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Morning Java: Wandy Morris?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

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>> The Thursday column from PNC Park looks at all that ails the Pirates this season and decides that one 22-year-old in the minors can make all the difference all by himself. Or not.

Here’s what Clint Hurdle had to say on that count:

And Mark Melancon:

Wandy Rodriguez is pitching like Matt Morris II, but will that  knock him out? Hurdle sounded one way when he spoke to us before the game, quite another afterward. Rob Biertempfel has the game story.

Revisiting Jameson Taillon vs. Manny Machado, by Travis Sawchik.

Blogginess from the scene: Part of me actually appreciates the Pirates’ approach to the rotation, even though it hasn’t worked out. You have to hope for optimal circumstances. You really do. Wandy becoming Wandy again was optimal. Same goes for Francisco Liriano. But there comes a time to cut and run, and 19-26 sounds about right. Getting dark outside. … Spring training evaluation blown to bits, Part XLVIIIII: Bryan Morris. Seriously, make note of that the next time you read or hear of a guy showing all kinds of extra oomph in Grapefruit ball. Some guys show up with stronger arms than others. The season evens all that out. … Lots and lots of Orioles fans in the place. Which makes you wonder how much smaller the already small crowd might have been had they not shown up. … You might not know this, but they announce in the press box the precise time of a delay for replay review. That is so baseball. … Anyone explain how every team in baseball passed up Vin Mazzaro on waivers? … Starling Marte told me his back trouble doesn’t feel serious to him, but he’s still taking every precaution to keep it under control. Backs can be really bad things. … THE ORIOLES DID A SHIFT LAST NIGHT AND GOT A PLAYER OUT. I THOUGHT ONLY THE PIRATES DID THAT. (Sorry.) … Wonderful to see the 1979 guys. Always. Especially Dave Parker, under these circumstances, and my childhood hero Rennie Stennett. And nothing means anything in that process apart from how happy they are to see each other again and put on the uniform. Champions walk together forever.

Here’s Parker and Stennett, elegantly captured by our Chris Horner

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.

>> The TribLIVE Radio show yesterday featured calls from Israel, New Mexico, Michigan and just around the corner. Lots and lots of fun. Enjoyed this one.

Here’s the opening segment in living color:

Thanks to special guest Mark Kaboly and all who called!

>> It was not a good day to a Penguins defenseman with a shoulder. Olli Maatta and Derrick Pouliot both go down to surgery, both with statuses to open next season uncertain.

Stop what you’re doing and check this video of the unbelievable goal Brian Gibbons scored last night for Wilkes-Barre in the Calder Cup playoffs. He’s the centerman on the left taking the draw. Follow no one else. Just him.

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

Here are official game highlights on NHL.com.

>> The NFL lines up for its latest lawsuit, by Kaboly.

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

>> Please see a special message on my Facebook page about the ongoing crushing floods in Serbia, Bosnia and part of Croatia.

>> I’ll be back at PNC Park for more today. 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. Wild Bill says:

    Awesome to see the ’79 Pirates during pre-game. Then we had to watch the current Pirates and Os production of The Agony And The Ecstasy for three and a half hours. At least it had a happy ending.

  2. Wild Bill says:

    The only thing worse than repairing the shoulders of two young Pens defensemen would be not repairing them. Heal quickly and well, guys!

  3. Wild Bill says:

    And, at least Gibbons wasn’t in the OR with them.

  4. Jim S. says:

    Good stuff, DK. I echo your thoughts almost to the word. Tomorrow should be Volquez’s last chance to get it right, and if he implodes again … off to the pen he goes. Wandy needs to be cut loose immediately. I don’t even want to see him in the pen.

    Took a boat ride tonight on a corporate outing to Minneapolis-SP on something that looked exactly like it came from the Gateway Clipper Fleet. I like this town, or should I say these towns, well enough. There is a lot to like about MSP, including a pretty vibrant night life in Minneapolis. But, there was not much to see on the boat ride. Let’s just say, it ain’t the Burgh.

    Go Kings!! My friends and neighbors in Chicago are insufferable when the Hawks win.

  5. Unfortunately, the use of painkillers and their abuse thereof has always been a part of college and pro football and it likely still is, and it likely will continue to be unless more action is taken to curb it than there ever has been, and, hopefully, this lawsuit will start the ball rolling in the right direction, if possible.

  6. Wild Bill says:

    The Kings opened up a can on the Hawks in the third period tonight, Jim. You must be a happy man.

  7. Wild Bill says:

    With ya, James.

  8. Jim S. says:

    I missed it, Wild Bill. But, I did follow the score. That series could be a classic.

  9. Wild Bill says:

    The Indy Indians will soon be about emptied of starting pitchers if Jim and I have our way.

  10. Wild Bill says:

    Two really good teams with no quit in them.

  11. DemonDachshund says:

    I’m surprised they aren’t referring to them as “upper body surgeries”.

  12. Jim S. says:

    Well said, James.

  13. Jim S. says:

    Exactly.

  14. Wild Bill says:

    Good one, DD!

  15. Brian Croasmun says:

    A Jimmy Anderson reference in proper context. I’m impressed. How long has that one been waiting in the Rolodex?

  16. Jim S. says:

    For sure. You can’t keep sending some of these guys out there.

  17. Ha! About four seconds. I typed the sentence before that with the 1-17 record, and it had a very Jimmy Anderson feel.

  18. My sincere hope concerning Wandy is that he won’t start another game this season unless he can show that he can do better than 1.2 innings last night.

  19. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    There’s no way the Pirates can continue to put Wandy Rodriguez out there.
    In no uncertain terms….He’s finished.
    On the brighter side of things….It was nice seeing the ’79 Bucco’s.
    Great memories!

  20. Ghost says:

    Unfair swipes at Justin Morneau and A.J. I get that the Pirates made the determination to use their money to chase Josh Johnson and James Loney instead of Burnett. But at the same time, that must have prompted A.J. to feel it was time to move on from the Pirates, if not retire all together. The page had turned. Most of us around here — though hoping against hope — were resigned to how this would play out and did not hold it against A.J. As for the $12 mil. offer, it came only after Johnson and Loney said “no thank you.” Besides, the Phillies then came a-calling with a chance for A.J. to commute to work. And $15 mil.

    For some weird reason Morneau was not able to hit a home run during his 30-game stretch with us. But he did hit a serviceable .260 and have an OBP of .370. Even moreso here, I don’t get the scorn.

  21. Mizery says:

    I was able to get the transcript of Clint Hurdle and Wandy Rodriguez’s conversation after the game tonight. Really had to dig deep to get this.

    Knock, Knock

    Hurdle: Come in

    Wandy: Sir

    Hurdle: Wandy you should be in sick bay. What’s on your mind?

    Wandy: My wife and Kid Sir. I almost orphaned them today and I’ve never seen him. I don’t know what happened up there but I was so scared.

    Hurdle: We’ve seen this before.

    Wandy: No sir, I’m holding on to tight. I’ve lost the edge. I’m sorry sir.

    Wandy then precedes to turn in his wings……………..

  22. Ghost says:

    “There is a lot to like about MSP, including a pretty vibrant night life in Minneapolis.”
    You dog, you!

  23. Matt hoffman says:

    Wandy sure makes you reminisce of the good ole’ days of “Hardluck” Jose De Leon! At least Jose had a good ERA!

  24. John Lease says:

    Wandy, Liriano and Morton ALL love giving up any leads they ever get right back. They relish it. Smother it with gravy and chomp it right down.

    No mention of the Pirates letting Garrett Jones go for nada Dejan? Think he’d have made a difference? I do.

  25. tdb1977 says:

    Wandy should be shown the door today. Brandon Cumpton should be replacing him in the rotation. If Edinson blows up tonight, he should be shown the door as well. Casey Sadler appears to be the next in line for a starting gig with the way he shown this season in AAA. Francisco should be given a couple more starts and if he doesn’t improve, then a trip to the CL, I mean DL, should be in order for him. At that point, Vance Worley should be stretched out and could take his spot in the rotation for a couple of starts while Francisco is down to get any ailment he has worked out. Management needs to put forth the best possible rotation and the first two listed above have shown little to deserve a spot in this rotation. Money be damned at this point. Its time to right this ship and get it sailing in the right direction. The playoffs are a pretty much a forgone after thought for this season, but they can still save face and make a run to make this season look reasonable, despite what has been shown to start the season.

  26. chethejet1 says:

    Pitching is a mess and there are few answers to go to. Cumpton, maybe Locke and where is Stormy? Wandy is a veteran who lost his juice before many thought he would. Cole, Morton and Francisco have to stabilize the pitching rotation and find a capable fourth guy. Volquez has to be informed the wheels are coming off and he need to show it right now. June 1 has to be about who can we go with.

  27. NMR says:

    Beautiful!

  28. NMR says:

    Loved all the references, DK, but Jeff Karstens II? You’re doing Jeff a disservice, friend. Cumpton has had a handful of good starts and has options. You know exactly why he’s still in Indianapolis.

    Do you think maybe, just maybe, if you make it a point to blow up the silly Spring Training narratives like the great Morris velocity increase of ’14, Ishikawa’s “professional” at-bats, and Travis Snider’s Jenny Craig success people will stop questioning why you say every year to take them with a gigantic grain of salt? Nah…

  29. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t have scorn for Justin Morneau. Very glad at the time that the Bucs traded for him and I’m happy he’s doing well in Colorado. And I am surprised he is doing so well because based on the games I saw him when he was wearing a Bucco uniform I thought he was washed up. I didn’t think he should be resigned and didn’t expect him to bounce back this well.

    He may have hit .260 and had an OBP of .370, but he had 20 hits: 16 singles and 4 doubles. Zero home runs.
    3 RBI.

  30. NMR says:

    Can’t ever remember a pitcher completely losing command of his pitches after an injury like Wandy has.

    The guys on the broadcast kept talking about velocity. Guess what, folks, he wasn’t fooling anyone with that one extra mile per hour last year. Wandy Rodriguez has always done it with plus command, and this year Francisco might have a better idea where the ball is going.

    I don’t fault the team for going back to him, but I still have no idea what the rush was for. Clearly hadn’t regained his command in rehab starts, and could still be trying to find it in AAA right now if he weren’t rushed back.

  31. Thundercrack says:

    When a player is out on a rehab assignment does he have the ‘power’ to say when he wants it to end? Or if he even wants to go out on one?

    I think Wandy didn’t want to have many more rehab starts.

    At this point, he stinks.

  32. Jandy says:

    +++

  33. Jandy says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Kings and Hawks last evening. Both teams are just relentless. That Toffoli kid looks good for the Kings…

  34. The Gunner says:

    The BMTIB needs to eat Wandy’s contract and give Cumpton an opportunity to start in his place. Wandy was good at one time, but unfortunately, the end has come for him.

  35. JAL says:

    JAL’s And When I Die Morning Links

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

    Big hit by Blood, Sweat, and Tears, written by Laura Nyro

    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: It’s Time to Replace Wandy Rodriguez With Brandon Cumpton

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/05/first-pitch-its-time-to-replace-wandy-rodriguez-with-brandon-cumpton.html

    Prospect Watch: Nick Kingham and Jason Creasy Continue the Trend of Strong Pitching

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/05/prospect-watch-nick-kingham-and-jason-creasy-continue-the-trend-of-strong-pitching.html

    Prospect Report: Tyler Waldron sees success at all levels with new pitch

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/05/prospect-report-tyler-waldron-sees-success-at-all-levels-with-new-pitch.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates win 9-8 despite Wandy Rodriguez’s terrible outing

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/5/21/5740410/pirates-win-9-8-despite-wandy-rodriguezs-terrible-outing

    Postgame: Pirates offense overcomes another poor start by Rodriguez

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/5/22/5740132/postgame-rodriguez-struggles-again-but-bucs-prevail-9-8

    7 Rumbunter

    Tony Sanchez Delivers Game Winner, Takes Blame for Wandy Rodriguez

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/05/21/tony-sanchez-pittsburgh-pirates-wandy-rodriguez/

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Score Early & Often, Hang On For 9-8 Win

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/05/bucs-score-early-often-hang-on-for-9-8.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Series Wrap Up: Pitching, anyone?

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2014/05/series-wrap-up-pitching-anyone/

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Slug Their Way Out Of Trouble In Wild Win Over Baltimore

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/05/21/pittsburgh-pirates-slug-way-trouble-wild-win-baltimore/

  36. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 SB Nation

    With Stephen Drew gone, what shortstops are available?

    http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2014/5/21/5736578/stephen-drew-shortstops-adstrubel-cabrera-didi-gregorius

    12 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Nationals Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20140522_WAS@PIT/nationals-pirates-preview

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Samardzija still winless, still auditioning as Yankees top Cubs

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/27593200-573/samardzija-still-winless-still-auditioning-as-yankees-top-cubs.html#.U33YbEO8Bs4

    14 Baltimore Sun

    After rough start by Chris Tillman, Orioles fail to come back in 9-8 loss to Pirates

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bal-orioles-pirates-may-21-2014-game-recap-20140521,0,813564.story

    15 Pirates Site

    Pirates take slugfest on Sanchez’s RBI single

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_05_21_balmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Former All-Star Wilson to represent Bucs at Draft

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140521&content_id=76277726&notebook_id=76277892&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Chapman, Reds hold on for series win over Nationals

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2014/05/21/aroldis-chapman-series-win-reds-over-nationals/9396197/

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Mark Reynolds, Carlos Gomez lead Brewers’ resurgence

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/mark-reynolds-carlos-gomez-lead-brewers-resurgence-b99275093z1-260203591.html

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards win a weird one

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cards-win-a-weird-one/article_7cea0bed-da89-5aa2-a2a8-2a85f093b035.html

    19 Fangraphs

    Fifteen Mostly Modest Proposals For Speeding Up the Game

    http://www.fangraphs.com/not/fifteen-mostly-modest-proposals-for-speeding-up-the-game/

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    An Ode to the Double Play Pivot

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23657

  37. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Evaluating the Steelers 2014 Draft, Part II

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014-nfl-draft/2014/5/21/5734538/evaluating-the-steelers-draft-part-ii-daniel-mccullers

    Signing Santonio would benefit both the Steelers and Holmes

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/5/21/5739160/holmes-should-come-back-to-pittsburgh

    Dick LeBeau to answer critics in 2014

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/5/21/5738418/dick-lebeau-to-answer-critics-in-2014

    Soccer(football)

    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Suarez tops the BSports Power 50 ahead of Messi, Ibrahimovic & Ronaldo

    https://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/suarez-tops-bsports-power-50-messi-ibrahimovic-ronaldo#.U31HxkO8Bs4
    The Power 50 List

    https://www.bsports.com/power50-list#.U31IJkO8Bs4

    23 BBC Football

    Manchester United: Can Louis van Gaal be the club’s saviour?

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27299760

    24 World Soccer

    Arsene Wenger: football genius or lucky to still be in charge at Arsenal?

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/columnists/brian-glanville/arsene-wenger-football-genius-lucky-still-charge-arsenal

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Core shakeup: 3 players the Pittsburgh Penguins could trade this summer

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/5/21/5737938/pittsburgh-penguins-trade-rumors-kris-letang-james-neal

  38. Wild Bill says:

    This Jeff Samardzija story is crazy. 0 and 4 with a 1.46 era? Guess we should complain less, we could be the Cubs instead.

    Come to think of it, if the Bucs don’t pitch better, we soon will be the Cubs.

  39. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m with you, Ghost.

  40. kr70 says:

    2 stats that jump out at me, the pirate starters have 5 wins combined and Pedro has 2 doubles. Time to drop Pedro in the order. Time to see if Cumpton and any others (stretch out Justin Wilson) can do the job.

  41. SeanAY says:

    So who ends up going to beach volleyball?

  42. Dom says:

    The Buccos got at least one supporter in the Gregory Polanco debate:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/47457/pirates-not-mishandling-gregory-polanco

  43. Jandy says:

    Couldn’t load the gibbons goal with the link Dejan posted…found it…
    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/brian-gibbons–individual-effort-for-ahl-s-penguins-ends-as-goal-of-the-year-candidate–video-113003660.html

    Amazin goal! I wish he were about 4 inches taller….

  44. Jandy says:

    G’mornin SeanAY, have your coffee yet? ;)

  45. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good line: “The Pirates are publicly saying that Polanco is still in the minors because he’s learning to play right field and the finer points of baserunning (and maybe the proper technique for tucking in his jersey). ”

    :-)

  46. You liked my column, then?

    ;)

  47. Baywatch says:

    Classic line: “Gerrit Cole is 4-3 and the rest of the rotation 1-17. The rest of the staff, essentially, is Jimmy Anderson.” That one made me laugh out loud. Anderson could swing the bat, though! Never forget sitting in the left-field corner, one of my first trips to Three Rivers, and he bangs an opposite-field double down there!

  48. Baywatch says:

    I can just hear Polanco in one of his first DK videos, after he gets up: “Dean Treanor, he taugh’ me a lot down there, like how to go about my business, tucking in my jersey the right way. We spent las’ two weeks on that.”

  49. Dom says:

    Do you really have an online column we can read or were you just kidding around?

    It’s really hard for me to pick up sarcasm.

  50. Jandy says:

    Dom, you are soooo cute! :*

  51. Dom says:

    I’m not joking around. I’d like to read LNK’s article if it exists.

  52. CraiginVA says:

    Focusing on happier times for a moment- Rennie Stennett was also one of my favorites. The broken leg derailed what could have been a much much more impressive career. Parker’s career was also derailed by injury and, uh, other things…

    Guess every silver lining has a dark cloud somewhere. OK, back to the bunch playing in 2014…

  53. Jandy says:

    I know Dom, but you’re still cute.

    And I agree, Spunky is awesome!

  54. bpn8pitt says:

    Cumpton, I can buy. In a few spot starts, has gotten major league hitters out.

    Sadler and Worley? Different doesn’t mean better. Locke? Please.

    Beware. Of AAA. Numbers.

  55. SeanAY says:

    Nope. Coffee pot at home is broken, and K Cups are expensive.

  56. A win is a win is a win and we’ll take it, and the Pirates finally beat the Orioles, except that they didn’t look so good last night while doing that.

  57. Arriba Wilver says:

    Click on his name, Dom. It will take you to his site, but he ain’t talking baseball there. ;-)

  58. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    I wonder if folks in Boston (a team with 25 losses at the moment) have considered the postseason to be a foregone conclussion. Whole lotta baseball left tbd

  59. Arriba Wilver says:

    It was good to see those guys, especially Parker, since he wasn’t able to make opening day due to health reasons.

  60. Dom says:

    Is the material appropiate for work?

  61. Arriba Wilver says:

    Absolutely! Well, unless you work for the Federal government, maybe. Lucky’s a Pastor.

  62. Jandy says:

    It’s Christian, Dom.

  63. Dom says:

    Oh, right. I forgot about that.

  64. Jandy says:

    Not good, SeanAY, gotta get a new coffee maker ;)

  65. DJ says:

    I’ve got my eye on you now, Mr. Schoenfield.

    Obviously another passionate reader of our blog.

    __________________________

    DJ
    April 25, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    Dean Treanor: “But the small things, he needs to work on — his leads, when to be aggressive.”

    He might as well have added “. . . and to make sure his shirt is tucked into his pants.”

  66. BFD says:

    So the I read this morning that the Nuttings lead all of MLB in a 40% increase in season ticket sales over last year.

    Nuttings payroll is 27th in the league. So much for “when revenues go up, payroll will go up porportionally”

  67. Arriba Wilver says:

    I like the headline “Ex-Steeler–I Wasn’t Warned About Painkiller Risks.”

    Reminds me about McDonalds customers complaining they didn’t know they could get fat eating fast food.

  68. Jandy says:

    Hey, if you walk out in front of a Mack truck, it might splat you, just sayin’

  69. DJ says:

    Very weird our two 2012 1st Round D-men — Pouliot and Maatta — have shoulder surgeries days apart. How could Shero NOT have known?

    Was in favor of trading Letang and Martin, letting Orpik go and signing Nisky. In light of rehabs, stay with same plan but retain Martin.

  70. NMR says:

    It’s great that you realize that, AW. Seriously.

    But millions of Americans are turned into junkies by MD’s pumping them full of legal heroin every year. Sad state of practice.

  71. The Gunner says:

    Great point, BFD. We all know what we are dealing with as it relates to Pirate ownership priorities. Mark Madden is right about this.

  72. bpn8pitt says:

    Firesale is coming.

  73. DJ says:

    And the impetus for the McDonalds coffee cup warning “CAUTION — EXTREMELY HOT.”

    To borrow from a famous philosopher, “Obviously.”

  74. Jandy says:

    The shoulder injury to Maatta explains his decline in play in the playoffs. I’m sure fatigue still played a factor as well.
    I don’t have a problem keeping Martin. Are you sure you want to trade Letang?

  75. Jandy says:

    what about the billions of people who smoke and the resulting cancer(s)?

    Where does the buck stop?

  76. DJ says:

    Agreed . . . and yes.

  77. Jandy says:

    pot stirrer! :P

  78. Jandy says:

    I’m torn, I like them both, but Tanger is younger. Martin is more…stable.
    I guess it will be up to the new GM :)

  79. DJ says:

    Thinking now the one practice in NYC when Olli left the ice and returned to “the hotel” was a ruse.

    Unless the Pens were staying at Mount Sinai Hospital.

  80. NMR says:

    This is one of those times where I wish teams were still dumb and cared about things like pitcher wins.

    Cubs are gonna get some damn good players for Samardijza come July.

  81. buggee says:

    that third period was cray-cray! fun to watch a team that actually plays like they give a shuttlecock!

  82. NMR says:

    Since when did Doctors prescribe cigarettes, Jandy?

    Like I said to AW, it’s great that YOU guys understand these issues, but there are still many, many people who trust the good Doctor’s word. And they’re being terribly misled.

  83. NMR says:

    Haha, sell what?

  84. Jandy says:

    good thinking!

  85. Jandy says:

    True NRM, but sometimes one has to think for oneself. That’s all.

  86. AJS says:

    Dejan says that Liiano needs to return to form. I think the problem is he HAS. He has nver strung together two consecutive seasons of good pitching.

    gve this guy one ear incentive drenced deals and he’ll be a super star. His regression to the norm started last year shortly after he earned all his money.

  87. Jandy says:

    buggeeee!!!!!!!

  88. go21bucs says:

    perhaps because of those health reasons……dave looks a little thinner, no?

  89. 21sthebest says:

    Reports had the Pirates making an offer to Josh Johnson on November 19. Reports that A.J. decided not to retire and play in 2014 didn’t surface until January 28. So that’s a big disconnect to me that the Johnson offer prompted A.J. to feel like it was time to move on.

  90. buggee says:

    I’m currently on pain-killaz, just because I wanna be on ‘em and I don’t give a shuttlecock about ramifications. Just get me back on the field mano!

    Seriously though…

    seems kinda irresponsible to me that the players wouldn’t question what they’re allowing to be put in their own bodies! Where’s the accountability? So if someone tells a player that his performance will really hit a whole ‘nutha level if he gets a vasectomy, wouldn’t that player actually question the legitimacy of such a claim?
    So here man, lemme inject you with this stuff and you’ll be back out on that field rarin’ to go in no time.

    I remember seeing an expose’ on Bill Romanowski with his suitcase full of pills. Don’t remember if he was trying to sue the league, but–especially since I’m a competitive martial artist–I can see how a person so enamored with being the best that any extra edge will do could fall into that kind of supplemental obsession. Maybe it’s me but there still seems to be a difference between popping a pill and getting stuck with a needle.

    Or maybe I’m just blathering again.

  91. NMR says:

    You realize he’s pitching for his next contract as we speak, right?

  92. bpn8pitt says:

    Sometimes I think there is more to Nutting being cheap.

    Other days, its hard to ignore.

    Nothing in baseball is getting less expensive that’s for sure.

  93. buggee says:

    I remember watching that young man pitch, and thinking that pitchers really did not have to be on a fitness regimen!

  94. 21sthebest says:

    Pirates first basemen right now have numbers awfully close to where Jones is.

  95. Jandy says:

    buggee, I believe it’s called thinking for oneself, as I said to NMR below.

    I’ve often questioned my doctors bout things, and even once in a while disagreed with them. Doesn’t mean I think they’re God or that they don’t know what they’re doing.

  96. Jandy says:

    Looks like he won’t be getting one with the Bucs

  97. bpn8pitt says:

    Liriano, Martin, relief pitching

    And I think Gaby garners interest, especially if he continues to play well and his arbitration number rises. Tell me a contender wouldn’t want a bat who can hit lefties…buddy.

  98. Jandy says:

    Nothing in today’s world period is getting less expensive.

  99. AJS says:

    Tanger is a piece of crap. i wish I had a dollar for every give away fo his that lead to a goal against. 7 mil for this guy is a joke. Norris trophy candidate? Please.

    I’ll take Paul martin at 5 mil. A better player for less money. hands down.

  100. 21sthebest says:

    “when revenues go up, payroll will go up porportionally”

    Who are you quoting?

  101. hockeymonster says:

    Memo to Local Media:

    Every time you suggest Scuderi isn’t tradeable, or horrible, or isn’t a top 6 dman, and whine and pout about him not eligible for amnesty buyout…all your doing is exposing your hockey ignorance. Not only is he trade-able if that’s what we choose to do, but we would have our pick of offers. Not substantial offers but offers nonetheless. Outside a few games and plays he was anywhere from decent to good. Wouldn’t surprise me to see him come back if he doesn’t request a trade. If all your doing is looking at his metrics and listening to the mindless blowhards on the radio and tv than i can see why you’d be confused and suffering from metric-itis. But if you want to appease the masses while exposing your ignorance, go right ahead.

    Monster Out!

  102. AJS says:

    Ya. That dawned on me a few minutes after I hit the submit button. So just ignore the second half of the post. The first part still stands. Dude can’t put together two consecutive seasons.

  103. Mike A. says:

    …and almost all of that hitting behind the NL MVP. I’m still of the opinion his number so far are “Coors Field inflated”.

  104. buggee says:

    howdy Jandygirl! What’s shakin’ Lady?

  105. Jandy says:

    Uh-oh. Piece of crap? heck no! Does he need some fixing? Yes. Price tag steep? yes.

    You’d prolly have a lot of dollars for all of Malkin’s giveaways as well. Is he a piece of crap too? :)

  106. AJS says:

    Do you think he is capable of a paul martinesque bounce back? Martin was putrid when he first signed with the Pens. Now he may be the best D-Man on the team. Certainly the most reliable. And the PP always seems to lok at its best when he is running th breakout.

    On that note, I miss what the PP looked like with Sarge.

  107. Thundercrack says:

    I didn’t read the story yet. But where did the Pirates start in terms of total number of season ticket holders?

  108. Jandy says:

    ahhh…closer to the weekend, buggee, and a long weekend at that…lookin forward to doin some shakin’ ;)

  109. buggee says:

    Beach Vee-Ball rox! Intense game on a highly abrasive surface.

  110. Jandy says:

    NMR, would you keep Liriano and put him in relief? Serious question as I really don’t know.

  111. NMR says:

    No worries, buddy.

  112. Jandy says:

    you just like the girls’ bikinis ;)

  113. That was sarcasm, Dom. If you go to the sight, that’s not. (Not all of it, anyway).

    I liked the jersey comment. Wish I’d thought of that.

    I still say he needs to know how to hold his mouth right, but the jersey one will do.

  114. NMR says:

    This year?

    I’d definitely keep him as a starter. He’s going to be better moving forward than he’s been up to this point. Biggest difference between this year and last is that he’s being bit by the long ball. Giving up homers at rates higher than even when he was actually bad with the Twins.

    That won’t last.

    As for next year, too much risk for me given his age and injury history.

  115. I’d like to see that.

    :o

  116. Jandy says:

    Thanks, NMR

  117. Jandy says:

    LOL! ;)

  118. Thundercrack says:

    Hey, I’m really glad that Garrett Jones is having a decent year so far.

    But did you guys see him last year? His play in 2013 did not give me any confidence that he should be resigned for 2014

  119. The Pirates in a nutshell: One dependable starter in Gerrit Cole and an overworked bullpen, and hitting and defense that may or may not come through as needed. Hardly the formula for a contender this season.

  120. DJ says:

    Scuds for Folin.

    Make it happen, HM.

  121. The Gunner says:

    Not to mention the type of salary number he will command – definitely out of the BMTIB’s ballpark

  122. bpn8pitt says:

    Who are you defending?

  123. The Gunner says:

    I think your post makes a lot of sense as it relates to moving Martin & Liriano. The BMTIB was hoping Wandy could put together some decent starts so they could move him also. However, it appears poor Wandy is just plain washed up at this point.

  124. Dom says:

    Coonelly did say that payroll would increase with an increase in attendance.

    However, there is a chance that he had his fingers crossed behind his back when he said that.

  125. Jandy says:

    That’s a challenge if I ever saw one ;)

  126. BFD says:

    ++++++

  127. The Gunner says:

    Fast Frank is such a lying sack of you know what. I wonder if he had a few drinks with the 1979 Buccos last night?

  128. Dom says:

    Mr 21 is just asking a question. I don’t think he’s defending anyone.

  129. NMR says:

    We have different definitions of “fire sale”.

    Those would all be legit baseball moves, not just shedding salary for the sake of the bottom line. Assuming, of course, they don’t believe they’d be able to get Martin back.

  130. NMR says:

    Except Gaby, I should say. Need him next year with Davis.

  131. NMR says:

    My lord…

  132. NMR says:

    My pleasure, Jandy!

  133. GAWTS2009 says:

    It does explain alot. I’ve always been in favor of trading letang. Some big money needs to go and quite frankly Nisky should be a priority! Him and Martin Stabilized this D. The AHL players seemed to really like having Nisky there so why not keep him if they’re all coming up next year?

  134. Liked the column. Being Karstens, II wouldn’t be terrible and I’m glad Volquez knows Polanco won’t be making his pitches for him. But somebody needs to.

  135. Dom says:

    Let’s keep religion out of this.

  136. 21sthebest says:

    I’m defending facts.

  137. bpn8pitt says:

    No, 21 and the xFip Men attack anybody on here who start questioning money.

    Post All Star Break Empty Seats. I don’t think Fangraphs post articles about that. But its relevant. It drives what the PBC does and doesn’t do sometimes.

    Think about all the casual fans who bought tickets for this summer. Are they gonna spend money to watch a sub .500 team? No.

    But, hey. Vance Worleys on the way.

  138. Thundercrack says:

    Right. He did say it would go up with an increase in attendance.

    Did he say it would be ‘proportionally’?

    I am not defending a person, just defending the facts

  139. Sarah says:

    That’s a goal you see in rec leagues, not the pros.
    Ridiculous.
    What a waterbug!

  140. Dom says:

    I use to believe that Nutting was pocketing tens of millions a year and then the leaked documents proved me wrong.

    http://triblive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/pirates/s_696021.html#axzz32SB4Ajho

    Do you have any positive evidence that shows Nutting is indeed pocketing revenues? I have no problem revising my opinion, I just need evidence before doing so.

  141. Sarah says:

    Paul Martin was 24.
    Scuderi is 35.

    So, No.

  142. Jandy says:

    LOL!

  143. Dom says:

    He said the payroll would rise as attendance rose. From that I assume he meant proportionally but didn’t use that exact word.

  144. 21sthebest says:

    I think Frank should keep himself quiet just like everyone else, but here’s what he said which I thought was worded poorly and vaguely:

    “We need to take a meaningful step forward in terms of attendance to reach that payroll number while continuing to invest heavily in our future but I am convinced that the attendance will move quickly once we convince our fans that we are on the right track.”

  145. Jandy says:

    ++++

  146. Ben R says:

    Dejan enjoyed reading your article today about roster. How much blame do you give Bob Nutting for performance so far? My biggest issues with him: 1. didn’t give A.J. Burnett qualifying offer where at least Pirates would have received a draft pick out of it. (Given starting rotation’s lack of long-term success, why not invest that $5 million salary of Volquez into part of Burnett’s offer?) 2. better options at 1st base and right field (given last year’s success and small window for small-market franchise, should have been more aggressive in these two areas than James Loney and Ike Davis, and waiting for Polanco until June). I would love to see this team turn it around but given their glaring holes at starting pitching and 1B/RF, but at the end of last year we had an additional star starting pitcher, a strong cleanup hitter, and a servicable 1st baseman. Nutting and management took a calculated risk to not pay more and clearly it has backfired

  147. SeanAY says:

    Well, Paul Martin was actually 29 at the time, but point taken.

  148. Jandy says:

    BS is BS, any way you spin it :)

  149. 21sthebest says:

    Problem is people take poetic license to stretch something and if you challenge it, you’re labeled a defender. To me it’s being disingenuous and makes it difficult to have a conversation.

  150. Sarah says:

    HM is right he is not un tradeable.

    But I cannot agree he’s been much better than awful since the ankle injury. On lots of metrics, plus the eye test.

    Off hand I can think of 3 goals he was on ice for in the playoffs ( 2 were GWGs IIRC) where he was just a mess. He stands out, he’s so poor at moving the puck is what I’m saying. And he’s in a puck moving system. He could be OK in a much more D-oriented system. Maybe. He’s slowing down every year and he was never fast.

    Anyway, he can be bought out with cap hits for the next few years, about 1.3 mil vs paying him 3+.

  151. Sarah says:

    My bad, Martin was 29 4 years ago.

  152. Thundercrack says:

    What part is BS, Jandy?

  153. Sarah says:

    I miss what Malkin looked like w Sarge.

  154. Jandy says:

    It can be disingenuous also to make a comment that you are well aware people will assume to mean something, and intentionally not make it clear just what you are saying. Polticians do it all the time, and so do General Managers. :)

  155. Jandy says:

    see below.

  156. 21sthebest says:

    His second half last year convinced me that he needed to go. He even looked slower to me. I thought he aged about 5 years in 3 months.

  157. 21sthebest says:

    Asking questions is attacking?

  158. NMR says:

    Pshh, who are you kidding. You’re clearly taking it upon yourself to defend a man you’ve never once met on a regional sports blog.

    Because that actually makes sense in some adult minds.

    Never ceases to amaze.

  159. Jandy says:

    Well, you guys pointed out that he got married ;)

  160. NMR says:

    Why are we even having this freaking conversation AGAIN?

    You guys honestly have NOTHING more intelligent to talk about?

  161. 21sthebest says:

    I’ve wanted the guy fired for 4 years now and still do. And I’ve wanted Nutting to sell for about 5 years and still do. But I’m just a stickler for facts and detail.

  162. Jandy says:

    LOL! Good point, NMR, I will now take the advice given above for Franks and be quiet :X

  163. NMR says:

    Freaking May and the conversation is Nuttings money. Again.

    Blow up the Blog, DK. This place is ridiculous.

  164. Jandy says:

    LMAO! Dying here!

  165. 21sthebest says:

    I thought he just meant it in general terms. I never once thought proportionally.

  166. Thundercrack says:

    Well Jandy, they never used the term ‘proportionally’, but yet someone here put that in quotes.

    Would you consider that to be a little bit of BS?

  167. Jandy says:

    pot stirrer! ;X

  168. Jandy says:

    OOps, that was for bpn…posted wrong spot lol

  169. Jandy says:

    I am a Gaby fan

  170. SeanAY says:

    Chuck Klosterman wrote a great, very short piece about this years ago. I first saw it in “Chuck Klosterman IV,” but I believe it was printed much earlier. In something that surprised me at the time, he came out in staunch disagreement with Morgan Spurlock, the documentarian who created “Super Size Me.”

    Klosterman argues that McDonald’s is doing nothing wrong in their marketing or with their food, because I mean hey, you don’t need to buy it. (“And that’s what Super Size Me is ultimately about: it’s about blaming a chain restaurant for offering a product that people choose to consume”).

    Off-topic tangent over.

  171. Jandy says:

    +++

  172. buggee says:

    i would too but I’m a married man so that’s kinda like a no-no

  173. 21sthebest says:

    Agreed. But I don’t think Coonelly is intentionally not making it clear. I don’t think he knows how to communicate and does it time and time again. He stumbles over himself between trying to say what he thinks we want to hear and being politically correct.

  174. Jandy says:

    Goes back to what I said about thinking for oneself…good off topic tangent

  175. Jandy says:

    buggee…if SPunky can, YOU can ;)

  176. Jandy says:

    TC – sure would…but I have to admit, I’m getting a kick out of this thread…soooo ;)

    21… if Frank is that bad at communications, then shame on the Organization for allowing him to do that type of thing…let someone else do it…and as you say, he should keep quiet.

  177. 21sthebest says:

    Granted, payroll stayed flat pretty much this year. So far anyways. And I think it’s legit to complain about that. But just looking at opening day payrolls going backwards, increases of 23%, 36%, 35%.

    Oops! You don’t want to talk about money! Actually, neither do I!

  178. Jandy says:

    Oh LORD! (Sorry Dom)

    I can’t help but laugh. Next topic!

    (Dom, you started all this, you know!)

  179. Jandy says:

    OK gotta get some work done…I’ll pop in after bit and see what else is new and exciting :)

  180. 21sthebest says:

    Agree.

  181. buggee says:

    nah, not the girls’ bikinis (cuz then I’d be a cross-dresser or something). It’s what’s inside that counts!

    Did I tell yinz that we ran across Lee-Tang in whole foods on a saturday evening before game 2 of the Rangers series? Very quiet guy and his little one is a cute lil fireball (but very mindful of his baby-daddy)…

    Now Me Lil Wifelett wants to go there every Saturday evening. “Uhhh Honey, you do know there is such an offense as ‘stalking’?

    her: “Tuff! Until you can get me in a picture with him, you’re a worthless bag o’ slop! AND, from now on, everywhere I go I’m carrying a sharpie and his jersey. Make him sign it for me too!”

    me: “I am not giving up the cat or the house.”

  182. Dom says:

    Im not a fan of Nutting but I don’t see any evidence to show that he is pocketing profits. Do you have any evidence for it?

  183. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought you said you watched him pitch?

    :-)

  184. Naterosboro says:

    Thursday’s thoughts….

    * This quote from Wandy last night I think says it all: “It’s frustrating,” Rodriguez said. “I threw good, quality pitches, but they hit the ball.” I didn’t watch the game, but I did watch a lot of highlights. What I saw was that Wandy was ahead, but then was consistently making mistakes letting Oriole hitters knock him around.

    * Baseball is a cruel mistress. Even when Wandy did execute a good pitch to Nelson Cruz in the 2nd, Cruz hits it off of 3rd base for a 2RBI double.

    * It’s time for Wandy to either be demoted to the bullpen, and pitch in blowouts or mop-up duty, or to be outright released. Wandy isn’t going to be here past this season, so why delay the inevitable, especially when his performance to date wouldn’t even get him into a HS starting rotation? #FreeCumpton

    * The Pirates pitchers rank in the top half of the NL in 2 categories: Losses (3rd w/ 26) & Walks (6th w/ 133).

    * Taillon vs. Machado? I’ve supported NH’s philosophy of placing a premium on young, hard-throwing arms in the draft. But, at that time, I wanted Machado. Seems like it would’ve been a pretty good pick.

    * Gregory Polonco can give this team life when he comes up. Similar to Puig last year with the Dodgers. He doesn’t have to do everything Dejan said in his column. He needs to perform to his abilities, and maybe that’ll give some of these guys some confidence back.

    * Pirates 2013 Team ERA: 3.26 (3rd in NL). 2014 (so far): 4.00 (12th). That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. The hitting is right around last years rankings (in the National League), and so is the fielding (106 Errors (11th in NL) in 2013; 34 (10th) so far in 2014).

    * I don’t care how hard Bryan Morris is throwing. He’s not locating his pitches (as is the problem for most of our staff right now). Major league hitters can hit fastballs (even if they’re 100mph) if they’re in mistake locations.

    * Interesting stat: Pirates hitters were 8th (in the NL) in 2013 in doubles with 273. So far in 2014, they are 15th (dead last in the NL) with 60.

    * Crazy thought: I know there are arms at AAA that deserve a shot (especially with some of the performances to date), but anyone think they should try Justin Wilson in the starting rotation? He’s LH with good velocity, and has a history of starting in his career until he got to the majors. It’s possible that control issues come back when stretching him out, but just a crazy thought I had (given his history)…….

    * Speaking of Jeff Karstens 2.0….where the hell is Jeff Karstens 1.0?! A) I need Karstens Face back in my life (as as I think the rest of the clubhouse and fanbase does) & B) I think he could do better than Wandy or Edinson.

    * Frank Liriano is a curious case. He’s never had back-to-back good seasons, yet he’s still showing signs of the pitcher he can be in each start. It’s just that he’s not putting complete starts together. It seems like he starts well, but the 2nd/3rd time through the lineup the wheels are flying off with reckless disregard for whatever is in their path. The Pirates need him to get right if they are to salvage this season. I’m just not sure how many more starts you can give him if he continues to pitch as he has this season.

    * Edinson Volquez is right before Wandy territory. He should get 1 or 2 more starts to try and get back on track. If not, get him out of the rotation.

    Well, with all the positivity surrounding this ballclub ( ;-) ) how could we NOT smile….

    HAVE A GOOD DAY ALL! LET’S GO BUCS! PLUNDER THE LOX!

  185. Dom says:

    Anyone?

  186. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sure does.

  187. Arriba Wilver says:

    LMAO

  188. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think NMR visited Lucky’s site. Leave him alone.

    ;-) :-) :-P

  189. Dom says:

    Hey, it wasn’t me.

    It was BFD at 9:06 this morning.

    I’m not pointing fingers…I’m just saying it’s all his fault. ;)

  190. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’d rather talk about Nutting’s wallet.

    ;-)

  191. Naterosboro says:

    I will say this…

    the nature of professional sports is very cut throat. If you’re not performing, the org. will find someone younger, stronger, faster, better to replace you. There is immense pressure to perform (to stay at that level and to get paid top dollar) and also pressure to return from injury as quickly as possible.

    These were team doctors that were giving these guys this stuff. I think it is a logical thought to trust the team doctor.

    While, yes, it is ultimately the responsibility of the player to know what is going in his body, I’m not going to 100% blame these guys, and if some of these NFL teams were doping them knowingly, then they are more than within their right to sue for compensation.

  192. lupesanchez says:

    One of my earliest memories is sitting atop my dad’s shoulders walking towards Three Rivers for a game in that series. Even at that age i remember feeling the importance of the event.

    Watching the World Series was an event in our house. It was pretty much the only excuse to get out of doing homework (except when the Steelers were on Monday Night, of course). It was so cool seeing these teams represent their different leagues over the course of the series.

  193. 21sthebest says:

    I believe Dejan still maintains that they haven’t pocked profits.

  194. He got a new tie the other day.

  195. Good column, Nate. The only problem with Karstens I is that he’s as fragile as a china doll. But he has grit and character. (Maybe he should play hockey).

  196. bpn8pitt says:

    When they trade Martin and start touting your boy Sanchez as the future catcher, I will have your pitchfork ready. I figure its only gonna take a couple a bounced balls on the SS side of 2nd base.

    In the meantime, Viva La Regime!!!

  197. BFD says:

    Nutting is bilking the sponcers after last season. Ticket prices has gone up. Attendance UP. Tv money WAY up. Payroll has remained fairly level.
    Nutting and his regime lied (again). Payroll has not gone up with attendance.

  198. BFD says:

    ummmm the wallet

  199. Naterosboro says:

    Locke’s 1st half last year doesn’t count? Worley’s 2011/2 seasons don’t count? If we’re going to put stock in their bad performances, don’t we also have to put some on their good ones?

  200. BFD says:

    why don’t you believe talking the PBC’s lack of spending is intelligent conversation? Becasue it doesn’t agree with your agenda?

  201. Jandy says:

    CTFU!

  202. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Matt Morris is exactly who I thought of when I saw Wandy Rodriguez conduct his futile attempt to pitch last night.
    Despite a huge salary, he should not see a MLB mound again.

  203. Jandy says:

    Dom, you’re killing me! lol

  204. Jandy says:

    LOL buggee, I am envious! I bet your lil wifelet was drooling! Did you buy her a bib???

  205. Jandy says:

    yeah but can he SKATE?

  206. The difference being Morris’s golden parachute was made possible by Littlefield, a person much more inept than Neal will ever be.

    But Neal has let some dollars go over the years and it’s not inconceivable Wandy could be another example.

  207. cmat0829 says:

    ABSOLUTELY AGREE.. Easiest thing to be is the backup QB when the team is struggling in the NFL and AAA pitchers when the major league staff has issues. Cumpton, to me, is a no brainer, He has earned the spot, to replace Wandy.

    Sadler is an unknown quantity. But how can anyone forget Locke’s July and August last year? And in his one start this year, after a good start to the game, he faded fast and looked eminently hittable.

  208. 21sthebest says:

    Viva!

  209. Naterosboro says:

    Since payroll has been brought up today….

    does it matter that opening day payroll was highest in club history?

    I mean yes, in terms of 2014 rank, I think it was 27th, but for the Pirates as a franchise it ranks #1.

  210. cmat0829 says:

    spot on. fire sale would require trading Cutch. I really get tired of people who react to moves the Pirates might make that EVERY OTHER TEAM IN THE LEAGUE ALSO WOULD/WILL MAKE IN THE SAME SITUATION. Teams that are out of playoff contention become sellers at the deadline, especially with players that don’t figure into the medium-long term for the team. But it’s a better sound bite to call that a ‘fire sale’ and rev up the pitchfork crowd.

  211. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Payroll will almost always go up in MLB unless a team slashes its roster.
    The Nutting Regime remains firmly in the “bottom feeder five” of MLB team salary.
    It’s their yearly claim to fame.

  212. cmat0829 says:

    I dont know the exact number, but it is LOW. I think last year it was something around 8or9K and this year it jumped to 11k or so… full season equivalents…. their ticket prices are 3rd lowest in baseball I believe. So seems a bit odd for anyone to fixate on ticket prices. If anything I’m frustrated this market doesn’t support higher prices/higher revenues…

  213. Probably not without breaking his leg.

  214. Jandy says:

    Well, then, he needs to just retire :

    or coach…

    or manage

    :D

  215. cmat0829 says:

    I think that ship has sailed, hasn’t it? With this level of performance, do you WANT them re-sign Frankie?

    If he had kept up his pitching, I could definitely see them issuing the QO and making an offer as they need starting pitching big time next year…. but not sure I’d lament the ‘too rich for the Pirates ownership’ part of this at this point….I would’nt sign this Frankie for $8M/yr for 2 years, much less what he will ask for….

  216. He would make a good pitching coach somewhere in the minors for a while, then maybe move up to the big time. He knew how to pitch, just didn’t know how to stay healthy.

    ;)

  217. bpn8pitt says:

    Where is it ranked, Nate? Doesnt everybody get an equal cut of that National money? Meaning if you have dollar and I have fifty cents, we both get a quarter, dont you still have fifty cents more than me?

    Make sure you defend it when guys are traded or their contracts expired cause the team cant afford them.

  218. Naterosboro says:

    The nature of professional sports has a lot to do with this.

    When you’re health is directly tied to your job (earning power), you may do things that a normal person wouldn’t do. In order to get paid top dollar, you need to perform at the highest level, and stay there (aka not injure, or return from injury at that level).

    Also, I don’t think it illogical to trust team doctors. You’re playing for an org. that you trust has your best interests at hand (which I guess is short-sighted, but these guys were also playing in a different era, where information like this wasn’t readily available at your fingertips).

    I think these players have the right to bring suit if they feel they were truly mistreated by NFL team doctors.

    I’m also a big advocate for allowing players to use marijuana rather than alcohol/prescription pills for pain management. I’m going to be following this (as well as the NFL’s re-evaluation of their marijuana policies) closely.

    This lawsuit is just a microcosm of the United States today. We are a big pharma nation, with pharma companies working with politicians & doctors to keep us medicated (to fatten their pockets). Sorry to get political for a second, but there are millions of Americans hooked on prescription pills and no one is really talking about it.

    And that ain’t good….

  219. Jandy says:

    works for me!

  220. cmat0829 says:

    My only post on this idiotic Ownership is Cheap topic on today’s blog:

    I don’t think it is a reasonable debate to not ever talk about the Pirates ranking in REVENUES when talking about where they rank in Major League Payroll. There have been a ton of good articles written on this point but I never see anyone talk about that part. It is always “Nutting is Cheap, because the Pirates are 27th in Payroll”. I’m pretty damn sure the Pirates payroll ranks right about where their revenue ranks, and that’s the way any responsible ownership would do it…. yes, even the Yankees, Dodgers, etc have plans to match payroll to revenue and they make decisions based on that….

    Now, if I’m criticizing this management team (and that’s where any criticism should be centered, not the misguided specific criticism of Nutting), it is that they are too cautious and lack a ‘go for it’ mode…. that said, I am 85% in synch with what they are doing.. I do value prospects as they have.. but I think if I were GM and this team as it currently stands, with the prospect strength behind them, there should be at least one big-time signing or trade… a ‘go for it’ type of move…. now I don’t think that is an AJ Burnett or good God, a Justin Morneau or Garrett Jones (honestly, people!!????)….but something similar to say the Nationals trading for Doug Fister… sometimes you go out and make moves like that that really step on the gas pedal … throw just a little caution to the wind.

    That’s all from me… for the pitchfork crowd, proceed down Nutting Avenue…

  221. Naterosboro says:

    I believe it was ranked 27th out of 30 teams on opening day.

    But again, payroll this year on opening day was the highest in franchise history. That’s 100+ years of existence.

    No one is arguing that they can’t spend more, and shouldn’t be spending league average, but did you expect that to happen in just 1 offseason? As soon as 5 more fans bought tickets, they’d spend $200mil?

    I’d like to see them get to the $90-100mil range, but I certainly didn’t think (or expect) it to happen in 1 offseason.

    I understand the bitterness that some have with ownership, but even if they spend league average, I have a feeling people will complain…like if they were ranked 16 out of 30 on opening day payroll it would sound something like….

    “The Nutting Pirates, still ranked in the bottom half of the MLB in payroll”

  222. cmat0829 says:

    Only fair expectation on payroll is to align with revenues…pretty sure the Pirates are not ‘league average’ in revenue generation. There are some fans that believe ownership should pay ‘whatever it takes to win’ even if that is a bad business idea….that the valuation of the franchise, and public support for stadiums, etc. should justify running the business on a balance-sheet basis and not an income-statement basis (net: go ahead and lose money to win because the value of the franchise keeps going up and you can sell for a big profit if you don’t like it).

    I can see that point of view, it’s just naive.

  223. AJS says:

    At least more of his shots hit the goaltender than the glass behind the goaltender.

    Tanger is all talent and no smarts. I am all for offensive defensman if they have at least a little bit of defensive presence. LeTang has his moments but not enough. And if you are going to spend that kind of money on a defensman he better be either lock it down or be able to QB a power play and make smart break out passes.

    Malkin has some of the same problems but I’m paying him to score 3+ goals a season and be an MVP caliber player on offense.

  224. Dom says:

    Do you have any positive evidence proving that Nutting is collecting the profits?

  225. AJS says:

    Have to wonder why he is giving up so many more home runs if he was going to rely more on a two seemer and pitching to contact…the two seamer doesn’t sink like it should maybe? go back to teh fastball on the corner curveball combination and throw more pitches. It is what worked last year.

  226. Dom says:

    I certainly agree with BFD that the payroll should have gone up but that doesn’t mean Nutting is keeping the profits.

  227. 21sthebest says:

    I believe where we’ve ranked in payroll is fairly consistent with where we’ve ranked on revenues. But you also have to consider things like we and other teams have $100 million + in debt where teams like Seattle and the Angels have zero debt. The entire financial picture matters as well as borrowing capacity and ownership structure.

  228. Jandy says:

    Letang still isn’t a piece of crap. He’s a great puck possession and passing defenseman.

    I agree with you, tho, that I don’t want him on the point on the PP. :)

  229. Naterosboro says:

    So we forget Locke’s April, May & June? That made him an all-star?

    I’m not trying to say I think Jeff Locke is the answer, I just see so much stock being put into his bad starts. So much so that people aren’t even willing to give him another shot at the rotation.

    If he has the potential to continue getting bombed, I also think his history says he has the potential to be a decent/good major league starter. His track record is not such where we “know” what he is. Last season, he pitched at totally opposite ends of the spectrum.

    Is this just more of a case of, when going good, people don’t really notice or remember, but when going bad, it’s all anyone can talk about?

  230. Milo Hamilton says:

    I was going to ask about what I’ve missed but I think I got it, thanks anyway. ;)

  231. Arriba Wilver says:

    What doctor prescribes McDonalds?

  232. Steelkings says:

    How bout this article from Dan Batard in January 2013

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/13/3179926/dan-le-batard-jason-taylors-pain.html

    “The training room? Taylor hated guys who “took up residency” there, calling them “soft.” His mentor, Dan Marino, has a quote up on one of the walls in there, something about how being in the training room doesn’t make you part of the team.”

  233. Steelkings says:

    Yes but whats lost about Morneau, as well as lost on the BMITB as well as the coaching staff is that Morneau was one of the best defensive 1st baseman in the NL. For the same reason Mercer is playing short over a very good Barmes

  234. Naterosboro says:

    None, but I’m pretty sure they’ll tell you to eat food.

    I don’t think you’ll find 1 doctor to tell you to smoke cigs (unless it’s Indonesia).

  235. Jandy says:

    haha, what took you so long? ;)

  236. Bizrow says:

    And don’t forget the disparity in TV contracts

  237. 21sthebest says:

    Maybe a greedy cardiologist prescribes McD’s, especially if that doctor is a stockholder as well.

  238. Patrick(RI) says:

    Please believe me, I have no dog in this fight, but I did find Red Sox GM’s response to criticism re the Drew signing and its impact upon up and coming players kind of interesting:

    “Right now, we’re just focused on 2014 and trying to get the best team that we can and trying to get on a roll. As far as what happens down the road, that’s for down the road.” (Providence Journal, today)

    It would appear that there is a somewhat different strategy in place up here. It should be noted the article is praising him for admitting winter mistakes, and I would add the obvious, that the Red Sox have hugely deep pockets to cover mistakes with.

  239. Naterosboro says:

    This (from the article):

    “Everything is lined up to get the unhealthy player back on the field — the desire of the player, the guy behind you willing to endure more for the paycheck, the urging of the coaches and teammates, the culture that mocks and eradicates the weak and the doctor whose job it is not necessarily to keep the player healthy but healthy enough to be valuable to the team, which isn’t the same thing at all. The doctor gives the player the diagnosis and the consequences on the sidelines with in-game injuries, without the benefit of an MRI, and then the player makes a choice with the information about whether to take a pain-masking shot. And the choice is always to play.”

  240. Naterosboro says:

    From an article posted by Steelkings above:

    “Everything is lined up to get the unhealthy player back on the field — the desire of the player, the guy behind you willing to endure more for the paycheck, the urging of the coaches and teammates, the culture that mocks and eradicates the weak and the doctor whose job it is not necessarily to keep the player healthy but healthy enough to be valuable to the team, which isn’t the same thing at all. The doctor gives the player the diagnosis and the consequences on the sidelines with in-game injuries, without the benefit of an MRI, and then the player makes a choice with the information about whether to take a pain-masking shot. And the choice is always to play.”

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/13/3179926/dan-le-batard-jason-taylors-pain.html#storylink=cpy

  241. Steelkings says:

    You candidates for fire sale include but are not limited to:

    N. Walker
    P. Alvarez
    G. Sanchez

    All set for raises in arbitration.

    Office Bug:
    Nutting: ” Who’s available to replace Alvarez? How bout Andy Laroache? He’s cheap and the fans wont know the difference.”

    Huntington: ” They hated him.”

    Nutting: “Aramis Ramirez then! Hes gonna be free. I always wanted an a-roma-doma-ding-dong!

  242. Steelkings says:

    LOL!

  243. Jandy says:

    LOL @ Steel Kings!

  244. Ghost says:

    I don’t know why you’re confused. That door closed on the Pirates and A.J. when the former didn’t Q.O. A.J. and made it clear their priority was Johnson. So A.J. moved on mentally from the Pirates, with only retirement or perhaps a team closer to home as considerations.

  245. Ghost says:

    And your point is?

  246. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t know why you’re confused Ghost. A.J. said on October 21 that he was going to either play for the Pirates or retire which was before the period in which a QO could be made. He didn’t let anyone know he was going to play again until January 28.

    I don’t know how you or anyone can possibly know where A.J. was mentally or what the Pirates clear priority was. The Pirates couldn’t wait all day for A.J. so they made Johnson an offer.

  247. Dom says:

    I’m not saying you’re wrong but where are you getting the info that the Angels have no debt?

    In MLB terms, they have a lot debt as they include any future contracts. I know that isn’t real debt though.

  248. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Milo!

  249. 21sthebest says:

    The Angels financials were leaked Dom, at the same time the Pirates financials were leaked.

  250. cmat0829 says:

    I think I’d be careful with the praise and also not to read too much into that particular statement.

    1) Cherington can be criticized for taking so long to re-sign Drew. The Sox are off to a start not that much better than the Pirates, so why wait so long to sign Drew?

    2) His comments about 2014 focus was not on financial interests or giving up draft picks (he did not) or trading away prospects (he did not)… it was response to a question about what a Drew signing might mean to the development of Boegarts at SS… if Drew gets the bulk of the playing time at SS then when /how does their SS of the future get the reps in? I think in that context his comments about focus on 2014 is spot on.

  251. Dom says:

    For me, it’s a foreign concept to be debt free.

  252. buggee says:

    sometimes that lil woman is out… of… control JandyLicious

  253. BFD says:

    “No one is arguing that they can’t spend more, and shouldn’t be spending league average, but did you expect that to happen in just 1 offseason? As soon as 5 more fans bought tickets, they’d spend $200mil?

    I’d like to see them get to the $90-100mil range, but I certainly didn’t think (or expect) it to happen in 1 offseason.”


    who said 1 off-season? This has been the same cheap theme for 17 years he has been associated with the team. Heck. How about over the past 5 getting to that league average.
    Anyone who doesn’t think Nutting is bilking the taxpayers and fans has their heads ______.
    And rapidly paying down debt to make it appear that you are not making money instead of putting a descent product on the field counts as bilking the customers. If WE didn’t buy him his park, it would be a bit of a different story.

  254. cmat0829 says:

    no you dont forget those, that is why he is still on the roster and still in AAA and seriously considered for return to MLB…. but, um, the good performances were BEFORE the bad ones… and AFTER the league adjusted to Jeff….

    I’m not opposed to Locke, but I slot him a good chunk behind Cumpton in terms of needing a shot. Wandy to bullpen, option Hughes or CL Morris to work on command, call up Cumpton and do it today. As to Locke, he stays where he is until (if?) Volquez needs to be jettisoned. So he may indeed get his chance soon enough.

    IF the Pirates can get back into contention, then I don’t want to see BOTH Cumpton and Locke starting for this team post ASB… we MUST add a legitimate starter with experience to this team if any run at the playoffs were to be entertained. IF we fall out of it, then sure, Locke and Cumpton and maybe even Sadler should all get extended starting opportunities to put up or shut up.

  255. Jandy says:

    LOL! hubby shakes his head at me too, buggee, my friend ;)

  256. buggee says:

    +++++++
    See what those evil chika do to a man? Just ask Samson

  257. Jandy says:

    lol

  258. cmat0829 says:

    i really don’t know why, but i’ll respond to your last point… “if WE didn’t buy HIM this stadium”… the clear answer is baseball doesn’t survive in Pittsburgh without PNC Park. So I look at it as “WE bought US this stadium”… but I’ll leave ya be. that doesn’t change the rest of your pitchfork prose, so have at it, slugger.

  259. BFD says:

    I surely don’t profit from the stadium that “we bought us”. If i should be, please arrange for me to recieve the money Nutting has been erroneously been keeping that should be coming my way.

  260. Dom says:

    I don’t think Bob Nutting had any shares of the Pirates before PNC park opened, which was in 2001. I believe Bob had shares going back to 2003. His old man did though.

  261. BFD says:

    correct. “His family/old man” were owners.
    Heck – Bill (Bobs Brother) is on the board. I believe the Nuttings have three of the 4 chairs on the board of directors (counting the nutting CFO. Just saying…… the guys is a schrewd businessman, but a terrible baseball owner for a city with a taxpayer funded ballpark. He should be held accountable.

  262. Dom says:

    Who doesn’t hold him accountable?

    I hear him being blamed all the time.

  263. BFD says:

    many on this very site. the 22,000 fans in the ball park the other night. Many in the media, just to name a few.

  264. Thundercrack says:

    cmat,
    I think it took them so long to sign Drew because they felt they had some good young players that were ready and wanted to give a chance. So they gave them about 2 months. Then they decided that they needed Drew.
    And it’s easier for them to sign Drew because they don’t have to forfeit a draft pick.

  265. Dom says:

    Who in the media is a Nutting fan?

  266. Dom says:

    Wandy has been designated for assignment.

  267. Bizrow says:

    Woah

  268. TK says:

    I see where they designated Phil Irwin. Where do you see they designated Wandy?

  269. The Gunner says:

    About friggin time!!!

  270. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Bay !

  271. Bizrow says:

    Check MLBTradeRumors, Martin takes his place on the 25 man

  272. BFD says:

    About every host on the fan champions him/them. Starkey was doing back filps last year about what “was built”. Some of the writers in the PG and Trib.

    Madden (which i know many of you dislike) is the ONLY media personality in this town to call a spade a spade when it comes to PBC ownership.

  273. What did Irwin do to deserve that besides getting hurt last season and not getting back to form yet?

  274. TK says:

    They picked up RHP Josh Wall from the Angels.

  275. Arriba Wilver says:

    What, you think it should have been done last night?

  276. Ghost says:

    Baloney. When the QO could be made (what? a week later?), the Pirates most conspicuously did NOT make one to A.J. Their priority was Johnson and that became clear to everyone, certainly A.J. It’s disingenuous of you to make it seem like they only became interested in Johnson because they weren’t certain about A.J.
    I’m not saying A.J.’s indecision wasn’t a factor — Neal Huntington continued for a while expressing interest in re-signing A.J. But when you tell a pitcher he’s not worth the QO, then you have to be ready for him to “move on.” This was oft discussed here and on TS’s Blog. You’re just doing your usual, knee-jerk defending of the FO (just as bpn8pitt called you out), even though I’m not finding any fault with the FO here. I happen to think they did what they felt they had to do and this all played out as it was going to play out.

  277. Arriba Wilver says:

    Irwin stinks, too.

  278. Arriba Wilver says:

    Wow! I don’t think Wandy’s I threw quality pitches but they hit them helped his cause.

  279. Arriba Wilver says:

    You live in Allegheny County, BFD? Just asking.

  280. Arriba Wilver says:

    Don’t bother, Dom.

  281. Milo Hamilton says:

    6 feet 6. I’m smelling downward plane !

  282. Baywatch says:

    Let’s face it: The Pirates had a considerable amount invested in Wandy. They gave up three good prospects for him, plus part of his big salary. Yes, he was done, but I think the Pirates did the right thing in trying to get him on his feet again after his problems last year.

    As far as the trade, Grossman has been up and down with the ‘Stros, Colton Cain has been horrible and Rudy Owens has had a couple good starts this year but been horrible in the main.

    I think that’s it for Wandy, but I wish him well. He sure gave us fits for years, including the last 2.

  283. TC will be happy.

  284. SeanAY says:

    Glad to see the Pirates are losing again, because it had been so very long since we had BFD ranting and raving like a paranoid lunatic.

    And I mean that kindly.

  285. Baywatch says:

    LOL!

  286. pattonbb says:

    Adiós Wandy. Sorry things didn’t work out. Maybe now he can get that “forearm” discomfort operated on…er….I mean…rested.

  287. Ghost says:

    The Pirates are about eat a pretty big salary. It stings, but at least the they can’t be accused of being cheap on this day. Had to be done. After he clears waivers, maybe somebody will take a flier on him if we absorb part of his $$$ owed.

  288. Milo Hamilton says:

    Russell Martin will serve his suspension tonight. Should be in the lineup tomorrow.

  289. Thundercrack says:

    I guess they weren’t three good prospects.

  290. Thundercrack says:

    I thought Wandy was starting to turn the corner. Surprised he didn’t get a couple more starts.

    ( ;-) )

  291. Thundercrack says:

    BFD
    Have you been listening to Starkey today? He wasn’t signing the praises of Nutting.

  292. Baywatch says:

    Just my preliminary Wikipedia reading on Wall: 27 years old, 2005 (I think) 2nd round DODGER draft pick who has only had need of a Ray Searagectomy in the past year. In the Year Of The Arm Trouble, the previously injured Irwin was expendable.

  293. Baywatch says:

    They WERE. But addition to being on the BMTIB, Neal got a minor along the way in Crystal Ball!

  294. Thundercrack says:

    Ghost,
    If they cut Wandy (eating his salary) and replaced him with a guy making a couple million dollars, then we can accuse them of being cheap today.

    They were going to pay Wandy no matter what this year. (unless he decided to retire)
    They replaced him with a guy that will make the league minimum.

  295. Baywatch says:

    My Favorite Martin!!

  296. Then down goes Montana.

  297. Who, according to his stats, stinks if you’re referring to Wall.

  298. Bizrow says:

    Not so much when he reads his stats ;-)

  299. Milo Hamilton says:

    Heading down to the ballpark tonight. In lieu of Gregory Polanco, I’ll just have to settle for Nate McLouth.

    For those keeping track of dates, Nate was traded to Atlanta June 3, 2009. That’s when they called up Andrew McCutchen.

  300. 21sthebest says:

    Baloney. I never made it seem like they only became interested in Johnson because they weren’t certain about A.J. And not only do you know where A.J. was mentally but you also speak for everyone. You’re gifted.

    You clearly have a disingenuous agenda in this discussion.

    “even though I’m not finding any fault with the FO here. ”

    Stop defending the front office.

  301. Thundercrack says:

    sorry, we CAN’T accuse them of being cheap if the replacement makes a couple million

  302. The Gunner says:

    Wall’s lifetime major league WHIP is over 2.00 – definitely another reclamation project

  303. Ghost says:

    I, for one, haven’t accused them of being cheap for over a year now. They did what they had to do, today. (Though I do belatedly — and happily — see that the Astros have to cough up $5.5 of the $13 mil for this year.)

    Hope they know what they’re doing with an Angel’s pitching reject, though…

  304. Ghost says:

    Excellent!!!

  305. Ghost says:

    I was just thinking of that the other day when there was some back and forth over whether too much pressure would be put on Polanco to rescue the team when he gets called up. When Cutch was called up, Nate had been extremely popular and a lot of fans (including yours truly) were very angry when he was suddently traded away. Talk about rookie having to hit the ground running.

  306. Baywatch says:

    Wandy’s Silver Lining: He wasn’t the losing pitcher last night. But he was still torqued ’cause he didn’t get to bat. :-(

  307. 21sthebest says:

    Hey I’m getting bilked tonight too!

  308. Baywatch says:

    How’s he doing this year? I was thinking he was tanking again, first of the year. Maybe they figure Volquez can get him out of his funk!

  309. Is he still in the majors?

    ;)

  310. Dom says:

    There might be some individuals on the Buccos radio station that are reluctant to bad mouth nutting but I don’t feel they’re campaigning for him.

  311. Baywatch says:

    13 innings in three years. Not much of a sample size. Of course, some don’t get that much.

  312. Ghost says:

    If that was an attempt at nuanced irony, it fell flat.
    Anyway, I’m not making any backhanded slaps at the FO. While I wish they QO-ed A.J., they made their decision about what their priorities were and proceded accordingly. I just don’t have a problem with A.J. for “moving on” when the priorities became clear.

  313. Wild Bill says:

    So who becomes the pitcher taking Wandy’s spot in the rotation? Did they announce that?

  314. cmat0829 says:

    right, i’m just saying to tamper the “Sox go all in and Pirates don’t” using signing Drew on May 22 as Exhibit A.

  315. Baywatch says:

    Biertempel (sic?) just tweeted it is “likely” to be Cump, but said “no official announcement.” These newspaper boys talk like that sometimes when they can’t go on the record! :-) I wouldn’t think he’d say something like that unless he’d conferred with a source. Not the beat writer’s thing in the MAIN to voice an opinion like that.

  316. AJS says:

    i guess he is a great passer as long as he isn’t passing it out from behind his own net to get out of his own zone.

    Piece of crap may be harsh, but prior to his stroke I would have been trying to trade him as I feel he is over hyped for what he really is.

    I went to the game the night before thanksiving. The one the Pens came back from 4-1 down to winin a shootout 6-5. Of those first 4 goals, THREE of them were from very, very poor choices and poor execution of those choices by LeTang coming out from behind his own net. Might as well have just shot the puck into his own net.

    he has his great games where he looks like he could light the league on fire, but I feel like he is either non existent or playing poorly more nights tha not.

  317. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Any pitcher with a Z on the end of their name should be about done with the Pirates.

  318. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I don’t know if anyone mentioned it or not, but it’s possible the Angels reject is AAA filler

  319. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nah, it was reasonable to give him a legit shot before DFA’ing him IMO.

    He wasn’t some rook.

    Now Compton can come up and scale the 21 ft Clemente Wall, hit 9 run homers AND pitch a no- hitter every 5th day
    ( that last was mine). ;-)

 
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