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Morning Java: Call him Bob

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Wednesday column checks in with Bob Nutting about the Pirates’ offseason, why he didn’t push for a first baseman, the payroll, other huge deals around baseball and more.

As an addendum here: I have a line in there comparing Nutting’s accessibility to that of Art Rooney II and Mario Lemieux, and chances are excellent I actually understated it. I see the latter two a lot, say hello, and they’re always cordial. But the specific reference here is to availability to be interviewed, and no one comes within a Wheeling mile of Nutting in that regard. He’s also never, ever balked at a question I’ve asked or responded unprofessionally to my harsher criticisms of his work. Or even the harshest. For all the grief the Pirates’ owner has taken — and still takes — there’s something to be said for that.

Andrew McCutchen wants more, by Karen Price.

Francisco Liriano’s left arm might as well be dangling, by Travis Sawchik.

Here’s my TribLIVE Radio visit yesterday with cyber-Ken Laird and Guy Junker, talking ball …

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

Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

Here are official game highlights on

>> The Penguins didn’t bother to show for the Carolina game. Rob Rossi reports from Consol on one of the most blah efforts of the season, exempting the occasional Sidney Crosby going after Jay Harrison, as our Chaz Palla captures above.

Kris Letang for Masterton, by Rossi.

Dan Bylsma’s many pauses, by Rossi.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page and our Chipped Ice blog.

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

Here’s Jets news from the Winnipeg Free Press.

Here are official game highlights on

>> The Steelers pick up depth corner Brice McClain, by Alan Robinson.

A makeover for the secondary, by Robinson.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Steelers page and our Steel Mill blog.

>> Here’s our WPXI-TV Subway Final Word panel talking about the unionization of college athletes …

>> Thank you, as always, for reading. I’m off to the magnificent city below for the next couple days.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. Arriba Wilver says:

    Great column, DK. Could not agree more.

    DK: Thanks, AW, and go to bed!

  2. Arriba Wilver says:


  3. KenKopp says:

    “The last thing we need is any one person-especially me-coming in and overriding their collective judgement.” That is a very smart and non ego driven (in this context) businessman. The front office was on the verge of being lynched by us fans and the media a short time ago. Now the Bucs are slowly becoming a nationwide story. Some folks are doing a really good job up there or getting lucky or both.

    As far as major league payroll, I think we gotta look at the investment in draft pick signings before the rule changes. They spent big bucks for future Big Bucs. The money has been spent and after yesterdays crowd the account is being replenished. Mid season moves, after deadline moves… who knows what these guys are going to do. Who knows what Loney is going to do this year, or in year three.

    All I know is yesterday was a blast and I’m looking forward to the season. Morning Java’s one of my must reads, be it with my morning java, after I get home from work, or on the rare times like tonight when I catch it before the pillow. Thanks DK, you are a very good writer.

  4. Bizrow says:

    Actually, I have no longer a problem with Mr Nutting or NH, they have proven their worth and are walking the talk. I’ve been pretty quiet this off season, but really, I can’t argue with moves/non-moves this off season.

    The guy in the middle though, I see no “redeeming social value” in his contributions to the PBC.

    Maybe he will change, but I doubt it.

    As always, I look forward to reading the Trib as I sip java tomorrow AM. Probably the best thing so far as being retired. To me, reading a real, and solid, newspaper, is one of the great joys in life.

    Kudos to the PBC for honoring Chub Feeney.

    I think Charlie M will have a breakout season, always like that guy, I think he has Bailey?

    @Jandy, yes Mt Lebanon is huge, but at least in the late 60s, it was nothing more than a factory, I wish I would have been someplace else ;-). My Mom still lives there and the taxes are horrible for someone at her age.

  5. Bizrow says:

    I’m surprised someone from Baldwin caan spell that :-)

  6. tdb1977 says:

    I’m going to put this one little tibbit out there. Even if the fans wanted to get inside Jeff’s head on opening day, like they did to Johnny during the Wild Card game…it would have been a lot hard to scream Samardzija then it was to scream Cue-to! over and over again. Maybe tonight against Edwin Jackson the fans can start a Jack-son chant really loud and get into his head?

  7. bpn8pitt says:

    I’m not suggesting at all Bob Nutting turn into Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder and start meddling with the roster. Quite frankly I think his baseball IQ is fairly limited.

    But after a few years of running AAAA players, veteran has beens, and late 20s never will bes through 1B, you figure an owner with some baseball knowledge, would say ” Enough, write the check, or flip the prospect and get us an everyday 1st baseman that we have for now and for a few years into the future.”

    With all apologies to Gabykawa, I feel the Pirates dropped the ball with this 1B situation in 2014. In a year, they very well could be looking for another catcher (Martin) and two SP at least (Liriano, Wandy, Folk Legend Volquez). And once again, 1B gets put on the backburner.

    There’s no prospect waiting in the wings. A lot of salaries will rise again next year. Free Agent crops get more barren every year.

    You said it Dejan. They could be wasting a year of Cutchs prime. Pedros clock is ticking.

    Enough with other teams castoffs. No more dumpster diving, NMR. Get in the kitchen, cook up something good. Or get out…

  8. Wild Bill says:

    Agree completely, bpn. Nutting has always to me been an enigma; can’t understand why he wants a baseball team except as an investment. Most sports owners got into it for equal reasons of competitiveness and love of a sport, and I just don’t hear that in BN.

  9. Bizrow says:

    His name was too hard to chant

    Let alone spell.

    The PBC club took it as only one game, cool beans

    I think the fans took it as a celebration of last year and the hope of this season.

    Honestly, with the WC game, I heard the crowd from Liberty Ave on the way in.

    I walked into our seats and was awestruck with the crowd and the energy.


    When the PBC wins it all, I will say two things, if I am here

    One of the finest days in my life

    Demon Dachshund, my son, I told you we could do it

    The burgh will be nonfunctional for a week,

  10. Mizery says:

    I would stay out of operations too if my company made me millions every year. The part that bothers me about all this was the promise of the payroll going up once the team was in a position to compete. Nutting didn’t say he would put more money in the draft or Latin America. He said he would put it into the major league payroll. I also recall a comment about them needing people to show up to games. Well it happened and the Pirates are still in the bottom five of payroll. We the fans held up our end of the bargain. I’m excited as anyone about the fact that they are competing, but I feel lied to and still doubt that Nutting will put the necessary funds into the team to keep them this way. When they were horrible and the fans didn’t want to see the garbage they put on the field they used it as an excuse for low payroll. It just validates to me the previous statements about fan attendance and how it correlates into how much the organization would spend………stepping off of soap box and burning it.

  11. Baywatch says:

    Honestly, bottom line, I didn’t feel ANY of the signable first basemen from over the winter were THAT good. OK, Loney had a breakout year – for Loney. But he’s never been a guy with a lot of pop, and I personally APPLAUD Huntington for shying away from paying more than they wanted to for the guy. There was Ike Davis. I mean, PUHLEASE! He’s been bad two years running with the Mets! So much so they busted him down to the minors mid-season last year! Why should we expect our guys to shek out bookoo bucks for a guy that’s just not worth writing home about!

    And I don’t really buy into the line of thinking that we’ve got spend as much money as Milwaukee because their market is … just not the way I think. Now, could they have TRADED for an up and coming guy like Mike Carp? We have the money and the minor leaguers to pull it off … BUT, if the trade doesn’t make good sense, then it doesn’t make good sense. Patience, people. I know we need to upgrade … but who this time last year would have figured our un-productive offense would do just enough to earn us a good record, and the playoffs.

  12. Bizrow says:

    You don’t spend just to spend

    The Morton and the Marte signing, were pretty cool

    I would not have minded signing Morneau, but the PBC was not interested

    That is why NH gets the big bucks

  13. Mizery says:

    Byrd would look good in right field right now. Burnett would look good in the rotation. This conversation keeps going back to Loney and I don’t know how they are related. I didn’t want the pirates to sign Loney. He didn’t impress me. There were still other moves out there that could have been made that could have fulfilled the Pirates stated obligation that they would spend when they got competitive. I’m not saying that they needed to go crazy and outspend the tigers or angels, but a couple solid players in areas of need would have been nice. The two players mentioned above were already on the team. I’m not arguing that the Pirates need to spend more. I’m arguing that they said that they would once they got competitive and didn’t.

  14. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Nobody wants to spend just to spend.
    However….It’s indefensible that the Pirates have went into the season with Gaby Sanchez and Travis Ishikawa at 1B.
    Even I (a long time, staunch critic of the Nutting Regime) am surprised that they chose this “lack” of action.

    As for Bob Nutting….He is a bright guy.
    However….He insists on keeping the Pirates in the bottom feeder district of MLB team salaries.
    No one can convince me that is necessary for the survival of this franchise.
    Because of this ruse, he earns every bit of criticism that he gets on a daily basis.
    He is the emperor of cheapness….The king

  15. Eric Bowser says:

    Can’t sleep…. this should end well.

    * The criticism of the Pirates lack of free agent activity for a first baseman is pretty mild as it was basically James Loney and a bunch of junk. I would have preferred the Pirates did something a little more long-term than a guy who was a total bust in Los Angeles and did alright for Tampa Bay.

    * Where the criticism should rest on Nutting and the best management team in baseball is the fact the team has nothing in the pipeline at first base or third base, yet they completely mishandled the contract status of Pedro Alvarez. We’re talking about a draft pick that has developed from within and produced in the majors.

    * Criticism needs to stop focusing on a lost cause (free agent dreams) and start looking at Alvarez and Walker to some point. If this team loses Walker, I’m sure they’ll manage with Alen Hanson or whatever they can cobble together from within or the off the scrap heap but power hitting third basemen don’t exactly grow on trees.

    * I watched the first two periods of tonight’s hockey game and was thoroughly put off again by their lack of passion, lack of aggressiveness, lack of direction, lack of anything. I turned the game off and didn’t bother for the third period.

    * Brooks Orpik can talk about not being worried but I know better. Dan Bylsma can pause for effect during his post-game comments, you know, much like the length of time it takes for him to make a change.

    * Rob Scuderi went from being ‘The Piece’ during the 2009 Stanley Cup run to now being ‘The Broken Piece’. He’s a step slower, his lack of puck skills are killing the transition game for a team bereft of much talent in the bottom six at forward.

    * Two wonderful scoring chances early in the first period for Brandon Sutter and he failed to deposit the puck into the net. Is it no wonder Shero might be second-guessing his decision to hold onto Sutter, Derrick Pouliot, and 2014 number one pick in the team’s failed attempts to land Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler? Boy could this team use his passion and leadership right now.

    * The listless play of this squad can’t continue to be blamed on the injuries… Carolina played without Alex Semin and Jiri Tlusty, two of their top six forwards and they played last night. Come playoff time, teams are going to see the Penguins as ripe for an upset.

    * I wonder how many teams are firing up the 2011 Islanders game plan set by Jack Capuano to shutdown the Pens breakouts along the boards or how the Lighting in the 2011 playoffs frustrated the team with their methodical breakdown using the trap or how the 2012 Flyers went big and aggressively pursued the puck and the body or 2013’s beat down at the hands of the Bruins?

    * Lazy had another penalty and it cost the Penguins. James Neal for those of you unaware of the nickname given by Evgeni Malkin.

    * Give Matt Niskanen a game off on this road trip. In fact, do the same for Crosby, Orpik, Scuderi, Kunitz, and Neal. Valiant desire by Crosby to play all 82 games but he’s got the scoring title (Art Ross Trophy) wrapped up, get some rest and prepare for round one.

  16. Arriba Wilver says:

    To me, the point that DK made is the key point. They didn’t not sign Loney because he wasn’t good enough. It was a pure $ move. And maybe he wouldn’t have come anyway, but it was a $ move. And BN could have stepped in. He certainly would have been better than Ishi, just a lot more expensive.

  17. Arriba Wilver says:

    It’s similar to the AJ QO that wasn’t. We can argue over whether he would have come or not and the fact he ended up getting $16 or $32 mil. They didn’t make the $14 mil offer because they were afraid he might accept. That’s from Neal. Same principle.

  18. Bizrow says:

    My hands are pretty much tied behind me as the Trib isn’t here yet

    Night all, good tidings

  19. Mizery says:

    Daiquido, I am not saying they should spend to spend. I illustrated two moves that would have improved the club, and also stated that I’m arguing the FO statement that they would spend once they were in a position to compete and didn’t. How is this debatable? Nutting said that he would spend, and Huntington even said that spending would increase once more seats were filled. The seats were filled, the spending did not happen. Who was available and what free agents they should have gotten was never in my argument. I just pointed out to in house options were spending could have occurred. My debate is they fed us this propaganda about wanting committing to payroll and didn’t, this lying to the fan base. There is no argument on this.

    If I promise to take you for a ride in my new mustang when the weather gets nice and then go back on the promise when spring comes around because gas prices are too high, does that not still make me a man who went against my word?

  20. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    The statement “spend to spend” was made above your post by bizrow.

    Otherwise…..Nutting has made it crystal clear that if the team is in contention, he’ll “temporarily” spend by bringing in a player or two for a couple months.
    Otherwise….No way.

  21. tdb1977 says:

    I have to agree biz. When we parked the car across the river, downtown, we could feel the electricity in the air. As we got closer to the ballpark, it just grew. By the time we reached out seats and were seated, the place was a buzz with electricity. Something that I have never witnessed before in my life. And I hope to one day witness a world championship down at PNC Park. Downtown will be shutdown for days and the parade will be epic, no doubt.

  22. theplanisworking says:

    Thank You DK, for showing that even when people say it isn’t about the money, it sure is all about the money. But hey, 1B isn’t really important, right? I mean, for there to be absolutely nothing in the minors at first just shows how little the position is valued by this team. The Jeff Clements of the world will always have a place to call home with the Pirates, and their 1B situation. RF doesn’t concern me as much, with Polanco as the future, if the kid is everything that is advertised.

    I am with Biz on one thing…….. Nutting and Huntington are harmless, I guess, but Coonelly? What does he do again? (Besides stick his foot in his mouth, and get DUI’s)………

    Pens back to looking lost, and disinterested last night. Against Columbus and Chicago, they played well, but I guess asking for effort 3 games in a row is asking too much. Depending on who their 1st round matchup is, it could be one and done in the playoffs. But hey, lets keep cheering for the sellouts ! $$$$

    The Pirates payroll at the end of last season was roughly $73 million. The Pirates payroll this year is roughly $73 million, because of the Astros paying $5.5 MM for Wandy. Question of the day…. where is that extra $$$$ from the national TV deal, extra $$$ from ticket sales, extra $$$ from ticket price increases? As the numbers above show, it isn’t in the payroll. It isn’t in the draft for signing bonuses, those are strictly regulated now. This is the real “where’s Waldo” for Pirate fans.

    (Oh, and before anything starts over this quest for the missing money, I am NOT advocating spending money just to spend, and waste money.)

  23. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think the money is missing. I think it’s in the bank.

  24. 21sthebest says:

    I would have liked to see them offer the third year to Loney but I disagree that it was a pure money move. To me, it was a value move – baseball and money. And that’s how Nutting described it to me. Same with Burnett. They didn’t think at $14M the value was there.

  25. bpn8pitt says:

    Loney was not the only 1st baseman available. They could of pursued a trade. And not even one of the names that’s been constantly mentioned here. I’m talking about getting creative.

    I’m so sick of hearing about “value” and people shooting holes through players that are easily better than Gabykawa. Again, are we not sick of experiments like Clement and Lambo? 1st base has been an issue since Adam Laroche fizzled out. Now the talent out there is much, much better than his brother Andy, Ryan Doumit and the Craig Monroes of the World.

    As I said above, there’s no prospect there at the moment. And next year there are probably more holes to fill than less, not to mention the looming Pedro trade.

    They have wasted time trying to be too smart and too cheap.

    Please, go through the guys that have played at 1st since 2009 in your head.

  26. Jandy says:

    I was really, really disgusted last night by the overall non-effort by this Penguins team. I’m watching, and I won’t just kick them to the curb, but I’m really, really perturbed. Even Sid is so frustrated that he’s doing stupid stuff. I honestly can’t imagine what is going thru Mario’s head as he’s watching these fiascos coming more and more often.
    What a waste of talent.

  27. Jandy says:

    What kind of mustang do you have, Miz????


  28. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the reply, Biz.

    Factory work kept towns and cities alive. Can’t say they do so much anymore…

    Enjoy your coffee and the Trib :)

  29. Thundercrack says:

    I thought JAL showed the other day that the difference between the 2013-14 opening day payrolls was $12 million.

    BTW, DK – what/where is the best place that we can find all the opening day payrolls listed? It seems that there are different numbers being quoted everyday.

  30. Thundercrack says:

    I am starting to change my opinion of how they are handling Pedro – and think they are doing the best they can with the situation.

    They still have the guy for 3 more seasons.

    And a lot of people seem to focus on the team in this equation. How about the player? I haven’t heard or read anyone asking Pedro “Would you and your agent be open to negotiating a long term contract with the Pirates?” Now I know what the standard answer would probably be. But he may surprise us.

  31. I would certainly hope that the Pens will soon officially cinch their division and that Coach Dan Bylsma can win his 250th game. But most of all, I would certainly hope that the Pens will play hockey for more than 10 lousy minutes on their last road trip of this season.

  32. JD says:

    I’m used to your negative pessimistic view on most things related to Pittsburgh’s professional teams by now, but I missed why you’re upset about the Pens streak of sell outs. You seem to mention it during every game and here again this AM. It must be a blast for you to go thru life preparing to be underwhelmed.

    I look forward to your response to me where you call me a troublemaker and accuse me of being part of some group out to attack you.

  33. JD says:

    In case anyone wonders, my response was to the plan

  34. JAL says:

    JAL’s Wild Thing Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    BLOGS and such

    4 Pirates 101

    Looking Ahead to the Rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Week

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: What Happens to Players Who Don’t Make Minor League Rosters?

    The New Revenue in MLB Didn’t Lead to a Big Increase in Payrolls

    Indianapolis Indians Opening Day Roster

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates minor league preview: Indianapolis

    Pirates minor league preview: Altoona

    7 Rumbunter

    Pirates Building Brand, But Achieving Excellence Is Goal

    Pirates Fan, House of Cards Actor Reg E. Cathey, Does MLB Promo

    8 Green Weenie

    4/1: Player’s Strike, Pirate Parrot, Pena-AVS, Frankie Gustine, The Kid’s Grand Slam, more…

    9 Saber Bucs

    Can the Pirates Make up for A.J.’s Innings?

    10 WTAE

    Did You Know? Pirates All-Star Andrew McCutchen

  35. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Beaver County Times

    New hitting coach hopes to change Pirates’ approach

    12 Charleston Gazette

    Pirates have high hopes for catcher McGuire

    13 Martins Ferry Times Leader

    Pittsburgh kid truly fits everything about his city

    14 Pirates Site

    Focused Morton opposes Jackson at PNC Park

    15 Bloomberg Stats

    Gauging Situational Hitting (and Pitching)

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    BAR 4.1: Well, that stunk
    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers get little after early blast

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Jay, Descalso have rare dual absence from lineup

    19 Fangraphs

    Stephen Strasburg and Early Season Velocities

    20 SB Nation

    Ryan Braun’s ovation and figuring out what’s wrong with Brewers fans

  36. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    LeGarrette Blount’s and Brice McCain’s contract details

    Steelers to host ex-Colts WR Darrius Heyward-Bey Wednesday


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Premier League Dual Threats: Suarez, Aguero, Rooney & Hazard

    23 BBC Football

    Sagbo and Assou-Ekotto face FA bans for ‘quenelle’ sign comments.

    24 World Soccer

    Italy should look to emulate Germany – Barbara Berlusconi


    25 Pensburgh

    Lullabies and Paralyzed. Hurricanes 4, Penguins 1

  37. Wild Bill says:

    Mornin, Jandy. Mario might be starting to think like an owner and saying to himself “It’s time for the NHL players to stop playing in the Olympics.” 8 – 8 – 2 since the Games says something got off track then.

  38. Wild Bill says:

    Isn’t he a Boras client, Tc? If so, no such deal will happen.

  39. Jandy says:

    Hey Wild One! I don’t think the Olympics is the biggest issue here.
    The Pens lack decent depth on the 3rd and 4th lines. When has that lined scored? I can’t remember the last time.
    This is putting more pressure on Sid and Geno.
    Then there’s the fact that Geno and Neal are spoiled brats and can hurt the team with their antics with immunity. Bench them!
    There is no consistency with discipline/accountability.

    But then, Mario liked HIS locker room that way, so maybe he doesn’t care.
    What do I know?

    This isn’t all the issues, but it’s the biggest issues IMHO.

  40. bpn8pitt says:

    If they want to get something of real value in return for him though, dealing him with 1 1/2, 2 years left is probably the best route to go. You wait too long, some teams will look at it, as why go with the rental if I wait a bit and get him for nothing. Teams seem to protect their best prospects a lot more these days.

    For awhile I thought he was like 150 to 200 million. 180 sounded about right, not sure about the years. They way these deals are going though, he’ll get 200 easy. Arod will be close to coming of the books, Im sure he or Wright would be glad to move to 1st to accomadate the other.

    Whole thing reminds me of a Hendrix song. “Hear my Train a Comin'”

  41. And as for Sidney scoring his 100th point last night, that goes without saying.

  42. Jandy says:

    The rest of the game went without saying too….more needed to be said and done!

  43. Sarah says:

    Don’t forget the lack of depth in bottom 6 is because 1/3 of that is Gladams.
    Add Gocs injury and it’s half….

    Megna, Vitale, Engo should be regular bottom 6ers but Bylsma gonna Bylsma.

  44. Sarah says:

    The D has really been poor lately. Maatta looks exhausted and should be given more rest.
    Even Nisky who’s having a career year has been arse lately.
    And I won’t even get started on Scorpik…..

  45. Andrew says:

    A listless Penguins performance and a Pirates’ ownership column, the blog should be a fun read today.

  46. Sarah says:

    And much as I love Sidney I’m to the point where I hope he just pops off to the media. THAT would open some eyes.

  47. Jandy says:

    Don’t hold your breath, you’ll turn blue ;)

  48. Jandy says:

    Oh yeah. I’m getting my “ignore” glasses ready ;)

  49. Thundercrack says:

    ‘The criticism of the Pirates lack of free agent activity for a first baseman is pretty mild …’

    Have you been reading this blog? :-)

  50. Jandy says:

    Engo NEEDS to not be a defenseman. His atrocious giveaways last night cost us 2 goals. I love the guy, but please….please….put him on wing or sit him!

  51. Thundercrack says:

    +1 Andrew

  52. Sarah says:

    Hah! I know!

    Y’know I think what really fried my eggs about the game was it’s what we have seen so often from this team not just in reg season…..come out like a house on fire, get umpteen chances, and if the goalie happens to hang in there for half a period,it’s “check, please!” And the Pens take the rest of the night off.

    SO immature and easily frustrated. That is just not a playoff mindset.

  53. Jandy says:

    Country Club. It’s Mario’s locker room revisited.
    I’ve been a staunch supporter of Bylsma, but I’ve had it.
    It’s time to take control or step down.

  54. Sarah says:

    Wow Jandy! Even you now?
    Maybe it really is that bad! Oy.

  55. Jandy says:

    When Sid is doing stupid stuff, you KNOW it’s overboard.
    Nuff said :/

  56. Brandie says:

    The Kickers this morning…Reading on ESPN Mike and Mike on the ESPN Side Blurs how Iginla is focused on winning his first cup. Grr!!!!

  57. Jandy says:

    Morning Sistah! Happy Hump Day! Woop woop!

  58. Sarah says:

    Anybody check out Rossi on Discos presser?
    Those are some pretty softball questions for Bylsma to be apparently stunned into 45 seconds of silence….

  59. Jandy says:

    This is from FaceOff Factor:
    “Engelland has appeared in only 53 of the team’s 75 games this season, and played forward in less than half of those contests. Yet he’s still outscoring the majority of the team’s bottom-six.”

    Amazing. So why is he even dressed as a D-man?

  60. Brandie says:

    FIRE BYLSMA!!!!!!

  61. Jim S. says:

    Totally with you, AW.

  62. BFD says:

    this notion that spending in the draft makes up for the lack of spending on the big club is ludicris. EVERY team spends in the draft. Nutting may have spent a bit more than some other clubs but it is only becasue they were consistantly drafting high due to the putrid MLB product they were putting out, and the amount certainly did not offset the lack of MLB spending.

  63. Brandie says:

    Emperor Bylsma demands it perhaps? I think something happened in the space between his ears with regard to the Olympic flameout. The malaise is definitely in his demeanor.

    Hello there Lunatics one and all.

  64. BFD says:

    one winning season erases 2 decades of stink?
    Nutting has been attached to 18 losing seasons……

  65. Jandy says:

    Interesting, Sarah, thanks for the tip

  66. Brandie says:

    Jandy says…

    N*t up or Shut Up!

  67. Jandy says:

    Jandy is p*ssed! >:<

  68. Sarah says:


  69. JD says:

    Yep. The 2 decades of stink are in my rear view mirror.

  70. Sarah says:

    Cos Bylsma!

  71. Brandie says:

    Jandy is Queen of The Third Person! :)

  72. Jim S. says:

    On the AJ question, I have gone back and forth all through the winter about whether this was botched. I still don’t really know because a big part of me says he just wasn’t going to sign with the Pirates. I don’t know that for sure, but I keep going back to his stated desire to be home as much as possible. He can drive between Citizen’s Bank Ballpark and home every day of every homestand. He could not have done that from Pittsburgh.

    He may have continued to string the Bucs along to maximize the number of interested teams and, therefore, the size of the contract being offered. If so, it worked like a charm the minute Cole Hamels got injured in spring training. It could also be that the Pirates did not want AJ back. I don’t really think we know for certain.

  73. Jandy says:

    LOL ;)

  74. Jandy says:

    I’m in the camp that says AJ wore out his welcome with the Buccos.
    Love him to death, but I’m sure even Hurdle was tired of the shenanigans.

  75. Brandie says:

    That is a fact.

  76. DJ says:

    Since the Pens are going to clinch the division and are preparing for the playoffs, I humbly offer these suggestions to HCDB over the few remaining games:

    1. Depres playing every game.

    Let’s see what he’s got and what we’ve got. We know what we have in Engelland and it’s not top 6 and NHL caliber.

    2. Someone other than just Bennett needs to go to the front of the net on a consistent basis.

    It’s like Chernobyl. Everyone talks about it but no one wants to live there. I keep reflecting back on the exchange between Geno and Neal during an Inside the Penguins episode where Geno was telling Neal to go to the net but Neal kept refusing. All in good fun? Sure, but there was an underlying message/attitude there as well.

    3. Sid and Geno occasionally driving the middle instead of being content to make cross-ice or drop passes from the wings.

    Like in basketball, you have the most options when you are dominating the center of the playing surface — floor or ice. We’re the Perimeter Pens.

  77. The Pens are only 5 above .500 at this time versus playoff opponents and have only done as well as they have this season beating up on the mediocres, at least until last night, and so, that tells you what needs to be done concerning post season.

  78. Jim S. says:

    I actually didn’t think they played all that well on Sunday night vs. Chicago. I think Fleury saved their butts a bunch of times that night, and the game was very much in jeopardy until Sid put the cape on with the 3rd goal. I felt like they were spinning their wheels, unable to clear the puck out of their defensive zone a whole lot that night. Fortunately, Chicago is not finishing very well offensively right now or they could have won that game.

    I didn’t see last night’s game, but I don’t find the result all that surprising. I just don’t think this team is playing well.

  79. Jim S. says:

    Amen, TC. In order to do an extension, you need a willing partner. Boras is rarely willing to allow a client to not go through free agency.

  80. Jim S. says:

    Tim Williams just did an article on it, I believe, TC.

  81. Jandy says:

    your last line is quite an understatement, Jim.

  82. Jim S. says:

    If you bring the marshmallows, I’ll bring the graham crackers and hershey bars. The fire is blazing.

  83. Nastynate82 says:

    Completely incorrect. Some large market teams didn’t spend much at all in the draft, like the Mets and Cubs (the old regime of the Cubs anyway). The best amateur players cost the most I’m the draft and it’s the best way for the Pirates to compete. Frankly, it’s absurd they put a cap on the draft spending…because you know who spent the most ever in a draft? The Pirates

  84. Thundercrack says:

    And if you don’t sign your first round draft pick then you’re not spending in the draft

  85. Jim S. says:

    I think Jeff Locke, AJ’s best friend on the team, put it best when he described AJ (the good guy) vs. JA (the Jack*ss). I think there was definitely a mixed bag of opinions on him, inside and outside of the clubhouse.

  86. Jim S. says:

    ++, 26.2.

  87. DJ says:

    Maatta was just okay last night. He reached for a poke check on Skinner behind the net and Skinner’s pass slipped between his legs, but overall he was workmanlike. Not his best game, not his worst and, in my view, not our worst problem on D.

    What bothered me most last night was the spacing of our D-men in relation to our forwards. There were probably 10-12 occasions when we could not get to a pass or a loose puck coming to the blue line in the O-zone simply because of a lack of speed or because Orpik, Scuderi and Engelland were sitting just over the red line. Horrid spacing.

    And the few Engelland was able to get to he simply butchered.

  88. Jandy says:


  89. DJ says:

    Is it just me or does it seem the teams in the East are getting a little heavier now as well?

  90. Jandy says:

    Put Engo on wing, if he must play! he is much better there!

  91. Sarah says:

    1- agree. Engo should be 4L RW IMO
    2- that could be Engo
    3- agree….the net front issues are at the other end also…..

  92. Jandy says:

    Not going there! ;X

    The fact that the Pens have Hobbits on the team doesn’t help either!!

  93. Sarah says:

    We’re getting lighter.

  94. Jandy says:

    and smaller…

  95. Jandy says:

    And where the h*ll is Monster Mash?

  96. bpn8pitt says:

    6 IP, seven Hits, 1 ER for the Jackass last night.

  97. ken robertson says:

    Nice article, Bob is right when he says we don’t have to keep up with the Yankees and Angels. But he is wrong if he doesn’t think we have to keep up with the Brewers (and Reds, Cardinals and Cubs).

  98. DemonDachshund says:

    They offered AJ something like $12M in the end, right?

    So over an extra $2M, they lost out on either an improvement from Volquez to AJ, or a first round pick.

    Value’s great, but at some point you have to willing to overspend to get quality. See Martin, Russell.

  99. DJ says:

    I’d just sit him at this point, Jandhi. There’s no room at the Inn. If he had any value headed into the playoffs it would be as a 4th liner but I would rather have a little speed and grit there.

    I am trying to remember if Engo had any hits last night. I’m sure he may have but nothing that I recall as memorable/productive.

  100. Jandy says:

    Not too shabby for that jackass lol

  101. Nastynate82 says:

    Because teams want too much for the first basemen on the market. The Mets wanted a top 10 prospect for Ike Davis and look at the year he just had. He makes Pedro look like a contact hitter.

  102. 21sthebest says:

    I agree DD.

  103. Jandy says:

    No one was productive last night…well, actually Sutter looked decent, but he didn’t get anything for his hard work. Same old.

    I know DB likes Engo, but if he MUST play him, sit Adams and play Engo.
    Never thought I’d type that…

  104. DJ says:

    That was right in front of me last night so I saw the whole thing develop. Not really provoked by the Canes D-man.

    I thought the whole episode was Sid’s way of telling all the guys who should be hitting and grinding that they’re not doing their jobs so Sid was showing them how to do it.

  105. bpn8pitt says:

    Milwaukee’s not concerned with cheap, affordable talent and choir boys.

    Did they sign Volquez? Nope. Went out and got Garza.

    A few years ago traded for Sabathia, offered him 100 million.

    (commence hole shooting)

  106. Jandy says:

    That’s my point.
    He’s so frustrated with the way EVERYONE is playing and the lack of passion and desire to win, that he’s making it known.

  107. Chris Nestrick says:

    While I agree with the thought process that more needed to be done at first; I really need to take issue with the notion that James Loney was “the answer”. He’s a 29year old, .285 hitter with a .761 OPS and a 1.4 WAR – the phrase BFD comes into play. I’m GLAD the organization didn’t want to commit to him. Would he be an upgrade? Sure, but how much over GI Jones, Ishi (now) or the promise of Lambo? If they’re going to spend money, make it worthwhile. They won 95 games with James Loney like production at first, they need better…

  108. NMR says:

    @bpn – but he was so bad in Spring Training! ;)

  109. NMR says:

    Would you rather be a fan of the Pirates or Brewers for the next five years?

  110. NMR says:

    Excellent AW.

  111. bpn8pitt says:

    Yup, cause all of the top ten of the Pirates prospects will turn into All Stars.

    I miss you Robbie Grossman.

  112. DJ says:

    Maybe Shero sent him to sign Christian Folin.

  113. Jandy says:

    LOL! That would actually be a good, productive move!

  114. Jandy says:


  115. DJ says:

    I know I’d throw in a couple bucks.

  116. NMR says:


    Conversely, maybe getting Pedro the Player for the entire length of his contract plus the inevitable QO draft pick is better than “flooding the farm”.

  117. Thundercrack says:

    They won’t bpn
    But you should get more than Ike Davis for a top prospect.

  118. Jandy says:

    Yeah, Jim., but who’s bringing the beer???!!!???

  119. Jandy says:

    I’m all in!

  120. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Good column DK…Sorry though…Totally disagree on Loney. GM should be able to say he’s 2 years good, not 3 years good. I hope Loney continues to climb back from a couple injury plagued seasons and makes the Pirates look foolish for not going an extra year because, well, I like when people succeed…but I don’t think he’s going to make them regret anything. He had a nice 2013 campaign with the bat and he’s as steady on D as anyone plying 1B right now, and compared to Barmes’ other deal at $5mill per, he looks like a bargain…but if there is hesitation to go a third year, something sneaking tells me there is a plan in place for that corner…

  121. bpn8pitt says:

    Hole shooting commenced!!!

    To me, the Pirates are at now where Milwaukee was several years ago.

    Did they let a player of AJ’s caliber walk? Did they sign the worst pitcher in the NL to fill out there rotation back then? Nope.

    They. Increased. Payroll.

    Where’s Osh at? Set freaking attendance records too.

  122. NMR says:

    You haven’t seen Ike Davis play in a while, have you?

  123. PetroSteel says:

    My concern is not going out and signing a 1B becouse I think I can accept that we need to see what we got here first. I’m ok with giving this some time. What I am not ok with is not extending players that have been productive and are still in in thier prime or have plenty of years of production left. Pedro, Franky, Wandy, Neil, Martin etc. I’m holding out hope that thats where the money goes that hasn’t been spent and why more money hasnt been spent.

  124. Thundercrack says:

    I watched a few innings of that Philly game.
    AJ seemed like typical AJ. Might have been tiring a little near the end.

    Marlon Byrd saved the game for AJ with a nice catch in RF and then doubled off the runner off first base. Then the reliever gave up the tiring run the next inning.

    The Philly broadcasters were questioning why Sandberg didn’t mix & match a little more with his relievers

  125. Thundercrack says:

    Well….they did let a guy named Prince Fielder walk.

  126. JMB says:

    Other than trading for Prince, I didn’t see any 1B options that made me think they would be tickets to the World Series.

  127. DJ says:

    With Loney, I was thinking they might have been looking only for a 2-year bridge to someone already in their system.

    Maybe they believe that someone is Josh Bell.

  128. bpn8pitt says:

    Yep, Plan I for Ishikawa.

    What was Clement? Plan C?

  129. Mizery says:

    Nice Jandy. It was a metaphor, but I have a 68 fastback Shelby Cobra. Green with gold strips. I inherited it from my pops so can’t take any credit for the purchase or overhaul, but it’s a beauty.

    Btw, if you can’t tell this is the one subject that will get me going everytime,

  130. NMR says:

    Open-buttoned casual shirt, ftw!

    -Seriously though, wonderfully balanced yet critical column. Not that you need my opinion, but it seems Dejan has really hit his stride. Cut out the distractions and whittled his brand of analysis and humor to a razor sharp point.

  131. NMR says:

    Answer the question, bpn.

    Would you rather be the Pirates or Brewers for the next five years?

  132. Damon says:

    I skimmed though the blog this morning, and I am seeing everyone echoing my thoughts on the Pens. I am usually very optimistic about them thinking a loss here and there isn’t bad, and it is a long season. This consistent lackluster play is wearing me down though. No urgency in the game overall or just with the puck. They have fumbled more passes and simply controlling the puck than I have ever seen which in my mind means lazy and lack of focus. Not sure if they thought they could just show up and beat Carolina since they have before, but like Sarah mentioned above – they came out guns a blazing, wound up tied 1-1 after having chance after chance, then they looked like they said oh well and mailed it in.

    I’m also starting to think this team just isn’t capable of going through a playoff grind – whether it would be going against a trap, larger team, faster team, opportunistic team. The Pens rely HEAVILY on their raw talent getting them though games and wins.

    Also agree with everyone that Engelland just needs to be the 4th line RW. I have been defending his play for awhile because I thought his D was getting a bad rap, but these last two games he has been horrible. When he played RW, he was VERY good. Much better than Adams, Pyatt and even Glass has been. Not sure if Bylsma keeps playing Adams because of his games-played streak, but he just isn’t cutting it anymore. That 4th line keeps giving up goals every game.

    Still not giving up hope on this team because of its raw talent, but man my expectations are slipping. As for Sid late in the game, I don’t think this was stupid rather him getting elbowed in the head and just having had enough. Frustration is setting in, so maybe he will freak on the team soon…he wants to win more than anything, and probably can see another opportunity fading.

  133. Jandy says:

    Ahhhhh I am soooo jealous! Hubby idolizes Carroll Shelby and last year we were able to buy 2008 Shelby with low miles for a decent price. He’s a happy camper. It’s VIsta Blue Metallic and this is what it looks like:

    Miz, if you ever want to pass that car on….


  134. Jandy says:

    Agreed on Dejan.

  135. Jandy says:

    We pretty much view things the same way regarding the Pens, Damon.

    Sid can’t allow himself to melt down like that…but I’m wondering if he did it on purpose to make a point. He’s not the type to yell or freak out.

    Glass should be in the line-up for his grit. Pyatt is a huge disappointment. Adams needs to sit.

    I’ve been patient, too, but it’s gone and I’m done.

  136. Nastynate82 says:

    True, but they’ve also changed the game with severe penalties for going over the slotted amount. If memory serves, signing Appel in 2012 to the amount he wanted would have forfeited the Bucs first round picks in 2013 and 2014. That’s a reaaally steep price.

  137. Damon says:

    Here is a good blog article from Rossi about the state of the team now:

  138. Nastynate82 says:

    Always get props for a Hendrix song. Good doc on him on PBS last fall.

  139. bpn8pitt says:

    Like I said above TC, while we wait for the perfect “Lefty McThump” to come along, guys like Martin, Liriano, Wandy, Grilli enter their walk year. Guys like Walker, Pedro Melancon, Marte start making more money.

    All of a sudden, 1st base gets ignored again cause you have to fill other holes and you run out of money.

    Heck as we all argue the merits of Loney and Davis, whats available in 2015 or 2016 is probably worse and even further out the Pirates price range.

  140. Jandy says:

    Yeah, Sarah mentioned that above and I went and found it. It’s sobering.

  141. BFD says:

    Nutting loves you ‘fans’……..

  142. NMR says:

    I’m with you on this one, Brother. I completely agree with Dejan’s logic, that Nutting SHOULD step up to the plate and provide funds for particular players.

    I just personally do not believe Loney is the type of player you do that with.

    Here’s a comment from Brewers GM Bob Melvin: “We knew if he had the same deal he was probably going to go back to Tampa.”

    Loney said as much himself. That means not only was that 3rd year needed, but possibly a 4th or a higher average annual value. More than $7m/yr for a light-hitting 1B with a spotty history of consistancy is, lets say, and interesting use of limitted funds.

  143. Nastynate82 says:

    No they don’t. But Thunder put it best…Davis can hit dingers, but not lefties. He’s also about to get more expensive, which isn’t money well spent (platoon player who is offense only). Oh yeah, he’s coming back from Valley Fever. So he’s got that going for him…which is nice.

  144. JD says:

    Yep, I’ll even get me some corn dogs.

    If you get sick of Nutting, just head on over to Cleveland. Plent of seats available there.

  145. BFD says:

    Nutting is not spending on the MLB product. Frankly, it is a slap in the face to the fans that a 2013 playoff team with the extra revenues generated last year opens the season with roughly the same payroll as last season despite glaring holes. They are missing their ‘window’ by banking the money instead of increasing payroll

    Again. They spent on the draft becasue they drafted high for so long do to their record breaking futility. This is the normal course of running a baseball team…..nothing special,. Nothing to applaud.

  146. Thundercrack says:

    Yep bpn, it is an interesting time for the Bucs.
    But maybe they will resign some of those guys in their walk years. Maybe they didn’t want to give Loney the 3rd year because they wanted to use that money for those players (or the ones that will be getting raises)

    And I think the payroll should be higher.

  147. NMR says:

    BTW, that photo of Winnipeg is stunning.

  148. Wild Bill says:

    Cranky blog this morning, and I resemble that remark. I’m praying for Geno’s foot every day, and for Ishichez to amaze the world – and our blog in the process.

  149. JD says:

    Mmmmm. Beer!

  150. Jandy says:

    I ‘d love to go there, seeing what Dejan shows us.

  151. Baywatch says:

    That’s the way I see it, too, 21!

  152. Thundercrack says:

    After this winter, I feel like I was living in Winnipeg.

    I’ll pass.

  153. bpn8pitt says:

    Penny wise and pound foolish TC. Its seems thats how it always is with this club.

    Maybe Gabykawa can hold it down.

  154. BFD says:

    the nuttings have a history of ‘almost spending’ on possible free agents

  155. Baywatch says:

    AND I also get what DD is saying. In fairness, though, I think just like you and me, they’re real people and roll the dice on feel in the end. And a lot of times, it’s I’M NOT GONNA PAY $3.34 a gallon, when I can run over here and get it for $3.15 … and have a little left over for a loaf of bread.”

    … Naw, I didn’t THINK it was a good analogy, NEVER MIND! LOL!

  156. NMR says:

    Wow, this is precious.

    My man Tim Williams at it again in JAL Link #5 “The New Revenue in MLB Didn’t Lead to a Big Increase in Payrolls”. In the article, Williams opines “The idea that teams were going to receive $20 M and spend all of that in year one always seemed ridiculous to me.”

    A peculiar statement consider the article he wrote on October 13th titled “Could the Pirates have a $100M Payroll in 2014?”. In that article, Williams writes the following:
    “The Pirates will be able to spend much more than their 2013 total. For one, teams will see about $20-25 M in National TV revenues. The Pirates also saw an increase in attendance in 2013, and will receive additional playoff revenues. The National TV money will make a much bigger impact. You have to consider things such as taxes when it comes to these revenues. However, considering the Pirates spent just under $75 M in 2013, I could see them capable of spending around $100 M in 2014 when you factor in the new revenues.”

    Tim is apparently the smartest guy in the room, even himself!

    Next time anyone questions why Dejan is critical of your favorite team, just remember the alternative.

  157. Jim S. says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head, Wild Bill. This is not a hobby for Nutting, unlike a lot of other owners.

  158. Baywatch says:

    +++ AND I second that emotion! :-)

  159. Jim S. says:

    They had no choice, bpn. They don’t have many promising pitching prospects.

  160. Baywatch says:

    Brandelita Chiquita Consuela!

  161. Baywatch says:

    LOL! Sarahpova!

  162. Baywatch says:

    (“He came ON like a flash … He did the MONSTER Mash!”) Oh … and it was a graveyard smash!

  163. Mizery says:

    I agree that the Pirates might not have wanted him or AJ might not have wanted to stay but they could have offered him the 14 million and got something if he still went to the Phillies for 16 mill. Move just doesn’t make sense to me. The argument that they then couldn’t be active in free agency having committed 14 to AJ validates the argument that they are still not spending to improve the team. I just think that this window is a small one and they need to compete when it is time to compete. Our prospects are just that…..prospects. Cutch is proven. He is the one player that made me retire my Pi-Rats and Prospects jerseys last season. I might need to bust them out again.

  164. Mizery says:


  165. AJ did okay in his Phillies debut against the Texas Rangers last night. It’s just that the Rangers won 3-2 since the Phillies bullpen blew it in the end.

  166. Jim S. says:

    I also wanted them to act and get a 1b upgrade instead of being stuck with Ishikawa, bpn. But, even wanting that to happen, I have to admit that the pickings were kind of slim. Guys like Moreland, Smoak, Carp and Davis – none of whom are really all that good – either apparently fetched too much or were not made available.

    I would have liked for them to get Loney, but let’s not make him out to be the 2nd coming of Lou Gehrig. He’s a decent fielder, and a decent hitter, with not much pop. He hit pretty well last year, and Tampa thinks they have him pointed in the right direction. But, he’s no sure thing. And, in the end, it appeared to me that it was a Josh Johnson-type situation with him. He preferred Tampa.

  167. Jim S. says:

    JD, apparently.

  168. Mizery says:

    Hopefully the Penguins can just turn it on when the playoffs start because they are playing like they can. This is sarcasm.

  169. NMR says:

    BFD – the Blog’s only member to show up for Nutting and disappear for baseball.


  170. Jim S. says:

    Bell or Allie. They will probably both get a shot.

  171. JohninOshkosh says:

    I don’t understand why Loney is not thought to be a quality acquisition. Here are his comps through his current age of 29 per Baseball-Reference (aside: does it bug anyone else that if you do not correctly spell the player’s name, BR does not have that “Did you mean”….feature like Google?!)

    Willie Montanez (948)
    Chris Chambliss (947)
    Mark Grace (928)
    Joe Rudi (926)
    Tito Francona (925)
    George Burns (924)
    Dan Driessen (923)
    Wally Joyner (921)
    Sean Casey (916)
    Elbie Fletcher (916)

    If the guy’s name was Rudi, Francona, Joyner or Casey would anyone think he wasn’t a quality first baseman ? I think he was worth a three year contract. Plus, every year at trade deadline proves you can move players like that, so even if they had signed him for three years, certainly nothing would suggest he would have to be in Pittsburgh for all three years. Other teams would want him in a pinch. Oh well, water on the bridge, but I think he would have been worth it.

    To jump into bpn and NMR’s discussion above, because I see I was mentioned. Of course, I would rather be a fan of the Pirates for the next 5 years. I was a fan through 20 horrific seasons. But, if you posed the hypothetical as to which ownership and GM team I would rather have, I would go with Attanasio and Melvin. (Although, Attanasio might be Commish if Bud gets to handpick his successor). I love Melvin’s aggressiveness and I think he is highly underrated because he comes across as somewhat of a hick (Charlie Manuel, anyone ?).

  172. Jandy says:

    You know, I’ve supported Bylsma, Shero, even the players. But after last night’s fiasco, I’ve had it.
    I’ll be watching, regardless, I’m a diehard fan.

  173. Jim S. says:

    Wish I had read this, NMR, before commenting very similarly above about 2 minutes ago. Loney felt comfortable in Tampa. I think he liked how they worked with him last year.

  174. Jandy says:

    I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but laugh at that one

  175. Jandy says:

    Bell first, Allie second choice.

    keep your fingers crossed!

  176. JohninOshkosh says:

    That’s a good line, BFD. Short and forceful.

  177. Jandy says:

    True there. It was a rough one TC.

  178. Mizery says:

    Nice take Damon. I agree with you.

  179. Jandy says:

    I saw Grossman in Altoona once, and when I went back, he was already moved to Indy…now he’s done….BOO!

  180. Jim S. says:

    George Burns must have played in the dead ball era, Osh.

  181. JohninOshkosh says:

    I don’t know how he was at First, but he was a damn funny comedian!

  182. Jandy says:

    Oh God!

  183. 21sthebest says:

    Good stuff Osh and I think Loney would have been a quality acquisition. But as to front offices, because organizations like Baseball Prospectus have the Brewers organization ranked 29th (and others have them very low as well), and because I think the Pirates and Brewers have to build through the draft and minors first, I’ll take the Pirates front office right now.

  184. A1C McG says:

    DK, enjoy the trip to Winnipeg this week.

    Am I the only one not looking forward to the playoffs. And for the first time since before the Crosby Era I can’t wait til the offseason so we can get back to the drawing board and see what we can look forward to next year. This team just goes out and doesnt appear to care half the time, and in years past this seems to happen from time to time but the talent was there to compete and they could rely on talent to cover gaps in defense or heart but right now the talent isn’t performing to their best, they are making ugly turn overs, i almost threw my remote through the TV after the 3rd “attempted” play someone made with 1 hand on the stick that lead to a turn over. That game last night was one of the ugliest things from the past 10 years. This just feels like anothe lost season that Brooks “the conscious” Orpik cant fix and neither can Rob “The Piece” Scuderi. People may get upset about this next comment and thats fine, it may shock a lot of people, but Sid is not a good leader and should not be Captain. If he gets fired up over a stick to the nuts at around the 8 minute mark instead of being down going into the third then something is wrong. It was clear how much the team fed off of him and it may have turned out different had he played like that for the entire 3rd. This team just feels like another early exit and early golf reservation, and this year shouldnt be laid at fluery’s feet.

  185. JohninOshkosh says:

    Is there anyone in baseball, officials included, that completely understand the replay rules. Good gravy, stuff will be in the courtrooms pretty soon!

  186. Baywatch says:

    Part Two!

  187. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good stuff, John, and yes it bugs me, too that BR isn’t more forgiving on the spelling. ;-)

  188. Jandy says:

    Altoona Mirror article on Kingham, with note that Allie could join the Curve in about a week. Good reading!

  189. Baywatch says:

    John, I’ll have to read up on it or ASK MY WIFE (who actually texted me in glee last night that C.C. Sabathia’s ERA was at 108.00 – after his first inning of work!), but I was wondering when the umps huddle up with it, since they’ve got some people from New York involved, are the people in New York making the call, or do the field umps use their judgement on what the video shows?

    And I’m borrowing “GOOD GRAVY” from you, to use with my friends here in East Texas for a week. Haven’t heard that expression since I was a little boy!

  190. 21sthebest says:

    I hope “was” is the correct word there Jandy. I’m still refusing to take my shovels down to the basement for another couple of weekends.

  191. Warren says:

    Second round pick Josh Bell begs to differ with your insistence that “they only spent a lot of money in the draft because they picked high.”

  192. Jandy says:

    21, honestly , I don’t blame you. We had an inch of snow on the ground this past Sunday. Monroeville (just outside Pittsburgh) had several inches. Mother Nature must be p*ssed off at SOMEBODY!

  193. Arriba Wilver says:

    It’s up to New York.

  194. Warren says:

    But “big-spending” Milwaukee has an even BIGGER whole at 1B than we do with the platoon of Overbay and Reynolds. Nice try…

  195. theplanisworking says:

    Under the new draft rules in place, they would not have been able to sign Bell. That overslot money would have counted against their draft “pool”.

  196. Thundercrack says:

    Your wife texted you about CC Sabathia’s ERA?!

    She sounds like a keeper. :-)

  197. 21sthebest says:

    I’m going to try this out and let’s see if it sticks.

    For innings 1-6, each manager gets 1 challenge and the umpires cannot initiate a replay review on their own. If a manager challenges a call and wins, he gets another challenge.

    For innings 7 on, the umpires can decide to review a play using replay on their own. However, as we saw Monday, a manager can still use their challenge assuming they still have it.

    Now here’s were I’m unclear. If a manager doesn’t have a challenge left and it’s the 7th inning or later, can a manager convince the umpire to review a play?

    I have a headache.

  198. hockeymonster says:

  199. Nastynate82 says:

    Except it’s not exactly true either. The brewers spent a lot and traded for upgrades and now look to be at best a 500 team. Yes they had a nice window of 3-4 years, but it looks to be over now. And they closed that window quickly themselves by trading cheap young talent for aging vets. That’s what operating under a “window” mentality does.
    The Pirates are spending money by locking up players they can (Cutch, Morton and Marte). Does that not count as spending money on the field? And the draft thing…as I said before, drafting high doesn’t mean people spend money. Look at the Mets, or the Bucs own history (Moskos over Wieters).

  200. JohninOshkosh says:

    It’s New York with the call. And to use one of my favorite lines from you, “Up Here!, Bayman!”

    BTW, kudos to your wife. If I said “CC” to my wife, her response would either be “CC Rider?” or “Carbon Copy?”

    She always quotes Seinfeld to me when I haven’t heard of some artist or writer or ballerina, or whatever the heck she is interested in. I’ll say, “I never heard of him/her.” And, she’ll use Elaine’s line on Seinfeld, “Well, he doesn’t play baseball.”

  201. Chris Nestrick says:

    JohninOshkosh – in 1434 less at bats GI Jones hits 30pts lower, has 16 more HRs, 205 less RBI and is worth half of Loney’s 1.4 WAR. That’s hardly the stuff of legends that’s going to improve the club. Sure Baseball ref has comparables listed for Loney, but the biggest thing is average. He lags behind in most every other statistical category to the players listed. He wasn’t the answer and certainly not for 3 years. We saw James Loney in a Pirates uni last year at the dead line, only his name was Justin Morneau…

  202. Jim S. says:

    Thanks for providing that link, Jandy. Kingham seems to just quietly go about the business of making it to Pittsburgh. Cole, Taillon, and now Glasnow are getting the lion’s share of attention, but he seems like he has a chance to be a solid starter for the Bucs.

    I’m also interested to see how Joely Rodriguez does in Altoona this year. Same with Casey Sadler at Indy – another frequently overlooked pitcher in this system.

    Kingham is probably a better 22 year old pitching prospect than the best pitching prospect in some teams’ systems.

  203. Jandy says:

    Hello CHris, welcome to the Asylum! You can see the spending or non-spending of it, is quite the issue here today!

    if you post your hometown, Biz will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum :)

  204. Wild Bill says:

    A digression: the P-G bald eagle cam is awesome this morning. Both parents feeding two chicks.

  205. Baywatch says:

    LOL, I reckon! She’s one of these MATH FREAKS with baseball application! We started watching some of the Rays-Jays game last night, and she goes: “We’re pulling for Toronto, aren’t we, because the Rays were pretty high up in the Spring Training standings!” smh

  206. Wild Bill says:

    oops, one left.

  207. Baywatch says:

    LOL! That’s a good one, John … YEAH! (insert hands clapping on high five!)

  208. NMR says:

    I thought I was the only one that hated that feature of BR!!! Fangraphs is my go-to sourse, simply due to website design. So much more user friendly.

    “I don’t understand why Loney is not thought to be a quality acquisition.”

    If I may…

    In 2012, James Loney was jettisoned from the Dodgers, DFA’d by the Red Sox, and the MLB market awarded his skill set and history with a whopping $2.5m one year deal from the Rays. He then got off to a scorching start by hitting .331/.392/.531 with 7 HR through May, but those pesky eggheads started throwing up red flags of sustainability.

    Sure enough, Loney limped to the finish line with a .283/.328/.382 performance over the rest of the season.

    The Rays know a lot more about baseball than I do, Osh. But I think it is more than fair to question dedication upwards of 10% of the teams payroll to a guy like this.

  209. Jandy says:

    My pleasure, Jim. I’m already bugging hubby to go to MORE Curve games this summer. Kingham will be on my radar, and I hope to see Allie as well.

  210. 21sthebest says:

    I really don’t think we’ll get any accumulating snow and from what I understand, the snow in Monroeville only stuck to the grass (we were out of town), but I’m sure I’ll jinx it if I take the shovels down. Has happened before. :-0

  211. theplanisworking says:

    JAL compared the opening day payrolls between 2013, and 2014.
    I compared the closing payroll of 2013 to the opening payroll of 2014……… which I feel is a more accurate comparison.

  212. Jandy says:

    I followed one of those eagle cams from a site in Norfolk, VA. Priceless!

  213. Jandy says:

    if it snows, I’m holding YOU personally responsible, 21. Keep the shovels up ;)

  214. Jim S. says:

    I am just as confused as you on this, 21. I think Milo needs to do a webinar for the slower learners like myself.

    I thought a manager could convince the umpires to take a look after 7, even if they have used their challenge. But, as I watched SF-AZ last night, it sure didn’t seem that way. AZ had a runner on 3rd base in the late innings. Cain threw a pitch that got by Posey. Posey retrieved it quickly and threw to Cain, who had fallen behind the plate. He was able to reach forward and appeared to tag the sole of the runner’s heel just before he touched homeplate. The Giants announcers were lamenting the fact that SF had no challenges.

    I don’t know everything that led up to that play, though, because I was flipping around and just happened on that game. There, I’ve added to your confusion. :-)

  215. Baywatch says:

    Just a quick post to say what a joy this blog is to me! Just really, really nice, once the season starts to get on here with a bunch of folks who FEEL the same way I do about OUR Bucs!

  216. Jandy says:



  217. Jim S. says:

    I did notice that the Derek Jeter Farewell Tour has an official sponsor. It’s Century Link.

  218. theplanisworking says:

    Well, JD, since you are incapable of conversing sports with me on any given day, and all you do is attack me, you are a part of the group that does cause nothing but trouble. Wouldn’t want to disappoint you. If you are so angry with me and my posts, skip over them. But you have to constantly attack me, so get over yourself.

    As for the sellouts, Mr. troublemaker, if you would actually read my posts from the past, instead of attacking me, you would see I have stated many times that the sellout streak is the only thing the Pens care about. The drafting has been poor, the coaching has been poor, and there are never any changes to rectify said problems. At the beginning of every telecast, the sellout streak is mentioned, like it is at the top of the organizations minds.

    So why don’t you call the Pens or Root, and see why it is the first thing mentioned every telecast? But you only save your attacks for me, so you would never do that. Try to follow along when critiquing someone’s posts. Your deliberate ignorance toward my writings, then your constant attacks is getting old………… but that is all you do.

  219. Jim S. says:

    Good morning, Bay! I like baseball season because it brings people like you around more often.

  220. Arriba Wilver says:


  221. Baywatch says:

    Oh, and real special FIRST NIGHT HOME GAME OF THE YEAR. Bay Jr’s coming over to join me and Mrs. Bay. Dinner and game … I’d flip us a few for GROUND CHUCK!

  222. Thundercrack says:

    When I was at ST game this year my (step) mother-in-law whispered to my father-in-law “Do they use the regular managers during ST games?”. I laughed….and contemplated divorce. :-)

  223. theplanisworking says:

    Your attack was to Plan.
    Like you told BFD earlier, go to Cleveland if you don’t like my posts.
    Don’t respond at all, troublemaker.

  224. Baywatch says:

    Aw! The feeling’s mutual, Jim!

  225. bpn8pitt says:

    We’ve done this dance for four years, Jim. May be longer. Thats my point.

    Could of subbed some of the Clement conversations of a few years ago with Lambo.

    I understand spending/trading a decent prospect wont necessarily work, but seems we’ve scraped the bottom of the dumpster enough, havent we?

    Wasting time…

  226. NMR says:

    Holy smokes, Miz.

  227. 21sthebest says:

    Gee and I didn’t even think I was confused! Now I’m think I’m confused about the replay rules and you have me convinced that I’m confused about whether or not I’m confused.

    Or something.

  228. theplanisworking says:

    Is this why you attack me every time, JD?
    Are you always drunk?

  229. Arriba Wilver says:

    I can fix that percentage—up the overall payroll. (C’mon, you knew someone had to do it). ;-)

  230. Thundercrack says:

    One simple question for you:

    Do you really, truly believe ‘that the sellout streak is the only thing the Pens care about’ ?

    And do you also believe that the sellout streak somehow has an effect on their drafting or coaching decision?

    Serious question. Not an attack.

  231. Thundercrack says:

    Sorry, that was two questions.

    And it was from me. Not from any ‘group’.

  232. Jim S. says:

    I wonder whether they are allowed to challenge an ump’s ruling that a catcher illegally blocked the plate.

  233. Jandy says:


  234. 21sthebest says:

    I had a group once when I was in High School. I played piano and keyboards, Dave played the drums, Jason and Bruce (not that Bruce) on guitar, Bob on the bass, and we all tried to sing. That’s actually when we were in our Mom’s basement. But there was no internet then.

  235. Thundercrack says:

    I watched a little of the Rays game last night and noticed that Loney is not as ‘lean’ as I thought he was (or was).

    Of course this should be filed away with Groat’s ST scouting report of our first baseman’s supple hands, and the title of DK’s column today: Nutting Needs to Get Past First Base

  236. Jim S. says:

    Tampa dedicated the high % to Loney just to make Nutting look even worse in his own market. ;-)

  237. Jim S. says:

    Exactly. I believe he had to quit baseball because he refused to put out the cigar.

  238. Jim S. says:

    Who needs sobering? The fire is going and I thought JD is bringing beer?

  239. 21sthebest says:

    I’m almost positive plays at the plate are allowed to be reviewed – both the catcher blocking legally and the runner coming into the plate appropriately.

  240. Jim S. says:

    I’ve shoveled snow from the night before and gone to a White Sox game the same day. True story.

  241. buggee says:

    Good column DK… at first.
    I felt that your opinions were strong (but did you give them voice to Nutting? The column does not reflect that dialogue.
    The column (unfortunately) read like it was cut short, which sux because your work–when unfettered–absolutely rox!
    Thank you Dejan. Enjoy the ‘Peg. (Is it spring there yet?)

  242. Jandy says:

    MORE BEER!!!!!

  243. Jim S. says:

    And, I get your frustration, bpn. Even as I say the guys under consideration were not sure things, I wish they would have found a way to get one of them.

  244. theplanisworking says:

    They make it appear that way.

    The Pens have stated many times that they need certain attendance goals to “break even”. I just don’t see them trying to win a Cup with their drafting, and personnel, and coaching decisions.

    A very loud indication of what they prioritize was sent last June, when absolutely zero changes were made in the organization, except for a different goalie coach.

    That to me shows where the priorities lay.
    And, DK’s column last week re-enforced the notion that even if the Pens bomb out again this year, no changes will be forthcoming. How can anyone say that winning a Cup takes priority over the sellout streak, and $$$?

  245. NMR says:

    And still an absolutely fair comment!

    I just don’t like the idea of committing $10m to one position(don’t forget his platoon partner), more than any other position on the team, without much chance of impact.

  246. theplanisworking says:

    This is why I, along with others will always be suspicious of the motives of people like Tim Williams.

    I have been asking all offseason, “where is all this money that came in”?

    Surprising you listed this. But it was needed.

  247. NMR says:

    Agree Jim. Joely and Allie could turn out to be the biggest breakouts in the system.

  248. Baywatch says:

    LOL! Classic!

  249. NMR says:

    Werther’s Original.

  250. NMR says:

    When DK finally writes that book I’ve been pestering him about he won’t be constrained by column space limits.

  251. bpn8pitt says:

    Hopefully Gabykawa holds it down until maybe something new presents itself June/July…I honestly think thats best case scenario at the moment.

  252. TK says:

    Didn’t they also hire Jacques Martin?

  253. Jim S. says:

    1b candidate stats from last night:

    Island of Dr. Morneau – 3/4 .500
    GI Jones – 1/3, Run .143
    Adam Lind – 2/3, HR, 3 RBI, Run, BB .667
    James “Don’t call me Troy” Loney – 0/3, BB .167
    Mitch “Don’t call me Keith” Moreland – 1/3, RBI .167
    Justin Smoak “On the water” – 2/4, 3 RBI .500
    Kendrys Morales – DNP

  254. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s true, it was/is a platoon. Guess we have to go with Milo’s hope that Ishi turns into a Bill Robinson.

  255. Mr. Nutting has got to realize that the Pirates can’t compete anymore on the cheap, and the fact that they’re a small market team should have nothing to do with that.

  256. Thundercrack says:

    It would seem to me that a team that spends at the maximum of the salary cap is very interested in Winning the Cup. Or at least it is very high on the priority list.

  257. Thundercrack says:

    I’m more interested in their ST stats.

    Oh wait…never mind

  258. Jim S. says:

    Plenty of good commemmorative items available, as I learned last night.

    Personally, they can put me down for the vial of dirt from the SS area of Yankee Stadium that may have been walked or spat upon by The Captain. That’s a must have.

    I’m still not sure whether or not to pull the trigger on the game used sunflower seed shells.

    Ok, I made up the sunflower seeds one. But, there are vials of dirt available. And, I have no doubt they will sell well.

  259. Jim S. says:

    Yep, Stetson Allie. Pirates 1b of the future. Just like the Regime had it planned all along.

  260. theplanisworking says:

    Found this little blurb about the Steelers today……………..

    Darius Heyward-Bey.
    That’s all I got.

  261. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know of any near collisions yet.

  262. ++++++++++++++++++

  263. JohninOshkosh says:

    Good stuff, Chris.

  264. Jim S. says:

    Lots of Billy Joel songs? ;-)

  265. NMR says:

    And I don’t even own a car!

  266. Arriba Wilver says:


  267. Jandy says:

    I want more than a stinkin’ vial of dirt!!!!

  268. Jim S. says:

    I think that is all the Steelers got. Good thing they don’t have salary cap issues or they never would have been able to get that shrimpy CB from Texas yesterday and invited Heyward-Bay for a burger and a sitdown now.

  269. Jandy says:

    Viva la System!

  270. NMR says:

    Clearly showed he was more than a pitcher during ice water kiddie-pool diving practice.

    Kyle Stark, genius.

  271. Jim S. says:

    How did I miss the “Chico” Lind reference that was staring me square in the face?

  272. NMR says:

    How tall?

  273. Jandy says:


  274. Jim S. says:

    Oh, they have caps, t-shirts, jerseys. Nothing will be overlooked.

    What’s in YOUR wallet?

  275. NMR says:

    I like your style, buddy!

  276. theplanisworking says:

    TK, that is the $64 million dollar question……… yes, they did bring Martin on board, but what is he allowed to bring to the table?

  277. Jandy says:

    Really, NMR? You don’t???

  278. Jandy says:

    Not much, to be truthful…but I don’t want no stinkin’ dirt ;)

  279. theplanisworking says:

    It would seem, yes.

    But, a big part of that cap # is spent on Fleury, Martin, Sid, Geno, LeTang, Neal, etc. Of that group, only Sid is a consistent force. The roster make-up is bad, the coaching decisions with said players is bad……………. but the sellout streak is mentioned all the time.

    Also, the Steelers spend up to the cap, and they are a mess also. It is much better to have the right players signed than just spend money. I think I have stated that in all sports, whether they have a cap or not.

  280. theplanisworking says:

    You are seeing the direct results of cap mismanagement, and kicking the can down the road. This is the first offseason the Steelers are at least addressing the problem………. but with Ben’s next contract upcoming, more needs to be done.

    And, Jim, all CB’s are “shrimpy” to me. I am a bit taller than the average CB ……………………….

  281. Brandon says:

    DK’s column on 1st base was more relevant to the decision making process than the 1st base decision – when does the boss say “write the check”?

    I actually think the current answer at 1st base is reasonable given the options. The AJ situation was terribly bungled – they could have either had AJ for $14M for this year or received the draft choice compensation for losing him to the qualifying offer; worst case is that he retires and they don’t sign Volquez for the $5M. The biggest issue for them will ultimately be starting pitching – losing AJ for no return will come back to haunt them – terribly mismanaged, presumably due to the interaction between the FO and the owner.

  282. NMR says:

    Nope, I’ll drive my wife’s when needed, but I get around town on my bike (pedal, that is).

  283. Bizrow says:

    I think its already happened, but the review was done by Umpire request and not as challenge by a manager,

  284. 21sthebest says:

    Not as many as I would have liked!

  285. Jandy says:

    Good for you :)

  286. Thundercrack says:

    “At the beginning of every telecast, the sellout streak is mentioned, like it is at the top of the organizations minds.”

    Plan, mentioning the sellout streak at the beginning of every telecast may be more of a ‘made for TV moment” as they are showing a shot of the crowd…which is a sellout. I think it is a point of pride for the organization.

  287. Brandon says:

    Eric – Agree with almost all of your points and will add the following – the defense, led by Engo, Scuds and Orpik were terrible last night. The ongoing decision to bench Depres in favor of these three is a bad tactical error by the coach. Shero made a bad decision to bring back Scuds and it is compounded by Disco’s ongoing management of the personnel. He will shortly bring back Martin and will continue to play the slow, older players. Their shortfalls are emphasized by the bottom 6 – Boston has multiple injuries to its defensemen, but has brought up competent younger players and been successful. The Pens best defensive games this season were when they didn’t have Engo, Scuds or Orpik on the ice and utilized the guys now in WB or on the bench.

  288. Thundercrack says:


    I don’t usually watch the hockey games, so I may be wrong.

  289. Don’t shake your head so much, Jandelita. We don’t want it to fall off like Lirano’s arm


  290. cmat0829 says:

    Liked the article DK… hopefully we can move past the dated stereotypes that Nutting is a miser counting his money in a dark room and cutting corners everywhere just to make a profit…. though I’m sure some on this blog won’t give up the fight on that.

    That said, it is interesting to note NH’s comments that they liked Loney but “choked on the 3rd year”… did anyone follow up on WHY the decision committee “CHOKED” on the 3rd year? Was it doubts about the player ability / eventual value ? Was it because they have a plan for that spot in year 3 and didn’t want to commit to this player? was it because they feared overspending an imposed future payroll limit ? Seems clear they did not ‘go to Nutting and ask for approval” on a 3rd year…..

    Someone earlier on this blog posted the most RELEVANT information when comparing Milwaukee and Pittsburgh market comparisons… I think it showed Milwaukee attendance as significantly higher and most importantly the average ticket price in Milwaukee MUCH HIGHER than in Pittsburgh… so while Milwaukee may be 2/3 the size of Pittsburgh, it is likely the other way around that Pittsburgh’s REVENUES (and we are not even factoring in local media revenues which, Frank Coonelly excepted, we all know is LESS than Milwaukee likely) are 2/3 of Milwaukee’s revenues…..

    this is the same Milwaukee ownership by the way who also did not step up and sign Loney for their similar, if not worse, hole at 1B.

    The Pirates need to be more aggressive, not only in SPENDING their money but also in MAKING MONEY. Ticket prices need to rise even more, even faster… and we all know they need to negotiate a better media deal when this one expires.

    But we need to have perspective here, there was NO 1Bman available that would’ve changed my projections for tihs Pirates team this year….if they had signed Loney I don’t think that would have made them the favorites for the division.

  291. Jandy says:

    no danger of that, Spunky, it gets practice here, so it’s in shape ;)

  292. Jandy says:

    “Ticket prices need to rise even more, even faster”


  293. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    The Nutting Regime all starts at the top….And that would be with G. Ogden, Bob and Bill Nutting.
    Neal Huntington is errand boy number one, and Pres Coonelly is no more than a suited up law dabbler.

    The Nuttings have cordially and quietly set up budgets that would be more aligned for a deli in Springdale, than a MLB team.
    They specialize in “almost getting their man” in free agency AND they have made it supremely clear that they will ONLY add to a team if they are in “heavy” contention in late July.
    That matter (in itself) is viewed as a pest, a bother and a nuisance.

  294. You don’t want to get a big neck like those women who lift weights.


  295. Bizrow says:

    Crap, just saw the weather report. Betcha we have a rainout or two before the weekend. Right now though, they should be able to get tonights game in

  296. Naterosboro says:

    To be fair to Tim, in his original article (the snippet you posted above), he never said it didn’t seem ridiculous (as he posits in the snippet you posted above from his article today), he just said with TV money, increased attendance and all, the Pirates would be capable of spending $100mil in 2014. At least from how I’m reading it.

    I appreciate all coverage of this team. The work that PP does on our minor league system is fantastic, IMO (even if their coverage of the Major League club is sometimes….fluffy).

  297. Nate83 says:

    I thought they pushed on Loney about as much as they should have. Even if they go 3 years they don’t get him unless they go a good amount over Tampa Bays offer. Probably at least 1 mill per year maybe even more. It wasn’t as simple as just going 3 years it would have involved giving enough money to move him from a team that he was already comfortable with. Add in that he is a good player but not a great player I’m not sure I could justify close to 10 million per year.

    They need a solution at first but absolutely nobody we have talked about is the answer. They are all just band aids and not even brand name ones guaranteed to work. Loney and Lind are the only names I’ve heard that are names I’m comfortable handing the first base job over to for an extended amount of time and considering the position taken care of. We don’t even know if Lind is available. It’s easy to say just trade for your first baseman but how many good first baseman are truly available. Almost all of them are way overpaid and playing for high payroll teams that have no incentive at this point of the year to trade such a player.

  298. Jandy says:

    Biz, yeah a lotta rain on the way. Yuck.

  299. Nate83 says:

    I feel your pain. My wife knows nothing about baseball and somehow my mother-in-law knows even less then nothing.

  300. theplanisworking says:

    You are absolutely correct. It is a point of pride.
    So should be winning a Cup, and shaping the team for the best possible chance to do so.

  301. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hey, cmat lives in Arizona (I think). No skin off his pocketbook. ;-). Just yanking your chain, Cmat.

  302. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks Nate.

    Today, on this here blog, I found out JD is drunk, and Tim Williams is a “fluffer”. ;)

  303. Arriba Wilver says:

    To me the point is they didn’t try. If they had offered and he said “no” different discussion.

  304. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    No 1B available?…..Go get one like a real contending, organization would.
    That kind of talk is ludicrous.

  305. Thundercrack says:

    At least they’re cordial.

    Viva la Regime!
    Viva Chavez!

  306. 21sthebest says:

    In that case NMR, I’d like to apologize for yelling at you or giving you the finger for all of those times you’ve blown through red lights or not signaled.

    I’m assuming you’re like every other bicycler in this town. :-)

  307. theplanisworking says:

    Just like Waldo, where is the money?

    My guess is anywhere between 25-35 million dollars gained since the end of last season, yet payroll has not increased since the end of last season…………….. 73 million the end of last season, 73 million to start this season.

    Is it in the bank?
    Is it used to pay down more debt?
    Is it being saved for a rainy day?
    Is it being used to place corndogs on the menu to complement that grilled cheese of death sandwich??

    Keep in mind, the Pirates, (and all teams) get the national TV deal money every year. It isn’t a one-time shot.

    So, where is the money??

  308. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Bonsoir Nutting!

  309. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Safe and banked!

  310. Baywatch says:

    I think Dmitri Young is available!

  311. Baywatch says:

    Let’s play TWO today, then!

  312. cmat0829 says:

    You can’t have mid-level payroll with lowest 3-5 team average ticket prices, especially in a smaller capacity ballpark…..I know the product on the field needed to get better before prices go up, but now that it is, fasten your seat belts… Pirates are gonna rocket to “average” ticket prices before too long……

  313. theplanisworking says:

    Don’t ruin cmat’s perfectly good diatribe against people who dare criticize the team.
    Funny he criticize’s Milwaukee’s ownership for not giving the money to sign Loney, but fails to mention the money they spent on pitching. The Pirates spent $5 million on Volquez, and that was it!! The offseason was a failure.

    Oh well, glad to know there never was an option at 1B.
    I guess the Pirates don’t participate in the draft anymore…….. they could draft one. Oops!

  314. cmat0829 says:

    Parse as you will, but to be clear I said — and still say — there was no 1B available “THAT WOULD HAVE MADE ME PROJECT A DIFFERENT OUTCOME THIS SEASON FOR THIS TEAM”… Loney, Smoak, Davis, Moreland, Lind et al would not put the Pirates over the Cardinals in this division.

    OK, back to you, for your broken record diatribe on the cheap, miserly, Bob Nutting and his miserable mismanagement of our Pirates…..

    I am not forgiving the front office for not spending THE MOST CERTAINLY READILY AVAILABLE $12M IN PAYROLL THEY COULD SPEND RIGHT NOW, but you will hear what you want.

  315. theplanisworking says:

    Why not three?

  316. Good idea, Ernie Banks.

  317. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know, unless they screw the pooch this year.

  318. cmat0829 says:

    HUH? I guess my ‘diatribe against anyone who dare criticize this TEAM’ is in the first paragraph, where I basically agreed with DK’s article and his dismissal of the stereotype of the miserly Bob Nutting as Ebernezer Scrooge image so many have…. I then went on to criticize the front office for not spending enough money… as well as not being more aggressive in making more money…. and my point on Milwaukee was comparing the relevant facts (which is not market size, it is local revenue productivity).

    But again you will read what you want to read, and glad to have the blog debate, it can be fun. It’s a broken record, but it can be fun.

  319. Bizrow says:

    Nice avi, Lucky ;-)

  320. Tim says:

    Why is it a great column?

  321. cmat0829 says:

    Actually, in AZ, the DBacks have the lowest ‘fan cost index’ and have for 6 years running I think… it is because this market really isn’t a baseball market.. no fan loyalty, no team history, etc. Pittsburgh is much better baseball market than Phoenix. But here is a good link to the complete listing of ticket prices and total fan costs, and you will see the Pirates are in bottom, well below the league average. Even HOUSTON is above the league average.

  322. Nate83 says:

    They didn’t think he was worth it. I don’t agree. I don’t think he is great but I do think he would have solidified the position for 3 years and they seem to have left money on the table and more then likely will have to do something at some point this year to address the issue.

    That being said. A small market team and for that matter pretty much all teams are going to have a soft spot somewhere on their team. The Pirates will never be able to field 8 solid everyday players and 5 good starting pitchers. You are going to have a few players that just are not very good players. They exist on every team. Power hitting first baseman are the most overpriced non pitching commodity in baseball. I think the Pirates consciously decide if they are going to be soft at one position that first base is the position to do it at. Other positions around the diamond offer value in other areas such as speed, defense, OBP that the Pirates value but do not cost as much.

  323. Naterosboro says:

    Daily Musings from 1 of the Blog’s Nates……

    * I’m caught in 2 minds. On 1 hand, I agree with DK in that you’d like the owner to be a bit more involved and “demand” that things get done when there are needs to be addressed. On the other hand, he’s just watched the guys he’s put in place “achieve” what they set out to do 2008 (make the Pirates competitive again; no they have not won a championship yet). So I think it would be odd for BN to overrule the people he trusts & has put in place to make the best decisions. I’m also factoring in that I think BN’s baseball IQ isn’t the highest. I’m going to give BN the benefit of the doubt right now.

    * It’s kind of upsetting to see the Pirates payroll figure bandied about as much as it is still. I thought winning baseball would kind of, not end, but quiet these discussions.

    * That said, the amount of baseball talk has increased tenfold since the Bucs started to play better. Shows what 20 years of losing and low spending will do to a fanbase.

    * The Pirates opening day payroll is the hgihest opening day payroll in the history of the franchise. Yes, this is still in the bottom 5 of the league (27th I believe, and I know someone can correct me if I’m wrong… ;-) ). I guess this feels like a “crawl before you walk” situation.

    * I saw some discussion above of the Pirates lying to the fan base because attendance went up, yet they haven’t spent on the major league payroll. I think you need to give them a bit more time. Did anyone truly expect the Pirates to have a winning season, and then jump payroll by $20-30mil for the next opening day? Especially a team that is always looking at “internal values” and “years of control”?

    * If you want to see what a “window” mentality gets you, just look across the turnpike at the Phillies. Ruben Amaro Jr. saw a “window” with Utley, Rollins, Howard in their “primes” and tried essentially to add stud pitching and keep an aging veteran group together. They are void of impact talent in their minor league system, both pitching and position player wise. I think the Pirates are right to always keep 1 eye towards the future. Still need to keep 1 eye on the present though….

    * At least in my mind, the Pirates are looking forward to having to possibly extend Walker, Alvarez, Polonco (if the deal with Marte is an indicator), Cole, Taillon (if he succeeds), etc.

    * I think the thing that gets lost in the 1B upgrade debate is the fact they didn’t want Ishikawa to be on the roster. The plan was for Andrew Lambo to be the LH option in the 1B platoon (and basically all MLB clubs have platoons, so it’s not like the Pirates are unique there). The Pirates are right to try and get a guy who just hit 30 HRs last season (at the AA-AAA (and 1 in the majors, no?) level) into their lineup. A player of that caliber (30HR power) on the open market would certainly be out of the Pirates price range. Sometimes organizations with limited resources need to get creative.

    * I’m not sure you’ll ever see a “great” offenseive ball club under this management team. I think NH values pitching, pitching, pitching….oh yea, did I mention pitching? If the other team can’t score, you have a very good chance of winning the game.

    * 1 thought on the Penguins. They’re in a slump right now, but they’re also dealing with injuries to some big players. And to read some commentors around these blog parts, you’d think they were in line for the 1st pick in the next draft, not leading their division getting ready for a 2 seed in the Eastern Conf.

    * Champions League soccer quarterfinals (yesterday &) today. This is the 1st leg of the QF (2nd played next week). Yesterday, both games ended 1-1, with Manchester Utd. drawing with Bayern Munich, and Barcelona with Atletico Madrid. Today, Real Madrid taking on Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea FC versus Paris St. Germain. Christiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Robert Lewandoski, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marco Reus, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Andre Schurrle, etc. Should be on Fox Sports 1. Enjoy the world class players on display.

    And, on a soccer note, I’m done. Enjoy your day all.


  324. Jandy says:

    why isn’t it?

  325. Jandy says:

    The Pens are in a “slump” the last few seasons around this time and it continues thru the playoffs.

    I love this team, but the fact it, there are issues that need to be addressed, and aren’t.

  326. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t need the chart to know the Pirates were one of the cheapest, have been for years. It does provide some interesting detail, though, such as the Pirates raised theirs 6.5% and the Astros reduced theirs by 13% for 2014.

  327. Bizrow says:

    Yes, their recent play is starting to worry me big time.

  328. JohninOshkosh says:

    My kids’ school is at Miller Park for the Brewers game.

    The Crew’s starting pitcher ? Free Agent, Matt Garza.

    I wonder how many of those middle schoolers know how lucky they are to have an owner who will sign a big FA pitcher ? :)

    My guess is they will be more interested in how the opposite sex is doing.

  329. Thanks, Biz. It’s a carryover from the successful 2013 campaign. I’ve got to get John’s Wisconsin logo back on there, soon.

    I dearly hope the Badgers beat UK. I’m so sick of the people around here talking about the 4th Florida-KY game being for the National Championship. Like Florida doesn’t have to play UConn and Wisconsin is an after-thought. Sickening.

  330. JohninOshkosh says:


    It’s the Badgers on the cover of SI, though. Not sure if that is a regional or national thing.

  331. Get them involved with Wisconsin beating Kentucky, please, John. (see above reply to Biz at 1:17 PM)

  332. JRay3 says:

    Wasn’t Jameson Taillon in California on Monday for the second opinion on his elbow? Shouldn’t there be some news or an update on those findings by now?

  333. Jandy says:

    Indeed he was, haven’t seen anything on it tho.

  334. Jandy says:

    Kicking the cat and screwing the pooch, dear Lord, we’ll have PETA on our collective butts before too long

  335. Jandy says:

    No way! And I don’t lift weights ;)

  336. Naterosboro says:

    If I recall, at least last season, they were playing well going into the playoffs, and then ran into Boston in the ECF.

    Think of the teams with Mario & Jaromir, and for all that talent, they only won 2 cups. I think winning a Cup is easier said than done (as some are making it out to be (sign this player, draft better, trade this big contract, etc.)). The fact that some expect them to win, is, well, a bit of a trait I see in Philly fans (entitlement to winning, when there is none)……..

    I’m not trying to single anyone out, but I see an awful lot of comments about how bad this team is, how their drafting & development is horrible (on the forward side I’d say yes), how they’ve mismanaged the cap and recent contract extensions, yet there they are, leading the division and #2 in the Eastern Conf.

    I think sometimes we need to step back and see the forrest. Those old, rotting trees can distract from the beautiful young ones growing close by…..

  337. theplanisworking says:

    “But again you will read what you want to read.”

    ^^^^^^^ Everyone does it, including you.
    Pot, meet kettle.

    or are you finished that everyone is showing “far-away GM love”, when merely wishing a local guy well in Seattle?

  338. 21sthebest says:

    Just felt like sharing this article about my son’s recent former teammate and one of his best friends (and client).

  339. NMR says:

    Much less spandex, 21. ;)

  340. theplanisworking says:

    Per Twitter, from ESPN ……..

    Steelers sign Darius Heyward-Bey to a 1 year contract.
    I didn’t know they had enough cap room to do so.

  341. Bizrow says:

    Steelers sign Heyward-Bey

  342. NMR says:

    Just gotta let it go, cmat.

    I thought what you said was very clear.


    Bob’s Biggest Fan

  343. 21sthebest says:

    Hey I love those bicyclers in North Park with the pretty good sized beer gut. Still wearing the skin tight U.S. Postal Service tops.

  344. NMR says:

    What is the price of tea in China?

  345. 21sthebest says:

    You have my sympathy.

  346. NMR says:

    G. Ogden in da house!

  347. Dom says:


  348. Dom says:

    I don’t think Mr. Nutting is pocketing cash off of the Buccos.

    Has anyone seen any positive evidence that supports the claim that he is?

  349. NMR says:

    “On the other hand, he’s just watched the guys he’s put in place “achieve” what they set out to do 2008 (make the Pirates competitive again; no they have not won a championship yet). So I think it would be odd for BN to overrule the people he trusts & has put in place to make the best decisions.”

    Last off season would like to have a word with you.

  350. buggee says:


  351. Dom says:

    I think this offseason warrants an A considering their cap situation.

  352. Jandy says:

    Hot dayum!

  353. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Hats off to the Steeler FO!
    They’ve now added about 6 FA’s to the roster of this current team.
    Supreme effort… That’s all one can ask for.

  354. Jandy says:

    Nah…he’s just collecting interest off of it sitting in the bank ;)

  355. buggee says:

    MLB is Mayo, Lettuce and Bacon

  356. Jim S. says:

    That’s pretty cool, 21. Do you think he’ll get drafted or signed to have a shot at the pros?

  357. Jandy says:

    Good read, 21.
    I noticed this, and got a chuckle…remembering the debate yesterday on which pitch to hit…
    ““I’m looking for a good first pitch to hit,” he said, “but if it’s a curveball or a changeup for a strike, I might take it and wait for a fastball later in the count or a hanging curveball later in the count.”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

  358. Dom says:

    I think the Steelers draft will be better with the addition of all these free agents. In the later rounds, we can concentrate on obtaining the best players available rather than drafting guys to fill out our roster.

  359. Jandy says:

    Jim…did you see this?
    For all Staniscia has accomplished in baseball, it might not even be his best sport. He also starred in football and basketball at Franklin Regional and was recruited to play those sports, too. He said he considered Georgetown and Bucknell for football. Possibilities for basketball included Seton Hill, Carnegie Mellon and Case Western.

  360. Jandy says:

    Who cares when we have coffee?


  361. Jandy says:


  362. Jandy says:


  363. Jim S. says:

    Chavez was a nice touch, TC.

  364. 21sthebest says:

    He also had a the last baseball scholarship that year at Notre Dame. Then they changed coaches and he lost it. Thankfully!

    Jim, we saw Major League scouts at our games last year frequently. I would think the same is true this year. I’m not sure what the prospects are and it’s not something I want to ask his parents about. I think he has all the tools and his speed is just ridiculous.

  365. Jim S. says:

    The Giants’ announcers made what I thought was an interesting point last night on the broadcast, cmat. One of them remarked that last night’s 18,900 was disappointing, but then said that he feels ST in AZ hurts attendance at the start of the year.

    I hadn’t thought of that before, but it makes sense that people get to see bargain-priced baseball, often from teams in their original home markets, for a month or so. They probably have to convince themselves to pay MLB prices again, especially if they are someone from, say, Chicago whose main loyalty is to the Cubs or Sox. Same with people from other markets, too, I would assume.

    Does that ring ture at all, cmat?

  366. 21sthebest says:


  367. Jim S. says:

    That poor pooch. ;-)

  368. Jim S. says:

    Really? You don’t see any of this as dumpster diving?

  369. Jim S. says:

    But, the cap situation was kind of … totally … their fault.

  370. theplanisworking says:

    No, no dumpsters left.
    The Steelers are just being green, and “recycling”. ;)

  371. Dom says:

    If we were going to start guys like Heyward-Bay and Brice McCain, then yes. But, we’ve greatly improved our depth in the recent weeks. It’s better to have Heyward-Bay and Lance Moore as backups than Derek Moye.

  372. theplanisworking says:

    You are ruining a great narrative ! ;)

  373. Jim S. says:

    I’ll give you that. I wish I were as optimistic about the roster as you are, Dom.

  374. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I did. The kid has a lot going for him.

  375. Jim S. says:

    Good for him! I actually like when kids play multiple sports, if they fit them all in. I think there are skills you learn in one sport that often help you in another.

  376. JRay3 says:

    Same lineup for Bucs tonight except with Morton on the hill.

  377. 21sthebest says:

    We visited 4 colleges and every baseball coach said that they liked that my kid also played high school basketball as opposed to the year round baseball player.

    The college coach also made them play basketball about once a week from November through January. I wasn’t thrilled about that, but….

  378. Dom says:

    I wouldn’t say that I’m satisfied with the roster. I’d say we’re due for another 8-8 season. Maybe 7-9. The new additions will probably warrant one more win at the most.

    I’m very satisfied that we not have competent backups. In the case of RB, the addition of LeGarrette Blount, will give us a capable back to share some of the carries with Bell, who had too many rushing attempts. The Blount addition should lower the opportunity of an injury for Bell.

  379. Nate83 says:

    Good thing they aren’t using Liriano again. I heard rumors his arm is hanging by a thread.

  380. Jandy says:


  381. Jandy says:

    The Horror!!!

  382. Jandy says:


  383. NMR says:

    Don’t we usually get injury news from you, JRay?

  384. Dom says:

    That’s true.

    I just didn’t expect them to fill out their roster as well as they did.

  385. Dom says:

    How do you remember that?

  386. Bizrow says:

    JohninOshkosh – so far a double no-no thru 5 at Miller Park

  387. NMR says:

    Gonna fall off by July!

  388. Jim S. says:

    But, I think this one’s 5’9″ again.

  389. Jandy says:

    Mizery, does your Mustang look like this one? It’s in an estate auction set for April 25th….8500 original miles. About an hour away from me. Wish I had a few hundred thousand laying around…

  390. Jim S. says:

    Much like the Packers, the Brewers are the state’s only team. I think they have a bigger market than they are being given credit for here.

  391. Jim S. says:

    Saw a pic on twitter of baseball Chris Stewart taking BP at Pirates City. He is coming back quickly.

  392. Jim S. says:

    Playing basketball is great for baseball players.

  393. Jim S. says:

    It’s ok. Calm down, everybody. Since I was concerned yesterday about this, I checked with NH. They found a gently used left arm on the internet. It’s being kept cold in the existing cooler in Coonnelly’s office.

  394. Jandy says:


  395. 21sthebest says:

    I thought that’s how he built that summer home in the Dominican a few years ago?

  396. Jim S. says:

    Blount was a good signing. As long as he shows up on time and doesn’t cold cock anyone. :-)

  397. Jandy says:

    I thought this was brought up before and it was said that their “surrounding area” brought in a LOT of people. The drawing power was for surrounding cities as there was no other sports team to watch?

  398. theplanisworking says:

    His beer cooler, Jim?

  399. Jandy says:


  400. Bizrow says:

    Now hitless thru 6

  401. Jandy says:

    you mean he more than one summer home????

  402. Jim S. says:

    I think Chris will have Tony Montana’s stuff from his PNC locker all boxed up and ready to be shipped back to Indy by this time next week.

  403. Nastynate82 says:

    They did. Per Tim at pirates prospects, Taillon and the front office have said they’ll share information later. Make of that what you will

  404. 21sthebest says:

    Chris Johnson just homered off of Garza with 2 outs in the 7th. Harang still has his through 6.

  405. Jim S. says:

    Ding, ding, ding!

  406. theplanisworking says:


  407. Jim S. says:

    Oh, I thought he made some of the Dominican players build that as part of their contracts.

  408. Jandy says:

    more BS :D

  409. Jandy says:

    Ain’t touchin’ that ;X

  410. NMR says:

    What’s this internet you speak of?

    Some form of electronic dumpster?

  411. Dom says:


  412. Jandy says:

    Dom, who are you asking that question of?

  413. NMR says:

    Haha, I’m very familiar with that particular brand of cycling enthusiast.

    Most of mine is done in slacks and a tie, unfortunately.

  414. JD says:

    Ha! I went to college for 4 yrs in Cleveland. Your glass is half empty outlook on sports would fit right it over there. At least they have a reason to be negative.

    Our teams might not win a championship every year, but it’s a hell of a lot better than compared to most towns. Your b*itching & moaning gets old day after day.

    Have a good day, pal.

  415. Mizery says:

    Thanks Jandy. Again, I can’t take any credit for it. It was my pops and I inherited it when he died. Since you sent me pictures of your beautiful ride I’ll try to send one over when I get off work. The sad thing is I’m not much of a gear head so people try to have car conversations with me and I have nothing to add to the discussion. It’s actually pretty pathetic, but I do appreciate the car.

  416. Dom says:


    What was he referencing in his quote above? Was it DK? If so, when?

  417. Nastynate82 says:

    I’m not one to get panicky, but it doesn’t sound good after this opinion when they were so open about his elbow a few weeks ago. We’ll see I guess.

  418. Harang? My gosh, the bats are still in Florida and Arizona.

  419. Jandy says:

    Any time you want to lose her Miz, I’d be happy to take her ;)

  420. Jandy says:

    No bullies allowed, it’s not the Steeler Way

  421. bpn8pitt says:

    No, he is right about the tickets. They are a lot steeper, just a face value.

    Great place to see a game. They have shuttles that run you from the local bars and back.

    They won. And then they raised the payroll during the window to compete. That was my whole point from earlier…But hey, some people havent had there fill of Lyle Overbay.

    Thats the thing that drives me crazy Jim. This isnt like they had a free agent leave and had a void for two seasons. Its been a problem for a long time. Some years worse than others.

    Then you see the Cardinals find Matt Adams late in the draft…He was right under the regime’s nose!

    The hell with it, cant wait for 2015 discussions with Michael Cuddyer and Andrew Lambo!!!

  422. bpn8pitt says:

    …No, they wont go that third year on Cuddyer. Close though!!!

  423. theplanisworking says:

    Dom, Jim’s quote was from Jim himself.
    The Steeler cap problems were created by the Steelers themselves, if I am interpreting your question correctly.

  424. NMR says:

    Hahaha, beautiful, Lucky.

  425. JD says:

    Ha, good one pal.

  426. Dom says:

    I meant your statement of, ” You are ruining a great narrative.” What is that in reference to?

  427. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, ok.

    I was referring to your statement that the Steelers deserve an A considering their cap situation ……… which was created by the Steelers themselves. Yes, they did good, but remember that the Steelers backed themselves into a corner all by themselves.

    Hope this helps.

  428. NMR says:

    Let me ask the group an honest question: what does Rob B. bring to the Trib? Why is he even needed?

    His blog entry today is absolutely laughable, and even better, instead of challenging my opinion he deletes my comments and blocks me from the Blog.

    Paper thin skin.

    I’d guess I’d be a bit defensive as well if a new beat writer came in and blew my work out of the water.

  429. Dom says:

    I meant was that statement a reference to one previously made on this blog?

  430. Dom says:

    But was the exact statement you made in reference to a quote previously made on this blog?

  431. theplanisworking says:

    No, sorry, Dom.

  432. NMR says:

    First word on Taillon’s second opinion doesn’t sound promising. Oh, and kudos to Tim Williams.

  433. Dom says:

    Thank you.

  434. JohninOshkosh says:

    My buddies were Chevy kids in HS. Always referred to them as “Rusttangs.” Still do (even though I no longer hold any strong opinions about Chevy/Ford). Lol.

  435. You expect him to work 24/7 or something?

  436. Thundercrack says:

    Interesting NMR. But I don’t agree with your opinion that new beat writer has blown RB’s work out of the water.

  437. Thundercrack says:

    +1 to you Lucky

  438. Naterosboro says:

    That was coming off Collapse II & then SEALgate.

    He recognized there was an issue. But, did he clean house (like a lot of people, including myself to an extent wanted)? Or did he tell them to get the house in order? I think he showed faith in TBMTIB by keeping NH & Co. on board.

    In that instance, he essentially did step to the plate, and possibly made them up their game.

    They then went and signed Russell Martin. Also under the radar moves that heavily paid off like Jeanmar Gomez and Vin Mazzaro.

    A club with limited resources is always going to have to be creative.

    The reality is, until there is a different owner, the Pirates will be a club with limited resources that has to at times be creative in their financial and roster decisions.

    Whether this year’s creative turns out as good as last, we shall see.

  439. NMR says:

    Travis just seems to be the only one with any sort of fresh or interesting material. And it’s not even close.

    I guess every paper needs a guy to write game recaps. Thrilling stuff.

  440. Thundercrack says:

    I am not in your “group” NMR. :-)

    I think Travis makes some interesting points/observations…sometimes.

  441. Brandie says:

    The Hurry Cane!

  442. NMR says:

    Unfortunately, I think I’ve worked myself into a group of me, myself, and I.

    Even Jim can’t stand me anymore. ;)

  443. theplanisworking says:

    You went to college?

    And you will never be my pal, troublemaker.

  444. scott heinauer says:

    Attached maybe – but in charge only since ’08 or so. Since then he has change the focus on direction of this team for the better.

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