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Morning Java: To win this series …

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

BmmT74YCYAATg5B.jpg-large

>> The Friday column logs a lot of what the Penguins must do to beat the Rangers, but the bigger issue is the when rather than the how.

Here’s some of what Tanner Glass told me about the grind New York’s guys will face with six games in nine days:

The Penguins have a healthy history against the Rangers, by Josh Yohe.

Breaking down the series through advanced stats, by Jesse Marshall.

Sidney Crosby, formally named a Hart Trophy finalist, by Rob Rossi.

Robert Bortuzzo has been an early hit, by Jason Mackey.

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

Here’s Rangers news from the New York Daily News.

Here are highlights from the NHL’s YouTube channel.

>> Want some idea of the kind of press the series might be getting in the big-city tabloids? Wait till you read the opening sentence of this Donald Sterling story in the New York Post. Seriously, click.

>> The Pirates actually played some ball. Rob Biertempfel covered all nine-plus hours of double-defeat in Baltimore.

And yeah, I stayed up to watch all 18 innings, too, and it’s pretty clear that there are some real problems with this team. It’s not offensive clutch, if only because I can’t bring myself to have that trait — which I believe exists without being dominant — supersede the fact that 27 baserunners stranded in these games still means they put those 27 guys on. I do see a general lack of pop in the lineup. I see Travis Snider being just terrible at everything, including two defensive flubs to go with his four Ks in the nightcap. And I see a pitching staff that still isn’t matching up to last year, no matter how many in the public are letting that fly under the radar while simplifying the argument to Gregory Polanco or bust.

I’d honestly rather wait until the Pirates are home and I can spend some time with them before going much further. In the interim, sorry, I still don’t think this team is bad, much less this bad. But I’m certainly — and always — open to being mistaken.

This much is for sure: They’d better get the shovels working this weekend against the Jays.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page, our Bucco Blog and our photo gallery.

Here’s Orioles news from the Baltimore Sun.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

>> Our daily NFL draft preview today looks at a deep QB class, by Alan Robinson. And Pitt’s Tom Savage is one of those, by Jerry DiPaola.

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

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m.

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

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. The Pirates are playing some baseball at last, weather permitting, and, naturally, they lost the first one 5-1 and are tied at 5 in the 9th in the second game, though there’s at least some activity again after two washouts.

  2. Baywatch says:

    Now to add INSULT to this double header injury … Wieters homers to walk off win the second game.

  3. Mizery says:

    Glad the Penguins play all weekend. The buccos are tough to stomach right now.

  4. chethejet1 says:

    Bucs are done. It is just hard to make up games in the best of circumstances. Eight games under with suspect hitting and pitching just doesn’t bode well. They will have a hot streak at some point but lets face it, pitching is just not there this year. Wandy was a gamble and it appears he is not close to being a solid number three. Just have to make a decision at some point to go to Locke and let Wandy try to make his way back at another time.

  5. Hopefully, the Pirates will do well vs. the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend since they’ve got to win sometime, although I too am pessimistic about them in the long term. Meanwhile, hopefully, the Pens will be rested enough to be able to make short work of the Rangers and advance in the playoffs. And then, there’s the Kentucky Derby this Saturday.

  6. Arriba Wilver says:

    Is there some way we could send someone to slap him in the face?

  7. Stuart says:

    Who would have thought the loss of Jay Bell would mean so much?

    Tabata and Snider certainly paving the way for Polanco.

    BTW, last night with Indianopolis losing 2-1 to Pawtucket, Polanco tripled and Lambo hit a long home run. It was 3-2 Indy when fog halted the game.

    I think it is already too late for Polanko to save this season. He might as well spend the rest of the season working on his subtleties at Indy.

    Stuart

  8. Arriba Wilver says:

    I understand there’s an NBA owner out of work. Maybe he’d do it?

  9. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    When the Pirates were ahead 4-0 midway through the 2nd game, I could just feel they were ready to blow it…..And they did.
    Just a terrible offensive effort, and not much better in other areas.
    I always hate to compare the two….But the Pirate season reminds me of the 2013 Steeler season.
    Over….After the first month.

  10. Reading says:

    Last year, the Dodgers were about 10 games under, Mattingly was under fire, wheels falling off. Then, lo and behold, Puig gets called up, season gets saved, they get to the NLCS. No, that won’t work in Pittsburgh. Forget that. Pay no attention to that prospect in Indy. Not the right time. Pay no attention that brick glove in RF in Game 2. “Take the shot, Maverick!!” “No, no good. No good.”

  11. Reading says:

    The FO right now is the post-Goose Maverick in Top Gun. Afraid to engage. Afraid to take a chance to do something to energize the team, turn things around. “Maverick’s disengaging, Sir.” “$%#&* Maverick!!” Time to get back in the saddle.

  12. Ed Dickson says:

    “I see a pitching staff that still isn’t matching up to last year, no matter how many in the public are letting that fly under the radar while simplifying the argument to Gregory Polanco or bust.”

    Stop being so condescending to people who support the promotion of Polanco. We do not all believe that he is the answer to all of the Pirates’ problems, but he can’t possibly be much worse than Snider in RF. There is absolutely nothing wrong with disagreeing with the great DK about the timing of his promotion. You have been ridiculing everybody who disagrees with you on this issue, both on this blog and on twitter.

  13. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Who DOESN’T think Polanco would be better than Snider/Tabata, Ed?

    That isn’t now and never has been a debate, much less a condescending opinion one could hold. The issue all along — and I’ve never painted it any other way, no matter what the Pirates have said — has been about money. My opinion is that spending $15 million or more for five or six weeks of anyone is stupid. For the simple reason that it is. It’s stupid. It’s irresponsible managing of money.

    If you want to condense everything that’s wrong with the Pirates to Polanco not being in Pittsburgh, then that’s a position worthy of a harsh counter, if not outright ridicule. Anyone who watches the games and understands the sport knows there’s a lot bigger problems than right field. I’ll assume, without condescension, that you both watch and understand.

    Now, if you can lay out a real rationale for why the Pirates should commit eight figures for five or six weeks of Polanco, I’m all ears. Go nuts. And you’d better do a lot better than he’ll be an upgrade in right field when Tabata’s hitting .270. Because if the kid comes up and hits, oh, .320, for the first month — unlikely, but I’ll give benefit of the doubt — that’s a 50-point increase at one out of nine batting slots.

    If you think that translates to anything more than ONE WIN, you should check with the WAR crowd on that. Because it doesn’t.

    Paying $15M or more for one win is stupid. It’s as stupid as stupid gets.

  14. Ed Dickson says:

    Go back and read your tweets on this issue. Absolutely obnoxious. There is no player that is going to come up and upgrade more than the one position that he’s playing. And you can’t name one fan that’s stated that Polanco will solve all of the Pirates problems. But the Pirates shouldn’t rule out upgrading the OF because it won’t help the IF and starting pitching. That’s just plain asinine. And it’s not an automatic $15 million dollar expense. For one thing, thats assuming the player is going to be good enough for multiple years to earn that kind of money. And if he does turn out to be that good, you are assuming that they wouldn’t be able to sign him to a contract extension like they have done with Tabata, Cutch, and Marte. You pulled that $15 million number out of thin air.

  15. theplanisworking says:

    I went to bed after it was 2-0. Wanted to see a W in the second game.
    Yeah, right.

    I know it is only the first month, but the SS Bucco is sinking.
    This is not your 2013 Pirate club.

  16. theplanisworking says:

    Trying to take some positives out of the Pirates putrid play so far in 2014:

    – 27 runners stranded yesterday? That means they actually got 27 men on base! Actually more, because they scored some runs!

    – The Pirates can’t possibly play any worse, can they? Gotta keep the old chin up!

    – The Pirates have only 3 teams worse than them in the standings. That means a higher draft pick !! We KNOW Neil loves him some draft picks!

    Look, I get it that DK says he feels the team isn’t as bad as they appear. That’s fine, it is his opinion (and the opinion of others). But:

    - Hitting, for the most part, stinks.
    - Pitching, for the most part, stinks.
    - Leadership? What leadership? The team appears rudderless, and no one seems to be filling a leadership role. One of the veterans, or the reigning MVP should be front and center.
    - Team appears lifeless, going through the motions.

    Yes, it is early. But as of right now, the Pirates stand at 10-18. Can one realistically look at the roster and say who will lead the Pirates to a complete turnaround? There is no #1 starter capable of being a streak stopper. Only Cutch and Pedro are capable of blasting their way to a major breakout, but the other 7 bats?

    I need an aspirin.
    And a fire extinguisher.

  17. theplanisworking says:

    Gregory Polanco.
    My % just went down again even mentioning him.

    I want him up on the Pirates roster, too.
    But that just won’t happen. Not a chance.

    If the Pirates would have come out of the gate hot, they wouldn’t need to bring him up.
    Now that the Pirates have stunk out of the gate, there still isn’t a need to bring him up.
    If Snider (great trade btw) and Tabata keep stinking, Lambo will be recalled.

    Polanco just won’t be here before June 9 at the absolute earliest. I say around June 20th. What if he is brought up, and sturggles? Most people seem to think his Indy stats will translate to the Pirates, and MLB pitching. I don’t think that is possible. Even it the numbers do translate, will the Bucs get another win or 2? Not worth bringing him up now.

    And, to comment on the post by Ed above, let’s say that the $15 million number is wrong. If Polanco doesn’t merit that number after 5/6 years of big-league service time, then he really wasn’t that great to begin with? (Disclaimer, I think he will be very good). But say he follows a path similar to Cutch or Pedro………… does one thing that $11-12 million a year isn’t out of the question?

    My % just went down again writing this.
    Lucky, say a prayer for my %, please.

  18. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, if Polanco sturggles, we have bigger problems.
    Should be struggles……..

  19. Thundercrack says:

    I think Cole has real potential to be a streak stopper. And if Liriano can start pitching like he did last year he can too.

  20. Thundercrack says:

    It took me about half way through last night’s second game to realize who should be gone when the call Polanco up.

    See ya Snider.

  21. Jandy says:

    It’s called not cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    It’s seeing the forest for the trees…

    no?

    smh

  22. Jandy says:

    Hey, it’s Miz! Missed your candor and humor….

  23. Jandy says:

    My size 9 wides are available.

  24. Jandy says:

    Don’t let your hair catch fire ;)

  25. Jandy says:

    LOL my friend, you crack me up ;)

    Polanco isn’t going to save this team. The team must get their collective soul together and gut out some wins.

  26. Jandy says:

    Monster Mash, you can poke your head out of your lair, it’s Friday!

    The article Dejan liked to by Jesse Marshall on advanced stats is interesting. I like it!

  27. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Turned the game off last night at 4-0. Woke up to see they blew it.

    I’m wondering if they are putting Marte in 7th to get him used to it for when Polanco comes up.

    Not sure if Big Papa is a lead off type of guy, but right now neither is anybody else on the team. Sure as hell not Snider.

  28. NMR says:

    No it is not, plan. This teams failures begin and end with defense. And that was the one thing – even more than pitching – they could count on last year.

    The pitching may not be lights out, but it has been good enough to win. If their second baseman and right fielder makes routine plays last night both games are a different story.

    They stink right now. Simple as that.

  29. NMR says:

    Well, I mean, they did trade for a first baseman two weeks into the season.

    Can Huntington play second base?

  30. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Liriano has a history of struggling in April, let’s hope with the turning of the calendar, so does his performance.

  31. JAL says:

    JAL’s Carefree Highway Morning Links

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewhM7I9gD4U

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

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

    4 Pirates Prospects

    Pittsburgh Pirates Organizational Probable Pitching Chart

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/probable-pitchers

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Pirates Should Call Up Andrew Lambo

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/05/first-pitch-the-pirates-should-call-up-andrew-lambo.html

    Prospect Watch: Joely and Wandy Rodriguez Struggle, Homers For Hanson and Lambo

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/05/prospect-watch-joely-and-wandy-rodriguez-struggle-homers-for-hanson-and-lambo.html

    Gregory Polanco is the Pirates Prospects Player of the Month For April

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/05/gregory-polanco-is-the-pirates-prospects-player-of-the-month-for-april.html

    Casey Sadler is the Pirates Prospects Pitcher of the Month For April

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/05/casey-sadler-is-the-pirates-prospects-pitcher-of-the-month-for-april.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    While waiting for Gregory Polanco, Pirates ought to consider Andrew Lambo for right field

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/5/1/5672444/while-waiting-for-gregory-polanco-pirates-ought-to-consider-andrew

    Changing the game for the better: The Pirates and game-changing plate appearances

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/5/1/5670508/changing-the-game-for-the-better-the-pirates-and-game-changing-plate

    7 Rumbunter

    Pirates Wandy Rodriguez Rehab Start Mixed Bag

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/05/01/wandy-rodriguez-rehab-start/

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Blow 4-0 lead, Drop 6-5 Decision In Ten Innings

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/05/bucs-blow-4-0-lead-drop-6-5-decision-in.html

    9 WHYGAVS

    Game 27: Orioles 5 Pirates 1 // Game 28: Orioles 6 Pirates 5

    http://whygavs.com/may-2014/game-27-orioles-5-pirates-1-game-28-orioles-6-pirates-5.html

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Can Mark Melancon Lock Down Closer Role?

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/05/01/pittsburgh-pirates-can-mark-melancon-lock-closer-role/

  32. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates Blue Jays Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20140502_TOR@PIT/blue-jays-pirates-preview

    12 Chicago Sun Times

    Renteria staying positive despite Cubs’ brutal first month

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/27159042-573/renteria-staying-positive-despite-cubs-brutal-first-month.html#.U2N14lcsqDI

    13 Baltimore Sun

    After three days off, Orioles sweep Pirates in doubleheader at Camden Yards

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bal-orioles-pirates-doubleheader-game-1-may-1-2014-20140501,0,1039671.story

    14 Pirates Site

    Bucs drop Game 2 of twin bill after lead gets away

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_05_01_pitmlb_balmlb_2&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Squandered chances cost Bucs in loss to O’s

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_05_01_pitmlb_balmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    15 SB Nation

    When do managers get replaced?

    http://www.azsnakepit.com/2014/5/1/5669212/when-baseball-managers-fired-replaced

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Homer and homers put Reds over Brewers 8-3

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2014/05/01/homer-bailey-home-runs-reds-brewers-cincinnati-win/8590067/

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers falter late in series opener against Reds

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/brewers-falter-late-in-series-opener-against-reds-b99260046z1-257601061.html

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bird Bytes: Reviewing the Cards in April

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bird-bytes-reviewing-the-cards-in-april/article_f5250b37-2fcb-5568-9aca-db9a051c630b.html

    19 Fangraphs

    The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Pitches

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-worst-of-the-best-the-months-wildest-pitches/

    20 Sweetspot

    Cool video of 1919 World Series

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/46750/cool-video-of-1919-world-series

  33. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    All signs point to a return of Brett Keisel by the start of training camp

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/5/1/5670978/steelers-roster-depth-chart-defensive-end-brett-keisel-free-agency

    2014 NFL Draft: Steelers will take Mike Evans at 15 if he’s there

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014-nfl-draft/2014/5/1/5670934/steelers-2014-nfl-draft-mike-evans

    Soccer(football)

    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    English Premier League Projections

    https://www.bsports.com/projectedtablesepl

    23 BBC Football

    Man Utd job: How Champions League shock changes the picture

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27219615

    West Ham boss Sam Allardyce determined to carry on

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27240814

    24 World Soccer

    Have Atletico Madrid struck a blow for democracy in football?

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/columnists/brian-glanville/chelsea-come-unstuck-jose-mourinhos-tactics-backfire

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Will the Pens PK be better in Round 2?

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/5/1/5669130/pittsburgh-penguins-nhl-playoffs-preview-new-york-rangers

  34. NMR says:

    Dejan doesn’t need my support, but it should be noted that his stance is a consistant one throughout the last six years.

    He criticized Huntington’s early free agent signings as wasteful and he also criticized Huntington’s early drafts as wasteful. The Polanco situation is no different.

  35. d says:

    Ed:

    Couldn’t agree with you more on this! Welcome to Pittsburgh sports “reporting” :)

  36. NMR says:

    Forget Polanco, Andrew Lambo should have his spot.

    Oh, and SPRING TRAINING.

  37. NMR says:

    Anyone who watched this team at all last year knows these guys have the ability to be a good team, plan.

    Dejan is right about that.

    But they actually have to show up and play. They seem to have left that in October (and I’m starting to think that is the real problem.)

  38. d says:

    DK:

    Wow! Looks like Mr. Dickson struck a nerve!? Your response was just a little shorter than your column today :)

  39. Nastynate82 says:

    Ahhh yes leadership. That’s why their losing. Cause losing reflects a lack of character. Sigh.

  40. Jandy says:

    Actually, it DOES help to have leadership. It’s like that “clutch” thing that Dejan doesn’t believe in. It’s called intangibles.

  41. Thundercrack says:

    Here’s how I found out the Pirates lost the second game. I was sound asleep and my AtBat mobile app sent me the text message alert – like it does at the end of every game. My phone was right be side my bed. The noise startled me – and the message depressed me. Luckily I was able to go back to sleep.

  42. You hit it on the head. 27 runners stranded. 8 walks and 11 hits in game two and we put up 5 runs. Blame the pitching or fielding if you want to, but that is bad clutch hitting. They tried to give it to us. We wouldn’t take it.

    And I know there is no such thing, right?

  43. Thundercrack says:

    NMR, the message is totally correct (and consistent). At times the delivery could use some work.

  44. Jandy says:

    Right.

    And I’m Mother Theresa ;)

  45. Give me your secret on that, please.

  46. Jandy says:

    Nothing a good cup of coffee won’t fix lol

  47. Thundercrack says:

    I think the leadership is a bit over rated too. Unless they are totally goofing off in the clubhouse and neglecting their preparation for the game, I don’ t know what a leader can do. Here is one way that all players can lead; pitch better and be better hitters with RISP

  48. Thundercrack says:

    I still think it is early in the season Lucky. :-)

  49. Thundercrack says:

    We’re back on the Lambo train!! :-)

    When Chase d’Arnaud starts to hit we’ll be calling for him to be promoted and play short stop

  50. Jandy says:

    All Aboard!

  51. NMR says:

    Ugh.

  52. NMR says:

    5 runs, Lucky. 5 runs.

    5 runs should win you a Major League Baseball game in 2014. This isn’t ’08.

  53. NMR says:

    I don’t disagree with that, Thunder. And I’ll include myself in that statement.

  54. It’s later than you think, TC. They moved the NFL draft to May. It isn’t April any more.

    I know one thing. We don’t match up well against Baltimore, even without Davis. I get the same feeling as pre-2013. We don’t match up well against anyone any more.

  55. He’s at least above the Mendoza line at Indy. Our 2 aren’t above .160.

  56. radio wave says:

    woke up this morning to the bad news from Baltimore. Only a month ago, I looked forward to the joy of the season, and the joy, and maybe the season is gone. So I can get distracted by the Rangers Pens playoffs. As I wrote here before, I think the Pens win in five because of the Rangers special teams weakness, the Pens strength up the middle. Mr. Marshalls article was interesting, but he did not take into account the age of some of the Rangers key players. And he didn’t mention injuries. And my second distraction from the disappointing baseball, my Houston Rockets, will probably see their season end tonight too. And my Red Sox made Tampa play a double header yesterday, and like the Bucs, managed to lose both games. Not a good sports week for me. Should I even place a bet on the Derby?

  57. Yes, you should. But when you could have had 10 without opening your eyes, that’s more the problem.

  58. Jandy says:

    what the heck, go for it ;)

  59. Jandy says:

    maybe it’s the sunglasses…

  60. TJA says:

    This Pirates team cannot be a bad as we have seen…there is no way. Except for a few pieces….this is a team that won more than 90 games last year. Injuries sure have bitten them more this season in the early going. That makes a difference as much as anything else we have seen…i.e. their poor play. I keep telling myself…it is May 2nd, but, it sure has been painful to watch this most recent losing streak.

  61. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Here’s betting you’d find nothing remotely offensive about any communication of any message with which you agree.

    Funny, but the only times I ever hear from readers about ‘condescension’ or ‘arrogance’ is when I hold an opinion that clearly isn’t shared by the broader publc.

    The delivery doesn’t change in the slightest. Only the reaction.

    ‘Hey, I usually like your stuff, but …’

    If you want weathervane opinion, it’s out there to be found. As a couple commenters here have noted, my position on this was the same for Cutch, for Cole and this. No different. There’s a reason for that, and Cutch ended up demonstrating that powerfully.

  62. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    You have options. If you think the reporting here is bad, why stay?

  63. Jandy says:

    Looks like Dejan is in full bloom today :)

  64. Stuart says:

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned AJ at this point.

    How long before fans stop showing up to PNC?

    Is there anything worse than the constant sound of “WOOOOOs” echoing in a half empty ball park?

    Wait, I thought of something worse; it’s the pathetic pleading look on the face of a Pirate hitter after he has just watched strike three with men on base.

    What is the best thing about the Pirates now? Pens – Rangers!

    Stuart

  65. NMR says:

    +1

    You don’t know what I’d give to work in an industry where I could say this.

  66. NMR says:

    Your second sentence completely contradicts the first, Lucky.

  67. Jandy says:

    isn’t that the truth???!!!!

  68. Jandy says:

    maybe it’s the sunglasses.

  69. bpn8pitt says:

    Pie-oh-my!

  70. How? A team should win with 5 runs, yes. I don’t disagree. But when you have that many baserunners and that much bad pitching from the opposition, it becomes a moot point, what “should” be.

    Reality sets in.

    (I’m glad your moratorium on arguing with me has ended, too. I enjoy it when we don’t agree 100%. :) )

  71. Jandy says:

    LOL!

  72. Jandy says:

    NMR is going to tell you if you scored the 5 runs, and lost, your DEFENSE let you down. That’s why you SHOULD have won.

  73. Jandy says:

    And your reply should be, well, if we handed stranded so many on base, we’d have won.

  74. Jandy says:

    so, you’re both right :D

  75. Dom says:

    I think our friends in NY have legitimate grief about the playoff schedule.

    Four games in six games is too much. The killer might be the back to back games on Sunday and Monday. Why cant they at least move Monday’s game to Tuesday?

  76. Perfect, J-girl. You do the talking.

    :D

  77. Jandy says:

    Dejan is in full bloom :)

  78. Jandy says:

    I just see both of your points. That’s all :)

  79. Good for him. Twitter isn’t the only place to “have some fun”.

    ;)

  80. bpn8pitt says:

    NMR,

    I got nothing man. I dont think they were counting on Wandy and Grilli being hurt and ineffective. I dont think they planned on Taillon going down when he did, or having to go to Cumpton this early.

    Im really disappointed with Mercer, but I cant say anything. I figured the guy played well enough last year to earn a shot.

    Not gonna woulda coulda shoulda AJ either…Just wondering how different this club could look Aug 1st now, if things dont drastically improve.

    Go Pens. Have a good draft, Colbert,Tomlin.

  81. Jim S. says:

    Did you see Locke pitch for Indy vs. Pawtucket on CBS Sports last night, chet? He’s not the answer at this point.

  82. Jandy says:

    isn’t that the truth? lol
    I don’t Tweet (I’m not a Twit), but I have plenty of fun here :)

  83. The Gunner says:

    “Bad Legs” Snider will be DFA’d sooner than later. Lambo will be the call up this time & platoon with Tabby until the arrival of Polanco. Let’s hope Lambo reports for tonight’s game.

  84. Wild Bill says:

    Wow, got a long night’s sleep and woke up to a dust up on the blog. I think that DK is right about us talking more about He Who Shall Not Be Named than the pitching. But why is that? Probably incorrectly, we have more confidence in the pitchers pitching better than in our right fielders hitting better and the offense in general.

    I heard something on the Orioles XM broadcast like the Pirates starters have a 3 – 14 record in games so far where they have a decision. Didn’t check them, but it sounds about right. Lots of reasons for it, but there it is. Outright stinking is the reason we hope is not the case.

    I’m starting to suspect that A.J. is missed for more than just his mound presence. Maybe he was what kept the Bucs from having low T.

    Go Pens. Was surprised to see that four of the six predictors on Pro Hockey Talk favored the Rangers.

  85. Jandy says:

    Doesn’t surprise me with the Pens’ playoff history it’s up to the guys to prove them wrong!

  86. Jim S. says:

    I think one of the best compliments a writer can receive is to have people continue to read even when they disagree.

    I happen to agree with him on this issue, but even if I didn’t it wouldn’t make me stop reading.

  87. Jandy says:

    +++++

  88. Jandy says:

    +++

  89. Thundercrack says:

    The Pirates have already sold a lot of tickets Stuart.

    And are Pirates fans so spoiled that they will only go the park if the team is in the thick of a pennant race? Maybe so.

  90. Jim S. says:

    Snider should be gone immediately. It is plainly obvious he will never be an impact bat, and he is a mediocre OF at best. I cannot take any more of his passive ABs. He’s had a lot of chances. Let him figure it out somewhere else.

    I’d bring Lambo up for him NOW. If that doesn’t work in the next 3 weeks, I’d try Dickerson. Heck, I’d even try Jaff Decker/Jeff Dacker before I would continue to run Snider out there.

    By that time, it will be Polanco time. But, we can’t have Snider for 6 more weeks.

  91. NMR says:

    Ha, you and me both, brother. No words.

    This is Collapse Baseball without the three month hot streak. Finding ways to lose on a nightly basis.

    I’m about a week away from switching back to prospect watching mode.

  92. Thundercrack says:

    In regards to AJ. Yes, this team could use a starter that they can count on 7 strong innings from and usually keeps them in the game.

    But I hope people don’t believe that they ‘miss AJ in the clubhouse’. I don’t buy that notion.

  93. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    I am here to tell you all this morning that everything will be fine with the Pirates. I am not perpetually optimistic about them…I can admit when it looks like it’s over. It’s close…but not yet. RISP. Blowing the lead in the second game could be the best thing that possibly could have happened in all honesty. Hurdle said last week that there are guys in the minors that are capable. Snider is packing his bags….Mercer may be as well. You can bet that a loss like game 2 will not be tolerated. It’s only one game but this has been building and I think Hurdle knows when a table or two needs flipped…..

    I doubt Polanco comes up no matter how much fun it is to get folks going about it. Kudos to the organization if they pull the trigger though (no matter what your stance is on money, you have to be willing to admit that if they are going to suck this year they need to keep butts in seats somehow).

    There will be a shake up…sorry to say.

  94. Arriba Wilver says:

    Who you rootin’ for, Dom? F ‘em! ;-)

  95. NMR says:

    Jandy, as always, sets me straight.

    We’re getting dangerously close to arguing about who is chosing the RIGHT thing the Pirates do worst, Lucky, and that’s a true sign of desperation!

    We can certainly agree on one thing: stinks. ;)

  96. Jandy says:

    Ahhh a man after my own <3

  97. Jandy says:

    Now NMR, I’m not doing that. I totally respect your opinion and insights. But in this case it’s like a dog chasing it’s tail ;)
    Thanks for the kind words, friend.

  98. NMR says:

    FWIW, I do still think we’ll see good, competitive baseball this summer. Still think they break .500, at least.

    But they’re dangerously close to the point where the hole is too big to climb out of.

  99. Dom says:

    Of course not. But what’s fair is fair.

  100. NMR says:

    Pirate fans will show up if they’re winning. Doesn’t matter if they’re 1 or 10 games out.

  101. Jim S. says:

    Yes, it is early for the Pirates. But, they are 10-18, and the hole is getting deeper. They can surely turn it around, but even the most optimistic among us has to agree that it is time for them to stop giving away games.

    They didn’t do this last year. We struggled offensively at the start of last year, but the close ones were going our way. Clint was pulling the right levers in terms of the bullpen every night. Now, that seems to backfire as often as it works. The defense was catching the ball last year. Now, they seem to screw up at the most inopportune times.

    How many times can you score the first run of the game and still lose? That seems to be happening a lot during this 4-15 streak they are on. It also seems like almost every night they are scoring less runs than should be expected by the number of base runners they get. The inning where we took the 5-4 lead was almost too much to take. To only get one run out of that … I knew it was over right then and there. If Tony Sanchez is on the bench in a key spot like that, I think he should be batting for Stewart.

    I haven’t given up, but I think I need a mental health break from the Bucs. I’m just going to follow the scores for a few days. But, I can’t keep agonizing over every pitch in these games right now. Maybe I’ll just lurk in the shadows, and when they get on a streak I’ll be watching all 9 innings again. It’s the only way I know to stay sane.

    In the meantime, fortunately there are the Pens.

  102. NMR says:

    But he lost 10 lbs and hustled in Spring Training! Which apparently count just as much as Travis Whatshisnames “professional at-bats”.

  103. Jandy says:

    I hope that last sentence stays that way…fortunate!

  104. Jim S. says:

    My term du jour is “finding newer and more inventive ways to lose every night.”

  105. Jandy says:

    I’m all for giving a guy a second chance…maybe a third…but man…this is really…well,

    it STINKS

  106. bpn8pitt says:

    That HR was ridicuous.

  107. Jim S. says:

    Switching baseball gears just a bit … Have you ever, at any level of baseball, seen a pitcher throw 49 pitches in an inning? I can say pretty definitively that I have never seen that. We only got 2 runs out of that debacle. Then, he shut us down for a few innings. Another bizarre game in a mostly bizarre early season for this team.

  108. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Pirates are done. There, that wasn’t so hard was it. If the goal entering the season was to get back to the playoffs, they’re done. It’s over. Already. Yeah, I know it’s early. Blah blah blah. Sure they’ll play better, they can’t help but play better. The ’62 Mets played better (OK maybe not but hey, I’m on a roll here). They’ll put some wins together and heck, they might even make a faux challenge like the Nationals did last year. But it’s over. Don’t kid yourself.

    All the mojo, all the raise the jolly roger good time rock and roll feeling down the toilet like Frankie the gold fish. And that’s what they are you know, Frankie the gold fish. With all the excitement of bringing home that cute little guy all full of life comes the cold unsuspecting slap across the face of finding poor little Frankie belly up one morning in the best little fish bowl in America. And please, spare me Clint Hurdle philosophizing as Frankie meets his watery end. Shame on them for making me buy that stupid fish in the first place.

    OK, I feel better now.

  109. Thundercrack says:

    But I can see why Snider is so aggravating. We all can see.

    He has a bunch of at-bats where he looks like a fool. And then he hits a long home run and comes up with a key hit. He plays RF like he’s never put on a glove before, and then he throws a laser beam throw to third.

    But I think I’ve had enough

  110. Jim S. says:

    When you go this bad in close games, you know you aren’t catching any breaks. Wieters got that ball just over the wall and just inside the foul pole.

    A few innings earlier, Gaby hit one about a foot from the top of that wall, and ended up getting stranded.

    It sure seems like when you are not playing well, nothing goes right.

  111. Jandy says:

    Have some coffee, Milo. You’ll feel even better.

  112. Jandy says:

    Yes.

  113. CraiginVA says:

    I am and will remain sceptical of this team and it’s management. Doesn’t mean I hate Bob Nutting, think Neal is incompetent, or hope the team fails. I enjoyed the heck out of last year, but in answer to the statement above – This Pirates team cannot be a bad as we have seen…there is no way – well, they are 20 to 1 in losing v. winning seasons. Which is the outlier? I want them to do well, but at this point, they are going to have to prove it every single day to erase the doubts of a whole lot of people. That is the lens through which things are going to be viewed until they build up enough success to change that view. Here’s hoping they do.

  114. ajones1139 says:

    This is my favorite part of that Post article: “On Thursday, a deliveryman brought two pizzas to the penthouse. Sterling’s office didn’t return a call for comment.” That’s the kind of hard hitting coverage we need! “Excuse me Mr. Sterling, there’s rampant speculation out there that you did in fact order 2 ‘white pizzas’ tonight. Can you confirm this? I understand you ordered extra garlic, is it true that you also hate the vampire population as well?”

  115. Jim S. says:

    I have to agree with you, Dom, since I know I’d be complaining if the roles were reversed.

    But, as Arriba said, “$*&@#$ ‘em!”

  116. Nastynate82 says:

    It matters sure. How come it’s usually only a topic when teams are losing tho? It’s wayyyyy far down on the Pirates issues tho. Not sure why, but leadership seems to matter more with a physical sport like hockey or football

  117. Jandy says:

    +++

  118. hockeymonster says:

    Still can’t believe KT picked columbus….

  119. Jim S. says:

    Sometimes guys should maybe keep the extra 10 pounds.

  120. hockeymonster says:

    Happy friday! :)

  121. Arriba Wilver says:

    Who is Frankie the Goldfish?

  122. Jim S. says:

    Jandy is the sweetest poster on the blog. :-) :-) :-)

  123. JoeyBats says:

    Jim ….and the NFL Draft is next week! :-)

  124. Decker is below the Mendoza line, Jim. He needs work on his baserunning and pitch recognition.

  125. NMR says:

    That was deep, brah. ;)

    Made my morning!

  126. Dom says:

    buccos stink!

    Why was there a rush to extend FC and NH?

  127. Arriba Wilver says:

    FC has no contract, or a contract for life, depending on how you interpret it. But no extension.

  128. Jandy says:

    OK I’ll agree with that…but right now NOTHING is going the Bucs’ way…
    :sigh:

  129. 35 DAYS UNTIL GREGORY POLANCO IS CONSIDERED “READY” TO BE BROUGHT UP TO BIG CLUB

    {because NOW is not nearly as important as 6 seasons from NOW}

    After last night and 10-18, there is no NOW!

  130. Lad 9 says:

    Did anyone hear the rumor that, in the grand tradition of prior Pirate owners, the Galbreaths, that current owndership has purchased a thoroughbred 3 year old race horse?

  131. I figured there would possibly be some regression due to moves not made and just the outright sigh of relief and monkey off their backs of the streak being broken.

    But this early in the season we should be upset or complaining because they’re at .500, not 10-18 and looking like there is no way to fight out of it and that they don’t give a rat’s rump one way or the other.

    Whatever the reason, pitching, defense, lack of timely hitting (note, I didn’t say “clutch”), fielding or a combination of all of it, the disgust has set in and it is genuine for most of us.

    Like some have said and Gunner is very positive about, we need some shakeup and wake up soon.

    If they keep going this way or worse, I say leave Polanco in AAA all season and he’ll be the best baserunner on the planet and his pitch recognition will be off the charts.

    But please, send Snider to the Food Network now, where he can get a gig while he’s still a major league ballplayer and has some notoriety. Next season may be too late. June may be too late.

  132. Thundercrack says:

    So much Doom & Gloom.

    The Pirates are done.
    I’ll just go put the cover back on my grill and won’t bother taking the cover off the air conditioner. Summer is cancelled

  133. Dom says:

    Does it matter?

    We’re much more than one guy off from being a credible ball club.

  134. Good post, Gary. Hope you’re right on the last line.

  135. bpn8pitt says:

    Absolutely, Dom.

  136. Milo Hamilton says:

    Snider cost them that game yesterday. If he catches that Adam Jones ball & they’re out of the 6th 4-0. That play has to be made. What was he doing there ? He looked like a receiver trying to keep both feet in bounds. Stinks. STINKS !

  137. Jandy says:

    did they call it the Jolly Roger?

  138. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ain’t that the truth, Dejan. It was on full display yesterday.

    All you have to do is throw out a tweet, column or post about Penn State and here comes the personal attacks. I don’t get it. I can see the difference in opinions but personal attacks are beyond the pale.

    Like you said, just crickets when you were writing positive stuff (and it was many) on the previous coach there. No accusations of agenda or bias.

    It’s a curious thing. I have always been employed in enterprises that required valuing the opinions of others and civil discourse on even emotional, controversial ideas and topics. I never viewed anything in the sports realm as falling within those categories.

  139. Nastynate82 says:

    Exactly. What is Cutch gonna say? Exhort them to do a better job of driving him in?

  140. Milo Hamilton says:

    Glue Factory.

  141. Dom says:

    Fine by me!

    Cancel the rest of the Buccos season. Let’s forfeit all games.

    At least I wouldn’t be disappointed when I check the scores of last night’s games and find out we got swept in a doubleheader.

  142. Good idea.

    You said yourself your wakeup text depressed you. While you’re cancelling summer, do away with winter, too. We can enjoy spring and fall and forget the rest.

    8-)

  143. Jim S. says:

    I switched over to CBS Sports Network last night where Indy vs. Pawtucket was being shown. I have no idea why it was being shown, but that is another matter.

    I saw Polanco’s 2nd at bat, in which he grounded out weakly to 1b. He had also struck out in his 1st AB. So, he was in a bit of a mini-slump going into his 3rd AB, having not had a hit in 2 consecutive ABs and all. The slump abruptly ended on that 3rd AB, when he crushed a ball off the RC wall that Daniel Nava could not catch up with. In case you were wondering, Polanco gets from home to 3b really quickly. He got there w/o a throw. It was an impressive display of power and speed. I have no idea what he did after that. I think the game was shortened.

    Lambo followed Polanco and destroyed a pitch over the RC wall. Both of their hits came off a guy who was pitching pretty well before that. I think the announcers said he was Boston’s #4 pitching prospect, and their #8 or #9 prospect overall.

    Locke could not get out of the 3rd inning. I think the great Brock Holt may have been the last batter he faced. It was a really long AB of over 10 pitches, before Holty lined a single to RF. Locke did not look to me like a guy who will be pitching in Pittsburgh all that soon. I didn’t catch why he was pulled. I think he tweaked something.

  144. NMR says:

    Tar and feather Hurdle!

  145. Stinks! (But he’s not the problem, don’t forget)

  146. Lad 9 says:

    No. Apparently the horse would be a strong triple crown contender, but the trainer is worried that his gallop is not repeatable and he has not handled adversity yet, so they are not going to let him run until the Belmont, which is of course, in June. Horse’s name is supposedly Super Two. Ba dum ching :) :)

  147. Jim S. says:

    And, you didn’t even have to mention his 4 whiffs.

  148. Milo Hamilton says:

    Locke will start a game against the Giants, probably Monday.

  149. If Polanco was a better baserunner, maybe he would have scored on the triple, Jim. He needs those skills honed.

    ;)

  150. Or his .208 average. #SSS

  151. Jandy says:

    Screw that! Break out the beer!!!

  152. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Joey. I’ll start getting immersed in that in the next couple of days.

  153. Excellent, Laddy. Very funny and timely.

  154. Jim S. says:

    Really? I didn’t think he looked sharp. That is after not looking sharp in his previous starts, either. Maybe that explains why he was taken out. They probably had him on a pitch count. I think he was only at 48 or so pitchers, and Holt used about 1/4 of them on one AB. The Pawtucket announcers speculated that he had a minor injury.

  155. And that’s different how in the summer?

    :D

  156. Reading says:

    Summary of reasons not to call up Polanco: (1) will cost team $15 million (like that matters to any of us- it’s not our money); (2) Kiner-Rickey syndrome (team sucks now and will still suck with Polanco); (3) he is only one player and doesn’t upgrade positions 1-8 on field; (4) he might suck when called up; (5) the GM already pulled off a blockbuster unheard of April trade for a flair-hitting first baseman. Wow. I’m convinced now. Postpone the callup until June of 2016. Release dude from the 40-man roster so he is eligible for the Rule 5 draft. No sane GM would take him and keep him on the MLB roster. Besides, he’s just taking up a spot. Oh, and (6) sportswriters have consistent stance on other phenoms.

  157. JohninOshkosh says:

    My turn to feel better:

    i know he is a hometown kid and all and very likeable personally, but Neil Walker is a problem.

  158. Sweet Jimmie,

    I watched that Polanco At Bat also.

    What you didn’t mention was that Polanco didn’t hit a high fly ball to lazily cruise into 3rd base . . . .
    he hit a screaming rocket line drive to the base of the wall that the outfielders got to immediately, and Polanco still coasted into 3rd without a throw. The guy can pick ‘em up and put ‘em down!

  159. Karen22 says:

    Touche!! :)

  160. Jandy says:

    Tastes better when it’s warm outside ;)

  161. Dom says:

    Just think, we missed a golden opportunity when we mistakenly made them an offer to keep this team here, twenty years ago ;)

  162. Jim S. says:

    Now, that’s funny Lucky!

  163. Jim S. says:

    Good point, Groat. That ball was smoked. Most guys are happy with a double there. The kid can run.

  164. Jandy says:

    ROFL!

  165. Oh. So it’s wine in the winter and beer in the summer? I get it.

    V-8 Fusion Energy for me. That’s as hard as it gets.

  166. Karen22 says:

    Yes squared! ENOUGH!

  167. Karen22 says:

    We all don’t sound so happy, Hockey…;)

  168. Jandy says:

    BOOM!

  169. Jandy says:

    woop woop!

  170. Jandy says:

    Hey Jim, I got something for ya, sweetie:

  171. Baywatch says:

    I second that emotion!

  172. Jandy says:

    :*

  173. Even with all this gloom and doom . . . . I will be at tonight’s Bucco game with 31 of my closest friends from my church.

    If you flip over from the Penguin game for a look, I’ll be the one down the line a little from 3rd base kneeling and praying in the aisle.

    I wonder if Jesus would consider doing another miracle and healing Snider’s hands? He had the hands of a leper on that fly ball that cost 4 runs.

  174. Jandy says:

    Have fun, Groat!

  175. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  176. Jim S. says:

    You brought a smile to my face with that one, Groat. “Hands of a leper” indeed.

  177. Karen22 says:

    And I’m about another loss away from dragging my “Pirates S*ck” poster out of mothballs. I’m incredibly disappointed by what’s going on with all facets of this team after such a thrilling ride last year. April losses bring May…losses. Geeeeeeeeeeez!!

  178. He needs to work on his bat, too, while He’s at it.

  179. TJA says:

    Well said….good post Redus.

  180. Jandy says:

    He / His

  181. JohninOshkosh says:

    Here’s some things to be jazzed about this weekend:

    1. Pens in the playoffs. Nuff said. Most in the NHL are playing golf today.

    2. Tomorrow is one of the great sporting events of the year, the Kentucky Derby. Beautiful, athletic thoroughbreds, bourbon, and lovely women wearing dresses and hats-what’s not to like ?

    3. Tomorrow is also one of the nation’s great treasures: Free Comic Book Day. I love my local comic book store-one of the gems of the community actually-and love supporting it. Take your kids or grandkids. Heck, go by yourself. Some tremendous artwork and modern day mythology.

    Here’s a link:

    Find a participating shop for Free Comic Book Day
    http://www.freecomicbookday.com/storelocator

    4. Tomorrow is also the opening of the fishing season here. But, I can’t get too excited because many of the northern lakes are still frozen and my boat is still in storage. Haven’t felt the calling to get it out and cleaned up.

    5. If nothing else, Toronto comes to down. That’s pretty cool. Wonder if any anthem singers will be brave enough to sing “O Canada” in French ? Hope some enterprising, creative fans have some fun with Rob Ford signs. Be creative. Interested to see the reaction to JoeyBats, although I think I can predict it.

  182. Karen22 says:

    “How many times can you score the first run of the game and still lose?”
    Or the first FOUR runs…game two was a total disaster (save Cumpton’s first 5 innings) last night. You can’t lose that game!!

  183. Jandy says:

    Fishing season started here the weekend before Easter weekend. Wow.

  184. Nate83 says:

    They talked about Polanco on MLB Radio a good bit this morning. One of the guys had an interesting take. He said he would never bring a player up when an entire team is struggling. It’s an impossible weight to put on a young players shoulders. No matter what he does it won’t be enough unless some of the other bats heat up.

    He wasn’t necessarily saying leave him down until after Super 2. He was just saying it’s a better situation to bring him up when 3 or 4 of the everyday players get it going so he can be part of the solution instead of being the solution. He can bat .500 but it won’t matter because he is 1 of 8 players. He felt like only bad could come from him coming up while the entire team was struggling.

  185. Karen22 says:

    Should have known it was an omen…we put out our Pirates flag on Opening Day, and within a week the wind had ripped it to shreds. :(

  186. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yinz guys just don’t get the economics of baseball. A bunch of no nothing chumps, it’s sad, really.

    (HUGE SARCASM EMOTICON HERE, directed at our fearless leader. Yeah, Ed, there’s a bit of condescension going on).

    At this point I don’t care what they do with Polanco, but I DO understand the economics of baseball.

  187. Baywatch says:

    LOL, Jim! (Sorta) I feel I need a mental health break, too! But as a LONGSTANDING LUNATIC (been with DK since his first blog back the summer of the Bay-Nady trades) I can tell you, there ain’t no gettin’ outta here. We’re ALL bozos on this bus!

  188. Karen22 says:

    I never drink more than 3 cups, but today feel like a whole potter!

  189. Karen22 says:

    HAHAHA! You’re killing me, Smalls!!

  190. Baywatch says:

    True, Jim. That was downright JUAN BIZARRO! I bet Elias would say NOBODY ever had a guy on the ropes, 49 pitches in an inning, with only TWO bases loaded walks to show! Jeepers!

  191. Dom says:

    When I need to get my blood rushing, I simply check to see the score of last night’s Pirate game.

  192. Baywatch says:

    LOL, my Friend! I LIKE you!

  193. Jandy says:

    You’re right, AW, we need a sarcasm emoticon.

    Dejan, FIX IT!

  194. Jandy says:

    haha Spunkster, then your better half doesn’t have to hit you in the forehead and tell you…
    “shoulda had a V 8!”

  195. Karen22 says:

    That makes total sense to me.

  196. GAWTS2009 says:

    No words to even describe how hard I was laughing! Just too much truth to handle.

  197. Baywatch says:

    WHY did you mention his 4 whiffs? Friends in need of mental health breaks don’t remind friends needing mental health breaks of mind-bending things like that!

  198. Dom says:

    Ironically enough that is when the Pirates’ season ended…

  199. Karen22 says:

    “feels”….EDIT BUTTON??

  200. Baywatch says:

    +++

  201. Thundercrack says:

    That was Todd Hollinsworth that said that Nate. And I agree with him.

  202. Jandy says:

    JANDY TYPOS STRIKE AGAIN! LOL

  203. Jandy says:

    +++

  204. 21sthebest says:

    Polanco’s swing looks very long to me.

  205. Arriba Wilver says:

    What’s not to like? #2, the hats. Unless you like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Off with their heads!!!!!

  206. Baywatch says:

    And set the hair on fire with the charcoal fluid you won’t be using!

  207. Wild Bill says:

    Groat, you and your 31 church friends might want to consider one large prayer circle. It might help the Bucs and you’ll be a lot more visible on camera.

  208. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  209. Jim S. says:

    You’re right, Bay. I should have mentioned that the mouse under his eye seems to be gone.

    I think Lunchie lost all that goodwill he created by charging Gomez.

  210. Jandy says:

    +++++

  211. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    If I’ve learned anything, it’s that sometimes when DK calls something, you can expect the reverese….those of you on the Polanco call-up bus might be safe to start holding your breath haha

  212. JohninOshkosh says:

    BREAKING NEWS:

    Brewers are starting their crash to earth.

  213. Jim S. says:

    Gaby was up forever. He must have seen about 15 pitches, and it looked like he was overmatched on every one of them. But, he kept fouling it off until he finally popped up.

    Poor Cumpton. I thought he should have been out of that inning still up 4-0. Deserved better. I think that guy can pitch.

  214. Jim S. says:

    If they go 0-55, we’ll pass them by the AS Break. Write that down.

  215. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, the last thing I want to see is him come up when nothing is going right. If we can get on a little roll, he can slide right in and add to the mix.

  216. Thundercrack says:

    Heyman reporting that the Tigers have reached a deal with Joel Hanrahan.

    I would guess that he will be added to the TIGERS’ BULLPEN.

    Good luck Hanny!

  217. Wild Bill says:

    It’s true. Rats.

  218. Jim S. says:

    That’s an interesting take, 21. I am not a swing guru. He seems to get the barrel to the ball a good % of the time, but maybe MLB pitchers will exploit that if he doesn’t adjust.

    I wonder if he will be prone to that just by how long his arms are.

  219. Thundercrack says:

    And I am not a fan of Hollandsworth….by the way.

  220. Jim S. says:

    +++, Karen.

  221. Baywatch says:

    He has indeed lost the goodwill from that. And I never really gave him any points much for that. I mean you typically don’t go running up to a wounded lion like that crazy Gomez, yelling “What the eff do you think you’re doing!” when they’re trying to restore order!

    Maybe someday for Snider. But I think he’s joining the list of Steve Pearce’s that were here who were poised to turn a corner but never did. I honestly don’t see as long a career for him as Pearce has had. And let’s face it, Baltimore is pretty good about taking guys off the scrapheap and giving them new life (Hardy, McLouth, Pearce … John Russell? LOL!)

  222. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, who am I kidding? I’ll be watching again tonight, either live or on the DVR later. I’ll continue to slow down and gawk at the accident taking place in front of me.

  223. Arriba Wilver says:

    Serious question — how did Penn State fit into this conversation? What am I missing?

  224. Baywatch says:

    Yeah, good luck to Hanny, but I’ll be surprised if it’s not a minor league deal for him to work his way back. Either way, he won’t join the Tigers bullpen until he’s had some extensive minor league opportunities … would he? He hasn’t been in a game situation for a year.

  225. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Baseball people think too much….clearly those of us here primarily for baseball suffer from a mental disorder. Guys like Hollinsworth suffer from the same disorder. Take Bob Walk for example….the guy is OCD about knocking on wood, jinxing things and mental telepathy in creating home runs. Blass suffers from a form of tourettes as he will quote 70′s bands from no where. Steely Dan lyrics were never intended to add color to a baseball game, yet Blass still does it. Wehner get’s so digusted at times I imagine him hitting the cough button and spending several minutes telling Brown why he’s a moron…Brown let’s him cool off, then Wehner buys steaks after the game. Brown…haha oh boy….no explaination required regarding how baseball has “deterred” his thinking is there?

    My point is that sometimes there’s too much that’s dragged into these debates. The delay with calling up Polanco, in all reality, may have just as much to do with being absolutely certain that Snider is Joey Bats II as it does with money….Huntington got a pass on Moss because not only was the staff a mess at that time, but NO ONE saw that coming….he went to the A’s for God sakes.

  226. Wild Bill says:

    Wow, with all the Bucs despair I completely missed the news that the Habs beat the Broons in 2 OTs last night.

    My new best buddy Subban scored the winner. Go Habs!

  227. Jim S. says:

    Did someone say Groupon?

  228. Jim S. says:

    Thanks! You’re so sweet!

  229. NMR says:

    Absolutely is, 21. Still think he’s gonna struggle with premium velocity inside, at least initially.

    But the kid undoubtedly has the innate ability to put barrel on ball combined with all the batspeed in the world.

  230. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just my observations from Dejan’s twitter feed yesterday. Using it merely as a platform to describe what I regard as an interesting phenomenon, the reaction to columnists.

  231. Arriba Wilver says:

    My take?

    Ron Cook and Bob Smizik could care less whether you agree with them or like them.

    DK cares. Take that however you want.

  232. Thundercrack says:

    When you broadcast 162 games you are going to talk about a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with the game.

    And I get the impression that Wehner doesn’t enjoy working with Nevrett.

  233. Jim S. says:

    + many, Untamed William.

  234. Baywatch says:

    Bright spots from yesterday: Gaby & Marte, if anyone’s interested. Didn’t think so.

  235. NMR says:

    unsupple?

  236. Jim S. says:

    Neverett got all animated about an Orioles flyball that dropped harmlessly into Marte’s glove 15 short of the warning track last night. So, it isn’t just PNC. The man simply cannot judge the distances of flyballs at all.

  237. Jim S. says:

    Clever post, ajones.

  238. Zico says:

    Maybe if the NYR beat Philly in game 6 instead of game 7, they would have that extra day of rest.

  239. Reading says:

    If economic reasons are the only ones for keeping Polanco in Indy, and those were the same reasons for keeping Cutch, Pedro, and others in Indy before June, (presumably all other non-economic reasons-Polanco only one man, he doesn’t solve pitching, he might not do well-go away in June), then where is the evidence that the Pirates have taken all of this “saved” money and become real players in the free-agent market (reclamation projects aside)? What is the point of saving money if the Pirates are going to be a non-player? They can continue to be a non-player in the free agent market (or non-player when signing their own players when they become free agents) with Polanco on the 25-man roster.

  240. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah I agree. And as Jim said, he’ll need to adjust but I’m confident he can.

  241. Jandy says:

    I like Gaby, so yeah, I’m interested :)

  242. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, John. I always respect your opinion, and I don’t twitter and have been too busy to follow along closely here.

  243. Jandy says:

    Broons!

  244. 21sthebest says:

    Buca are 7-7 in 1 run games, and 3-2 in blowouts (margin of 5+). Which means there are a lot of games where a couple runs could have a huge impact, and we’re currently 0-9 in those games.

    Fingers crossed that this means something.

  245. Dom says:

    Since they have to play so many games in such a short timeframe then I think it’s only fair that we should spot them one game in the series.

    The Rangers should be leading the series 1-0 by the time we drop the puck tonight.

  246. 21sthebest says:

    Where Buca = Bucs. Not the restaurant.

  247. Wild Bill says:

    Droolin’ again, Jandy???

  248. NMR says:

    And if I may add: Brandon Cumpton looks like a real, live big league starting pitcher.

    Still doesn’t have an out pitch. Never gonna be more than a 4 or 5. But I’m not sure the Bucs miss Wandy at this point.

  249. Wild Bill says:

    Like those questions, Reading. Don’t hold your breath for answers.

  250. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Indiana Pacers have the look of a team where someone stole someone else’s girlfriend.

  251. Stuart says:

    TC, It is hard for me to imagine the greatness of the gulf between being in a pennant race and being the way the Pirates are now. The fact that they’ve sold a lot of tickets doesn’t translate automatically into big crowds. And what if the crowds that are present now begin to voice their appreciation for the current level of effort? I’m not going to set myself on fire over anything the Pirates do, but when watching them sours your mood as much as it does now… well it’s better not to watch. Kudos to you for the oxymoron of the day: “Pirate fans, and spoiled”.

    BTW, I’d be more in favor of recalling Lambo than Polanco at this point.

    Stu

  252. Wild Bill says:

    Yeah, Broons. That’s what their fans call ‘em.

  253. Stuart says:

    Can’t decide between Milo and Wild Bill (for his Pirates have low T comment) for POTD!

    Laughing at the pain, Stuart

  254. NMR says:

    THE COLLAPSENING.

  255. bpn8pitt says:

    I am not one of those people furious about them not bringing up Polanco.

    But Yasiel Puig really turned the Dodgers around last year. Just saying.

    But again, I dont think Polanco is coming up hitting .400 in the bigs

  256. BillyBaduka says:

    +

  257. theplanisworking says:

    Since summer has been cancelled, does that mean all the extra $$$$ revenue the Pirates got will be spent on a HUGE Labor Day party?

    Or a Mart-ay part-ay?

    Or does it go to the Brown/Blass alcohol fund?
    Or glasses for Neverett?

    And I was so looking forward to lighting my scalp on fire (no hair).

  258. If we circled and prayed for every Pirate that needs it, we would miss the game because our eyes would never be open.

    If we could only pray for one——the most forlorn——who would it be?

    Snider, with his 4 K’s bat and drop the ball glove?
    Pedro, with his .175 batting average in the Clean-up slot?
    All the Starting Pitchers, who are a combined 3-13?
    Grilli, with 3 blown saves in 7 chances and a ticking calendar?
    Liriano, who is a well deserved 0-3, with 4.00 ERA?
    Morton, who is a well deserved 0-4, with a 4.21 ERA?
    Shortstop, which is batting a combined .140 this far, with spotty defense?
    Catcher, where Bucs have already used up Russell Martin?
    Ike Davis, who is like 0 for 100?
    Wandy, who is justifiedly on the Convenience List?

    Maybe prayers for McCutch, for him to keep Peace of Mind!

  259. Wild Bill says:

    PennLive reports that Sterling Jenkins plans to announce his college choice next week. Most predictors think Penn State will get him.

    Guess no one’s told him yet that the coach there visits rape victims in the hospital to intimidate them while asking that they help him recruit more players with their bootylicious girl friends.

  260. Milo Hamilton says:

    Consider him told. :)

  261. Baywatch says:

    At least we’re 11 percentage points ahead of the Cubs! :-)

  262. I saw/heard that too.

    How did that guy pass the test to get his Announcers’ License. He must be friends with the cop.

  263. Nastynate82 says:

    Haha as a Ranger fan, that wouldn’t help them. They’ve now lost 12 consecutive games when having a series lead. They lurch forward and stall out…like a teenager learning to drive a stick.

  264. Dom says:

    Hopefully, DK or JAL can edit that post for you. I wouldn’t want the shareholders of Buca Di Beppo to know I compared them to the Pirates.

  265. Stuart says:

    What day is it Bay?

    I think I am losing my grip.

    Stuart

  266. Jim S. says:

    I believe we were 7-2 in one run games at one point, and now we can’t buy a win.

    Our record in two run games is 0-4, I think. And, in 3 run games it is abysmal.

    Of course, when you lose 15 of 19, you are losing all sorts of games.

    I hope you are right that our luck has to turn.

  267. bpn8pitt says:

    I think Larry Legend actually screwed up their roster. And Roy Hibbert forgot how to play.

  268. That’s a lie.

    And I’m not even a Penn State fan.

    Lawyers throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks. He’s getting all the pub he wants now with this innuendo. Wait for the truth.

  269. Jim S. says:

    I’m clinging to those percentage points, Bay!

  270. Wild Bill says:

    Are you sure you don’t want to keep your eyes closed and just pray??

  271. bpn8pitt says:

    But wouldnt you say the dropoff from 2013 AJ to 2014 BrokenWand/Cumpton is significant?

  272. NMR says:

    Me too. I didn’t buy into the hype when he broke out in 2012 because he was nothing but arms and legs flailing around. Never thought he’d hit upper level pitching.

    40 lbs of muscle later, I’m gladly eating my words.

  273. bpn8pitt says:

    I know its not apples to apples…

  274. NMR says:

    Ughhhhhhh.

  275. Wild Bill says:

    Groat – total sarcasm alert!

  276. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, he just takes the ball and does his job. Goes right after hitters. I think his stuff is better than it was last year at this time. He is sitting 93/94 a lot. Seem like he throws a fairly heavy ball. He won’t blow anyone away, but he looks like a keeper right now.

  277. He’s still pitching a shutout if Travis makes a Major League play on that flyball.

  278. Milo Hamilton says:

    Tigers bullpen news – they’ve signed Joel Hanrahan.

  279. Jandy says:

    NMR has a stomach today ;)

  280. Baywatch says:

    Stu, Buddy (arm over shoulder), it’s OK, you’re in good company … WITH THE REST OF US LUNATICS! We knew winning was something that couldn’t last forever. And to be truthful, we’re just too used to losing. We’ll be much more comfortable this way!

  281. Baywatch says:

    What else have we got now, Jim? (cue in The Grass Roots singing “Cry Like A Baby” here, please)

  282. The afternoon and evening guys on the Fan talked as if this were the end of the world for Penn State/

    Idiots! Creating havoc to troll for listeners.

    For a time I even turned the radio to QED.

  283. Baywatch says:

    Well, ALL right! “Dun-ta-Dun-ta-Dunta-Dun-Dun-Dun! Dun-ta-Dun-ta-Dunta-Dun Dun Dun!” (That’s that NBA player introduction music!)

  284. Jandy says:

    LOL I love that word…I don’t like the Habs but I hope the beat them broons!

  285. Wild Bill says:

    Clearly there are people out there who will always see anything regarding Penn State in the worst possible light. And I’m caring less and less about them every day.

  286. Naterosboro says:

    I will say this for the Pirates. 1 good week, and they’re right back to around .500 again. Trouble is, when not playing well in baseball, it starts to pile up. The game is already based on failure, and when you fail to win, that compounds it even more.

    Pitching, especially starting, needs to get back to somewhere near the level we saw it last season.

    Otherwise, it will be a pretty long summer for the Bucs. Gregory Polonco or not.

  287. Kristy——the one ridden hard and put to stall wet——already scooped you above.

  288. chethejet1 says:

    the Pirates gambled that the pitching/defense was going to carry them again. They were wrong to assume that. Very few teams that are on the margin repeat. Things went very well for many of the buccos last year. No so this year. I like the majority of the roster, but you can’t win everyday with Snyder RF and Sanchez 1B as they simply can’t hit. Add injuries and now you have just to many holes, Wandy may find his groove but not soon enough. Who didn;t think Francisco would be at best good this year. Cole is the real deal and then you have Morton who still is a low three or high four. Bull Pen is still good. Unless Davis turns into Lou Gehrig, they lack pop with out pedro banging them.

  289. Jandy says:

    I believe that was Planimal ;)

  290. Jandy says:

    I’m just trying to catch up to YOU, Jim ;)

  291. Jandy says:

    I’m just trying to catch up to you, Jim ;)

  292. NMR says:

    Definitely showing better fastball, although I don’t think he commanded it very well above 92mph.

    I can’t say I’ve noticed any improvement in secondary pitches. Very average. But that sinker plays when he pounds the lower half of the zone and inside corner.

  293. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yeah, but he kept both feet in.

  294. NMR says:

    There weren’t more than five pitchers in the entire National League that were better than AJ last year.

    Nobody was coming close to making that up.

  295. AJS says:

    I started making a list of all the pieces the Pirates would need to “right the ship” It got to be too long.

    -The aces on their staff need to start pitching like aces(I’m looking at you Liriano)
    -At least one more starter if not 2 – Morton can’t be counted on and Wandy is toast
    -Volquez not to regress
    -Bull Pen help on the front end(Pimentel has not impressed me, Morris is everythng I remember him to be when he comes in with men on-I know he went a long stretch last year where he let 0 inherited runners score but it sure seemed like prior to and following that he always let at least one in, Jenny was solid last year but looks downright bad right now)
    -Grilli and Melancon to find their groove
    -A RF who can hit and doesn’t move at a snails pace-Snider at lead off last night? Really?
    -Pedro to be well, Pedro
    -A real first baseman. Ike Davis? IKE DAVIS? Why exactly do you think you were able to get this guy for an unknown relief pitcher and a player to be named? From teh Mets even. Oy!

    Too many gaps. And a team who at this point last year was starting to believe now has to be wondering how they got back to winning 1 out of every three.

    If this team gets to .500 by year end I’d be shocked. Unless they do something to make dratic improvements.

  296. NMR says:

    The Dodgers were 7-10 after calling up Yasiel Puig.

  297. Andrew says:

    Anything good up thread? I’m still recovering from watching Steve Pearce play baseball moderately well and see the debris that is the Pirates’ season wash up on inner harbor.

  298. Jandy says:

    From the Pens’ website:

    SKATE INFO
    Defenseman Brooks Orpik was the only player absent from the team’s morning skate. He missed the final two games of the Penguins opening round series against Columbus.

    The Pens used the following workflow…

    Kunitz-Crosby-Stempniak
    Jokinen-Malkin-Neal
    Bennett-Sutter-Vitale
    Glass-Goc-Adams
    (Conner, Gibbons, Pyatt, Megna)

    Letang-Martin
    Scuderi-Bortuzzo
    Maatta-Niskanen-Engelland

    PP1: Niskanen, Martin at the points. Malkin, Crosby on walls. Kunitz net-front.
    PP2: Maatta, Letang at the points. Jokinen, Neal on walls. Sutter net-front.

  299. Jandy says:

    LOL Wild One, nah…he’s not my type, but I do appreciate what he brings to the plate.

  300. Jim S. says:

    That’s going to have to be one very good week, Nate. They have 8 games to make up just to get back to .500. I think it is more like a 3 solid week thing. Something like 13-5 over 3 weeks. Right now, they don’t look like they can do that. But, things can turn in a hurry.

  301. NMR says:

    Amazes me how people can still find ways to bash Gaby Sanchez when the only Pirate hitting better than him is named McCutchen.

    I just don’t get it.

  302. Jim S. says:

    Not much. Not much.

  303. NMR says:

    Lotta good venting. Better to do than read, though. Join us.

  304. Jandy says:

    hey! I’m his biggest fan!

  305. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion Travis Snider is a two tool player – a knife & a fork.

  306. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  307. NMR says:

    Thumb wrestle you for it!

  308. AJS says:

    Snider was PUTRID last night. 4 Ks and the worst defense I have ever seen. I know the ball off his mitt would havebeen a tough catch running at that angle but he got a poor jump on that ball and is slow as anyone playing in a major league out field.

    I am all on board with what Dejan said though. You can’t narrow this down to RF. Last yer’s success was pitching driven. Down right lights out pitching from the starters and the pen. Any type of regression on that front was going to lead to a decrease in win totals because the offesnse did nothing to get better. Last I looked this staff has given up the second most runs in the division. They are average at best, and defense certainly hasn’t helped.

    They may be pitching well enough to be 14-14 or so or maybe slighly better than that but this staff even with improved defense and marginally better hitting doesn’t get them to 94 wins by year end.

  309. NMR says:

    The more I think about it the more livid I get about what I heard was said on that radio show, Groat.

    It takes a special kind of sh*tty person to accuse a rape victim of being a prostitute.

  310. Naterosboro says:

    It’s odd because all he has to do is watch the outfielder. If the guy turns and sprints towards the fence, you know it’s pretty well hit. He takes a few steps back and camps, it’s a routine fly ball.

    I’m no fan of Neverette (mainly because he routinely gets things wrong during the broadcast), but I would think a little more initial restraint, and learning how to read the outfielder would go a long way to helping him call flyballs better.

  311. bpn8pitt says:

    24-32 before.

    Then a month after they were 40-43.

    Two months 60-49. 1st place.

    Did other guys play better? Sure. But .319 with 19 Hrs and 42 RBis kinda helped.

    Sorry to stoke the Groat fire, NMR. :)

  312. AJS says:

    That leadership comment mayu be spot on. There’s no AJ Burnett type on this team. I often say the same about the Pens in the playoffs. Where’s the leadership?

  313. NMR says:

    Fine rant, but Morton deserves better. His defense has failed him in three of his six starts.

  314. NMR says:

    Please don’t make this a PSU-only thing, Bill. Simply not true.

  315. AJS says:

    Most people seem to think his Indy stats will translate to the Pirates, and MLB pitching. I don’t think that is possible

    See Lambo, Andrew for confirmation of how bloated AAA numbers can be.

  316. NMR says:

    Definition of correlation without causation!

  317. Jandy says:

    Maybe a pimp?

  318. Naterosboro says:

    Jim

    Absolutely, and maybe it’s kind of a gross simplification, but it’s kind of my way of saying let’s not bury this team just yet. There’s still 5 months of the season to go.

    They play 7 games between now and next Friday (3 against Tor., 3 against SF, and then next Friday starts a series against Stl.). If they go 6-1 or 5-2 in that stretch, their record becomes 16-19/15-20. While that’s not a good overall, it would get them back to around .500 (notice, I didn’t say better than .500 in my original post) and get some confidence back in this group.

    Right now though, a good stretch for the Bucs doesn’t look promising.

    Also, however, that isn’t to say they cannot do it. There are some talented players not performing to their full potential at the mo.

  319. theplanisworking says:

    Its a good thing he lost 10 pounds.
    I would hate to see if had a 3rd tool……… a spoon!

  320. Wild Bill says:

    Say more, NMR. Not sure I’m following you.

  321. AJS says:

    That’s a fair critique of the defense. But charlie Mo is who he is. A sinker ball pitcher that struggles to control that very pitch he relies upon leading to situations in which unless his defense is absolutely flawless he will be sure to have an inning that goes pear shaped very quickly.

    Oh not to mention he’s a head case.

  322. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Let’s face the facts here.
    If the Nutting Regime would’ve signed someone to play RF this year, the Polanco issue would’ve been put to bed early.
    But ….. We are forced to watch Travis Snider and Jose Tabata flounder around nightly.
    After a month of it, people are clamoring for Polanco.

    The Regime could’ve taken care of a lot of things in the off-season, but they chose not to.
    You’re seeing the results before your very eyes.

  323. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

    He’s a Putz. A Frank Coonelly Putz. Way to go, Frank.

  324. NMR says:

    You couldn’t be any more incorrect about your last sentence, AJS.

  325. Andrew says:

    Hanley Ramirez and his 9.0 WAR per 600 plate appearances, turned the Dodgers around.

  326. Nastynate82 says:

    Not altogether correct. Hanley Ramirez was even better than Puig

  327. Jandy says:

    Agree with NMR, Charlie is far from a head case.

  328. Dom says:

    What does?

  329. Jim S. says:

    This would be as good a time as any to go on the kind of hot streak that would equal the cold streak they’ve been on with a 4-15 record since the 6-3 start, Nate.

  330. Snider. And he’s dripping with barbeque sauce, not power.

  331. Lad 9 says:

    I have to disagree also. Don’t see him as a head case at all. Quite the opposite.

  332. NMR says:

    I don’t mean to be rude to AJS, but that one really bothers me.

    The guy turned around his career only to undergo Tommy John surgery which he rehabbed in under a year and went on to post a 3.26 ERA over 20 starts for the first Pirate squad to make the playoffs in 20 years.

    Nobody does that without being mentally tough.

  333. Naterosboro says:

    They dont call him LunchBox for nuttin’

  334. NMR says:

    I’m just of the opinion that that attitude not only is incorrect, but hurts Penn State more than it helps.

    Those idiots on the radio do nothing but sensationalize EVERY situation that gets served up to them. That’s the value they provide, or lack-there-of depending on your taste.

    It’s not just a PSU thing.

  335. Jim S. says:

    I think it is fair to say Puig helped … a lot, bpn.

    But, no one player turns around a season for a team. They went on one of the all time tears for about 2-3 months.

  336. NMR says:

    But I do think this situation shows why PSU shouldn’t give a damn about what sports media has to say.

    Too many people were all to eager to jump on an awfully written article by The Tennessean in order to support their previous columns. Took the bait hook, line, and sinker.

  337. Arriba Wilver says:

    Look, I have nothing against Penn State and have no ax to grind, but in response to NMR’s reasonable request the other day, I want to respond.

    “riba Wilver
    May 1, 2014 at 7:46 AM
    I’m really having a hard time comparing those 2 situations, which I also saw yesterday on here.
    When did Penn Staters become so “victimized?” It’s a shame, really.
    Reply

    NMR
    May 1, 2014 at 8:17 AM
    What is hard about that, if you don’t mind me asking?
    Reply”

    Joe Paterno was not vilified for not contacting the victims. He was vilified for not doing enough over a 10 year period to prevent further victims and further victimization of then current victims. You can deal with that how you want.

    Franklin called a current rape victim, who he obviously had previous contact with, for what purpose? To offer his condolences? Or to subtly suggest to “take one for the team” or the school? I don’t know, either.

    What ISN’T true is that what Franklin did and what JoePa didn’t do are similar. At least in my universe.

  338. NMR says:

    ’bout to have that nickname changed to “suitcase”.

  339. NMR says:

    YES. Thank you, Jandy.

    THIS is what deserves the attention right now.

  340. He acted a little goofy when he was younger, but he seems to have matured now, like you said.

    He used to let a bad inning bother him and he said as much in some of DK’s interviews with him but he turned it around.

    I don’t think he’s as bad as Milo seems to think or as good as he should be yet.

  341. Naterosboro says:

    If they go 15-4 over the next 19, they’ll be back to 3 games over!

  342. Jandy says:

    I know I’m looking forward to it! Gonna crack open a few beers and enjoy the hell outta it :D

  343. Andrew says:

    Another bright spot, baserunners, getting people on base usually correlates well with scoring runs. The Pirates hit a few balls very well in the 1st game, but some great defense by Nelson Cruz and Ryan Flaherty (they were hit right at them), prevented hits. Marte did look good, especially against Norris, who is a fastball slider guy that Marte has troubles with. Orioles fans hated Gaby.

    I keep getting reports from all these prospect fans that this guy or that guy is the next late inning reliever for the Pirates. Late inning guys miss bats, the only Pirate who consistently has done that is Melancon. A lot of split change ups, or something from Morton, not enough velocity separation to get whiffs last night.

  344. The Gunner says:

    Have they DFA’d Puke Snider yet?

  345. Jim S. says:

    Me, too. Really looking forward to it.

  346. Andrew says:

    So is Gibbons fully healthy?

  347. NMR says:

    I appreciate that, AW. And in an all-encompassing sense, I certainly agree.

    What I didn’t make clear was that I was speaking of the specific criticism – of the very many deserved – that PSU officials specifically never made an attempt to contact the boy in the shower incident. That struck me as particularly cold-hearted, even relative to that whole terrible situation.

    I give Franklin credit for doing that.

    And I think we can all say without a doubt that Franklin did not try to coerce the victim what-so-ever. Never once has she or the prosecution made that claim. Never. Simply irresponsible to speculate wildly about something like that at this stage of the process.

  348. The Gunner says:

    Neverett works a lot cheaper than Frattare, that’s how!

  349. Me, too. I’m looking forward to a game one of our teams should and may win.

  350. Dom says:

    I certainly agree but I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.

    He really only had one good season and that was his rookie year.

    He’s at best a bench player.

  351. Jandy says:

    And, I’m actually pulling for the Habs to beat Bahstahn, as much as I can’t stand Punk Subban. I can’t stand Punk Marchand, Zdeno Chara, and Milan Lucic more….lol

  352. Jandy says:

    You having some V-8 drinks, SPunkster???

  353. Couldn’t agree more, Dom. And the bench location is in Indiana.

  354. Jandy says:

    You’re too kind, Domski, he’s a total disappointment, and this from me ~ I was one of his biggest supporters.

  355. hockeymonster says:

    He was actually holding his own on PK.

  356. theplanisworking says:

    Question:

    Most on this blog see Snider stinks.
    Has stunk for a while.
    Stunk with the Jays.
    Probably smelled in high school too. ;)

    If we, the great unwashed, who know nothing of baseball economics, and aren’t allowed to discuss other topics ……………. can see Snider is a liability, then why oh why is he being trotted out there frequently?

  357. Jandy says:

    Yeah Andrew, they say he is…and what Monster Mash says seems to support it.

  358. The Gunner says:

    Bay

    The Box Tops had a hit with “Cry Like a Baby”, not the Grass Roots.

  359. Jandy says:

    Because he has the keys to the lunchroom and he won’t share them!

  360. NMR says:

    Actually was just looking at some reliever stuff this morning, Andrew, and I couldn’t agree more.

    Bryan Morris is not the answer. Justin Wilson is not the answer. Tony Watson isn’t the answer.

    Melancon is the best guy for the job, without a doubt.

  361. hockeymonster says:

    Problem is that with vitale playing disco can load up with geno n sid cuz vitale can play center. Gibby won’t be playing center in that scenario. Gibby for vitale is only way i see him getting back in but vitale has been better. Looks like game is slowing down for him.

  362. theplanisworking says:

    I thought his nickname was ‘lunchbox’, not ‘lunchroom’.
    Might explain a few things ………

  363. tdb1977 says:

    Not sure if this was brought up or not, but the Bucs @ Dodgers tilt on Sunday, June 1st has been moved to Sunday Night Baseball on the 4 letter network.

  364. Dom says:

    On a side note, Brad Lincoln currently has an 11.5 ERA and recently demoted to AAA.

    Last year he had an ERA a little below 4 but he closed out a lot of games with no saves. I wonder if he’s been reserved to mop up duty.

    I’m not defending NH, just happy we didn’t give up a lot for TS.

  365. NMR says:

    Same reason Brandon Moss’s and Garrett Jones of the world kept getting chances, plan.

    Snider has shown stretches of putting it all together, that can’t be taken away from him. GM’s see that in guys and start to dream.

  366. I need to stock up at the Mart, Jandecita. Big weekend of lawn mowing, et al ahead.

    Then, after that, I can watch the grass grow instead of Toronto trotting out Cy Young for Sat. and Sun.

    Get to preach on Sunday. That’ll help.

  367. Jim S. says:

    Has a nice sound to it. I just feel that for a team that is good, but not totally dominant, like the Bucs were last year, if they are to win mid-90s games they need to win the close ones and not have many absolute giveaways. That was pretty much the formula last year.

    This year, there have been several games that were all but penciled in the W column that somehow got away. Last night was another. They need to go get some of those kinds of wins now to make up for the ones they blew. I’d be thrilled with 85 wins now.

  368. NMR says:

    May 2nd, and we’re already rehashing trades. Ah yes, feels like the good ole days!

  369. Wild Bill says:

    Ok, thanks. Will consider that.

  370. The Gunner says:

    I have a lot more respect for Morton than I used to – he was kinda goofy when he first came up. But, he has matured but, he will never be your ace.

  371. Jandy says:

    LOL SPunkster…don’t forget the ice ;)

  372. The Gunner says:

    In a beer league

  373. theplanisworking says:

    Their dreams……… our nightmares. ;)

  374. Jim S. says:

    That Lucic is a real peach, isn’t he? Got a like a guy who takes his stick and rams it up between another guys legs from behind. Real class move. Pretty gutless, actually.

  375. :D

    Got an extra frig in the breezeway, mainly for drinks.

  376. Wild Bill says:

    Another month of ball like the Bucs have been playing, and they’ll find some other game.

  377. Jandy says:

    Darn right, Jim, and one reason why I can’t stand the lunk. I’d love to see Bortuzzo give him some grief.

  378. Dom says:

    I don’t like the idea of nationally televising the Buccos.

    Just because we’re suffering doesn’t mean the rest of the country has to.

  379. Cobra39 says:

    Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd have 39 RBIs between them. Burnett has a 2.15 ERA. But they were either too expensive, too old or some combination of both to keep.

    If the BMTIB just had kept together the team from the end of last year they wouldn’t be where they are right now.

  380. NMR says:

    Truth!

  381. NormL says:

    Great news….the Tigers bolstered their bullpen with the signing of Hanny

  382. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  383. Reading says:

    Since the Pirates purportedly saved at least $15M each when they waited to bring up guys like Cutch, Walker, Pedro, Marte, Cole, Polanco, and Taillon, there should be a stash of $105M someplace.

  384. NormL says:

    Even though Adams has played better, I’d rather see The Gibber out there. It’ll never happen tho. I’d also like to see Bennett get some PP time

  385. Arriba Wilver says:

    Coerce? No.

    Subtly suggest? Jury’s still out, my friend.

  386. cmat0829 says:

    Got a late start to the blogathon today… but rest assured I read every post above. My two cents:

    1) Absolutely agree with DK. Things like ‘tone’ only seem to matter when the opinions asserted are in disagreement. Not sure why a few topics (and we know what they are) strike such a nerve. On the Polanco topic I completely agree with DK’s opinion that it is stupid to spend $15M (or even $10M) on 6 weeks of a rookie. IT is stupid. But a person who feels differently is not stupid. And sometimes doing stupid things makes sense.

    But last year I disagreed with a lot of his early season assertions of the Pirates start not being sustainable, bullpen usage, etc. I don’t recall ever attacking DK’s tone or feeling the need to personally attack or be personally attacked, just for a difference of opinion! This is MORE FUN when we have different opinions, but I just don’t understand why it has to get so negative and nasty and personal.

    2) I also agree with DK that this Pirates team is UNDERACHIEVING so far….meaning that their TALENT level and ability is better than their performance to date. That is not saying they don’t deserve their 10-18 record, but it is a statement that they SHOULD be able to start performing better, and the record will improve when they do start playing better. This is a new experience for us. Prior to last season, we pretty much would predict the team would have a losing season and then we’d bitch and moan about every loss during the season when indeed they were just living up to their reputation and our predictions. This is different. Many of us (most probably) predicted a much better result this season and that is driving us crazy right now. But this is not 2008, 2009 …for better or worse.

    3) I’m hoping that yesterday’s doubleheader was rock bottom for this team. Maybe it was the many hours I had to listen to Tim Neverett, but it was my personal rock bottom. Frustrating in that the Orioles pitchers appeared to be very hittable but Buc after Buc would swing through a 90 mph fastball right down the middle and shake their head walking back to the dugout (including Cutch). Truly frustrating.

    4) The Bucs pitching has been erratic, their fielding has sucked, really…and their hitting has been massively disappointing, but I see no evidence — zero — of this team ‘packing it in’, quitting, ‘not playing with fire’, etc. I know some of you believe that, but I’d need you to present evidence of that. Yes, they suck right now. Yes they are losing and not looking good doing it. But to say the team has quit and lacks leadership, etc. is just unfounded. I have heard many athletes, coaches, etc say over and over again that things like “chemistry” and “clubhouse atmosphere” are severely overrated. Winning teams seem to have good chemistry and losing teams lack it. What you most want from leaders is accountability. Leading by example. Does anyone really think…I mean really, beyond the ‘bumper sticker’ opinion that teams need leadership… that say having AJB here this year would have lead to a different record (besides the games he would actually pitch)? If this defense was bumbling plays behind AJ the way they are for the other pitchers, I’d fear AJ would’ve injured someone by now…. or have had 5-6 arguments with CH or Searage by now.

    5) 10-18 is what it is. And yes, mathematically the Bucs will need to go on a tear at some point to get above water and to truly compete. Someone said the Pirates are this year’s version of last year’s Nationals. If I recall, weren’t the Nationals severely underperforming early, racked by injuries, and then got white hot in September and put pressure on the Pirates and Reds in the wild card? And of course there were the Dodgers too. It is so early in the season that I will say this — the records DON’T MATTER. Step 1 is for the players who can play better to play better. And there is not a single player on this team that can’t play better than they have so far this season. Not ONE. Step 2 is for the team to make some changes where there are better options, and that is gonna happen. Step 3, the result of 1 and 2, is for the team to start performing better. IF that happens, then the record will improve WHEN it does. If not, that will all take care of itself.

    I think I posted this last summer during the what many predicted was EPIC COLLAPSE III…. I have watched almost every Pirate game since 2001….and followed before that as much as I could online and otherwise, and have been a Pirate fan since 1976 (when I was 5 years old)…before that I can’t claim to have followed the team that closely :) I am not about to stop watching every game now…it is part of the ride. And yes part of the ride is doubting this team will ever win again… part of the ride is throwing something at the wall as Pedro swings right through another 90 mph fastball that is so eminently hittable…. but it is the ride. And I look forward to enjoying the part of the ride that is 4 HRs in 4 days by Pedro… when Marte gets it going…. when Cole dominates…. and when Polanco gallops around PNC full of pure joy to be playing this game. And the best news is that ride is awaiting….

  387. Jandy says:

    Hey Norm, I like the Hobbitt (Gibber) a lot…but I worry that he’ll be abused in the grind of the playoffs. That said, he should be ok against the Rangers.
    Have you signed up your hometown for Dejan’s Lunatcis’ Asylum?

  388. cmat0829 says:

    Did I miss your post in October where you wanted Justin Morneau back on this team? That was the time for that opinion. I can’t find anyone who thought Morneau (whose Pirates tenure looked a lot like Ike Davis so far) was a priority for this team to sign. But I’m sure I’m wrong.

    Byrd is different…many, included me, were hoping he might come back…but come June he would be a 4th OF and I highly doubt Marlon was going to go with that….and let’s not fool ourselves, doubt ANY of us wanted Byrd in RF now and not Polanco.

    And yes, AJ was a missed opportunity for this team. I do think his BS factor played a part in that. As Locke said there is AJ and there is JA…. the Bucs could have signed AJ if they REALLY WANTED him in the fall….if they played to his ego and begged him and ponied up $14M, I think AJ would’ve come back. But i don’t think anyone in the organization was behaving like they REALLY WANTED him…. so this is as much on Hurdle and Searage as it is on NH/Nutting.

    I do criticize the FO for not being more aggressive in the offseason, but if their moves would have been to re-sign Byrd Morneau and AJ, I would’ve criticized that probably just as much.

  389. Andrew says:

    I was thinking about Gibbons for Glass or Adams, who are redundant. Gibbons bring some ability that neither of the former possess. But I realize this is wishful thinking.

  390. Jandy says:

    I don’t mind what Glass brings. Adams…well, I don’t see DB letting his “general” go for anyone. He’ll sit Vitale before he sits Adams.

  391. Sarah says:

    And then called him a coward.
    You can’t make this stuff up.

  392. Andrew says:

    Hard throwers who struggle with control are so overrated, even when they move to the bullpen the lack of a plus breaking pitch limits their effectiveness. I do not mind Watson, the most recent version of him seems to limits walks and the change up neutralizes platoon splits. If you are going walk guys, Morris, Wilson, you better bring a K/9 rate near 9, as for Pimental I’m not sure that slider is going to work when his fastball is sitting at 90 mph.

  393. Jandy says:

    the likes of Carcillo, Lucic, Chris Neil, etc, shouldn’t be allowed to play in this league.

  394. Reading says:

    The problem I have with the “bringing up Polanco now will cost the Pirates $15M for six weeks” argument, is that it is a wholly manufactured illusory argument. Where does that number come from? Have the Pirates been burned in the past to the tune of $15M by bringing a prospect up before June? Has any team? Do all prospects called up before June cost their yeam $15M, or just select prospects?

  395. Sarah says:

    So we’re returning to fwd lines that didn’t work?
    And moving Scuderi up to 2nd pairing?

  396. Cobra39 says:

    Where are you getting the hint that there might be a “subtly suggest”? If you have no basis at all to make that comment, then it shouldn’t even be put into words.

    Oh, and I’m not a Penn Stater; I’m a Pitt grad. It’s just I read and hear writers and radio blowhards from Pittsburgh and the dislike for Penn State is not hard to uncover.

  397. cmat0829 says:

    I hesitantly weigh in here because on a macro level I don’t disagree with you. Ownership in other places, Toronto for one, has taken a more aggressive/flexible view of multi-year payroll monies and allowed the GM to take unspent money from one season and apply it to another season, etc., so I do think the Pirates can do better on that. So, for example, our OF of Marte/Cutch/Polanco, which will be the core of this team the next few years, will be very, very affordable, so that should open up the ability to pay for a big-time FA starting pitcher and perhaps pay Russell Martin what he needs to stay. THAT is when I’ll truly judge this FO…. if they really do leverage the ability to be competitive when they can be competitive to fill holes this team has.

    That said, though, I still affirm my position that it is short-sighted (at best) to burden future years’ payroll flexibility for 5 weeks of a rookie this season. We can argue whether it is $15M, or $8M, or $12M…. and with inflation, it can be $20M eventually or $40M…. I just don’t see the value equation there. Even counting for postseason ticket sales, etc. I get the arguments, and as a fan I want to just say Screw It and bring Polanco up. And I will cheer if /when they do that before Super 2. But I would also say that as a business and competitive move, it was a bad idea. And we will eventually have to pay for that in COMPETITIVE ways.. not just Nutting ways. Not different from kicking the can down the road with the cap in the NFL…eventually you pay for it. And it doesn’t make it worth it when you do.

  398. GAWTS2009 says:

    Really love your last paragraph here. We can only hope the best is to come.

  399. Jandy says:

    Someone suggested this was just “illusion” lines to confuse NY….I dunno…

  400. cmat0829 says:

    um ok.

  401. Dom says:

    Justin Morneau is 9th in the league in homers and 6th in batting average. Sure wish we could have offered him more than that $6.25/yr that the Rockies got him for.

  402. Jandy says:

    Just so it’s not Sarah’s ;)

  403. Jandy says:

    +++

  404. GAWTS2009 says:

    and what little faith in humanity people had left takes another hit.

  405. NMR says:

    #finance

  406. NMR says:

    Thank you, Cobra.

  407. Jandy says:

    indeed…thanks goodness the lady was suspicious when the perp snuck in the back way.

  408. cmat0829 says:

    I’m far from an arbitration expert, so as I see it:

    1) Calling a prospect up now, vs. late June, would likely allow the player to achieve arbitration status a YEAR EARLIER than otherwise and to have 4 arbitration years vs. 3.

    2) Before arbitration, the team sets the players salary, generally close to the minimum amount, sometimes a bit higher to show ‘good faith’ toward a hoped-for extension.

    3) If the player is even remotely decent, it is pretty clear arbitration = substantial raise for the player.

    4) If the player is very very good, that raise can be very high. Ryan Howard has the record for the first year of $10M…that is about a $9.5M raise over the minimum in year 1. Speculation is that someone can eclipse $12M in the near future (perhaps that is Polanco?). So let’s give a range… earlier arbitration impact is between $5M (pretty low) and $11.5M.

    5) The player would go back to arbitration 3 additional seasons… and it is not very hard to justify annual raises in the MLB arbitration process. Let’s just say it’s a 10% increment above the larger base, which is about $500K – $1M per season, times 3. That is a range of $1.5M (low) and $3M.

    6) The math would then say the impact of Super2 is between $6.5M and $14.5M, the higher number is what we are all hoping for, because if Polanco is not that good then why bother?

    I think we can all argue any number between $7M and even $20M, but we can’t really debate the fact that it will be a future impact and that those dollars will need to be used for this player and not for other players. And that is where I say it is dumb to pay that much money for 5 weeks of a rookie…

  409. NMR says:

    Normal players get three years of arbitration. Super 2 players get four.

    It isn’t hard to project what that would potentially cost.

  410. Ed Costello says:

    Why read? Because you are one of the better wordsmiths in Pittsburgh sports. Still, that is damning with faint praise.

    Beyond that, no reporters seem to want to ask the hard questions of the owners or the fan base. Where did this mythical $15 million figure originate? Why should fans care whether Bob Nutting “wastes” $15 million on a chance — slim as it may be — to salvage the season?

    A financial commitment to winning is what fans should expect from sports owners. Fans should not be concerned about Bob Nutting’s ability to line his pockets with an additional $15 million. After all, the Pirates are making money hand over fist, based on the best available data out there.

    This season is lost now. I don’t know of any MLB teams that have come back to make the playoffs after posting a .370 winning percentage through April. Based on that and by your own logic, the Bucs may as well not “waste” money on Polanco until late June 2015.

  411. Dom says:

    DK said that Nutting does withdraw a salary in his chat if that is what is implied.

  412. Nate83 says:

    It looks like it may end up being a good signing for the Rockies. I’m not sure how many other teams where even close to be interested in Morneau for that amount. I would have bet my house he wouldn’t put numbers up like that and I still would that he won’t do that the rest of the year but I have been wrong plenty of times. Thanks god I don’t actually bet my house ever.

    He seems like a really good person and he went through a lot over the last 4 or 5 years so I’m happy to see him doing well even if it isn’t for the Pirates.

  413. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m calling for a “white out” in my living room during the Pens game tonight. Ill be providing myself with a white t-shirt and I’ll be waiving a white towel sponsored by Sargento cheese. Free white t-shirts to the first 5 admitted to my house.

    (My kids and wife don’t do sports so they won’t be able to claim any of the t-shirts).

  414. Cobra39 says:

    Morneau was one of several options the team could’ve chosen. I like Morneau — a good-fielding 1B who can play every day; yeah, I’ll take that. Unless you’re one of the guys who thought he was never going to hit a HR in the NL despite having a proven MLB track record. He just had a bad stretch with the Bucs. As proven in Colorado, he can indeed hit in the NL. And he wasn’t the only choice, there were a few guys in FA like that but the Pirates couldn’t nab any of them. What they ended up with was Sanchez and Lambo.

    It’s good to know that Polanco is already headed for stardom. How many “former top prospects” from other organizations have the Bucs brought in to have them fail miserably? The point is that you’d have an established major league hitter like Byrd in the outfield and not have to rely on a minor league phenom to fix your glaring RF problem over two months into the season.

    And there’s no point in rehashing the AJ argument for what seems like the millionth time. There were some people who strongly wanted him back (like me) and others who thought that the team would be okay without him or the money better spent elsewhere. I still think it will prove to be a mistake no matter who was really responsible for the decision.

  415. cmat0829 says:

    I could’ve saved a lot of typing :)

  416. Jandy says:

    Count me in! Do you also have white Russians???

  417. cmat0829 says:

    I don’t appreciate the condescending tone of you posting a link to that article…which was obviously anoymously penned by the Miserly Bob Nutting on an old-fashioned typewriter in the dark. You are just making up lies and hiding behind the real truth.

  418. Wild Bill says:

    Having a bottle of white Zinfandel with a straw in it, John??

  419. Baywatch says:

    I’m JUXTAPOSED, Gun! Nice pickup!

  420. JohninOshkosh says:

    No creamy alcoholic drinks served in my house. It’s scotch, bourbon or beer…or if you are George Thorogood, you can have all three.

    No girl drinks, please.

    Although, White Russian was the drink of choice for the Dude in the Great Lebowski.

    Oh, and this is a Pepsi house…..unless Coke is on sale.

  421. cmat0829 says:

    Add Morneau to the pile that is Brandon Moss, Adam LaRoche, even Ryan Ludwick. We may soon add to that pile Travis Snider. All players I lost patience with….and all decisions I completely endorse… which makes Monday Morning QBing all the more irrelevant.

    Outside of Joey Bats and AJB, I don’t think there are any exPirates who I’d have made a different decision on. I do NOT include Aramis Ramirez as that was extraordinary circumstances with the debt issue, which many people often forget to mention. But that does include Bay, Sanchez, Wilson, McLouth, et al.

    But it is almost as much pointless fun to bring up player stats for this crowd as it is to bring up player stats for the players we could’ve signed as FA but didn’t.

  422. Wild Bill says:

    If watching the Pirates, one might wish to have all three – at the same time.

  423. Tom P. says:

    +1

  424. JohninOshkosh says:

    My father-in-law makes his own wine. I’ve got gallons of awful home made hooch in my basement. Just waiting for my kids to break into when they get to high school.

  425. Jandy says:

    haha Oshie, I really don’t drink White Russians, my sister does, that’s the only way I know what it is. I’m a beer or wine girl myself…unless it’s Cap’n ‘n Coke (Pepsi will do) :)

  426. Jandy says:

    +++

  427. Jandy says:

    Your kids will love their Grandfather lol

  428. Jandy says:

    Bazing!

  429. Jandy says:

    You’re on! ;)

  430. Jandy says:

    HEY, you can always change them into 1st basemen ala Stetson Allie!

  431. NMR says:

    Remember last August, Dom?

  432. NMR says:

    No no, yours was much better, and less condescending.

    I think where Reading is confused is the difference between saving money on a guaranteed contract and saving money on POTENTIAL arbitration.

    Nutting doesn’t have a stash of money laying around from those other players Reading mentioned because Nutting never had to tender them that amount in the first place. That’s the whole Super 2 debate in a nutshell.

  433. Jandy says:

    Loonies, gotta get some stuff done, then go home for the weekend. Looking forward to watching Pens hockey tonight. Have a good weekend, Loonies!
    :D

  434. cmat0829 says:

    I guess my point is um, yeah, if Morneau can put up those numbers at PNC then yeah I want him here too. As of last fall, the Morneau I saw sucked…no power, defense wasn’t as good as advertised, etc. So I’d have been pissed if their 1b “fix” was Morneau. If only they can look into the future to see what a player can do… I saw plenty enough of Morneau last fall. Let’s not forget the Coors Field effect on offensive stats, though, too.

    As to Byrd, no thanks. I’ll take Polanco and you can check back with me in August on that one. Giving Byrd 2 years would have been idiotic, just as it will be for Philly to have done so.

    Monday Morning QB can be fun. It’s just pointless.

  435. JohninOshkosh says:

    *Big

  436. Stuart says:

    Thank You Bay, I feel better.

    Stu

  437. Thundercrack says:

    +1 NMR

  438. Sarah says:

    Sigh…..

  439. Sarah says:

    Wow Peeps this is sure a baseball town!! Lotta talk about a team way below 500 in the early months of the season, compared to a team with a chance to get to the final 8 of the SCP….Yikes!

    Did I miss the hockey thread ?? :-D

  440. Sarah says:

    WHOOPS I meant IN the Final 8 with a chance for final 4!!!!!

    Too much baseball talk has addled my brain lol!!!!

  441. Football fans = Blame Tomlin
    Hockey fans = Blame Bylsma
    Baseball fans = Blame the writers

    Ed, if you don’t think I ask tough questions, do me a favor please and don’t read. Because it clearly wasn’t getting through, anyway.

    Thanks for the faint praise!

  442. My last real assessment of how good or bad the Pirates are/were was more than a week ago. They’ve lost a lot of games since then. I don’t stick by a position without considering new criteria, so don’t label that position as permanent.

  443. Sarah says:

    We’ll see how long it takes Lucic to cup-check PK!
    (who, though much as I hate him, would trade heavily to have him on the Pens right now! )

    I know , blasphemy lol!!!

    And in the STAY CLASSY Dept, Boston “fans” tossing garbage (and racial epithets) at Habs as they left the ice last night.

    That city got a pass from me after the marathon bombings last year….but man, I think it just ran out.

  444. Sarah says:

    Orpiks is an abdominal injury apparently…..he has a history of that.

  445. TK says:

    9:30PM Tonight

    NBCSN

    Minnesota Wild vs Chicago Blackhawks

    This season the Wild have used seven (7) goaltenders including tonight’s backup…

    Former Penguin prospect John Curry.

    Not a comment on the Penguins. I just didn’t know he had even played (or come close to playing) in the NHL this season.

    And now he is one injury away from playing in a Stanley Cup game.

    Funny how things sometimes work out.

  446. Ed Costello says:

    Seriously, Dejan, I’m trying to focus on a couple of issues I think are important:

    1.) Where did the $15 million number come from? (I believe that number is high. It would require that Polanco perform at a superstar level. And even if he did, $15 million might be a high estimate.)
    2.) Assuming that the $15 million number is accurate, is that too much for the fans to ask to take a shot at salvaging the season? Given the revenues the Pirates are estimated to be making, I would say no. In fact, I question what kind of fan wants to kick the can on Polanco down the road to a distant future season that might not include Cutch, Cole and Alvarez.

  447. Leo Walter says:

    You haven’t watched him enough then.

  448. JohninOshkosh says:

    I love watching the Hawks but I am North Stars fan first and foremost. That being said, the Wild will be lucky to get to 6 games. GT has been an issue for some time. They were able to overcome such deficiencies against the Avs. Not likely against the powerful Hawks.

    All the series are fascinating. Habs/Bruins for historical reasons alone. Pens/Rangers are nice coupling. Wild and Hawks for a battle of the Midwest. And the battle for LaLa land should be entertaining stuff to fall asleep to (West Coast games and all).

  449. TK says:

    Do you think Corey Crawford is good enough or do you think the Hawks should try to obtain someone else as their starting goaltender?

    I have always thought the Hawks won in spite of him not because of him.

  450. Ed, if you think you can waltz in and have your third comment here be a personal insult, then just, hey, man, let’s talk it out … that’s not me.

    You want to have a real conversation?

    We have plenty of people here eminently capable of that. That’s something we kind of take pride in here. People who get personal — especially with each other — are gone, no questions asked. We talk sports.

    I’m happy to talk if you explain the personal stuff in the initial post.

  451. JohninOshkosh says:

    Very good question.

    It’s hard to argue with that SC Trophy sitting in the trophy case at the UC. But, I agree, their overall talent hides some of the GT warts. I think they cruise against the Wild, but will have a tougher go at it against either Southern California team. Some of the GT weaknesses you speak of could bite them in the WC Finals.

    If they do exit, it will be interesting to see what happens over the summer.

  452. Ed Costello says:

    “Damning with faint praise?” Seriously, you are going to cut me off because of that “personal insult”? Wow… never mind where the $15 million estimate came from. It’s a number that’s getting tossed around a lot. I’m asking what’s the source on that. Is it accurate?

  453. Reading says:

    Appreciate the responses and additional info re: Super 2, etc. Is it really that bad though that a guy gets paid? The Phils still seem to sign players despite Howard’s record raise.

  454. Sarah says:

    John Curry?
    Wow.
    Hope they stay healthy, I do not remember Curry as having NHL potential, at all.
    But who knows, times change, hope he has developed.
    A LOT.

  455. Sarah says:

    With that team, the G needs to be in the avg-to-good category to get it done IMO. See the RedWings in the Osgood years….

    I like Crawfish! He rose to the occasion last yr v BOS.

    But they could do better In goal IMO……

  456. BillyBaduka says:

    Another fine post Milo.

  457. Arriba Wilver says:

    A question shouldn’t even be put into words?

    Unless you know with 100% certainty the answer, the question surely should be asked. And this IS a blog.

    smh

  458. Arriba Wilver says:

    But to get back to the main point, the attempted “justification” of the alleged media bias against Penn State by comparing this to the Sandusky situation is sickening, frankly.

  459. BillyBaduka says:

    Fair questions, I think.

  460. BillyBaduka says:

    I think the top 2 lines make sense Sarah.

    The Rangers don’t have a Dubinsky Center to put on Crosby. They use top D pairing for that.

    Having Malkin on Sid’s line made sense against CBJ. Dubs couldn’t cover both.

    If Malkin remains with Sid makes it easier for Rangers to pair top D against top line. They can’t put them against both a Sid and Geno line.

    Same philosophy – make them pick their poison just different solution.

  461. d says:

    DK:

    Why so sensitive, man??? Let’s talk this out :)

  462. d says:

    DK:

    Just tell your Trib people to start charging to read your pieces then you won’t have to worry about telling people to not stick around and read. That’s ok, newspapers are going to be extinct in a few more years anyway :)

  463. Arriba Wilver says:

    Is Ed Costello the same person as Ed Dickson?

    I’m confused.

  464. Arriba Wilver says:

    You can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay, but you doesn’t have to call me Johnson.

 
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