myself, we’ve been talking about this for 3 days (and I still am) over something that was a blip.

    I asked Mrs. 21 last night how she would describe the reaction to Bonds from our vantage point and I trust her objectivity on this more than anyone. She simply said, “mixed.”

  114. theplanisworking says:

    After 20 years of suck, it IS nice to have baseball back now.
    Even if the Pirates don’t contend for the WS, at least HOPE is back. That is possibly the most any fanbase could want.

  115. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen him look comfortable.

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good point. Maybe he wanted a cigarette. ;-) Still love the guy.

  117. 21sthebest says:

    I just got lazy Jandy. Didn’t feel like looking up the correct spelling.

  118. Jim S. says:

    And, I think, a lot of times it is the exact right strategy. The Yankees and Red Sox won a lot of WS in the last 20 years, and a big part of the strategy was driving up pitch counts.

  119. Thundercrack says:

    Watching it on TV yesterday afternoon, I had the same reaction to it: That was over quick, it didn’t turn ugly or embarrassing, and didn’t really live up to the ‘hype’. But I liked it a lot.

  120. Jandy says:

    But I liked it! It’s a good one :)

  121. Andrew says:

    The game recap had a good stat, only 10 of 24 of Liriano’s first pitches were strikes, league average is 60% so that is less than efficient. However I agree, you cannot be much more effective than 6 scoreless.

  122. 21sthebest says:

    I thought the entire pregame was done extremely well. Brown was an excellent host, loved the paratroopers and Cutch’s mom was excellent.

    Someof the people around us wondered why Garrett Jones wasn’t playing first and who this Ishikawa was.

  123. theplanisworking says:

    Just a thought on Smardzija, and pitching yesterday……….

    I think making a pitcher throw a lot of pitches is NOT overrated at all, and IS the correct strategy. With today’s pitch count limits, the more pitches thrown, is the closer to getting a pitcher out……. very important when the Pirates face Cy Smardzija. Managers from Little League and above preach patience at the plate, making the pitcher throw strikes. If the pitcher isn’t throwing strikes, a walk ensues, which can be as good as a hit. Batters are also taught that if a pitcher throws a lot of pitches, his arm will be tired, and a mistake is more likely to occurr, and that mistake can be hit.

    I think the Pirates are just too willing to hit Smardzija’s first pitch, and unless it is a fat mistake, results in easy outs, and him not having to throw a lot. As said above, a completely new strategy is needed against him, because what they are trying now isn’t working.

  124. Arriba Wilver says:

    Mixed is definitely unassailable as a description.

    And you’re right. It started out leaning one way, and ended up another, to me. Heck, I started clapping because I thought the negative reaction was inappropriate in the setting.

  125. theplanisworking says:

    ++++ Jim. Spot on.

    That strategy is taught from Little League on up.

  126. NMR says:

    six scoreless and 10 k’s. flat-out dominant.

  127. Wild Bill says:

    So, Milwaukee gave Roidin Braun a huge standing O yesterday, and some in baseball thought it inappropriate.

    We’ll fix that when he gets to Pittsburgh.

  128. Nate83 says:

    I personally wish JHay was missing the pitches by 500 miles swinging from Indy in AAA. I’m not a big fan of him. I know he plays 3 or 4 positions but can you really say that if he doesn’t play any of them that well. I just don’t see him as adding much value as a bench player.

  129. scapper says:

    That, Jim, is what I remember more than anything else about that recent Yankee dynasty: Their quality at-bats, especially in the post-season. Batters 1-9 would just wear pitchers down, seemingly never swinging at garbage and always going deep into counts. Didn’t seem to be a hacker in the bunch.

  130. NMR says:

    I think Volquez got more boos than Bonds in my section.

  131. Jim S. says:

    I just wonder if that arm has over 3,000 regular season pitches in it this year. He seemed to tire down the stretch last year, and that was after missing some starts in April. Of course, maybe that was just because he hadn’t thrown so many innings in previous years. It will be interesting to see if he can go 200+ innings this year for the first time in his career, because that appears to be what they want from him.

  132. NMR says:

    After Opening Day last year, Samardijza had a 3.96 ERA in our starts vs the Pirates. He has a 4.14 ERA for his career.

  133. Arriba Wilver says:

    And I didn’t hear one boo on Volquez. Could have been, though, that the scoreboard put up Juan D’s name at the time. ;-)

  134. Jim S. says:

    For sure. It is also easier to employ that strategy with a DH in your lineup.

  135. 21sthebest says:

    A lot of pitchers get stronger the more they throw and the key is to get them out of the game as quickly as you can. Johnny Cueto comes to mind as do many others. The more you make them throw you risk ending up in a lot of 2 strike counts. Just look at any batter’s splits with 2 strikes and you’ll see a batting average that is at its lowest. The objective in any at bat, IMO, is to stay away from 2 strike counts and to hit mistakes if you get them. And don’t swing at no strike curveballs unless you get a hangar.

    The game breaks down to me this easily – you have hitters counts and you have pitchers counts and whichever one is to your advantage gives you a much better chance of winning that at bat. And of course the objective is to make a pitcher throw strikes. But if their control is good, being too patient could hurt you.

    Patience is good, IMO, and I’m not suggesting there is one perfect approach. But being too patient can hurt you too. The Pirates strike out a lot and I think a lot of it is because they watch too many pitches go by.

  136. NMR says:

    So is it pitches or innings you’re worried about? You seem to have used them interchangeably in that comment.

  137. Karen22 says:

    Oh, boo! Scammed by a kindygardner! ;)

  138. Arriba Wilver says:

    He looked pretty good in October. ;-)

  139. Karen22 says:

    But of course, James!! :)

  140. 21sthebest says:

    +

  141. Jim S. says:

    I think there were a lot of silent protests about Volquez. ;-)

  142. Nate83 says:

    Also 10 strike outs in six innings will always get your pitch count up. I’ll assume you need at lest 5 pitches per strike out. That’s 50 right there. Nolan Ryan always had really high pitch counts. I know it’s easy to say pitch to contact to keep the pitch count down but strike outs are still a pitchers best friend. Nothing bad ever happens when you strike somebody out.

    Frankie can pitch a solid six using 90-105 pitches every game he starts in my opinion. We have a good bullpen and league average is like 6.1 innings. I’m not sure where all these teams are that get 7 innings from their pitchers every night. It doesn’t happen. Bullpen use from team to team only fluctuates by like 50 innings in a season. That is one out per game. I personally do not think it’s a big deal and to much is made out of it in todays game. Nobody worried about arms falling off even 20 years ago and maybe I’m wrong but injuries seemed less frequent back then.

  143. Jim S. says:

    I’m not suggesting there is one perfect approach, either. Each game is different.

  144. Arriba Wilver says:

    No question, along with the “who?” ;-)

  145. Nate83 says:

    K’s always equal high pitch count. K’s are good. I will take yesterdays start 100% of the time even over 8 innings with 4 K’s. Nothing bad happens when a batter K’s. Pitching to contact is a horrible idea. Having the bat never hit the ball is the easiest way to win.

  146. Jandy says:

    hahaha! H*LLYEAH!

  147. Arriba Wilver says:

    The Brewers’ face is Braun. The Pirates’ face is Cutch. I don’t have anything against Milwaukee the City, but . . .

  148. 21sthebest says:

    Not always, not really.

  149. 21sthebest says:

    Jim, I think the right strategy is swinging at strikes and not getting stuck in 2 strike counts.

  150. theplanisworking says:

    Maybe his ERA is lower at PNC against the Pirates vs. Wrigley field……… really don’t know, but Smardzija seems better against the Bucs than other clubs.

    And, I know you are a big SABR guy……… and most SABR guys say ERA isn’t a good deteminer for pitchers. Just got a chuckle you would use ERA for your position.

  151. Jandy says:

    Can they at least put a mask on it???

  152. Arriba Wilver says:

    AJ got some criticism last year for supposedly focusing more on strikeouts. I love them, too, but the Pirates strategy, while not to discount strikeouts, appears to be to let the shifts work. Doesn’t mean SO’s aren’t important, just in the long hall they think you also need lots of two-seam ground balls.

  153. 21sthebest says:

    I love him to. I think he’s genuine, real. I like people who wear their emotions on their sleeve. Not a phony at all.

  154. theplanisworking says:

    Well then, you go against the grain of 99% of baseball managers in history. Congrats. I value their teaching and opinions much, much more than yours.

  155. 21sthebest says:

    Totally agree Jim. As I was saying above, swing at strikes and don’t get locked in too many 2 strike counts. If that drives up a pitcher’s pitch count, so be it.

  156. Andrew says:

    I agree, strikeouts are outs about 99% of time, groundballs not so much. My only point was it is easier to get strikeouts and pitch deeper into games if you get first pitch strikes.

  157. Jim S. says:

    And, I totally get your point, 21. You don’t want to be working counts to drive up pitch counts to the point where your hitters are passing up fat fastballs and ending up in 1-2 counts all day. Trying to work pitchers is something you can only do, as a team, if you have veteran hitters who know what they are doing and understand the difference between a good pitch to hit and a ball.

  158. theplanisworking says:

    Another good point Jim.

    With today’s specialization of pitchers, and specialization of pitches, getting pitch counts high has even more value. Of course a batter doesn’t want to go up there, and look at 3 strikes right down the middle, but take one pitch for example …… the cutter. Looks like a strike for 59 feet, then Boom! gone. So if a pitcher has a good 2 seamer working, swinging could be a folly. Obviously a pitcher with great control is going to be tough to hit and work the pitch count up on, but most pitchers don’t have that great control.

    I still listen to managers, hitting coaches etc. that preach patience, and make good swings in an at-bat. Work the counts, get the pitch counts up……………… only a select few pitchers get stronger as the game goes along. It is the correct strategy the vast % of the time.

  159. NMR says:

    Ha! Thanks for the story, Jim.

  160. NMR says:

    I think a lot of hitters would tell you that all strikes are created equal.

    It is a pitcher’s goal to get the hitter to swing at pitches on the corners.

  161. Jim S. says:

    On balance, I think I’m good with our face.

    “The lox … Plunder the lox.” – A. McCutchen

  162. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s ridiculous. Driving up pitch counts in little league when they have been limited by innings? 99% of managers in history?

    I disagree with 21 on this in that I think he’s discounting it too much, but little league and 99% of managers in history? I’d like to see that study.

  163. JohninOshkosh says:

    Is anyone surprised at all at that?

  164. NMR says:

    Haha, I was gonna let that one go…

  165. NMR says:

    I only used ERA in reply to you, since I know you are NOT a sabr guy. Shark’s FIP and xFIP are even lower than his ERA, fwiw.

  166. Arriba Wilver says:

    No doubt on first pitch strikes. Also part of the Pirate strategy.

  167. NMR says:

    There are times when I can’t make my point without using advanced metrics, but I always try to stick to the traditional ones when I can. Much easier to get the point across.

  168. Jim S. says:

    I think that is definitely correct, 21. There were times during last season where Clint talked about how they wanted to try to make certain pitchers work. They went in with a game plan of deliberately taking more pitches to start at bats. And, there were times, where they wanted to be more aggressive and swing at the first good pitch they saw because that might be all they saw. So, I’m sure they alter their approach for each game and each different pitcher.

  169. NMR says:

    Hahaha…

  170. 21sthebest says:

    I’m not going against any grain. I have a ton of experience coaching youth baseball from ages 9-16. My son played college baseball. My son is now a high school coach. I talked to a lot of coaches. Always have.

  171. Wild Bill says:

    John, if you mean surprised that the fans of Milwaukee supported him that way, then yes, I am. The people of Milwaukee have always struck me as fair in judgment – just regular folks. The selfish actions of Braun stole from those who support Milwaukee’s team, and basically ruined their season last year. The last thing I expected was a prolonged standing o.

  172. 21sthebest says:

    All I’m saying Arriba is not to swing at balls, and stay out of two strike counts. If that drives the pitch count up, great. But being too patient can be the wrong strategy, IMO.

  173. Jim S. says:

    (Muffled whispers)

    “When did we get this Vasquez guy?”

  174. theplanisworking says:

    Well good morning to you too. Look who is getting “personal” now., huh?

    Don’t forget, Little League has pitch limits, in addition to innings limits. But that doesn’t fit your attack on me, does it?

    A better case would be for you to find managers that do NOT believe in working the count and driving pitch counts up. I would like to see THAT study.

  175. 21sthebest says:

    Totally agree.

  176. NMR says:

    I find it interesting that Liriano and the Pirates seem to focus on first pitch fastballs, presumably to get ahead in the count, despite a whole bunch of evidence that suggest Liriano has poor fastball command.

    The guy has ridiculous secondary stuff. Period. That is the pitcher he is. That is how he succeeds. I’m all for letting him be the dominant pitcher he is.

  177. NMR says:

    Please don’t ever let sports fans define your view of a given region’s people.

    Fan is the root of fanatic. Sports make people do silly things.

  178. Thundercrack says:

    Didn’t Clint always say – especially with Pedro – that hitters can’t let good pitches go early in the count. Starting off behind in the count is not ideal for a hitter.

  179. 21sthebest says:

    Patience, absolutely. But let me ask you or anyone this. What would be a situation when a hitter should take an anything and one strike? Straight steal? Sure. Bases loaded, late and close when the count is 3-1, maybe. When else?

  180. 21sthebest says:

    Bingo.

  181. NMR says:

    Except Philadelphians.

  182. Thundercrack says:

    People here jeered for Marlon Byrd….everytime he got a hit or made a catch while wearing a Pirate uniform.

    ( even me )

  183. Thundercrack says:

    CHEERED…not jeered.

  184. 21sthebest says:

    Sorry? Plan, who are you saying is attacking you?

  185. NMR says:

    You’re talking about two different things, TC.

    Strikes DO NOT equal good pitches.

  186. Arriba Wilver says:

    :-D

  187. Jim S. says:

    2/6 yesterday, with an RBI. Hitting a cool .333 on the season. :-)

  188. 21sthebest says:

    Sure, but I’d call that one of their goals. Another goal would be to get hitters to chase.

  189. 21sthebest says:

    +

  190. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m confused now, but Clint definitely stresses swinging at “your” pitch, no matter what the count is.

  191. 21sthebest says:

    I read what TC wrote as pitches you can have success with as a hitter.

  192. Wild Bill says:

    Although hitting against the Rangers might be like hitting in AA ball?

  193. Dom says:

    Were you up late?

  194. Wild Bill says:

    An important and necessary clarification!

  195. Thundercrack says:

    Can someone read John Perrotto’s column today regarding Bonds’ appearance and please tell me what his point is.

    He writes “Bringing back Bonds once again highlights how little ownership and management understand Pirates’ history and their fans’ collective psyche.” (because he has a very hard time refraining from taking a jab at the owner in his columns). But yet the event turned out fine.

    Disclaimer: You will not get those 5 minutes of your life back

  196. theplanisworking says:

    AW’s 10:41 post.

  197. Andrew says:

    21, perfect illustration of the point you are making about not taking hittable pitches, McCutchen.

    2009-11: Swing%: 39.9%, Swing% on pitches in the zone: 59.9%
    2012-13: Swing%: 46.7%, Swing% on pitches in the zone: 70.6%

    One version was a great player, the later put up MVP numbers.

  198. Arriba Wilver says:

    All I know is I read it and the title was the best part.

  199. Jim S. says:

    Breaking News from the Department of Tiny Sample Sizes:

    YTD stats:

    * Ike Davis – 0/2, BB
    * Loney – 1/3, BB, RBI
    * Moreland – 0/3
    * Smoak – 2/4, HR, 3 RBI, 3 Runs
    * Morrison – 0/3, 2 BB, Run
    * Dunn – 0/2, BB, RBI
    * Morneau – 1/4
    * Ishikawa – 2/3

    * Billy Hamilton, Reds – 0/4, 4 K’s

    The Dept. of Small Sample Sizes agrees to take up the reporting of these stats after April 15th!

  200. Thundercrack says:

    I’m confused now too. And maybe I didn’t follow along with the conversation close enough.

    If a batter is worried about getting the pitcher’s pitch count up and lets a good pitch go by – and ends up starting the at-bat in the hole – then that isn’t a good thing either.

  201. theplanisworking says:

    Very good piece on Orpik’s hit on Toews, and Milbury the Clown ………

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/mike-milbury–brooks-oprik-and-the-idiocy-of-retribution-143725598.html

  202. Jim S. says:

    They sure have had some awful luck with health of pitchers this year so far.

  203. Jim S. says:

    I stopped bothering with his stuff.

  204. 21sthebest says:

    Thank you.

  205. 21sthebest says:

    Thanks for posting those stats Andrew.

  206. Rico says:

    Barry’s head only looked smaller than it has in the recent past because he’s lost weight and his face is thinner. It’s still at least two sizes larger than it was when he played for the Buccos.

  207. Wild Bill says:

    Thanks, Plan, that was a good one. Hockey’s Neanderthals, like Milbury, are an embarrassment to NBC Sports, whether they’re smart enough to know it or not.

    I just watched an entire season of home games of NCAA hockey, without seeing a single fight. Didn’t miss it one darn bit.

  208. 21sthebest says:

    Garrett Jones 0-4, 3 k’s. And the Marlins put up 10 runs.

    Groat sightings today – 0 ;-)

  209. 21sthebest says:

    +

  210. Jim S. says:

    Clint Barmes or a pitcher at bat. I would sometimes have Clint taking on 0-2. Ok, kidding about the last part.

    I think every hitter is different, 21. Some guys do not want to get in 2 strike counts no matter what. It is mentally tough for some guys, for whatever reason. Other guys figure if they have one strike left, that is ok with them.

  211. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m again confused, Plan. You’re the one who claims people who disagree with you are getting personal, not me. Disagree with me all you want. Was your post at 10:30 personal? You got a “chuckle?”

  212. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, a confident hitter takes a first pitch strike if it is not a pitch he thinks he can do something with. Batting averages on pitches on the outside corner at the knees are probably not very high for most guys.

  213. Jim S. says:

    D*mn, I missed that one.

  214. NMR says:

    I was strongly against bringing Bonds back on the blog before yesterday’s game, yet was significantly underwhelmed during the actual moment.

    I just do not see how it turned out to be a big deal, what-so-ever.

  215. Jim S. says:

    Did anyone happen to catch Trout’s HR off King Felix? Oh my! To hit that pitch, with that movement, in that location … I like his future. He’s way underpaid.

  216. Arriba Wilver says:

    By the way, I love arguments that start with “99% of managers in history do _____, “and when challenged say “prove me wrong.”

  217. Jim S. says:

    I thought Milbury exceeded his own lofty standards of jackassedness the other night.

  218. JAL says:

    exactly if you lose an early appeal you can’t make any more but after the 7th you can still ask the ump to review a play. The difference is that when you have an appeal they have to review the play but when you can only ask they do not have to review the play.

  219. NMR says:

    ClementeLover,

    You are wrong yet once again! Casey Mcgehee was 2-5 with 4 RBI, thus Garrett Jones clearly did his job as Mcgehee’s protector! That is what Miami paid him to do! Are you listening, Huntington?!?!?!

    Signed,

    Groat

  220. Jim S. says:

    Maybe if he still had the swelled head. If he was introduced and still looked like Mr. Met, it might have been different.

  221. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  222. NMR says:

    I cringe when somebody uses one of the best hitter’s in the world to demonstrate an approach that is being advocated for all to use.

  223. Andrew says:

    I always found it odd which athletes or coaches end up having staying power as analysts, I would think it would be easy to find better ones after listening to some of the absurd things people like Milbury say.

  224. Jim S. says:

    For some reason, NBC must think it is good for ratings. smh.

  225. NMR says:

    Ha, same logic that got me all riled up with bpn about Volquez.

    “What other teams wanted him?”

    How in the hell am I supposed to know something like that? Please don’t be naive enough to think that MLBTradeRumors tracks every conversation between GMs.

  226. 21sthebest says:

    I agree Jim. But I’d like to find a hitter who does better with 2 strikes than with less than 2 strikes.

  227. Wild Bill says:

    If the Angels won’t pay him, maybe the BMTiB will!

    April Fools.

  228. 21sthebest says:

    Yes. I just about jumped out of my chair.

  229. 21sthebest says:

    I agree with you to a certain extent and I had a similar thought when Andrew posted that, but wouldn’t that strategy be one of the reasons that he has become such a good hitter?

  230. Jim S. says:

    He did look great in the playoff games vs. the Reds and Cards, Arriba. So, maybe he wasn’t fading, and it was just my imagination.

    But, he also threw 160 regular season innings last year. He has never thrown 200. I question whether he can throw 3,000+ pitches this year over 30+ starts and still be strong in the playoffs. I hope he can do it, but given his history, I think it is a good question.

  231. bpn8pitt says:

    I guess Hurdle is on record for saying it wont be a true platoon and he’ll go with the hot bat at 1st.

    It will be a neat thing to follow, how this is managed.

    Again, not going to overreact to Game 1, but if that will be the bottom of the order 1B, SS, P, hopefully someone swings the bat okay down there.

  232. Jim S. says:

    So, throw out the game that doesn’t fit your argument and recalculate his stats?

  233. Jim S. says:

    He turns 23 in August.

  234. NMR says:

    @TC – FWIW, I still at least partially agree with Perrotto that the Bonds decision was not particularly deft for management to do.

    But this is the type of story that sounds bigger in print than it actually ended up being in reality, which is low-hanging fruit that Perrotto can’t resist. Dejan gives the whole situation a few sentences burried in a daily blog. Perrotto writes a column.

    You don’t need to know history to guess who is the award winning columnist and who is the one that freelances for the Beaver County Times(no offense, Beaver residents).

  235. NMR says:

    Pray for lefty matchups.

  236. Jim S. says:

    To your point, 21, I don’t think there are many hitters who hit well in 0-2, 1-2 or even 2-2 counts.

    But, the other side of the coin is there are not a lot of pitchers who do well when they are behind in the count. If that first pitch is borderline, I don’t know that it is bad to take just because it might be called a strike. It could also be called a ball, and then the hitter has the advantage. Plus, I don’t think many hitters have high averages when swinging at borderline pitches.

    I think their approach is probably to swing at pitches they can do damage with as often as possible, and when the count allows, let pitches go by that they can’t. I don’t think it is as simple as just taking pitches for the sake of taking pitches.

  237. Bizrow says:

    Thats why I no longer get the Beaver County Times

  238. Arriba Wilver says:

    I heard after the game yesterday that Gaby was 1 for 10 against the Cubs pitcher whose name starts with S. And Ishi went 2-3 yesterday. Definitely early to see what’s going on.

  239. theplanisworking says:

    AW, just more hypocrisy from you and your group.
    Carry on, pal. Keep spinning for your benefit.

    I should know better than to post any opinions on here……. you and your group wait to attack.

    Oh, and I love how anyone who disagrees with you, or you disagree with, you start a rebuttal with “that’s ridiculous”. Only thing ridiculous is when someone dismisses out-of-hand a differing opinion with “that’s ridiculous”.

    But carry on, as per your usual, Mr. Ridiculous.

  240. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    It’s nice to see the Pirates competitive for the past year or two.
    However….I take it with one large grain of salt.
    I can’t help but to think that it’s a “paper thin” amount of space between this organization being competitive and this organization returning to the flatlands of the standings.
    They’ve made it crystal clear (and then some) that they are NOT going to help this club UNLESS they are competing for a playoff spot sometime in latter July.
    Very little effort (and finances) was needed to make this club look like it should going into the season.
    But no….That was out of the question.
    That speaks volumes to me.

  241. Unfortunately for all you golfing fans, Tiger will not be competing in the Masters this year after undergoing surgery for a pinched nerve.

  242. 21sthebest says:

    Agree Jim. I don’t advocate swinging at borderline first pitch pitches in general. You can’t do much with them unless you’re a Cabrera who can hit anything. The first pitch pitch I’m swinging at is a fastball in my zone or a hangar.

    ” I don’t think it is as simple as just taking pitches for the sake of taking pitches.”

    Also agree. I go back to the only point I’m trying to make and that is that I don’t believe in driving up a starting pitchers pitch count just for the sake of doing it.

  243. theplanisworking says:

    All good points, Jim.

    Bottom line, 10-3 M’s.
    They may be 30GB some September, but for one day……….

    I do hope Jack Z succeeds. But with the team he has assembled, I don’t know…..

  244. Arriba Wilver says:

    “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

    Groucho Marx

  245. Jim S. says:

    Arriba:

    You were correct above about Liriano being great in October last year. So, it must have been just my imagination that he was tiring. Not the first time I have been wrong, by any means.

    But, I do worry about whether he can give them 33 starts and 200+ innings, followed by the playoffs, this year. Last year, he missed his early starts due to the broken arm.

    I thought starting out with 104 pitches in game 1 was more than they wanted yesterday. The reason I say that is his year-by-year career innings going backwards from 2013 are:

    161 (+13), 156, 134, 191, 136, 76, 0, 121. He’s had a lot of breakdowns over the years. I honestly don’t know if preserving pitch counts this year can help him or not. Some people say he will get stronger if he throws more. Or, would skipping some starts later help? Or, much ado about nothing. But, I think it is a legit question with him, given his injury and durability history. I’d be interested to read what others say.

  246. Jandy says:

    Jim, just butting in here to say, that is my memory serves me correctly, Frankie did have period late in the summer…where he struggled. Then he came back and got it done again.

  247. theplanisworking says:

    Great point Jim, Liriano didn’t pitch until May last year, due to the Christmas Day Massacre scaring his kids. I think that had a lot to do with his second half success last year. His history doesn’t show he can be a “horse” so to speak.

    But, with the way the Pirates use their bullpen, and take care with their starters, he may be able to do it.

  248. 21sthebest says:

    Where exactly was “the group” being hypocritical?

  249. Jim S. says:

    I think Liriano’s late start turned out to be a blessing in disguise last year. We should be able to tell more as the year goes on about how he can stand up to a full season now. For all the worry about pitch counts for Cole last year that a lot of people had, I feel more comfortable with him taking the role of a horse than anyone else on the staff.

    But, I think a strength of this organization now is that they have Cumpton, Locke, Irwin, Taillon (hopefully), Worley, maybe Sadler that are all ready to give them spot starts. Pimentel is probably in that mix also.

    So, I think they will be prepared to replace Wandy, Volqy, Liriano, Chuck, whomever for an occasional start, if that is warranted.

  250. theplanisworking says:

    Wandy’s injury is still the great unknown for this team.
    Volquez? Ha. The Pitch Whisperer better be in top form there……..

  251. FlBucco says:

    GI – 0-4 with 3 strikeouts

  252. Baywatch says:

    “But in the longer hall, it’s a longer throw to get the guy out … at least if you’re throwing to my locker.” Bay “Groucho Marx” Watch …. LOL!

  253. Baywatch says:

    LOL! The Incredible Shrinking Head again! This really is cracking me up!

  254. NMR says:

    Fine question, but that doesn’t really have anything to do with efficiency.

  255. There was some concern that Liriano might not start the opener due to a groin injury although he was able to do that and strike out 10 Cubs as well, although the Cubs wouldn’t likely have done any better with any other starter and they didn’t get the favorable calls on those close plays either, and so, my main concern is that since AJ went to the Phillies, there is no one else to take up the slack if anything else happens to Liriano and the Pirates’ offense is as silent this season as it was yesterday.

  256. Baywatch says:

    Me 3!

  257. Baywatch says:

    From the UNBELIEVABLE Department … I looked up to see how old Adam Dunn is last night, given his MANY MOONS in the business … DUDE’S STILL JUST 34!

  258. Baywatch says:

    I can’t get over how Brandie called you Planny Sanguillen WAY BACK up there! I mean the girl introduces more names than Taco Bell does menu items every four months! Signed, Bay Searage!! LOL!

  259. cmat0829 says:

    Ah, the curse of the AAAA player. When he is on the big league roster, we can’t wait for him to be jettisoned. When he is at AAA, it is #FREEAAAAPLAYER all over this place. Harrison is what he is… a serviceable utility guy with a bit of speed, the only guy we can likely put in as a pinch runner late in games, etc.

    Not sure who on the Indy roster would serve that role better, but I’m sure you will all educate me.

  260. Jandy says:

    The utter ignorance and insensitivity of people (I use the term loosely) never ceases to amaze:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/rangers-fans-trash-tribute-to-fan-who-fell-to-death-in-2011-040114

  261. NMR says:

    Well no, considering my argument is that maybe we shouldn’t use Opening Day to decide that the club needs to fundementally change their approach against a given pitcher for the rest of his career.

    The evidence backs that up exactly.

  262. Jandy says:

    Brandie is our in-house stand up expert. I really think she missed her calling…she should be in comedy :)

  263. 21sthebest says:

    Those close plays were ultimately called correctly. Correct?

  264. cmat0829 says:

    I hope you have this blog post on an easy “cut and paste” because it is the same thing you post almost every day, regardless of the topic. So if you haven’t already set up cut and paste, maybe you should. Make it easier for ya.

  265. NMR says:

    Unquestionably. But that doesn’t mean other hitters have as much skill as Andrew has in order to convert those pitches into hits.

    This is like the Nolan Ryan pitching strategy to me.

  266. buggee says:

    hey there JandyLion!

  267. cmat0829 says:

    Jack Z has butchered his GM chance in Seattle. He has no plan. They went young, then panicked and went veteran, but didn’t have enough money after Cano, so it’s a mish-mosh now, not nearly enough pitching and no offense to put around Cano. Who was allowed to leave NY because of doubts about his work ethic. So, wish all you want, but Jack Z will either be working alongside Dave Littlefield or on MLB Network by the fall.

  268. NMR says:

    You may have heard of this Cole kid the Pirates drafted a few years ago. He’d like to have a word with you.

  269. Jandy says:

    that’s why I was smh

  270. Jandy says:

    +++++

  271. theplanisworking says:

    Just wow.

    Jack kick your dog by chance?

  272. theplanisworking says:

    I liked Chuck Planner yesterday too.

    She needs to incorporate Hasselhoff somehow for a name for you.

  273. 21sthebest says:

    What does that roster spot have to come from Indy?

  274. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s been a really good day for Jack Nicklaus.

  275. 21sthebest says:

    Sorry. Why does..

  276. I was relieved that the plays were called correctly although I also wished the Bucs had followed through.

  277. cmat0829 says:

    I get the point about Liriano…. but way way way way too soon to read anything into his first start. He wasn’t his most efficient, it was a different type of outing for him, but he put up 6 0′s and kept his team in a game with no margin for error. In my book, that’s a “well-done Frankie” and move on the next start.

    It is not that I dont understand any of the issues brought forth about Liriano, whether he can be as efficient this year, whether he can have the durability to put up 200 innings, etc., but let’s not use the first start – stats and otherwise – as any proof point in this debate, one way or the other.

    As to Samardija, he is a very good pitcher and the staff ace of the Cubs. No doubt he has the Pirates’ number but again, not sure I’m going to advocate the Bucs either leave the bat on the shoulder and crouch down to try to draw a little league walk or go up swinging first pitch no matter what. They just need to continue to have good at bats, good approaches and go from there. There were some decent at bats yesterday, Marte’s walk, Ishi’s two singles, Martin, Pedro scorched one, etc.

    I don’t see any reason to believe this year will be a lot different than last year so get ready for a lot of close games… and the Bucs to compete must win a good portion of those close games… starting pitching, bullpen and defense will be the key….

  278. Jandy says:

    haha! That makes me happy ;)

  279. Jandy says:

    smh

  280. Nate83 says:

    That would be great if he was actually filling that role himself but he doesn’t have a lot of stolen bases and he has been picked off a number of times. I don’t view him as a good base runner or a tremendous hitter. Honestly there are not a lot of options in AAA for utility infielder at this point. I though De Jesus would have filled the role nicely but they for some reason left Oliver on the 40 man and released De Jesus. I do like JHay’s energy and effort and he is better then Inge or Old McDonald but the bench could be better.

  281. 21sthebest says:

    NMR, I’m talking about very hittable first pitch fastballs. If other hitters can’t convert those into hits, they’re probably not in the Major Leagues anyways.

  282. Arriba Wilver says:

    Every teammate issues with certain pitchers. I only get worked up when they trade for those guys. ;-)

  283. Naterosboro says:

    Some thoughts from Opening Day, and other musings….

    * Looks as if the script for 2014 might be similar to the one we saw in 2013. Pitch extremely well, and get timely hits.

    * On Home Openers, do the Pirates usually announce the entire club staff? Trainers, equipment managers, etc.? That was a bit odd to me. What wasn’t odd was the crowd roar for Ray Searage. I love how Pirate fans recognize the job that he’s done since becoming the Pitching coach.

    * Greg Brown did say “2004″ Pirates on his introductions. Maybe Brownie longs for the “good” ol’ days?

    * Relief pitchers usually have some flux in their performance from year to year. The “Shark Tank” started 2014 off right though, buy throwing up 4 zeros.

    * It was only game 1 of 162. Plenty of time for the bats to come alive. St. Louis & Cincinnati played out to a 1-0 scoreline (St. Louis made 3 errors yesterday (only had 75 all of last year; franchise record)). Milwaukee won 2-0 over the Braves. Do I think the Pirates will be in the top tier of the league offensively? No, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the players to achieve it, and also time to do so.

    * Speaking of Milwaukee (and I saw this already mentioned)…but it really irked me that Ryan Braun got a lengthy standing ovation from the home crowd. The guy is a total scumbag, and gets a pass from just about everyone. I guess he’s not the first athlete though (to get a pass and be a P.o.S), and he certainly won’t be the last. There’s just something about his face though, that makes me want to smash it with a sledgehammer.

    * All that said about Braun, and I’d still take him on the Pirates (as I’ve said int he past). It’s about talent. I could care less what these guys do off the field or what type of personalities they have. If he were on the Bucs, I’d certainly root for him. I would NOT have participated in a standing ovation, however, as if he was somehow wronged…..

    * I guess my final thought on Ryan Braun is, it’s good that he won’t be getting elected to the Hall of Fame. You know, positive tests and all. Something that Mr. Bonds has NEVER done……

    * My thoughts on Barry Bonds coming back for the ceremony: don’t have any problem with management doing it. The fans also played it out well, and gave no story to this non-story. I can understand older Pittsburghers harboring ill feelings, but for me (who was 6 in 1992), I really only remember Barry as a SF Giant, and 1 of the greatest players (hitters especially) that I ever saw. I mean, the man had a .600+OBP in a season. That’s absurd.

    * I don’t care what has to happen (other than keeping Ryan Braun out), but guys like Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, etc. (guys with PED use surrounding their career) NEED to be in the Hall of Fame. Put an asterisk, build a separate wing (I’ll donate some $), whatever. These guys helped bring baseball back after the 1994 Strike-shortened season, and have had a lasting impact. The BBWA need to get over themselves. Realize that you’ve already voted in players that used PEDs, and get off your moral high horse. Oh yea, Pete Rose needs to be in yesterday. MLB Career Hits leader (essentially the top Offensive crown) isn’t in? Preposterous (and yes, I know why he’s not, and I also think enough time has passed where we can live and let live…..)

    * I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. PEDs should be allowed in pro sports (if they were legal to have). It’s about being the best athlete. PEDs help you achieve that. End of.

    * Btw, who defines what a “PED” is? Is it just anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, etc.? Or could amphetamines be considered? Carlos Ruiz was a better player on adderall (and did get suspended, but only b/c his script wasn’t from an MLB doctor). Players from past eras have spoken of “greenies” or “bennies” and taking them before games to get going. Maybe we should just accept the fact that professional athletes will always look to get a leg up. It helps the team win, & brings them fame, glory & money.

    * Did Mike Milbury submit a resume to the people at NBC Sports? The article (posted above from ThePlanIsWorking) from Yahoo’s Puck Daddy sums up feelings exactly.

    And on that note, I’m done.

    Have good day all.

    :-)

  284. buggee says:

    Pens versus Crapolina Crapicanes.

    Etch it and fill it with shuttlecocks

  285. Thundercrack says:

    Even if they had doubts about his work ethic the NYY still offered Cano a lot of money to stay.

  286. Arriba Wilver says:

    Here’s my main point, Jim. I obviously have no clue if Frankie can give us the max innings we need. I just don’t think last year is a good judge of that. AJ did fade in August the last 2 years. Frankie was on a HOF pace through July. He did fall off from that to go from around a 2.0 ERA to a 3.0 ERA. And he was lights out in October. I just don’t think the support for the argument is accurate.

    Disclaimer: this post is not intended to be personal and any interpretation, implication or inference to the contrary is totally unintentional.

  287. Baywatch says:

    LOL! Chuck Planner!

  288. Wild Bill says:

    It’s been asked before, but here’s wondering if Jordan Staal is still pleased to be in Carolina.

  289. Jandy says:

    Raise it!

  290. Jandy says:

    I couldn’t care less if he isn’t ;)

  291. Arriba Wilver says:

    Followed through how? They were both plays when the Bucs were on defense, and the Cubs didn’t score any runs.

  292. Jandy says:

    So, then my memory is correct, Frankie DID struggle a bit late summer/early fall, then had a great October…I guess I’m not as senile as I think I am
    :D

  293. Jandy says:

    that’s why I’m smh

  294. buggee says:

    and we have fun doing it to… talking about women that is

  295. Arriba Wilver says:

    *team has, not teammate.

  296. Wild Bill says:

    Raise what?

  297. theplanisworking says:

    The Jolly Shuttlecock. :)

  298. buggee says:

    excluding John (Walking Dead) Russell I presume?

  299. Jandy says:

    Going all quantum on us, eh, buggee??????

  300. Jandy says:

    of course ;)

  301. NMR says:

    Haha, now you understand what I think about your opinion of Neal Huntington.

  302. Wild Bill says:

    Okay by me.

  303. NMR says:

    Yeah, just like St. Louis was “smart” enough to let Pujols walk. Even though they offered him a $200m+ contract. Twice.

  304. NMR says:

    +1 AW (and Jandy!)

  305. theplanisworking says:

    Saw some comments above about Braun, and Bonds.

    Both are scum, both take zero responsibility for anything, both are horrible teammates, throw people under the bus to save their hides, etc.

    Both were/are great ballplayers, that is the shame of it all. For those who excuse Bonds actions by saying “he never got caught with PED’s”, if they would have had the same testing that caught Braun last year in Bond’s day, Bonds would have been caught also.

    But, some people would/will cheer for crooks all the time. Buddy of mine is a HUGE Alabama fan. When I bring up Saban, his response is always this……………. I don’t care if he kills people, and lies to his Mother, as long as he wins for my team”.

    AHHHH- Merica!

  306. Bizrow says:

    Re – * Greg Brown did say “2004″ Pirates on his introductions. Maybe Brownie longs for the “good” ol’ days?

    Thanks, I thought my hearing was just another of a long line of things I’m losing ;-)

  307. Jandy says:

    Mercy!

  308. Jandy says:

    What day is it, Biz?

    ;)

  309. NMR says:

    Wow, now that is ugly.

    Fans should never be allowed to carry open containers in line in the first place. This is inevitably what you get when a bunch of drunk idiots try to chug the last of their warm Bud Light before going into the game.

  310. Naterosboro says:

    Watched the highlight on my MLB At Bat app, and wasn’t exactly looking for it, but remembered you had commented, and then I heard him say it clear as day. It should be on the MLB.com highlights for the player introductions, if you’d like to hear Brownie’s gaffe again.

    With that said, I’ll take Brown over Neverette any day of the week and 3 times on Sunday.

  311. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yeah, that one isn’t very credible. Reminds me of Tim Williams saying the Bucs didn’t give AJ the QO because they believed he was either coming back or retiring. (Totally ignoring what Neal said.)

  312. cmat0829 says:

    Just kinda tired of decent to good GMs getting railed for every little thing and GMs who have DONE NOTHING BETTER and are in fact WORSE getting far-away ‘love’….Jack Z, Kevin Towers, the guy from Toronto, etc. I would need to see data that says Jack Z has in fact not butchered the chance he has been given in Seattle….

  313. Naterosboro says:

    In sports, talent is the end all, be all. No way around it. I’d rather have my team winning with crooks than losing without them.

    Chuck Barkley said it best… “I am not a role model.”

    He’s right.

    I think that gets lost sometimes.

  314. Wild Bill says:

    I hear ya, Nate. I don’t need them to be role models. However, I don’t want them to be violators, either.

  315. cmat0829 says:

    AJ is gone — but so is “JA”…and the guy who couldn’t deliver when it counted in the playoffs… he WILL regress this year (kinda silly everyone is 100% SURE that Liriano will regress but seem to at the same time count on the same 2013 AJ doing it again in 2014 at age 37), but all is fair in love, war and blogging……

    The keys to the Pirates season (two big keys) will be pitching the next 2 games…Morton and Wandy are the key…. if Morton is consistently good like last year and Wandy can stay healthy, this club WILL COMPETE. Liriano will regress a little and Cole will PROGRESS a little… as to #5? If Volquez can’t hack it (few say he can at this point, but to me jury is very much still out on that), then Cumpton/Gomez even Locke can spackle til the Trade Deadline and starting pitchers can be had in a trade…. it will take $$s and Neal has those stocked away.

  316. Bizrow says:

    Its my Birthday ;-)

    Not sure what day of the week it is though…..

  317. Arriba Wilver says:

    I guess I have an issue with the term “struggle.” If the definition is “not quite as good,” I’m cool. Still don’t know what it has to do with how many innings he can pitch, given the October results.

  318. Thundercrack says:

    I never heard Braun was a bad teammate.

    Of course getting suspended for 60 games isn’t helping your teammates.

  319. Jim S. says:

    Happy Birthday, Biz!

  320. Nate83 says:

    Ha, that funny. I went out to lunch today and they had “breaking news” on the 4 letter network. They spent my entire lunch talking about Tiger. I couldn’t believe it. I would have thought maybe talking to a doctor would have been all that was needed. Somehow they had a 10 minute conversation with Mike Turico about the topic. How is this news anymore. They showed the same clips like 8 or 9 time while talking about. I thought I was watching TMZ.

  321. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe Greg Brown was reading a typo. :-)

    (Happy B-day Biz!)

  322. Arriba Wilver says:

    Who is this “everyone” you speak of? That’s kind of a lot of crock from beginning (Liriano) to end (AJ). But if it makes you feel good, as you say, all is fair in love, war and blogging.

  323. Jim S. says:

    Nate:

    Braun is a scumbag, but Bonds isn’t? None of the other stuff about Barry Bonds the person bothers you?

  324. Jandy says:

    39??? ;)

    I’ll give you a hint, it’s NOT Wednesday ;)

  325. Arriba Wilver says:

    The Masters is this week.

  326. Jandy says:

    Bonds is a person???? WHO KNEW?????

  327. NMR says:

    I’m not even sure what the point about Liriano’s efficiency is supposed to accomplish?

    We know for fact that the Pirates judge a pitcher’s workload based on pitches, not innings, and control that indivuals workload throughout the season accordingly. “Durability” has nothing to do with number of innings for them.

    Therefor, the only reason Liriano would want to be more efficient is so that he can go later into games, which is traditionally thought of as a positive thing in baseball. This idea is terribly antiquated at this point, in 2014.

    Bullpens today are NOTHING like they were back then. The Pirates have seven guys who can come in and get big league hitters out consistantly as well as Liriano can his fourth or more time through a lineup. 6 innings per start is absolutely enough out of Pirate starters. The whole idea of pitching further into games is a selfish one.

  328. Jim S. says:

    I’m good with that, Arriba. I was just wondering what everyone thought about the chances of Liriano going 200+ this year and then pitch a few more games in the playoffs. I honestly don’t know, and I hope he can pull it off.

    Sorry for the delay. I sent that and then ran into a meeting.

  329. Jandy says:

    Indeed. Just ticks me off that “people” are so rude.

  330. JohninOshkosh says:

    I just might watch the Masters again.

  331. Jandy says:

    I’d have lost my lunch lol

  332. Jandy says:

    +++++

  333. Jandy says:

    zactly!

  334. Jandy says:

    have a wonderful, blessed, day, Biz :*

  335. Jandy says:

    Should have taken the Subaru ;)

  336. Jandy says:

    It means “not quite as great”

  337. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord, he’s still a babe ;)

  338. Arriba Wilver says:

    Then, like I said, I’m cool with it. Still don’t know what conclusions you can draw.

  339. Jandy says:

    :snicker:

  340. NMR says:

    Ah, I hate it when work interferes with the Blog!

  341. Jandy says:

    Oh, far be it from me to even attempt to draw conclusions. Even I did, I’d be proven wrong, I’m sure.
    I’m sure a lot of factors come into play when it comes to pitch count/innings. Far be it from me to even guess at it.

  342. Bizrow says:

    Thanks

    Has there been any update on Taillon? (sp)

    BTW, I missed seeing PRNW go deep yesterday, was in the middle of texting here. I heard the crack of the bat, and looked over to the Section to my left to see the ball land. ;-)

  343. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m with you, too, then, Jim. ;-).

  344. Jandy says:

    Work is a four letter word…

  345. Bizrow says:

    Thanks, TC

  346. bpn8pitt says:

    Agree. Give me 6 shutout innings. 50 pitches. 100 pitches. 10 K’s. 18 groundball outs.

    As a few have already said, it was Game 1.

  347. Jandy says:

    he was to visit a doc in LA yesterday for a second opinion, but I’ve not seen anything about that.

  348. buggee says:

    is there one big enough? (roids make the head grow yonder ya know)

  349. Jandy says:

    hey hey, it’s bpn :)

  350. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know about “everyone,” cmat. But, I’m personally not 100% sure Liriano will regress this year. I think it is likely that he will regress a bit, just because he was historically great last year vs. lefty batters and that is a lot to ask of anyone two years in a row. I have said all along, though, that even if he regresses a bit I think he is going to have a very solid season.

    My question this morning is whether he can hold up for 33 starts x 100+ pitches, plus playoffs. And, the question I was posing to the group is does it make sense to try to build in some savings on his arm, such as limit pitch counts, plan a few skipped starts, etc. or do others think there is no reason for concern?

  351. Jandy says:

    indeed…it would be worth it, even if it has to be custom made!

  352. Jandy says:

    if he’s my investment, I’m giving him a day off here / there…for sure…the pitch count limits, I’d play by ear…

  353. Wild Bill says:

    PSU now has the second rated class of verbal commits for 2015, with 11, 8 of them four star. Six additional four star guys are considered very likely. Franklin and his staff are killin’ it on the recruiting front.

  354. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was reacting to Jim’s original point.

  355. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Do you mean how Nutting is “cut and paste” at the bottom of MLB’s team salary list?

  356. Baywatch says:

    Let me offer my perspective on Ryan Braun. You can judge his motives if you want, and his track record is there, as far as doing the steroids, and denying it when he knew it was true … BUT, he has come out in the last several months and said he was wrong for what he did, apologized, reached out to fans to the point of calling a bunch.

    I think saying you were wrong and taking the kind of steps he has taken is all many of us fans are waiting for. It would go a long way for Bonds, and yes, even for A-Rod, if there was some sorrow expressed, instead of cover up.

    I think it’s a little rough the way we UNFORGIVINGLY see, not just athletes, but others in the public eye … when all ANY OF US want when we err, is restoration. Well, many of us … Just my two bits. It feels nice to be forgiven.

  357. NMR says:

    I’ve been looking for an update as well, Biz.

    BTW, my seats this year are in Section 142.

  358. Bizrow says:

    I’m in 143, its beautiful out there, isn’t it?

  359. Wild Bill says:

    Nicely said, Bay. I wish I could take him at face value in what he says now, and not be suspicious that it is not part of a well conceived pr campaign to rebuild his image.

    Words and actions will be worth watching; if he cleans up his act, then amendment of life wins the day.

  360. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bay-I totally agree with your last paragraph. But there was also a report recently that Braun acted like he was the victim because he had to deal with the fallout. BS is BS.

  361. Jim S. says:

    Word has it that he has downsized back to normal human size.

  362. Arriba Wilver says:

    Happy Birthday, Biz.

  363. Jim S. says:

    I try to limit those occurrences.

  364. Jim S. says:

    The Golden Bear has been on a bit of a roll the last few years.

  365. Jandy says:

    I’ve been on the receiving end of the forgiving thing, and yes, it does feel good. BUT…Braun is an actor. As AW said, he’s pulled the PR stunt and acted the VICTIM, when he is, in fact, the perp.
    When he shows true remorse, then he’ll receive the forgiveness.

  366. JohninOshkosh says:

    I have always disliked the Masters as a sporting event. When I was a boy, they required the professional golfers to use the club’s caddies which, of course, were all African American. It was all very unseemly. I hate how pretentious that organization is with CBS and its reporters. Insisting that the fans be referred to as “patrons” and dictating what on air talent CBS uses, else they may refer to their greens as, God forbid, “bikini waxed.” CBS takes it all like a scared kitten. Edward Murrow must be spinning in his grave. Don’t even get me started about the Master’s deplorable history with women and minority membership.

    I used to play a lot of golf before I had children and I used to follow the sport much more closely. But, give me the egalitarian minded US Open any day of the week.

    That being said, when Woods cruised to victory by 12 shots in 1997 and entered that lily white Butler cabin to claim his first green jacket, that was about as close to a Jackie Robinson moment I have ever experienced in my sports lifetime. Just a tremendous moment for golf and sports in general. So, I get why him not playing is a news story.

  367. NMR says:

    Sure is, Biz!

  368. Andrew says:

    For me the thing that separates Braun is he based his defense to the initial suspension upon publicly questioning the competence and character of the drug tester and claiming things thoroughly divorced from science and drug testing procedures.

  369. Jandy says:

    AW, relax, darling, it’s cool :)

    I’m learning so much from you guys, that I’m enjoying that I can even respond to yinz’s posts :)

  370. NMR says:

    His muscles have been furloughed due to the economy. #ObamasAmerica

  371. JohninOshkosh says:

    This was not meant as a reply to anyone in general. I’m the King of messing up with the reply function!

  372. Jandy says:

    LOL!

  373. NMR says:

    Exactly.

  374. theplanisworking says:

    Bill, this is wonderful!

    Whatever happened to “win with honor”?

    Now, its dog-eat-dog, and break every single rule you can, just don’t get caught, sucker………… we will be sure to fire you if you do.

  375. NMR says:

    If people are worried about him pitching into October, then they better be comfortable with pulling him after 75 pitches.

  376. Jandy says:

    Yes, and that poor man lost his job.

  377. Jim S. says:

    I’m totally on board with you, NMR, that bullpens are so much better, by design, now than ever before. In fact, they are that way because starters are not expected to go as many innings as in the past. Having a different guy coming in for the 7th, 8th, and 9th who can all throw 95 and get guys out is preferable to a starter trying to keep pitching past peak performance.

    But, there were times last year when Clint praised starters for going a 7th or 8th inning. I don’t think it is always a myth to say bullpens can get overworked. I think every Manager in baseball appreciates a starter who can go beyond 6 for that reason. I don’t think they should leave a guy in who doesn’t still have good stuff, but how is it selfish to want to pitch past 6 innings? There are plenty of starters left in MLB who absolutely should be giving their teams 7 innings per night. I think the guys in the bullpen often praise them for it.

  378. theplanisworking says:

    Did any of the peeples who attended the game yesterday have the courage to try one of those $15 4 slices of sourdough, 9 slices of cheese, candied bacon heart attack sandwiches? I didn’t keep a scanner going for the ambulance calls.

    Just curious if anyone was brave enough to try that……… the Barry Bonds/Ryan Braun of sandwiches. ;)

  379. Jandy says:

    RE: Paul Martin
    “Martin will miss his 18th straight game tonight, but said he’s hoping to return in the Pens’ next game on Thursday in Winnipeg. But if not, Martin said “hopefully for sure by the weekend.” The Pens play Saturday in Martin’s native Minnesota and Sunday in Colorado.”

    Taken from the Pens’ website.

  380. Jandy says:

    What is this concoction called?

  381. theplanisworking says:

    I don’t know. I may call it the Heart Attack Special.

  382. buggee says:

    lol. Can’t beat a good Heisenberg avatar!!!

  383. Jandy says:

    lol

  384. buggee says:

    HOIST IT! THE SKULL AND SHUTTLECOCKS

  385. Nate83 says:

    It will be nice to start getting some of these guys back. We really have no idea what this team can do with a full compliment of players or for that matter even something close to that. I don’t think we as fans are fully grasping how hard it is to continue to compete at a high level with so many injuries.

    On a side note how had Cooke been doing this year. I’ve been very busy (sick) and haven’t kept up with him since he left. I always liked him a lot and hope he is doing well.

  386. Bizrow says:

    Thanks, AW

  387. Tiger naturally says he intends to compete later this year and that he has years of competition left. So we shall see.

  388. Jim S. says:

    You just took avatars to a new level, buggee.

  389. Jandy says:

    Cookie has played 76 games, has 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points. P/M is +5 and he has 3 game winning goals. I’d say he’s doing just fine. I haven’t watched Wild games, as I don’t get Center Ice. His numbers are good, tho.

  390. Nate83 says:

    I don’t think its for 2 or 3 weeks but Tiger will be missing it because of back surgery. I know people care I just don’t know why.

  391. Jandy says:

    I’m people and I don’t care :D

  392. Steve says:

    “McCain graded out as the worst of the 110 NFL cornerbacks evaluated by Pro Football Focus, receiving a minus-21.3 grade overall and a league-worst minus-23.8 in pass coverage. By comparison, Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor, who graded out 97th overall, was a minus-8.4 overall and minus-14.1 in pass coverage.”

    No one will throw on the Steelers next season………….April Fool’s!!

  393. Baywatch says:

    Like your last statement, Bill. Lot of truth to that.

  394. Jim S. says:

    “introduces more names than Taco Bell does menu items every four months.”

    I like it, Bay.

  395. 21sthebest says:

    Because I think golf is more interesting when Tiger is competing.

  396. 21sthebest says:

    Many more Biz!

  397. 21sthebest says:

    Sometimes nate, I think the athletes with more heart and less talent can perform better than the players with more talent and less heart.

  398. bpn8pitt says:

    NMR, Man did Scheppers get tagged…

  399. Jandy says:

    ++++

  400. Jandy says:

    I heard that was quite a slugfest

  401. bpn8pitt says:

    Did he walk the bases loaded and then the Rollins HR? Idk.

    It was one of those long AL-Style games. I’ll take the 1-0 with the hometown kid to win it anyday.

  402. Jandy says:

    I watched the re-run of the Bucs’ game last evening, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  403. bpn8pitt says:

    Pass rush, Steve. I agree with the CB’s are not what they used to be, but if you cant get to the QB, doesnt matter who’s back there.

    The most recent mocks Ive seen have Gilbert falling to them again, and Im cool with that.

    I think what they are going to do, is have like 5 or 6 guys they like and will pick the best one who’s left…Seen Mike Evans all over the board from like 10-18. I know they watched his pro day, him an FSU’s Benjamin, FWIW.

  404. bpn8pitt says:

    Lol. Plan, I heard them mention it on the WDVE this morning. Thought it was a joke.

    I had 20 game package at PNC, right when I got out of the Marines. Rightfield. Beers were like $5.50, $6 then? And I thought that was crazy.

    I think I bought 4 beers at the Pens game the other night and it cost me $45. Im reaching the point of “never again”. Just have to pound a few more out at the Souper Bowl.

  405. Bizrow says:

    Thanks, 21

  406. NMR says:

    Jim, thanks for the reply.

    I think the Hurdle argument is an appeal to authority, and those have been proven wrong many times. Ron Washington still thinks its smart to sac bunt freely, Kirk Gibson still thinks that “gritty” players win more games, Dusty Baker still thinks producing runs can only be measured through RBI, and a bunch of nerds had to prove to baseball that defensive shifts work. At this point, I personally cannot simply assume that because Manager X says something it is true. I need facts to back it up.

    Getting 6 innings out of your starters means that the bullpen is responsible for 486 innings over a 162 game season. Last year, 17 teams threw more than that. I’m comfortable assuming they all didn’t overwork their bullpens. I think that individual relievers can get overworked, but that is only the Manager’s fault (again, assuming a deep bullpen).

    I don’t see any evidence that starters need to go more than six if a team has a deep bullpen.

  407. theplanisworking says:

    No, not a joke.

    I remember TRS having basic ballpark food, and $2 beers.
    Long way from Kansas, Toto.

  408. Jim S. says:

    I think I would be looking closely at his pitch count per start, Jandy. That would the main thing. But, I also think # of starts & innings comes into it as well at some point for a guy who has never thrown 200 innings before.

    I heard on MLB Radio this morning that only one pitcher threw as many as 110 pitches yesterday. That’s where I was originally going with this. I thought they liked to ease pitchers into pitch counts, rather than have them go close to the per game max. amount in the first start.

  409. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think it ended with Ty Cobb.

  410. Jandy says:

    Well, I think that makes sense, Jim. I just don’t think I’d “baby” them too much.

  411. bpn8pitt says:

    I happy the team is winning now, but one of the flipsides of it is, there wont be anymore last minute trips to the ball game anymore. At least on the weekends. Last year, from May on, it was a lot harder to get a ticket and expensive.

    But thats probably a good thing too.

  412. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t have any problem with what you guys are saying overall. I come from the time, prior to the current Regime, when it seemed like the GOAL, the end game, was try to get to 6 innings with less than 3 earned runs. Think Paul Maholm, Snell and Duke. And they didn’t get to the “goal” often enough. I don’t think the “goal” now is 6 innings, but as long as the goal is higher, that works out OK if it doesn’t happen every game.

  413. NMR says:

    Ha, yeah, I remember seeing the score update at the Park yesterday and thinking that experiment couldn’t have gone as planned.

  414. Arriba Wilver says:

    No question, on either point.

  415. Nate83 says:

    Numbers can be misleading. Taylor continued taking on number 1 receivers all last year. Sometimes with no help over the top. They left him in that role one year to long in my opinion. I expect him to be better when moved over to the other side and maybe even in a reserve role. That being said I don’t know who the Steelers have that can handle some of the better number 1 receivers in the league. Hopefully the upgrade at safety will help out the CB’s and they can get more pressure on the QB next year which will also help.

  416. bpn8pitt says:

    Agree. Safety help was nowhere to be found. Wonder if the Redskins realize this with Clark?

  417. Bob L says:

    Howdy, long time listener an all that.

    It seemed to me that in the 6th inning yesterday Frankie was mightily struggling. He deserves a ton of credit for making it through unscaved, but he was definitely in the red zone, and this is the first game of the year. Now I understand that starters aren’t fully stretched out in April, so I’m hoping yesterday is not an indicator, especially when you factor in the groin tightness experienced in his last Spring training start. the only cure for a groin injury is rest…

    I’d also like to see the Pirates live on the edge a bit less often. Good fun for the fans, but not so good for the overall record. I remember the lively discussion regarding how successful the Pirates were in one run games from last year, and that started to even itself out a bit by the end of the year in terms of losses and wins (remember their second half record wasn’t much to sneeze at. Yesterday was nice (because they won) but I don’t see how this team can be as successful winning this year with last year’s formula. In terms of the big picture, paint me concerned. I’d like to have more than hope.

    - bob from Mount Lebo.

  418. bpn8pitt says:

    As you said, remarkable a team with a payroll like that has to resort to that, but I guess injuries dictate that.

    No idea about the AL West, I guess what ever team pitches the “Least Worst”. If that makes sense.

  419. Nate83 says:

    My money is still on the A’s. I think injuries will hurt them but they will find a way in the end. I still don’t see the Angels as being more then paper champions and the Rangers will take a step back in my opinion. Mariners should be improved and if their pitching stays healthy they have a chance and Houston well there is always 2016. I like what they are doing but they are a few years away.

  420. NMR says:

    Ah, if that’s what you meant, about the early season pitch count, then I absolutely agree!

    I told my wife that I was surprised Hurdle didn’t pinch hit for him the previous innning with a runner in scoring position and his pitch count in the 80s.

  421. NMR says:

    That makes perfect sense to me, bpn, but I do lean toward the A’s. Lineup full of average, but that can be plenty with some decent pitching.

  422. NMR says:

    I could see the Angels putting up a buttload of runs, though. Probably closer to being wrong than right, but I think Pujols and Hamilton still have plenty left. Much more than what they showed last year.

    But they should let Mike Trout pitch.

  423. Arriba Wilver says:

    If you followed golf, you’d know why. And Golf gets less respect than soccer. But Tiger and the Masters has been a big story for a long, long time.

  424. Cobra39 says:

    Please list the egregious sins against humanity that Bonds has committed in his life for me. Suspected PED user? Dick to teammates and baseball writers? What else?

    Most Yinzers need to get off the Bonds hate wagon. After he left, the team was a loser for 20 years. He remains the greatest hitter I have ever personally seen in my lifetime. I really could care less if he was an arrogant a-hole — many people who are so supremely gifted in their field as he was have those same qualities.

  425. Thundercrack says:

    “Dusty Baker still thinks producing runs can only be measured through RBI,”

    NMR, if you are still around, what exactly to you mean by that?

  426. bpn8pitt says:

    Yeah, every year the other teams make the splash moves and every year its the A’s that seem to end up with 95 wins and the division.

  427. Wild Bill says:

    Plan man, I don’t think that what you just said is what I just said. Violators are violators and they need to be stopped for the integrity of sports. Jerk athletes are something else again.

  428. Jim S. says:

    All true.

    I think it is a rare staff these days when it actually makes sense for multiple pitchers to go 7, on average. Lee, Halliday, Hamels from a few years ago on one staff doesn’t occur much, I guess. Those are the kinds of pitchers who can be expected to go 7 without a performance dropoff.

  429. Jim S. says:

    He does seem about 45, doesn’t he?

  430. Nate83 says:

    Since the all-star break in 2012 the A’s have more wins then any team in baseball. They don’t get enough credit because they don’t have the big contracts but they have plenty of good young players and players that know their role on the team. Donaldson is a heck of a player.

  431. Thundercrack says:

    “Dusty Baker still thinks producing runs can only be measured through RBI,”

    NMR, if you are still around, what exactly to you mean by that?

    ( I posted this up above, so ignore that one)

  432. Arriba Wilver says:

    Can’t disagree overall, but when anyone, anyone, says anything doubting PED use, it’s like saying the world is flat to me. There really ain’t no doubt. Same with McGuire and Sosa. It astounds me when people close their eyes to the obvious truth. It’s like cigarettes aren’t bad for you.

  433. Nate83 says:

    Good to hear. I want to say we will miss his toughness and grit in the playoffs but we apparently lacked it already with him so I’m not sure it matters. Hopefully something gets these men upset early in the playoffs and they play like their hair is on fire. They didn’t win the first cup on talent alone so they should know that they can’t do it now. Tic tac toe passing doesn’t win in the playoffs. Sloppy goalie interference goals win.

  434. NMR says:

    Last years comments praising Brandon Phillips and deriding Joey Votto. Somehow Baker cannot understand that players who get on base are responsible for producing runs as well.

  435. Wild Bill says:

    Ah, you took me to be totally agreeing with Nate, which I wasn’t trying to do. I understood his point.

  436. Thundercrack says:

    He ain’t my pal or in my group

  437. Thundercrack says:

    Got it. Thanks.

  438. Nate83 says:

    I think he means Baker set his batting order based purely on that one stat instead of looking at the players skill set and using that as a means of setting the line up.

  439. NMR says:

    Barry Bonds beat the crap out of his wife and tried to reduce hild support payments, among other instances of generally being an awful person.

    He’s a piece of shit, and you’re an idiot.

  440. Jim S. says:

    What I think was that he was in that gray area between taking him out too early and leaving him in too long. That 85-95 or so pitch area where you know Liriano would have fought him. So, since he’s a veteran who is coming off a great year and is expected to be a leader moreso this year w/o AJ, I think Clint decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. I get why he did that. You get more out of a veteran, maybe, if you give him a little more rope than a rookie. The problem is, though, these guys all want to stay in. It’s the nature of a competitor. “85 pitches? Of course, I can give you another inning, Skip.”

    So, yes, the pitch count per game concerns me – especially on 3/31. But, he’ll also have to prove he can give them a full season worth of starts. He’s never started 30 games. That’s why I wondered if they have a plan to scale back, if necessary.

  441. Arriba Wilver says:

    OK, can’t disagree with that, either. ;-)

  442. Jim S. says:

    +++, Jandy.

  443. Arriba Wilver says:

    Although I would hesitate to call another poster an idiot, even if true. ;-)

  444. Jim S. says:

    Is Phil out for the Masters also?

  445. Nate83 says:

    Don’t get me wrong I don’t like the guy and agree with the first part of your last statement but I have heard that the child support thing was very misleading. His ex-wife took him to court wanting more money and the judge reviewed her current living situation and determined she was actually receiving too much and reduced the amount. Bonds didn’t ask for it to be reduced it just happened.

    I’m sure the guy enjoys looking in the mirror at himself more then most people but I’m not sure he has many skeletons in the closet. Many players have much more to hide. I’ve also heard he gives a lot of money to charity without asking for any credit. He doesn’t search out the recognition. He is not heartless, he just has a huge eto.

  446. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’re right, Nate, not till April 10.

  447. NMR says:

    I will admit, though, that I have some different views on bullpens that aren’t anywhere close to being proven correct.

    May very well turn out to make me look dumb, among many other things.

  448. NMR says:

    He used the “Y” word.

    Automatically tells me all I need to know.

  449. Jim S. says:

    I’m not getting why some people don’t allow for the possibility that one can think Bonds is among the handful of greatest hitters of all-time (I’m in that group) and still have a dislike for him because of all that we have heard over the last 20+ years from credible sources. It really isn’t just sports writers who don’t like Barry Bonds. And, it is not all about PEDs. The fact that so many people think he is a jerk cannot be all fabricated. Just my opinion.

  450. NMR says:

    Bingo, you big ole Yinzer.

  451. Jim S. says:

    Pujols smoked one to LF last night that bounced up against the wall. And, he seemed to be running ok. I’m thinking there might still be thunder in that bat.

    I never know what to think of Hamilton. I just can’t ever get a read on that guy.

  452. Jim S. says:

    I like the A’s, too, Nate. All those pitching injuries will be tough to overcome, though.

  453. NMR says:

    $20 says Cobra39 frequents Pirate Prospects and BucsDugout.

  454. theplanisworking says:

    There are as many reasons to dislike Bonds as there are stars in the sky.

    Shame of it is, he was already one of the best players going, before he started doing all the PED’s. He didn’t have to, he CHOSE to.

  455. Jim S. says:

    yep, that’s me. In fact, I reserve capital Y only for use in that word.

  456. NMR says:

    Won’t surprise me at all if Pujols hits at least as well as last time he was healthy. .285/.343/.516 is still a damn good hitter. I think he’s a guy who gets dinged for not being worth his contract.

  457. Arriba Wilver says:

    Relax, darling?

    ?

  458. theplanisworking says:

    NMR, you could not be possibly more wrong here. Not at all.

    First, I give credit where credit is due. Just because you do not want to acknowledge that, really isn’t my problem.

    Second, just because I have an opinion that differs from yours on Huntington, doens’t mean anything. I love the way you and your group think that because I don’t fall in lockstep with the Huntington love, I automatically hate him.

    Just unreal.

  459. Arriba Wilver says:

    But not 10 year $200+ mil contract good. Right?

  460. theplanisworking says:

    No one is giving “far-away love”.
    I simply wished him luck, and some well wishes. Same as I wish Huntington well, because that means the Pirates will do well.

    You need help.

  461. Arriba Wilver says:

    Unreal indeed. But I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing.

  462. theplanisworking says:

    And, on cue, another of the group comes in just to be contrarian.

    Bravo, AW.

  463. NMR says:

    Not even close.

  464. Arriba Wilver says:

    So, now Cmat is in the group? That’s gotta shock him even more than NMR and Nate83.

    I’ve asked you before who is in the “group.” I’ve also asked who is part of your alleged “Old Guard.” Your response has been to punt and/or to say “you know.”

    To take a less direct tack, is the “group” the same as the “Old Guard.”

    It’s sad, really. I like your comments on sports of all kinds. But your paranoia and misrepresentations about baseball different opinions is really off-putting.

    Just being honest.

  465. NMR says:

    Only way I think any of these guys with similar contracts end up “worth” it is if they have at least a few bonkers superstar type years at the beginning, cuz none of them will be worth it by the end.

    Superstar days are gone for Albert.

  466. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

    I think there is a huge difference between these late term contracts and the Marte/Longoria type contracts. I was convinced before yesterday that an extension for Walker probably was a bad idea. I suspect it still is, but my emotions have me questioning again. ;-)

  467. Thundercrack says:

    Groups
    Bullying

  468. theplanisworking says:

    Bonds, Braun, the sports world is full of cheats and jerks this week.

    Now, Tiger Woods has surgery, and can’t play the masters.
    Woods has not been the same since his Canadian doctor, Galea, got busted for helping dope his clients. Soon afterward, Woods body started breaking down, like what happens when one stops doing PED’s. But, there is a large faction that still root for him, and excuse everything away …….. “he never tested positive”, etc.

    Jack Nicklaus is still the greatest golfer ever.
    Won the most majors, and came in 2nd place a remarkable 19 times !
    A cheat, and lout like Woods deserves all the bad things that will be coming to him. His body is going to keep breaking down from the PED use.

  469. Arriba Wilver says:

    Woods has also caused all professional golfers to focus more on training, and becoming stronger and more physically fit.

    His success being based on PED’s is new to me. Nor have I ever heard anyone defend him based on he never tested positive. Ever. Fact is he fell off after the much publicized incident exposing his infidelity, etc.

    I have no idea if he used drugs, but if this is a legitimate issue, it’s new to me.

  470. Barb says:

    I just checked about the “heart attack on a plate” sandwich. It is called the “The Closer” after our favorite closer – Jason Grilli. 4 slices of sourdough bread, 9 different kinds of cheeses, candied bacon, granny smith apple slices (to make it healthy!) and onion compote. Yum!

  471. theplanisworking says:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6743448

    http://lannyhgolf.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/is-the-pga-hiding-tiger-woods-link-to-biogenesis-and-steroids/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/sports/anthony-galea-canadian-sports-doctor-avoids-prison-sentence.html?_r=0

    There has been no positive test, but this is old news. Rumors about Woods taking PED’s have been strong since 2004. And, many have rushed to his side by saying the usual, he didn’t do anything, he never tested positive, etc.

    Some people have tried to connect the PED scandal, and his famous infidelity scandal together, but not I.

    So just because you have never heard anyone defend him about not having a positive test, “ever”, doesn’t mean people didn’t actually do it. Tiger has had many “enablers” on this issue. I haven’t heard of a lot of things also, but that doesn’t mean I have to rebut someone else’s opinion like you do to everything I say or write. Do some research about this topic, in addition to the articles I linked.

  472. theplanisworking says:

    Hi Barb!

    My doctor would never let me near that sandwich. :)

  473. Arriba Wilver says:

    Calm down. I’m still working on rebutting 99 years of Baseball Managers preaching forcing the opposing pitcher to throw more pitches.

  474. theplanisworking says:

    No, you are part of your group that simply HAS to argue no matter what I write or say. Even if I say the sky is blue, you and your group has to start trouble by saying it is not. Just to argue.

    Even when I provide links, you and your group still start.
    How pathetic.

  475. Arriba Wilver says:

    Kind of an illustration about what I was referring to earlier is this snippet:

    “So just because you have never heard anyone defend him about not having a positive test, “ever”, doesn’t mean people didn’t actually do it. Tiger has had many “enablers” on this issue. I haven’t heard of a lot of things also, but that doesn’t mean I have to rebut someone else’s opinion like you do to everything I say or write. Do some research about this topic, in addition to the articles I linked.”

    And I did say “I have no idea if he used drugs, but if this is a legitimate issue, it’s new to me.”

    It was not about baseball, though, I admit.

  476. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not only don’t I know who my “group” is, I have no idea if they’re interested in golf.

    So, is the “old guard” the same as the “group,” or are you refusing to answer? Just curious, since I don’t know who all the members are of each.

  477. theplanisworking says:

    Why did you leave off your original point??

    “Nor have I ever heard anyone defend him based on he never tested positive. Ever. ”

    So because the Mighty AW hasn’t heard of something, “ever”, it surely didn’t happen. Was there any need to put that in there? Of course there was, because you try to discredit every single thing I say. Every time. No matter what is said.

    Grow up.

  478. Arriba Wilver says:

    I have no idea or interest what you mean by that, but, c’mon, at least answer if the “group” and the ” old guard” is the same. It’s not really an unreasonable request, and you don’t have to mention any names. I’m just trying to simplify things,

  479. Barb says:

    Neither would mine. I doesn’t even sound appetizing. Blech!

  480. Jandy says:

    OK now i want one ;)

  481. Cobra39 says:

    You’ll have to do better than allegations made during a contentious divorce proceeding that Bonds ended up winning.

    It’s clear you dislike the man, but there are no legally documented facts to support your assertion.

    And I don’t mind being called an idiot by someone who really is an idiot.

  482. Jandy says:

    really rough crowd here tonight

  483. Arriba Wilver says:

    Totally agree.

  484. theplanisworking says:

    Nothing is simple when you are involved.
    Just keep starting stuff.
    That’s all you know how to do.

    It should be an honor for me that you and your group are so insanely angry with me that you have to argue everything I say or write. If I am in your heads that much, I humbly suggest therapy. Or find a new target, because you aren’t going to chase me away. Which, of course you would never admit to.

    But trust me, I do not feel honored by your incessant stuff you start daily.

    Go argue with someone else………. oh wait, that is why you and your group has been starting in on bpn8pitt.

    Ta-Ta !!

  485. theplanisworking says:

    You would, Jandy!

 
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