TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

‘Final Word’ on Pirates, Pens

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

subway-tfw

The joint venture between WPXI-TV and Trib Total Media continues Sunday night at 11:35 p.m. — right after the Channel 11 News — with a live edition of The Subway Final Word.

>> Who’s on the panel: I’ll join Alan Robinson and Chris Adamski of the Trib. Our host will be WPXI-TV’s Alby Oxenreiter.

>> What we’re talking about: The Pirates and Cardinals have a big opening weekend right off the bat. The Penguins are trying to finish strong. The Steelers keep adding.

>> How to participate: Each week, we also take comments that viewers submit The Final Word’s Facebook page and Twitter account

>> Where to watch: In addition to the broadcast on WPXI-TV (811 on Comcast), we have WPXI’s live online stream for Pittsburgh’s many out-of-town sports fans, as well as video podcasts available on both outlets’ Web sites.

Here’s last week’s full episode.

Really hope to have you along, not only watching but also joining in!

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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

Comments

  1. DJ says:

    Yes, first!

    Alright, all I need now is something pithy.

    Um . . . well . . . that’s all I got for now.

  2. theplanisworking says:

    You should take care of that lithping problem you have.

  3. theplanisworking says:

    Every week, I always ask this question ………….

    If it is the FINAL WORD, why does it come back every week? ;)

  4. DJ says:

    I’ll try this.

    Rockies = copycats.

  5. DJ says:

    Saw Tanaka against three batters.

    Kid is very, very smooth.

  6. Ghost says:

    Haven’t even seen his best yet. Wasn’t hitting his spots in the beginning and got roughed up just a little. Yet he ended up lasting seven innings on less than 100 pitches. Would hate to have to face this guy when he brings his “A game.”

  7. Ghost says:

    While you were pondering The Final Word… I was in your pond!!!
    (It’s baseball season and glorious spring time after all! Nudity is in the air!)

  8. Brandie says:

    You are a nauhhty little piece Ghostavo!

  9. Brandie says:

    Good to see the home team lay a curb stompin’ on the Cards!!! Blog was a light place to be last night.

  10. Wild Bill says:

    Mornin’ Brandie. That sure was fun to watch, and it seemed to me that a big key to it was the Bucs not trying to pull everything when at the plate. If you show you’re willing to hit an outside pitch to the opposite field, then ironically, you’ll get more inside pitches you really can pull. It’s a win – win deal.

  11. Brandie says:

    It sure is and I have read that they worked with Pedro on how to take his power and use the whole field. If he can master that he will be dangerous. Just looking at his averages from last year it really makes me wonder how he won the Silver Slugger Award.

  12. Brandie says:

    It was also very good to see Gabykawa being productive…small sample size I know, but the team must lay the wins foundation to pick up a mid season gem to sure up the road to the post season, a la Marlon Byrd.

    Good Saturday to you Untamed William.

  13. The Pirates got their measure of revenge for being beaten in last year’s playoffs when they tore up the Cardinals last night, and I would hope that the Bucs’ offense will continue to extract their pound of flesh this weekend, weather permitting.

  14. Baywatch says:

    Yes, a pound of flesh from the Cardinals would be nice, actually let’s up it to FIVE pounds, if you please … because you is in OUR yard … Birds! Morning, All! Let’s just put a Bay SEARAGE on ‘em tonight!

  15. Brandie says:

    Matt Adams is from the town where I live, my husband’s hometown. It makes me smile when the Buccos handle their business and take it to ‘em.

    Good Morning Bay Searage.

  16. Brandon says:

    Great point WB – good to see Alverez make some improvements….today will be a bigger challenge with Kelly pitching. Should be an interesting match up – I believe the team that forces the staring pitcher to extend his pitch count will be the likely winner….patience vs. command.

  17. Thundercrack says:

    What a treat it is to see Garrett Cole pitch. What a competitor too.

    After watching Maholm, Snell, Duke, Bedard, Corriea….I’m not sure how else to describe it.

  18. Baywatch says:

    Uh .. an IMPROVEMENT, yea, in the competitive spirit department. Now, Lord, could we have some more post-game players with REAL personalities like Tony Sanchez? :-)

  19. Baywatch says:

    Good Morning, Branj!

  20. 21sthebest says:

    +

  21. Brandie says:

    It pays to be chopsticks and not just swing to swing. I am curious to see if the Pirates improve in situational hitting vs last year’s playoff team as the season progresses.

  22. Brandie says:

    Don’t forget Jimmy Anderson…Yech!

  23. Brandon says:

    Nice article on Bortuzzo – my two observations to add would be:
    1) Depres would be a better pairing with him than Scuds for multiple reasons, including he is consistently better.
    2) Given Disco’s inability to adjust to the opposing teams’ strategies in playoff series, he will likely select the
    wrong pairings for the needed match-ups. The teams which have bigger, aggressive forwards who are pressing
    with the forecheck and preventing the reverse will require more skill than Bortuzzo/Scuds are able to provide.

    Bonus observation – giving Orpik more minutes is not a winning formula – Martin may overcome much of this issue, but he has been very slow and only consistent in his ability to turn the puck over in his own zone….

  24. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nothing not to like. I even liked his show of embarrassment for starting to walk off the mound on that last pitch to Carpenter that the Ump called a ball. And then at the end of the inning saying something to the ump, which was obviously a “my bad.”
    Earn him dividends down the road.

  25. Brandon says:

    ++++ – Cole will be fun to watch this year – he seems to learn with every start and didn’t have consistent off speed stuff last night, but was still dominant. One pitch up was his only real error the whole game – awesome!

  26. Brandie says:

    Another reference to My Favorites Martin…this time Paul. He is a fresh set of legs and just goes about getting things done quietly. Also of note…

    Pens have recalled Forward Andrew Ebbett.

  27. Baywatch says:

    I LIKED Jimmy … Hee-Hee! I remember seeing him win a game the first summer (1996) I went to Pirates games, at Three Rivers. We were sitting down in the left-field corner, and he banged an opposite-field double down there!

  28. NMR says:

    Very entertaining reading last night’s blog. Really do take for granted how many knowledgeable and funny people take part in this little deal we have going.

    Thought Milo nailed a couple of points…

    -The Pirate TV guys flat-out embarrassed themselves and their team with that incredibly unprofessional inning where they decided to spend the entirety bashing Johnny Peralta. No bigger fan-boys in Pittsburgh than the guys in that booth.

    -Pedro Alvarez is the best baserunner on this team. Josh Harrison could turn himself into a productive utility man if he had half of Pedro’s skill and instinct on the bases.

    Also a big shout out goes to bpn for asking if anyone was going to the PITT-Virginia game. The best pitching performance of the night did not belong to Gerrit Cole, but Virginia Sophomore Nathan Kirby who fanned 18 Panthers en route to a no-hitter. The biggest jump in competition PITT faces in moving to the ACC isn’t on the diamond, not the court or gridiron. ACC is big time D1 college baseball. Names you’ll hear on the first day of the draft.

    Would be great to see the Pirates popularity transfer to the Panthers. GO PITT!

  29. Brandie says:

    My mom always says to act like you’ve been there. Cole seems to be a great mix of respectful young man and fiery competitor, just what our Buccos need moving forward.

  30. NMR says:

    And incredibly, he didn’t have nearly his best stuff last night.

    Fastball command was erratic, curve/slider came and went, changeup never really developed…and yet still held a very good team in check.

    This kid is so, soooo mch better than I expected.

  31. Brandon says:

    Just reread my post and wanted to be clear that Orpik creates the d-zone turnover problem, not Paul Martin! My high school teacher would not be pleased with my writing skills….

  32. Baywatch says:

    OUR Favorite Martin’s walkup music should be the theme to “My Favorite Martian!” I wonder, really, though, just how many would recognize it! It’s only 29 seconds! I think it would be perfect! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7piG2V17cH8

  33. Brandon says:

    +++

  34. Brandie says:

    I think the problem with Harrison is that he is young when it comes yo a baseball / competitive mentality. He has made it to the show and that’s good, but I think he tries to do too much when he plays tor fear of losing his spot. My advice for him is to just play, learn from the mistakes, and move on. He certainly has the tools to be here. It is noe time to put them to efficient use.

  35. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  36. I see you’re working today.

    Say this with me: “Days off are good”.

    ;)

  37. Brandie says:

    Choosy not chopsticks…smart a$$ tablet.

  38. Thundercrack says:

    And he can throw really hard

    He looks like he has slimmed down a bit from last year.

  39. Brandie says:

    Then he ran, which shook the whole stadium causing the foundation to crack…necessitating the need for PNC Park! :)

  40. Thundercrack says:

    I really wish I would have heard that. I am a Greg Brown fans.

    And I thing it was Milo who said that people seem to forget Marlon Byrd

  41. Brandie says:

    Who was that directed toward Revvie?

  42. Thundercrack says:

    I “think”

  43. Sarah says:

    Looking more likely that the Pens get DET in round 1.
    A rematch with Babcock!

  44. bradthedad says:

    Cole gave Martin a workout last night. And AJ wasn’t the easiest guy to catch either. Makes you appreciate the value of a solid defensive catcher which, unfortunately, doesn’t lend itself to number crunching.

  45. National Mart of over-worked Records.

    If you see him post, you know he’s at work, cause “he don’t post from da home”.

  46. NMR says:

    The end is near, my friend!

    This time next week I’ll be celebrating the first day of trout season with family and Grannoms will be hatching on the Little J by the end of the month. Warm weather, crisp baseball, and hungry trout. He truly does bless us, doesn’t He?

  47. NMR says:

    Good eye, TC. He says he lost 10 lbs or so, but doesn’t know how. I assume that means he just didn’t try to do it, not that he has a tapeworm or something.

  48. NMR says:

    Ohhh buddy, you don’t want to see the black-rimmed glasses wearing nerds that cruch those kinda numbers!

  49. NMR says:

    Yep, Milo nailed that one.

    I thoroughly enjoy Greg Brown as well, fwiw. I basically accept him for what he is and believe he’s an excellent entertainer. Every once in a while he’ll bite off more than he can chew.

  50. NMR says:

    Just to give you and idea, there is a school of thought going around some baseball circles that actually believes there is greater than a four win spread between the best and worst catchers…simply due to their ability to frame the baseball in the zone.

    Not even considering offense, blocking, pitch calling, controlling the running game. Just framing.

  51. bradthedad says:

    Ha! As usual, you’re right. Just sort of setting the stage for when Stewart comes back and the whining starts because he has trouble hitting his weight.

  52. bradthedad says:

    Count me as a believer. A shame for so many it’s all about CS and BA.

  53. Wild Bill says:

    Should get the team’s blood flowing.

  54. NMR says:

    I certainly believe in the idea, but I can’t quite jump in head first to the actual number. Four wins is a lot, and my brain can’t quite accept that. Yet.

    However, that is obviously a lot less of a scientific method than the dudes that are doing this research are using, so who am I to say?

  55. NMR says:

    How could you be so right with your third sentence, yet so wrong with your second? ;)

  56. bpn8pitt says:

    I think I’m going Sunday.

    Just happy Coach Jordano is getting more of the athletic dept pie.

    As NMR said, you guys should make your way over to the complex. Be a lot more future MLBers passing through.

  57. theplanisworking says:

    A note from above, regarding Cole and his stuff …….

    I, as well as many others, blast the Pirates development staff for many reasons, from the SEAL training, to the seeming inability to teach the hitters how to hit (sometimes).

    But, being it Stark, Smith, or someone else, Cole’s training and development has been marvelous. The command, and stuff he has achieved since his time at UCLA has been really something to watch. Being that there was debate on draft day as to who to take, Cole, or Bauer ………… just makes the training he has received all the more impressive.

  58. Bauer started for Columbus last night against Indy.

    BTW, Lambo watch did not officially start. He didn’t play.

  59. NMR says:

    Probably been a decade since I met Coach Jordano while taking a few of my old Legion kids to showcases, but he’s one of the good guys in this game for sure.

    Kudos to you, bpn. Does PITT still play on that turn field over the hill with the wierd dimensions?

  60. Karen22 says:

    It was a BLAST! Literally! :)

  61. Karen22 says:

    Martin as whipping boy his first year with the Pens is sure a distant memory.

  62. Karen22 says:

    Pirates aren’t on TV tonight. :(

  63. Arriba Wilver says:

    :-)

  64. You can catch the highlights on Gameday. As good as it gets for some of us ex-pats.

    :(

  65. Arriba Wilver says:

    I have to guess you never saw him pitch in person, Bay. It was excruciating! Even on the rare times he was good.
    He was the slowest working pitcher I ever saw. Made Bedard seem like Bob Gibson. (OK, a bit of an exaggeration).
    :-)

  66. JohninOshkosh says:

    Whatever you feel about Keith Olbermann, his tribute to the retiring David Letterman was terrific:

    http://deadspin.com/keith-olbermanns-tribute-to-david-letterman-is-great-1558210226

    The story of Letterman driving up to Bristol to watch Formula 1 Racing on ESPN’s studio in the days before it was televised on American television is great.

  67. NMR says:

    Very fair of you, plan. Credit where it is due.

    And, IMO, and excellent game to really highlight the Pirates influence on his development.

    Gerrit Cole, he of the 100 mph fastball, generated just 7 swings and misses last night. Just three K’s over 7 innings. Yet it was the 93-95 two-seemer he leaned on for 15 ground balls that kept him one mistake away from blanking the Cards.

    Gerrit Cole is supremely gifted, but last night was all about development.

  68. Barb says:

    And his agent is Scott Boros. Oh joy oh rapture. Blech. Enjoy him while we got him!

  69. bpn8pitt says:

    Trees? The band uses it now.

  70. NMR says:

    Yep, thats it. Fitting replacement, in that case. ;)

  71. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, John.

    One of the funniest things is the comment at the top under the article about Olberman:

    “This is excellent work by Olbermann – completely selfless.

    I’d tell him so, but he blocked me from following him on Twitter.”

    That’s all I’m going to say. ;-)

  72. Barb says:

    If you get MLB Network the game is on tonight at 7:00.

  73. JohninOshkosh says:

    20 Years ago:

    Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994)

    The great Nirvana covering the Meat Puppets “Lake of Fire” with the Puppets’ Curt Kirkwood (the guitarist I dreamt of becoming) on MTV’s seminal “Unplugged.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elkP-Zcp5n0 Lake of Fire

  74. JohninOshkosh says:

    That stuff about Pat Sajak was hilarious. I love behind the scenes tattling like that!

  75. NMR says:

    I try to keep the super nerdy stuff on the Bucco Blog, but little Robbie Biertempfel has blocked me without explanation, so here goes…

    Bryan Morris. Whew. Travis Sawchik has been pumping this guy up all throughout spring training and so far he’s been as advertised, huh?

    Average fourseam velo in 2013: 94.66 mph
    Average fourseam velo in 2014: 96.30 mph

    Digging even deeper, Morris’ average velo one year ago, to the month, was 93.89 mph. He got stronger as the season went on to the point that his average September velo was 95.11 mph.

    Maybe what we are seeing isn’t the result of good off season training, but a progression in arm strength over a longer period. However, if you allow yourself to dream a bit, Morris’ average velo in his 2012 callup was 94.70 mph, faster than where he started in 2013. Pitchers often peak in velo not at the beginning of the season, but later in the summer.

    If Morris is already sitting over 96 mph in April, we could be seeing truly elite velocity by the end of the Summer.

  76. Brandie says:

    Heavy man, heavy!

  77. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oops, didn’t read your post completely, Bay. You did see him.

    The rest of my post stands. ;-)

  78. theplanisworking says:

    So did one Stephen Strasburg, and we all saw how that arm worked out.

    But this brings up an interesting point ……. from Little League, the conventional wisdom is that Curveballs, or off-speed stuff, puts much more strain on an arm than fastballs. Yet look at the pitchers that have had TJ surgery lately …….. most of them are the power pitchers. The pitchers that have an increase in velocity.

    Just an interesting sidebar, I thought.

  79. JohninOshkosh says:

    I can’t believe he blocked you. I always thought Rob didn’t care for the Pirates baseball beat. Always get the impression that he would prefer the Penn State beat. He put #WeAre on his Twitter profile.

  80. Brandie says:

    Let’s hope the velocity does not make his arm fall off, No Mike Remlinger (NMR) .

  81. NMR says:

    Furthermore, Pitchf/x is reading what they classify his fourseam fastball as gaining about 5″ of horizontal movement over last year, putting it greater than 2013′s twoseam movement. Either Morris has made huge gains in fourseam movement, or what are being classified as 4seamers are really 2seamers. A 96+ mph sinker is incredible.

    On top of that, Pitchf/x says he’s picked up over 2″ of drop on his slider.

  82. NMR says:

    And I said nothing on his Blog that I didn’t say on Dejan’s. Never even got a reaction from DK or you guys.

    I absolutely was critical of Rob’s coverage, because I believe it is absolutely warranted. He’s a baseball dinosaur, refusing to accept anything new. Wouldn’t surprise me if lowering the mounds still rubs him the wrong way.

    And yeah, I stopped following him when it became clear he’d be tweeting more about his alma mater and favorite soccer team than, you know, about his actual job.

    The guy posts lineups and writes game recaps. He has no sources and insight into the team he covers that don’t get blown away by national writers. He posts lineup and writes game recaps, yet doesn’t seem to realize any of us can get that in a dozen different places. The game is passing him by, as we speak.

  83. NMR says:

    But most of those guys also throw breaking balls, correct?

    Just not sure it is that simple.

  84. Thundercrack says:

    I went to PSU and I think they should think about raising the mound a bit. But please don’t lump me in to that “group”. :-)

  85. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, technically all pitchers throw beaking balls, but in Strasburg’s case, not so much.
    And, look at Taillon, another power pitcher now with an unknown arm problem.

    Just a food for thought kind of thing.

  86. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe it only takes a few breaking balls a game (and in practice) over the years.

    Plus I think it is more than just breaking balls that cause these injuries. Mechanics is another in the list of potential causes.

  87. NMR says:

    plan, I agree that intuitively the harder one throws puts more strain on the arm. But you know I’m a numbers guy, and I don’t think I’ve seen any studies directly relating the two. Certainly doesn’t mean you’re incorrect, though.

  88. NMR says:

    I dind’t know you’re a Penn Stater, TC. As an alum myself, I admit I thought it was neat at first, and you know how us PSU folk stick together. But I guess I have my limits.

    Have we come up with a group name yet, btw? ;)

  89. Sarah says:

    Lol!
    Y’know there are times when I think it’s not such a bad match up for the Pens….DET are not really in that big physical mode like BOS or PHL….
    But then I think Bylsma’s just gonna get pantsed by Babcock. Sigh.

  90. Brandie says:

    I am also an alum.

  91. Hope your boy has a big game tonight, John. Then, I’ll have a peaceful Monday and beyond at work.

    Da Da Da DaDaDa

    On Wisconsin!

    That song was tough for me to post, as it was all football and there were a couple shots of them shredding the Buckeyes, but I’m pulling hard for them to win it all.

  92. Excellent name for NMR, B-stro.

  93. Milo Hamilton says:

    He’s clearly juicing. :)

  94. Thundercrack says:

    I have not come up with a group name. But I have thinking about using this new acronym when the time is appropriate:

    GBA

    ‘Groups be attacking’

  95. bpn8pitt says:

    I rocked that whole album on Spotify at work the other day.

  96. Thundercrack says:

    Last night at the game, when Justin Wilson was in my wife asked me “is this the kid they are grooming to be the future closer?”.

    After I told her that that question makes me want to renew our wedding vows, I said that I thought that he might be too wild. Morris might be next in line. Maybe even Tony Watson but closers aren’t usually lefties. ( I said USUALLY!)

    The guys a few rows behind were talking about the vertical & horizontal breaks that are shown with the MPH. They couldn’t understand how a vertical break could be + (when Wilson was on). Rising fastballs.

    Since the end of last season it seems that Wilson has had some issues with his control.

  97. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thanks for the kind words earlier. Much appreciated.

  98. DJ says:

    Plan on Cole: “just makes the training he has received all the more impressive.”

    So you’re finally conceding the SEAL training worked. Good for you for coming around.

  99. Mike Gonzalez.

    But you’re right, AW. Not often lefties.

    And so is Mrs. AW. We have a great group to choose from when Grilli and Melancon aren’t available or for future considerations.

    The Duke of Welker, Schlereth, Zack Thornton and Adam Wilk are at Indy, too, if needed. Great problem to have.

  100. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    Tanaka did great for the Yankees in his first start. That is pretty good for a wrestler-turned-ballplayer.
    He used to be a big fat wrestler for the wwwf back in the 70′s. He was known as Professor Toru Tanaka back then. He was even tag-team champs with Mr. Fuji, and he would often throw salt in his opponents eyes. I wonder if he’s still doing that now as pitcher?

  101. Pig Legs! Good to see one of the leg men. Piano Legs Hickman hasn’t been around for a while.

  102. Thundercrack says:

    I just googled left-handed closers and some of the best on the list: Tug McGraw, Jessie Orosco, John Franco, Sparky Lyle, and Billy Wagner.

    And I believe that AW every made any vows with my wife.
    :-)

  103. Good list. Forgot all of em.

    OK, “your Mrs.” then instead of Mrs. AW.

    ;)

  104. theplanisworking says:

    Um, no.
    Polanco was injured during that crap.

    Nice try, however ………..

  105. Leo Walter says:

    Mechanics in delivery and pure strength of individuals have as much to do with injuries, or lack of injuries, as any thing in the pitch selection used.

  106. NMR says:

    I like you more and more every day. ;)

  107. Leo Walter says:

    ” ..the game is passing him ( Biertemple ) by ” NMR ? You are close. It has already passed him by. He thinks it is still 1992.

  108. DJ says:

    Hey tongue, say hello to cheek.

  109. Leo Walter says:

    Thunder,Wilson has ALWAYS had control and command issues. When he was in AA as a starter,I watched him quite often,and he struggled mightily. If you recall,when he continued that path in Indy,they put him in the bullpen for just that reason.

  110. Leo Walter says:

    Good catch Pig Legs !

  111. NMR says:

    If he grows his hair and and then suffers a forearm/elbow injury the next season you may be on to something!

  112. NMR says:

    Boy is she a keeper! My little lady impresses me nightly with how much she picks up about the game.

  113. Karen22 says:

    Nope, don’t get it…I’ll be watching the Pens, I guess.

  114. Milo Hamilton says:

    Mr. Fuji ran out during the 3rd inning last night & threw salt in the batter’s eyes. And the best part about it ? It’s not reviewable.

  115. Andrew says:

    Interesting stuff on Morris, Travis has been a big proponent, I have been skeptical. Morris has had velocity but posted pedestrian K numbers and walked quite a few to go with it. If he maintains this velocity gain and get the fastball,slider working he definitely could get more swings and misses and be a late innings guy.

    Usually velocity peaks early like 22-23 then declines ubiquitously, but if pitcher changed his program and refined his mechanics it is possible to see gains, especially for a reliever only asked to throw a limited number of pitches. I agree with Walter on Tommy John surgery, I think there is data to suggest high slider/curve usage increase injury risk, but only slightly above the baseline.

    There was a study a year or so ago that found on average hard throwers have 400 innings after first Tommy John to next major surgery.

  116. I thought that was The Sheik. My bad.

  117. Karen22 says:

    EGAD—Jussi’s out tonight with an injury…

    How insane is the Pens’ luck?? Supposedly nothing serious, but YOY! :(

  118. DJ says:

    Don’t know why more sporting venues don’t vary it up like this:

    http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/42930092/v31833941/cwskc-saxophonist-phillips-performs-national-anthem

    I say we make Jeff Jimerson a healthy scratch. Shake things up for the playoffs.

  119. NMR says:

    Couple more points and I’m out of here…

    -I love to eat my words when it comes to Pirates success, and maybe, jusssst maybe I’m on my way to it after one play last night. I’ve been rather vocal in my dislike of using a roster spot on Travis Ishikawa, not strictly because he stinks or because I think Gaby can do it all, but because I didn’t see anything Ish does appreciable BETTER than Gaby.

    One swing last night proved that he is capable of something Gaby will rarely be able to do, and that is turn on an inside fastball and put it in the seats with marginal power. In PNC Parks 14 year history, the Pirates have never found themselves a lefty with warning track power that could pull the ball and take advantage of the Clemente Wall with any sort of consistancy. Ishikawa did just that against Shelby Miller.

    http://www.hittrackeronline.com/detail.php?id=2014_107&type=hitter

    Ishikawa’s roughly 350′ flyball to right field would be a homerun from foul line to about 92′ into RF along the outfield wall. A fly ball of the same distance to left field would be a homerun from foul line to only roughly 31′ along the wall. Much smaller margin of error, and illustrates how tough PNC is on righties.

    -Starting to wonder how far the Red Sox are gonna push this Moneyball approach before it hurts them, or at least before they lose the competitive advantage they have due to their financial resources.

    This is a excert from Owner John Henry regarding extension negotiations with John Lester( via MLBTR):

    “But Henry cautioned that the team would not spend at all costs to keep the 30-year-old lefty. “It’s not surprising that given where the market is right now, it’s just something we haven’t been chasing the market this way,” said Henry. “Some teams have. Jon wants to come back. … We’re going to do as we did with [Dustin Pedroia] last year — everything we can to bring him back. He’s an important part of this club, but we’re not going to do what some clubs might do.”"

    Pedroia signed a friendlier extension than even Andrew McCutchen. He was a well-known star at the time, unlike Cutch who had yet to break out to his fullest potential, yet signed a deal that is half of what Robinson Cano will be making.

    If the Red Sox think that is going to happen again and again, they’re fooling themselves. If they’re willing to spend $26m on a pitcher that isn’t even good enough to finish the second of his two year contract (Ryan Dempster) and $8m on the bag of bones that is left of AJ Pierzinski, then pushing away a player who can actually play like Lester is ridiculous.

    And we know all about ridiculous.

  120. Wild Bill says:

    And most of yinz know I am, so We Are…

  121. Wild Bill says:

    I was worried that it was Beau again.

  122. NMR says:

    Haha, well done.

    Always makes me roll my eyes to hear his bit on the radio about not “getting bogged down by the numbers”.

    Yeah, I get that he’s “that guy” for the Trib, but taking pride in one’s own ignorance is not something to boast about.

    People out there aren’t stupid. They can digest new things when they’re written in the correct manner. I find his whole role condescending to his audience.

  123. Milo Hamilton says:

    I wonder if it’s really not a cookie cutter platoon. Maybe it’s more of a ballpark related platoon. Maybe you’ll see more of Gaby & Tabata against righthanded pitching on the road where there’s no short porch in rightfield.

  124. Baywatch says:

    NMR! Your couple points and then I’m outta here reminded me of the preacher that goes, “In conclusion,” then keeps us 20 more minutes! Then again, if you’d had the coffee I did this morning, you’d have been like me and talked your wife’s fool head off this morn! Oh, yeah, that should be MY fool head off! :-)

  125. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Milo!

  126. DJ says:

    Dude holds an ending note for 25 seconds. Impressive pipes.

  127. Hey, Bay Searage, watch dissin’ those preachers that way. I always say “Let’s look at this one more scripture and we’ll close”. Can’t guarantee 20 minutes, though.

  128. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Bay !

  129. Brandie says:

    You know Bylsma deliberately tripped him or something. Bet Despres will be benched for this though.

  130. Karen22 says:

    He’ll be benched if the Pirates lose…

  131. Brandie says:

    Which may cost the Steelers a draft pick.

  132. theplanisworking says:

    Wasn’t the Sheik the fireball to the eyes?

  133. theplanisworking says:

    Obviously. ;)

  134. Brandie says:

    All Hail The Tomlin Two Step…Better than Twerking!

  135. theplanisworking says:

    In my church growing up, we had a very verbose preacher. His sermons started at 11:00, and sometimes didnt end until 1:00. Nothing like a black church with their 6 hour sermons, but I digress.

    Anyway, whenever we had a substitute preacher, or an Elder took the pulpit, we had 30 minute sermons. Literally like a marathon vs. a sprint. Ladies loved the long sermons, men liked the sprints. For sports purposes, mainly. Hard to keep a gents attention when the Pirates or Steelers were coming on at 1. ;)

  136. Yes, he was and you’re dating yourself. That was a bad attempt at humor on my part.

  137. Brandie says:

    My Dad grew up in black church. Whole lot of fainting as well. My dad and his friends used to take bets to see who would faint next. Best still is the scene with James Brown as the preacher from the “Blues Brothers “.

  138. In the church I grew up in, if the entire sermon went over 20 minutes certain individuals would start to fake snore. The Pastor really appreciated that as you can imagine.

    I have people fall asleep regularly in my services, but usually farmers who are up when it’s dark and work pretty late. At least they’re relaxed, right?

    One of my closest friends down here is a black pastor. I’ve preached in his church for revivals. If you fall asleep in there, you better be checked for sleep apnea.

  139. Brandie says:

    Forgot about Mike “Speedy “Gonzalez!

  140. Nurses (dressed as such) and paper fans. Tradition and splendor.

  141. Brandie says:

    My Dad had an Uncle who is a deacon who can attest to that.

  142. theplanisworking says:

    -1 to each of us?

  143. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Yep….I’m find with Hurdle, but the other three are terrible at best.

  144. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    FINE

  145. Thundercrack says:

    I hope the first question at the news conference is “Can you give us an update on Jameson Taillon?”

    :-)

  146. Brandie says:

    Priorities man, priorities.

  147. Karen22 says:

    HAHA! Upper body injury!

  148. 21sthebest says:

    Steelers play today TC?

  149. Baywatch says:

    +++

  150. theplanisworking says:

    Oh come on, Daq, don’t you love you some Francois Coooooooonelly? ;)

  151. Thundercrack says:

    No. But they did announce some funky new pricing model for their tickets.

    And apparently the Riverhounds are playing

  152. JD says:

    Best movie ever. Rev Cleophus rocked it. “Have you seen the light?”

  153. JD says:

    How can you still be upset with Huntington? The Jason Bay trade? Get over it dude.

  154. Brandie says:

    With Chaka Khan as background how could you lose?

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | Sitting Ringside | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports | H.S. Sports Insiders | Trailing Off
News: This Just In | Trib List
» Top TribLIVE.com Sports
» Top TribLIVE.com News
» Top TribLIVE.com Breaking News