Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: What about Bob?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …


>> The Friday column is about Bob Nutting and Gregory Polanco. Because I’ve got to let you know more than that to get you to click, right?

Edinson Volquez fulfills his pledge to step up for the staff, by Travis Sawchik at PNC Park. And that pledge, if you’ve forgotten came at the end of the Thursday column. Good dude. Really likable.

Wandy Rodriguez is gone, at a coming cost of more than $5,4 million in cold, hard buyout, by Sawchik. Technically speaking, you can add Brandon Cumpton’s $500,000 salary to that cost, since someone has to replace him, right?

Blogginess from the scene: I liked the Wandy trade when it happened, and I don’t have much reason to feel all that awful about that. For one thing, the three prospects sent to the Astros — notably Rudy Owens and Robbie Grossman — still haven’t amounted to much. For another, Wandy came with terrific credentials, including the area of durability. The guy got older and lost it. Nothing else to it. Neil Walker told me yesterday Wandy was ‘a great teammate.’ … Shed no tears for Wandy. He made $28,600 per pitch this season. … Cumpton’s a popular player in the clubhouse, all business, no complaint. … Fun talk with Gaby Sanchez about shifts before this game: ‘People look at all that open space out there and wonder why we don’t just hit it there. Well, there’s a pitcher throwing to a specific spot so you can’t do that.’ Sanchez added that, if not for modern shifting, Pedro Alvarez would be hitting .300. Not sure about that, but it probably would make for a decent study. … Watching what Josh Harrison’s done of late, it’s reminded me of his agent calling me once a few years ago and pretty much pleading to get his client rated in Baseball America’s top 30 prospects of the organization. I admitted to the guy — and this is obviously back when I was doing this — Harrison was one of my very last guys on the list. So I placed one extra call to a guy with the Pirates I trusted, and he went with Harrison as No. 30. His reasoning: ‘Nobody wants it more than Josh. He’s all heart.’ You bet.

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

Here’s Nationals news from the Washington Post.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Beau Bennett is the latest among the Penguins to line up for surgeryRob Rossi reports.

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

Here are official game highlights on

>> Chris Peak and Jerry DiPaola pontificate on Pitt athletics on TribLIVE Radio yesterday as part of Peak’s new show, a must-listen for Panthers fans:

>> 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’m off the next couple days, back with the Monday column. 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.


  1. Reading says:

    Reality: Neither Nutting nor Coonelly has ordered that Polanco be promoted to the bigs.

  2. Reading says:

    If the Pirates have played in the most one-run games this year, might a legitimate extra bat have made a difference in some of the losses?

  3. Reading says:

    I’ve never understood the Harrison narrative that he can’t be an everyday player.

  4. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’m as Anti-Nutting as anybody, but the “Nutting Myth/Reality” column doesn’t bother me.
    In fact….Most of the points that DK made (Polanco, AJ) are issues that haven’t really had much of an affect on me.

    The only part of the column that I would question is concerning payroll going up.
    Yes…It’s gone up.
    So has the price of gas, water and beer.
    It’s not going to go down unless they choose to gut the roster.
    What bothers me in reference to payroll is the fact that the Nutting Regime never parts from the bottom five of MLB’s salary chart.
    That is a fact that is not only reality….But written in rock solid cast iron.

    I might add that most people (certainly myself) use the term “Nutting” to file various complaints about the FO.
    However….It doesn’t mean it is all on the man himself.
    It’s a Regime.
    Nutting has hired people that don’t have to ask him what’s a go and what’s a no-go.
    Let’s face it…..Regime higher-ups like Neal Huntington didn’t get extended for their won-loss record.

  5. WithBBQSauce says:

    Nice column on Polanco. Every time I see someone complain about Bob Nutting, I can’t help but think that of the hundreds of Miami Marlins fans out there, 99.5% of them would trade Jeff Loria and their organization’s top 15 prospects for Mr. Nutting. Mr. Nutting might not be Dan Rooney, but he’s certainly no Howard Baldwin, either.

  6. 21sthebest says:

    Dejan, stop your knee jerk defending of Bob Nutting!

  7. War_Horse says:

    Soon after last night’s beautiful 3-1 victory over the Nats (a game in which Pedro once again made more errors than hits), the post-game commentator Rob King announced, “The Bucs improve to eight and four in their last twelve games…” Huh? The MLB stats say the Bucs are 6-6 in their last twelve games, not 8-4. Rob is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis where his subjects did not include mathematics, apparently. With ten errors already this season, Pedro is only one behind the major league leader. Better, perhaps, to offer Pedro and his .210 batting average for a trade and put Harrison at third.

  8. JoeyBats says:

    In spring training…when I predicted the OVER/UNDER for Wandy’s starts would be 15…..and I would take the UNDER……

    I meant it would be for INJURY reasons….and, not for INEFFECTIVENESS and the eventual DFA.



    PS: Wishing Brandon Cumpton & Jeff Locke & “the next man up” all of the best!

  9. JoeyBats says:

    DK….what about the NATIONAL TV $$$$$$ that are being sent to each team ?

    Does Bob Nutting talk about that and how the Pirates are plowing that back into Payroll?

    Seems like the GM and Pres always do a “2 step” when the local media ask them about that topic?

  10. chethejet1 says:

    They already are eating Wandy’s deal so move on. Next time, NH has to limit the exposure of adding payroll for a veteran pitcher whose best days are behind him. A productive farm system especially pitching is the model. Hopefully Nutting is all in on adding hitting to the team. Polanco will help, but the Sanchez/Davis 1st base is not good enough without great pitching.

  11. Wild Bill says:

    Don’t see an answer to it, Chet, but shortstop is another offensive problem.

  12. Wild Bill says:

    The whole broadcast team annoys me, Horse. I’ve loved Blass over the years, but more and more he sounds like a cranky old man at times. Watching more these days with the sound way down.

  13. radio wave says:

    Cards making their move giving Bucs chance to stay meaningful for a while. Anyone besides me still following hockey? Good games both east and west.

  14. Wild Bill says:

    Didn’t think that the Habs would recover after giving up an “own goal” with 30 seconds to go last night. But they won, and you’re right, good hockey. Betting the Rangers win the next one, though.

  15. Thundercrack says:

    ‘Sanchez added that, if not for modern shifting, Pedro Alvarez would be hitting .300. ‘

    I don’t see how the shift prevents those high pop-ups in the infield from Pedro

  16. Thundercrack says:

    Ha! As soon as I saw that headline I thought ‘DK’s twitter feed is probably blowing up’

  17. Thundercrack says:

    ‘The increase in PNC Park crowds from 2012 to 2013 was a total of 164,944.
    With an average ticket price of $17.21 last season — third cheapest in baseball, per Team Marketing Report — that netted an additional $2.8 million at the gate.’

    Thank you DK

  18. Thundercrack says:

    Very informative column DK.

    And thank you for, you know, actually asking questions directly to the people involved: Nutting and FC.

  19. 21sthebest says:

    Well Gregg Giannotti wants to put Harrison there when Polanco comes up.

  20. Wild Bill says:

    Well, how much worse can his range be than Mercer’s is?

  21. Thundercrack says:

    ‘Nothing else to it. Neil Walker told me yesterday Wandy was ‘a great teammate.’ …..DK

    ‘Rodriguez hid those frustrations for a long time, constantly smiling and joking as the beat-downs piled up. That led to the perception by both the media and some of his teammates that Rodriguez was just happy to be drawing his $13-million salary, ‘ …….that from John Perratto in his column today

    Now who do you believe and trust? I know who I do.
    Perrotto had given Wandy the nickname of ‘the warrior’. And never does a week go by without him taking a shot at Nutting….his former employer

  22. Thundercrack says:

    I wonder if he meant that was their record for home games?

  23. JAL says:

    JAL’s Georgia On My Mind Morning Links

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


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects

    Pittsburgh Pirates Organizational Probable Pitching Chart

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Thoughts on Wandy, Cumpton, Josh Wall, Tyler Glasnow, 2014 Draft

    Prospect Watch: Glasnow Struggles Through High Pitch Count, Two Homers From Willy Garcia

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Edinson Volquez, Josh Harrison, Andrew McCutchen lead Pirates to 3-1 win

    Postgame notes: Two (almost three) gem night
    Analysis: Pirates DFA Wandy Rodriguez, claim Josh Wall

    7 Rumbunter

    Brandon Cumpton: Can His Return Spark Pirates Season?

    The Pittsburgh Pirates Are Not Dead Yet

    8 Green Weenie

    Too Much Pitching, Josh & Cutch: Bucs Take Opener 3-1


    Pirates designate Wandy Rodriguez for assignment

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Wandy Rodriguez DFA’d, Russell Martin activated from DL

  24. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Beaver County Times

    Bucs wave to Wandy: Trade marked a new era, even if Rodriguez didn’t help

    12 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Nationals Game Preview

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Cubs intensify battle with rooftop owners

    14 Washington Post

    McCutchen, Pirates overcome Nationals and hard-throwing rookie Blake Treinen, 3-1

    15 Pirates Site

    Sharp Volquez, clutch defense propel Pirates

    Notebook: Results show Davis settling in with Bucs

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bryan Price in his own words

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Bullpen mixup a lowlight in Brewers’ loss

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Robinson sparks Cards’ sweep of D’backs

    19 Fangraphs

    On Mike Moustakas and Terrible Contact

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    Fantasy Gets Impersonal

  25. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Dri Archer says the plan is to use him ‘creatively’

    2014 NFL odds: Steelers favored in 10 games

    Ex-Steelers safety Mike Logan claims he wasn’t informed of long-term risk of pain killers


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    League Teams of the Year

    23 BBC Football

    Neil Adams: Norwich City hand caretaker boss permanent job

    24 World Soccer

    World Cup preview – Holland


    25 Pensburgh

    Penguins News: Candidates for General Manager

    Thursday Pens Points: Maatta, Pouliot Go Under the Knife

  26. JAL says:

    Forgot to change song line, big hit by Ray Charles, written by Hoagy Carmichael

  27. Jandy says:

    I’m thoroughly enoying this playoff hockey. Hubby even turns it on for me :)

  28. Maz in Iowa says:

    Not sure about giving up this early….but a 5-6 game winning streak sure would be nice :)..I did say winning right?

  29. BFD says:

    DK. In addition to the increase in gate money, you are forgetting about the increased TV money, and increase in fee the PBC is charging it’s sponsors. (which no one other than Madden seems to want to discuss). Your also discounting concessions based on the gate. BTW – if the gate revenue is so inconsequential, then why did the regime say payroll will go up when attendance goes up?

    You can pin the “blame” on various decisions made by the PBC on anyone of the Nutting front office stooges, but the buck stops at Nutting.

    Pointing to various other examples of the Stupid 2 situation of Polanco and justifying him still toiling in the minors due to outfield angles, inconsistencies, bunting, or whatever other BS excuse they want to claim he needs to work on because “it happens with every other organization” or it happened with Cutch is BS. No other franchise has been buried in futility like this one. This organization needs to do things better, than other organizations. This organization won for the first time in 20 freakin years. Nutting and his FO response? Let players who contributed walk. Let a possible positive contributor toil in the minors and give the fan base the bird.

    And please stop acting like this Latin facility Nutting spent on is something special. Other organizations have this AND a legitimate baseball team.

    The one winning season somehow makes many of you feel validated in your blinded support of this propaganda machine which is enabled by most of the media in this town.

  30. BFD says:

    well said, Joey. The propaganda machine turns the question into something they would rather discuss. It becomes free advertising for the PBC.

  31. BFD says:

    yes. becasue they always tell the truth and never lie or mislead.

  32. chethejet1 says:

    Hopefully Hanson can be a solution to SS. The Buccos simply have to spend on position players and they are hard to get. There are maybe 20 teams that will outspend and offer more money than the Pirates. with the limitations of revenue on a relative basis, last year will be a fluke rather than the norm. But I do like what they are doing as building prospects as they have no other option. The problem is if they don’t come through like T Sanchez or injuries, they can’t win consistently. When teams can outspend you 2 or 2.5 to 1, you are at a big disadvantage. they like Tampa, Oakland, Marlins and like and kind franchises simply have to develop and trade to stay in the game.

  33. DJ says:

    Interesting to consider whether the fortunes of the Pens would have been significantly different had the Pens chosen Toews over Staal in the 2006 NHL Draft.

    Would it have been possible to retain all three centers if, say, we weren’t handing out $7+ mill to Letang and $4-4.5 mill per year to guys like Michalek and Scuds along the way? Would we have been more responsible defensively every playoff run?

    My own guess — and it’s only that — is we would have had 2 Cups by now.

  34. Jandy says:

    I don’t know if it’s the norm, but Hanson looked terrible at SS when I went to the Altoona Game last weekend. Ugh!
    His plate performance is good though.

  35. Harrison is terrible at short.

  36. JohninOshkosh says:

    Really enjoyed the Pitt stuff with Jerry.

    My source for Pitt football and basketball information.

    Have a nice weekend, all. Enjoy the BBQ!

    Hitting the road to visit the fam in Hawkeye state. Subaru, don’t fail me now!

    Go Rangers! Go Kings! Go Thunder! Go Pacers! Go Danica Patrick!

    And Go Bucs!

    Be safe. I’ll have a beer or two for y’all.

  37. Thundercrack says:

    The only thing I have heard from Madden is that the team switch sponsorship from Pepsi to Coke, and they got more money. I think he quoted the amount of the extra money that it brought in – from his source. But I believe it was only a couple of million dollars. Why don’t you ask Madden to do some work and find out how much more they are charging their sponsors. Maybe he could do what DK does – shows up at the game, goes into the locker room and asks questions.

  38. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ugh, not a reply!

  39. Good column. I think DK has a key on his keyboard for $15 million and it’s worn out.

    Isn’t it a novel idea that a business owner would make some money off a business? Whoever thought of something like that? Things like that could make a country strong.

  40. 21sthebest says:

    I think there’s more factors than just range.

  41. DJ says:

    Own hope is when Polanco comes up, he rips the cover off the ball the balance of the season and we continue to lament why he was not here sooner.

    Would make for an interesting summer.

  42. Jandy says:


  43. DJ says:

    It’s okay to talk about Polanco now, right?

    Just checking.

  44. Jandy says:

    I just hope he has a good solid head and doesn’t take too much stock in being the “savior” that it messes him up.

    I’m excited to see him play with the big club :)

  45. Jandy says:

    Oshie, enjoy your long weekend, I know I will. You can have a beer or two for me, but I’m gonna have a few myself ;)

  46. Jandy says:

    Since when did that stop you? :P

  47. Jandy says:

    Please elaborate, I’m interested :)

  48. BFD says:

    you don’t need to “go into the locker room” and “ask questions” which don’t really get answered, to form an educated opinion and see what goes on at PNC Park

  49. DJ says:

    Wanted to make sure “The Boss” had lifted the moratorium.

  50. Jandy says:

    LOL I think he’s tuned it out ;)

  51. Brandie says:

    Congratulations on The Golden Quill DK. You seem to put 28 hours into a 24 hour day.

  52. DJ says:

    Yeah, it’s not like Bucs fans and the media will be watching and critiquing his every move.

    No pressure.

  53. DJ says:

    For a guy that’s tuned it out he sure brings it up a lot.

    DK: “See that pink elephant over there? Well don’t look at it.”

  54. Justin says:

    i think it was just because he was never really any good until this year. He hit every level of the minors, but his major league performance had been bad.

    he’s been fantastic this year. Just what the doctor ordered. I hope it lasts!

  55. Brandie says:

    Maybe he should look at the story of Rob Scuderi as a cautionary tale. Tonight, on a very special episode of Pittsburgh Pirates baseball… ;)

  56. Jandy says:


  57. Jandy says:

    hey hey Brandie! Good to see ya…hope all is well :)

  58. NJ07035 says:

    Another study of the #FreePolanco situation, looking at 20 years of top OF prospects:

  59. Justin says:

    Good stuff, DK! If this encourages just one Pirates-Can-Do-No-Right-Nutting-Basher to think a little bit rationally, it will be a success.

    People who complain about the payroll forget that they were willing to drop 12 mil on Burnett, according to NATIONAL writers like Jon Heyman. No propaganda there. Why would Heyman lie for the Pirates?

    their payroll would be at about 90 which is pretty reasonable for Pittsburgh, if you ask me.

    i’ve seen complaints about how they didn’t sign Jose Abreu while ignoring that Ike Davis has looked fantastic if you ask me. All he does is get on base. He’s no Jose Abreu, but nobody thought Abreu would be THIS good.

    This team is more talented than its current record and more talented than its current payroll would indicate.

  60. Jandy says:

    NJ? What city or town? Welcome to the Looney Bin :)

  61. DJ says:

    Too funny.

    ESPN’s 30 for 30: “Long Island Legends — The Doctor and The Piece.”

  62. DJ says:

    Yes, saw that link.

    No better evidence for keeping Polanco in the minors than the fact that both Travis Snider and Lastings Milledge are BOTH on that list.

    Cautionary tale indeed.

  63. Thundercrack says:

    Oh. I see.

  64. The Bus had no choice concerning Wandy, obviously, and now, hopefully, they’ll find someone who can put in enough starting innings and thus relieve their overworked bullpen.

  65. buggee says:

    –> JAL… typical of anything Milwaulkee, the link you provided freezes my system. Still greatly appreciate your links though JAL; can’t thank you enough for them.

    Have a fine, feckless and relaxing weekend!

  66. Justin says:

    reports i’ve read say he has the glove for it, but not the arm.

    over the next 2 years, trade for Didi Gregorioius for SS, Hanson to 2b, extend Walker (or FA 3b) to play 3b!

  67. Cobra39 says:

    I wish DK would just stop defending his good buddy Nutting. It’s almost obsequious at this point.

    Fact: The Bucs have the 27th ranked payroll in a league of 30 teams. Their biggest competitors in the division have payrolls that are some $30 million more.

    Fact: Nutting said that when the team became contenders that the payroll would follow. They were 27th heading into 2013 and still 27th heading into 2014. I assume that most people considered them to be contenders entering this year. I supposed Mr. Nutting has a different definition.

    When it comes down to it, the Polanco argument is tangential. The number of people on this forum who think Polanco should be called up right now (!!!!) seems to be very low. Knowledgeable fans simply aren’t clamoring for it.

    No, the problem is that the offseason was bungled very badly. The team that ended the 2014 season that should’ve been improved upon was worsened with the front office’s moves (or lack thereof).

    The reason that the team wasn’t improved goes directly to the fact that Nutting simply doesn’t possess the resources or had the desire to put what resources he has into improving the MLB roster after a breakthrough year.

    Professional sports ownership is populated by owners who want to own a team for the glamor and prestige. We’re talking tech billionaires and hedge fund managers among this new breed. Money is no problem for them and taking a loss on funding a sports team doesn’t matter to them. When you try to run your professional sports franchise as a business and not a vanity project, you get people like Bob Nutting. His dinky little dying newspaper chain and resort business won’t get the job done. You’re either all in or you get the hell out for the good of the city. Bob Nutting has no apparent desire to ever sell the Pirates so we are stuck with an owner that will never be able to fund it properly without revenue sharing, and that’s not going to happen in MLB.

    As long as Bob Nutting (and god forbid, his family after him) is owner of the PBC, they simply will not have the money to be a perennial contender in MLB. Anyone who argues against that is being delusional or deliberately obtuse. That’s the true crux of the problem, not whether Gregory Polanco is brought up a couple of weeks early.

  68. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Why are we as fans entitled to so much information regarding the inner-workings of an organization? You are calling all the reasons we are being fed on why Polanco is not up yet BS. I agree. They are BS. You know it. They know it. I know it. So why bother? Because it exposes the problem. If you don’t take action know, you’ll settle for nothing later…when the poorly worded collective bargaining language and incentive to hold back tops prospects is gone, so to shall be the BS answers. Small market teams need this change whether they know it or not for a multitude of reasons. Baseball needs it because the current system destroys some of the purity involved with evaluating baseball talent.

  69. TJA says:

    Just have to share this scene that is unfolding before me as this very moment: I am at a McDonald’s waiting for a client of mine to arrive. In the middle of the place there are 11 old/retired guys sitting around a couple tables talking about the Pirates game last night and the Bucs in general. It is so wonderful. I love it. These guys are all talking loud. It is so fun to hear this. I suppose just like us on this blog….everyone wants to be the manager and general manager. Be it what is is with the Pirates this season…this is something that would have not been the case for several years.

    Have a great holiday weekend, Everyone!

  70. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nice post, Daq.

  71. chethejet1 says:

    I am not in the camp of bashing Nutting. He is what he is. But I for one would have loved to see him sell seven years ago or so to the Mario group. That would have been interesting to see the results. The value has tripled so Nutting fell into a great situation not of his making. Hanson’s best position is 2nd but guys can improve enough to be serviceable as he brings assets that are missing right now.

  72. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    If an owner wished to run his sports franchise like a business rather than a whimsicle debt generatng machine as you suggest the new breed of owner does above, it is entirely up to him…that’s not blind defense. That’s reality.

    If there are owners out there treating their franchises like strip clubs, raining money from the heavens and popping corks like it’s 1999 every night…I haven’t seen it. While it’s fun to paint that picture, it’s misguided to suggest that there is something wrong with trying to create a stable/sustainable business model aimed a creating a lasting, as well as consistent approach to ownership and tradition. You don’t have to like him, but Nutting can do what he wants.

  73. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ve always liked Rob King, especially his retrospectives. And I’ll always remember seeing him at a game, sitting on a chair on the field, when it was 100 degrees on the field, in a suit and tie, and looking like he was in an air conditioned room. He’s not real. (I think that was the last “anniversary game” for the 1971 WS champions.). And, the best part of Rob King? He’s not Paul Alexander.

    Seriously, though, I do think he’s very good.

  74. AJS says:

    I’d say he has his streaks in teh Bigs. It seems that when he needs to step in and be an every day guy due to injury or just beause the other guys have lost their shot he always seems to play very well early in the stint and then regresses to his rather uninspiring mean.

    I love his energy and his fight but his skill level just isn’t as high as it needs to be to play everyday.

  75. Justin says:

    In the Pirates’ defense, they DID try to sign Josh Johnson (phew. dodged a bullet there. Tommy John.), James Loney, and AJ.

    The only two positions where it really made sense to upgrade were SP and 1b (Mercer came off a pretty good year and should be doing so much better, and RF didn’t make a ton of sense for a multiyear deal player because of polanco). and we got our 1b upgrade. Ike Davis has been pretty dang good so far.

    They offered burnett 12 million, which means that the team showed willingness to make their current payroll 12 million higher. the money is there. they were willing to use it. Burnett just chose Philly.

    They did mess up the offseason and i think they would agree. They got too cute with burnett with the “bidding against ourselves” stuff. Shouldve just done the QO in hindsight. But at the time they were convinced that they could get better value whether that was via Josh Johnson + James Loney for the same price or Burnett at a lower price.

    But they tried to make payroll 90 mil with Burnett.

  76. Steelkings says:

    Uncle SK’s top 10 reasons DK wrote that Myth / Reality article

    10. Bob???? What did you do with DK?

    9. Fans complain about management, Management is always innocent, Writers complain about fans complaining about management. Its the great circle of sports writers life. Hakuna Matata!

    8. Whether or not that was your underwear is completely irrelevant.

    7. Nutting is secretly funneling orders via masked sports writer to 1 Washington Federal way.

    6. DK is fresh out of Penguin soup

    5. Travis and Rob needed a good belly laugh.

    4. Too early to start talking about a Big Ben contract extension again and again and again

    3. C.J. Beatty, Hitting 305 with 18 home runs also has not reached Super Two. DK will save that for later.

    2. Had to get this in before people forgot about GP, who has 1 hit in his last 14 PA’s.

    1. The dog days of beat writing start in June.

  77. AJS says:

    Is that just added commentary or did you think he said harrison when he said Hanson. Hanson being the top SS prospect in the system.

  78. Arriba Wilver says:


  79. I like JHay. I always have. Followed him through the minors after the Bucs acquired him. He has always hit over .300 in the minors. But range, overall glovework, arm and size hamper him considerably at short and even at third.

    That said, his spark-ability, overall hustle and top-notch attitude overcome some of his shortcomings. Hope he sticks until he retires.

  80. BFD says:

    the Nuttings have a long line of players “they almost got”, “or tried to get” The bottom line is they didn’t “get” anyone…… again

  81. Just added commentary that sounded too harsh. See below.

    Some above were calling for him to take over at short. Maybe a game here and there, but not permanently.

  82. AJS says:

    They left that 12 mil on the table so long that it hampered them from using it anywhere else. The problem is it was a one year 12 million dollar figure. Even if you assume they spread that 6 over 2 ore 4 over 3 I still doubt they lure any difference maker at the positions they were shopping for.

  83. Arriba Wilver says:

    What’s Jerome Bettis have to do with this?

  84. I think Adam Frazier or JaCoby Jones are the top SS prospects in the system now, even though Hanson is in AA and higher in the system.

  85. shaking Jandy’s head. Does he mean the Boss?

    James, do you mean The Boss?

  86. There isn’t an obsequious bone in DK’s body!


  87. AJS says:

    That’s very possible. You are likely right.

  88. SeanAY says:

    I saw this exchange, and all I could think of was “A Few Good Men.”

    Lt. Kaffee: Is this funny, sir?

    Col. Jessep: No. It’s tragic.

  89. +++++++++++++++++++

    Very well stated, Gary.

  90. Dom says:

    Also, I have a hard time believing that there will be an owner who will come in here in spend hundreds of millions of his own money to keep up with the Joneses.

  91. NJ07035 says:

    Jandy –

    from Lincoln Park – I’m already on the looney bin list; work schedule makes me more of a lurker than an active poster…

  92. Justin says:

    yeah i’m not saying that their offseason strategy didn’t blow up in their faces.

    I’m just saying that in all of the yelling about how low the payroll is, that there is strong evidence that they at least tried to make the payroll a bigger number.

  93. ob·se·qui·ous

    1. characterized by or showing servile complaisance or deference; fawning: an obsequious bow.
    2. servilely compliant or deferential: obsequious servants.
    3. obedient; dutiful.

  94. tan·gen·tial/

    1. pertaining to or of the nature of a tangent; being or moving in the direction of a tangent.
    2. merely touching; slightly connected: tangential information.
    3. divergent or digressive, as from a subject under consideration: tangential remarks.
    4. tending to digress or to reply to questions obliquely.

    These are for us simple-minded folk here on the blog. Cobra is obviously highly-educated.

  95. Jandy says:

    haha, well done, Revvie!

  96. Few as in a few cases?


  97. Jandy says:



  98. Range, arm, glove and size.

    Heart-no problem. (grit and character)

  99. Jandy says:

    He’s OBVIOUSLY confused….
    not sure what he means…

  100. Jandy says:

    Oh, and thanks for shaking my head for me ;)

  101. No problem. Glad to help out.

    Bear ye one another’s burdens,
    and so fulfil the law of Christ.
    — Galatians 6:2


  102. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think what 21 was trying to say is he’s no Jack Wilson.


  103. Jim S says:

    Fair point on the “bottom 5 of salary” part. It frustrates me as well.

  104. Jim S says:

    FWIW, Wash U is regarded as one of the best universities in the nation.

  105. Jandy says:

    That’s cool…thanks for the response :)

  106. Arriba Wilver says:

    That is their record for their last 12 home games.

  107. Jim S says:

    That is their record in the last 12 home games. They went 6-3 on the last homestand, and are 2-1 on this one. Too bad we have to count road games.

  108. War_Horse says:

    If it was, Thunder, he did not suggest or hint that’s what he was talking about.

  109. Jandy says:

    Thanks guys :)

  110. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s a bright guy. And a nice guy,

    Maybe he misread the prompter or didn’t read far enough.

    And we’re making a big deal about this why?


  111. Jandy says:

    hey we can’t pick on Bylsma, right?

  112. 21sthebest says:

    + AW.

  113. Sarah says:

    Are the rumors true that Pierre McGuire might get a GM interview??

  114. lupesanchez says:

    Exactly. It’s why the team’s “baseball people” “choked” on the third year to Loney.

  115. War_Horse says:

    If Rob King was referring to the Pirates’ “home” record over the last 12 games, shouldn’t he have said so? And, if he had, why not mention at the same time that the Pirates’ record on the road over the last 12 games is 3-9? Granted, the magnificant catch by Cutch to end the game and the equally sensational catch by Harrison the inning before made it a thrilling ending, but why boost a fan’s hopes with misleading statements? King gets a dart for that one.

  116. Jandy says:

    I’ve heard the same rumors, don’t know if it’s true.

  117. 21sthebest says:

    Or maybe a fraction of Jack. Jordy has played there better than I thought he would. Still don’t like his range or arm strength, but he hasn’t made many physical or mental errors.

    Playing outfield is much lower stress than infield for many players. Not sure how Josh’s bat would be affected. Maybe not at all.

  118. Jandy says:

    Hubby and I like Rob too, but we say he and Mario have the same type of “ski-slope” nose ;)

  119. 21sthebest says:

    That’s pretty good Sean but not as good as your comment yesterday. ;-)

  120. Dom says:

    Our buddy Johnny Manziel is being sued?

    I meant to add that question mark there. Not sure if this is a real case.

  121. Arriba Wilver says:

    Serious question– is reaction time off the bat less of a factor for SS than outfielders, or is that part of “range.”

  122. Jandy says:

    LOL! I’d be in such a drunk funk I’d never wake up!

  123. Jandy says:

    Amen, Brother :)

  124. Sarah says:

    This is enough to stay far away…


    I guess there’s a reason nobody’s touched him for 20 yrs!…..

  125. 21sthebest says:

    I think Nutting can do what he wants, but I’ve always viewed sports franchises as regional assets and the owner has a responsibility to run the franchise with the interests of the fans first. Sports franchises appreciate in value every year. The owner profits plenty when and if they sell. Profits from annual operations shouldn’t be distributed to owners, IMO, unless payroll is fairly consistent with the rest of the league in relation to revenue and any debt constraints.

  126. Jandy says:

    I can’t say that should be an issue now. It’s 20 years later. But then again…who knows?

  127. Jim S says:

    I love what JHay is doing right now. In fact, it is hard not to. And, I admitted last season to turning a corner in my opinion of him. I did not like his at bats much at first in 2012. It seemed like the count was always 0-2, and MLB hitters usually hit below .150 when they start out 0-2. You just can’t live that way. MLB pitchers are too good.

    But, he had a flair for big hits at big moments last year, and there is no denying the kid plays his heart out every night. He makes the most of every opportunity. There is nothing not to like about that, and I do believe there is value in that even when his current torrid streak ends. He’s a good guy to have on any team.

    But, folks, I think there is a reason he is not a MLB full-time starter. He doesn’t have a lot of plate discipline, and (current hot streak aside) he is not a guy who hits for a high average or with a lot of pop. I know he threw a guy out at the plate the other night, but there is also a reason everyone runs on him in the OF – he does not have a strong arm for the IF or OF. He has made 2 athletic diving catches, but I also don’t think he is a good OF at this point. Sometimes guys who don’t get good reads on the ball or take good angles to the ball still make diving catches because of athleticism. But, I try not to confuse that with having good range, which is really what OF play is about. It takes years to develop good OF range, I think.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think JHay is doing a nice job in RF right now. He seems to be making most of the plays, although a few balls have fallen in front of him that I think most MLB RF would have caught. And, I’ve seen him launch a few lollipop throws to the plate and other bases. But, he is not the disaster he was out there 2 years ago. And, he has definitely provided a spark offensively. The tag up from 1st to 2nd last night on Walker’s ball was a very heads up play that led to a key run for the Bucs. I love what he is doing right now, across the board.

    I just want to enjoy JHay for what he is. I think he is a good sub who plays the game as hard as anyone we have. Not everyone can be a full-time starter, and I think he fits in that category. I think he would get exposed as a .250-ish hitter with a low OBP and a low slugging % if he were to get 500 ABs. And, I can’t imagine him providing average defense as a starter at any position but maybe 2b. I think Clint should ride him as long as he stays hot, but recognize what he is long term. There is nothing wrong with that. JMO.

  128. Dom says:

    I don’t think there a chance McGuire will be the next GM.

    Here are possible candidates:
    Norm MacIver at Chicago.
    Paul Fenton at Nashville.
    Dave Poulin of the Toronto Marlies
    Milo Hamilton of DK’s blog.

  129. lupesanchez says:

    Lol. Their answers could not have been more, you know, mindless PR babble 101.

  130. Jim S says:

    I read it also. 3 words. Oh my goodness!

  131. Jandy says:

    Agree 100% Jim. Well said.

  132. Jandy says:


  133. Jim S says:

    My thoughts exactly, 21. Terrific post!!

  134. Jim S says:

    I keep reading that Hanson has the physical ability to handle SS (although some question the arm strength), but that he can’t get consistent. He makes too many mistakes on routine plays. He definitely has to overcome that. But, I will say that he is all of 21. So, 2 years from now it is possible we see a different glove. I’m just saying it is possible, nothing more. And, the bat is coming.

  135. You can share em with hubby and the fam.

  136. Arriba Wilver says:


  137. Jim S says:

    I think range is the most important factor for defense at just about any position, Arriba. But, since defense is considered more important defensively than OF, I suppose quick reactions are more important for a SS than an OF.

  138. Jim S says:

    How dare he make a mistake. We never make them.

  139. 21sthebest says:

    In my opinion, reaction time off of a bat isn’t less of a factor for one position than another. If you’re asking if a player like Josh could react differently in the outfield than at short, I would say that’s very possible. And it seems to me that reaction time would be a part of range. I have no idea if I answered your question.

  140. Jim S says:

    ++++, Lucky.

  141. Arriba Wilver says:

    I would think so, too, Jim. But I’m also curious if that is included by baseball people under the umbrella of
    “range.” It certainly would affect range—reaction time.

  142. Jim S says:

    Did Walker deserve a double on that hard hit ball under Davis’ glove on Wednesday?

    I swear there’s a local bias against that guy for some reason. ;-)

  143. Arriba Wilver says:

    You did, 21. Thanks.

  144. 21sthebest says:

    Jim, you think range is more important than having good hands?

  145. Thundercrack says:

    If a Pirate fan just woke up from a month long coma and you said to them “Josh Harrison has started and batted lead-off the past 4 games in a row”. The fan would probably say “Either our record is terrible or everyone is hurt”

    And then they would probably mutter “Nutting is still cheap”.

    I like J-Hay a lot. But he is a super-sub.

  146. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    I respect that opinion but what makes it a regional asset? If it’s tax dollars used to fund stadiums, fine, but that investment is returned in people/activity and future tax considerations, not direct dollars. As a fan the only risk I take is placing my heart on the line (and perhaps my marriage if I’m not careful about how ravenously I follow all the action), but an owner is wagering both he and his family’s future in this scenario. I’m sorry but I can’t buy the fan first logic.

  147. Arriba Wilver says:

    It didn’t hurt Bob Hope. ;-)

  148. JohninOshkosh says:

    “What About Bob” was an underrated comedy.

    Richard Dreyfuss and Bill Murray were terrific together.

  149. Andy says:

    Each of their careers are independent events.

  150. Andy says:

    It WOULD be 90 million but it’s not so what is your point? How does throwing a figure out that will likely not be reached this season or next a good argument?

  151. 21sthebest says:

    Tradition is that we rally around our sports teams Redus. Creates a sense of community and something we can all enjoy together. I can’t think of many other businesses that have a similar business model when it comes to their customers. I view the customers as anyone who roots for the team regardless if they spend on the team or not.

    When I say regional asset, I’m thinking figuratively and not literally from a financial standpoint. The tax dollars part of it isn’t much of a factor to me.

    I don’t see how an owner is wagering his or his family’s future. What’s the financial risk?

  152. 21sthebest says:

    ++++ I meant to say something similar earlier John. The scene when Bob went sailing….

  153. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was glad to see DK point out that Edinson is a “Good dude. Really likeable.”

    I’ve had that impression, too. Especially last night, when he couldn’t wipe the smile off his face during the game after JHay’s catch in right field. Don’t see that kind of emotion in a starting pitcher very often. Maybe a point of the finger, but still “cool.” Then, in his post-game interview, the same.

    Good dude. Really likeable.

    That pretty much captures it.

  154. Andy says:

    But they didn’t, how does making offers to players for less money or shorter terms serve as a reasonable defense. Please stop talking about a 90 million dollar payroll, it is nothing more than a pipe dream until it becomes reality. You don’t get credit for TRYING to sign guys, the team is trying to win every night but here they sit at 20-26 and are a pretender.

  155. Arriba Wilver says:


  156. I meant the Bucs. And it’s still obvious that they had no choice concerning Wandy under the circumstances, and, hopefully, they can start someone now that can win games and get some innings in so they can relieve that overworked bullpen.

  157. JohninOshkosh says:

    I separate sports businesses from other types of for profit businesses.

    Most of them have received tremendous value from public monies. That enhances value. Let’s face it, when these franchises are sold, the sellers walk away with centuries of generational wealth.

    They are thus part of the public trust and community. Fundamentally different from selling Snicker bars. So, no, the owner should not be free to do anything he wants with a club he holds in public trust for taxpayers and community welfare and identity.

    Otherwise, the Warhol Museum should consider selling some of its pieces. Afterall, it’s all about making money.

  158. Jim S says:

    They have Pittsburgh on their uniforms. The city uses the Pirates as an asset in marketing itself. The team benefits from that. This is not some anonymous business that operates pretty much out of the notice of the public. People identify with the team as their own, and rally around it.

    I am not saying Mr. Nutting doesn’t recognize this. I am merely saying that every owner who buys a professional sports team knows this is part of the deal. Acting as though it is just another business is not what any owner signs up for when he/she buys a team.

  159. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    I am with you completely on the community vibe 21…sometimes I watch the replays of big moments in games just to listen to the crowd or watch the guy directly behind homeplate fire up out of his seat….for that brief period of time, everyone in there is connected and it’s a great feeling knowing that it’s possible…

    The risk, I suppose is in the legacy left behind, if we are to believe that the desire is to turn over a sustainable commodity to the next in line…ensuring that the “other” customers (minority stakeholders) are happy is all part of it. It’s not a dance I would want to engage in personally, but if Bob Nutting is as small-time resouces wise as everyone portrays him to be, we have no reason to doubt that this is his sole intention behind majority ownership of the organization.

  160. Arriba Wilver says:


  161. Jim S says:

    Both are obviously important, 21. I’m not saying I can accept a guy with bad hands at SS. There has to be a minimum standard. I guess it would come down to a decision of which guy converts more balls near him into outs. I would accept slightly lesser hands if I thought the range was so strong that a guy made up for his few extra mis-plays by getting to a lot more balls.

    Derek Jeter still has the same great hands he always had. Unfortunately, he can’t get to much any more. No way would he be my SS right now. But, I think a lot of people just focus on whether a guy seems to make the routine plays, and they tend to have a low bar for what is routine.

  162. 21sthebest says:

    I agree Jim except I’d take Jeter right now for the rest of the year only.

  163. 21sthebest says:


  164. 21sthebest says:


  165. Thundercrack says:

    He was smiling pretty good too when he walked….and eventually ended up on third base.

  166. Jim S says:

    I also think we may end up with a whole different idea of who is a good fielder and who is a good fielder by reputation only in the next few years as this new technology of tracking fielders and balls takes hold. I believe we will see some OF in a different light . Some guys who we thought were not very good because we see them botch the occasional routine play may end up in some cases being guys who can cover 50% more ground than the Matt Hollidays of the world. I will side with speed and range in the OF, for sure.

    I always tell the kids on the team I help coach that there is an imaginary circle around each player that represents their range. Everything within their circle gets converted to an out by them. Their job is to work hard to make their circle as large as possible.

  167. Agree with Jim and John on their points. I just like to see business owners make money, as long as they are honest and in it for the right reason. It’s my free market upbringing. That’s how we function as a country. (“America” playing in the background).

    I only know Nutting through DK. As for the Regime, that’s everywhere.

  168. Jim S says:

    And, yes, Jeter was probably a bad example. The Yankees don’t have anyone else, and they obviously feel he has earned one final year at SS.

  169. Didn’t he score?

  170. Jim S says:

    Agreed, Lucky. I’m as free market as it gets. I definitely believe they have a right to make a profit.

    But, I also believe owners of sports franchises do not go into these ventures expecting a total free market environment where they should be trying to maximize profit. They know what they are getting into, and that the public has a vested interest in the success of the team.

    I think John said it really well. I tried to make a similar point above, in response to Redus.

  171. Jim S says:

    Thomas Alva Edinson Volquez does seem likeable. He has been so Jekyll and Hyde so far. When he locates well, he gets positive results. When he catches too much of the plate up, boom.

  172. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Good point Jim, and I suppose now more than ever it works both ways with the city and brand name plastered about everywhere on tv, radio, print and internet….but for me, other than the actual draw, the “you may operate in our city, here is a little extra to get you started…keep people coming to town and spending their money here and we’ll have no problems” agreement so to speak, is where it begins and ends. Anything more would be too incestious, so for that reason, failing the fan will only hurt the Nutting family in the long run and keep him from his stated goal.

  173. Thundercrack says:

    You are right Lucky. I think it was on Cutch’s HBP

  174. JD says:

    Right on War Horse, throw that dart. He also should have pointed out every strikeout by a a Pirates hitter and also offered a blistering critique of Gaby’s nose hair. The fans need to hear it.

  175. cherokee23 says:

    I had this thought last night when they mentioned the 12-11 record on 1-run games

  176. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not to get too philosophical here, but “free”market” has always been influenced in this country (and everywhere) by government. The Pirates got the stadium. The broadcast companies got the bandwidth. The free market would never have gotten us HD now because the companies were making money the way things were. Once they were forced to and got it, they tried to dumb it down initially to use the extra bandwidth for more soaps, etc. and every law passed creates winners and losers.

    Sorry to go off, but “free market” is not pristine. In a free market baseball players would be able to sign with any team they wanted from day 1. Probably wouldn’t be having the Gregory Polanco issue right now if the baseball “market” were truly free. The Yankees would have him playing right now.

  177. Thundercrack says:

    I have certainly given this ownership plenty of ‘benefit of the doubt’ when it comes to spending. Mainly because
    1) I don’t think there is a lot of money in the ownership group. (they are rich people but not all of their money is in the club)
    2) I don’t know everything about the finances of a sports team. Sure there is lots of money, but there is also expenses and debt.

    I have believed in their “plan”. Grow as much talent, add with trades and certain free agents, and then sign as many of the homegrown talent as possible .

    This past off season I gave them a bit of a pass because I felt there were only a few holes to fill, they didn’t go crazy with free agents, and I felt they had enough quality players to be a very good team again.

    But this coming off season ( I can’t believe I am typing that in May) will be telling for me. They are going to have more holes in the roster. They seem to have much more income coming in – more tickets sold, tv money, etc..

    So I want to see what they do.

  178. JD says:

    Enjoy the beers OshKosh! I’ll be tipping a few myself.

  179. Baywatch says:

    LIKE Thomas Alva Edinson Volquez, Jim!

  180. I imagine he was smiling pretty good then, too.

  181. Well put, Jim and AW.

  182. Baywatch says:

    Anybody else notice how Melancon takes a deep breath and POOFS OUT his chest when he gets behind in the count? I wonder if it’s his way of rising to the challenge. “Not gonna be overwhelmed by this: GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN! (chest poofs out)

  183. Jim S says:

    So, where do we all stand on the Ike Davis / Gaby platoon now? Here is what they are doing offensively:

    Davis vs RHP: .309/.422/.474 (116 P/A, 97 AB, 7 doubles, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 19 BB)
    Gaby vs. LHP: .310/.333/.586 (30 P/A, 29 AB, 5 doubles, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB)

    Gaby is actually doing more power damage vs. RHP than LHP, but since Ike starts against all RHP now I just included what they are doing in platoon situations at 1b. Ike’s stats include his NYM stats.

    I actually hoped for more power from Ike. He seems to be really cutting back on his swing. It is hard to argue with his batting average and his OBP so far. I question whether he will continue to hit for such a high average. He has been “Loney-like.”

  184. Jandy says:

    I love to watch him pitch, Bayman. He kinda wiggles right before he goes into his wind-up…it’s cool :)

  185. He does that to stop his heart from racing.


  186. Jandy says:

    I’m a Gaby fan, so I’m biased ;)

  187. Jim S says:

    I have noticed that, Bay. I think it is his way of taking a deep breath and relaxing.

    But, hey, if it also exorcises demons, that works too. :-)

    I’m a little concerned about him and Watson for this weekend. I don’t think either of them can pitch tonight for sure. I actually thought Clint should have gone with Jeanmar a 2nd inning last night and allowed Watson to rest. Watson was not at his best, and now he’s out for tonight.

  188. Jim S says:

    He’s getting the job done!

  189. Jandy says:


  190. 21sthebest says:

    Arriba, totally agree with you but with respect to MLB, would you consider what has been collectively bargained to be part of the makeup of a free market? So even though the system has constraints, it’s what private entities have agreed to.

  191. Baywatch says:

    Yeah, I find myself wondering about Ike, too, Jim. I mean, Loney-like, but before Loney started hitting a few more home runs last year. I just don’t know if his power stays dropped off, how long the PBC will stay with it. He seems like a deliberate guy who is finding himself once again after that severe drought he had with the Mets.

  192. Jim S says:

    That’s well said, Arriba.

    I don’t want to give the impression that I believe a free market system is perfect. Far from it. And, there are abuses of it. But, I think in most instances it is far and away the best system for the most people there is.

    Countries that have little to no free market opportunities generally need to have their citizens fed by countries that do have some form of free market system, flawed though it may be.

    And, what a great weekend to ponder this very subject.

  193. Baywatch says:

    By the way, I just checked on our FORMER first baseman of the future, Alex Dickerson, last night. His season ended before it started with some freaky cyst in his foot they determined could derail his career later. This is the Alex Dickerson who raked at Altoona last year, came over in the Jaff Decker trade.

  194. Jim S says:

    Agree, Redus.

  195. Baywatch says:

    He got pretty animated last night after Cutch made that catch! It’s pretty scary seeing a happy shark, he’s got that sharp nose and pointy grin … just like a shark!

  196. Jim S says:

    Yeah, he may just be in a phase of trying to see the ball and hit it where it is pitched. I think he is doing that very well. At some point, as he feels more comfortable, we may see more of his power stroke.

  197. Jandy says:

    Sure is !

  198. Jandy says:

    Ha! My own nickname for his is “Great White Shark” as he’s so fair faired and skinned lol

  199. Thundercrack says:

    Tigers Bullpen!
    Tigers Bullpen!

  200. Dom says:

    I prefer Davis because I’m a fan of the Coal Hill Steakhouse and Grandview Saloon on Grandview Avenue.


  201. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree, Jim. Wasn’t criticizing the system at all. Just reiterating that it is what it is, and that has to be taken into account when evaluating what people’s (business owners) responsibilities, as well as benefits, are.

  202. Jonathan says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

    The Scuderi contract is Shero’s biggest mistake — but not drafting Towes because Eric Staal had a nice playoff run before the draft is pretty close.

  203. Jim S says:

    Well, I have to run. Busy weekend at our house, with our oldest graduating HS on Sunday and a big baseball tourney for my son all weekend. I guess we picked a bad time to have multiple projects completed at our house! There are people everywhere.

    Anyway, I hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend. I hope that we can all remember the sacrifices that have in the past, and do now as well, enable us to live in the greatest country ever conceived!

    Go Bucs!

  204. Jim S says:

    I knew that, Arriba. With you 100%.

  205. Arriba Wilver says:

    21—that’s true. It’s also true that baseball still has at least a limited exemption from antitrust laws. I’m not “judging,” I’m just suggesting applying traditional “free market” profit based thinking to baseball doesn’t work very well in evaluating what owners are doing. And, in reality.

  206. Baywatch says:

    Same to you, Jim! Big day for your oldest and all of you! RELISH!

  207. Jandy says:

    You too Jim, congrats and good luck all around :)

  208. Jim S says:


    Do you take deep breaths when looking at LeTang and his long, flowing hair? :-)

  209. Arriba Wilver says:


  210. Arriba Wilver says:

    Congrats, Jim. I have one more, next year. This year I can relax.

  211. Jandy says:

    A lot more (upscale) restaurants are adopting that policy around the country. I can’t criticize it, because a lot of people don’t quiet their kids when they act up. At least take them outside until they calm down. And I have a 2 year old grand daughter :)

  212. Jandy says:

    Jim, I never noticed, I’ll have to ask hubby to check me out next time I see him ;)

  213. I just heard on 93-7 the fan that the Pens are entering the second round of interviews for the GM’s job, meaning that we’ll be now hearing a lot of names being advanced, so stay tuned.

  214. If you have any, you’ll never relax.


  215. cmat0829 says:

    What’s a narrative? Do you mean you disagree with the many coaches and scouts that have correctly placed him in a utility role in the majors? Anyone CAN be an everyday player, they just need to be put in the lineup. If you mean you don’t understand why Harrison is NOT an everyday player, the simple answer is his weaknesses would be exposed in more appearances. His major strength is his hustle, energy and ability to be decent in a variety of positions… but let’s play this out: who in the Pirate lineup, post June 13, when Polanco is in RF, should Harrison replace?

  216. cmat0829 says:

    what should more correctly frustrate you in the Pirates ranking the bottom 5 in REVENUE generation. That will guide payroll, more than a miserly owner in the shadows.

  217. cmat0829 says:

    he corrected it when he repeated this during the 3rd segment.. his misspoke in a live broadcast…suppose Nutting and the regime ordered him to spew that propaganda? Geeze.

  218. cmat0829 says:

    It’s simple…Nutting ordered him to spew that propaganda. Folks dont realize it but the director on scene for those pre and post games is Nutting himself, in a trenchcoat, fedora and dark sunglasses… and he ordered King to ‘falsely get a fan’s hopes up’ but stating a fact about PAST PERFORMANCE that a real fan would already know without being told.

  219. Reading says:

    I would give Harrison a shot at shortstop.

  220. cmat0829 says:

    I don’t disagree with the opinion that sports teams are different types of businesses, but it’s naive to think that owners run it as anything other than a business. That’s why they bargain so hard with the union and sometimes push work stoppages (which do NOTHING for the fans) to get minor concessions (every $ counts). ALL owners, including the Yankees and Dodgers, align expenses to revenue, and the Pirates do no different.

  221. 21sthebest says:


  222. cmat0829 says:

    It WON’T EVER HAPPEN. All owners run their teams as a business. Oh and the Jerry Jones you desire? Has the most revenues in the NFL and team hasn’t won a championship in forever. Perpetually medicore, 8-8. So, um, yeah.

  223. cmat0829 says:

    the same Mario group that has the Penguins fans so excited about their performance?

  224. 21sthebest says:

    Starbucks should have that policy. :-)

  225. cmat0829 says:

    EXACTLY. PERFECTLY SAID. I think the same great baseball minds on the blog that have Tony Sanchez playing RF have Harrison already penciled in as everyday SS.

  226. Reading says:

    When discussing whether Harrison is an every day player, we don’t have to limit it to the Pirates. Once Polanco gets here, then the “dream outfield” of Cutch, Marte, and Polanco is set. On the Pirates, that really only leaves SS as a possible every day position. I like Harrison at SS because he is really the closest thing the Pirates have to a leadoff hitter right now. I think Harrison has a strong arm and might have more opportunity to play on other teams that don’t have a dream outfield or are otherwise set in the infield.

  227. cmat0829 says:

    DK: Great article, hoping you don’t ever have to write an article like that again, because it’s highly irrelevant to the Pirates current 20-26 record, which is what you covered in yesterday’s article. It’s odd, but if the Pirates were 26-20, none of this ‘noise’ would be heard and the trolls would be sleeping under the bridge.

    Only point I’ll make is that some seem to make a point to separate the ‘baseball people’ (who I suppose are Neal Huntington/Kyle Stark/Clint Hurdle) and the ‘business people’ (who most often are just called Nutting)… decisions like not offering a 3rd year to Loney were made by the ‘business people because they are cheap” and not the baseball people. I don’t think I have EVER seen or heard of a rift between what the BASEBALL PEOPLE want to do and what the BUSINESS PEOPLE allow them to do.

    And lastly, yes, folks, things like years of contract and $$s of contract are indeed BASEBALL DECISIONS. Not re-signing Marlon Byrd for 2 years was not a financial decision… it made no sense, at any cost, because Polanco will be the everyday RF starting June 13.

    The only productive criticism, in my humble opinion, are the decisions Neal Huntington makes with the resources he has. And there are plenty of criticisms to be made on that front, but that does require a modicum of facts and informed analysis, probably above the intellectual capacity of the pitchfork crowd.

    Nutting ‘apologist’ or Nutting ‘torchbearer’ has really become akin to Politics and Religion…ain’t no changing anyone’s mind in either extreme, so probably time to stop trying. On both sides. In the meantime there are plenty of nuanced debates where an honest dialog can be fun and fruitful…and for which this blog is ideally suited.

  228. cmat0829 says:

    1B is fine, if the starting pitching was decent we would’nt even be talking about 1B production. Move Ike to 2nd in the order, as he is now one of our best contact hitters and take pitches, draw walks, guys… keep Gaby in the middle of lineup vs LHP… I have no issue with Ike focusing on contact before power… power will come as he gets more confidence and has less holes in the swing.

  229. cmat0829 says:

    Yes, but you have to win the games in front of you and worry about tomorrow today. (that was sort of like the awful title of the new XMen movie). Hopefully one of these games the Bucs will be comfortably ahead and won’t need to nailbite the last few innings.

    If I were Neal, I’d bring a reliever up today when he sends Tony down for the next few days…on Monday, said reliever goes back and Cumpton is activated.

    And it looks like Grilli may come back tomorrow, so that helps. For tonight, I’d suspect Melancon/Watson and Mazarro are out…. so that leaves Wilson to close, Morris/Gomez/Hughes and newperson to set up.

  230. cmat0829 says:

    I’ll go out on a limb.. there are NO teams in MLB that see Harrison as anything but a super sub type of player. But if I turn out to be wrong I’ll buy you something shiny.

  231. Arriba Wilver says:

    “probably above the intellectual capacity of the pitchfork crowd.”

    Now THERE’S a reasonable starting point for a “nuanced” debate.

  232. Cobra39 says:

    So you’re honestly comparing the Penguin ownership group with that of the Pirates?

    The Pens are a team that is expected to compete for a championship every year. The Pirates ownership seemingly aspires to catching lightning in a bottle once every twenty years with a playoff run then is content to slide back into mediocrity.

    The two are light years apart in expectations and how they carry out their jobs.

  233. Cobra39 says:

    Not only that, but baseball has had an antitrust exemption since 1922 so it’s not exactly a free market situation these owners are buying into in the first place.

  234. JD says:

    Hey Lucky, are you near Corbin off I-65?

  235. I must be in the pitchfork crowd because my intellectual capacity was long ago at full.


  236. Off I-65 about 40 miles east. Not near Corbin. (Or anything else of any significance)

    Like George Clooney said in Oh Brother:

    “A geographical oddity. Two weeks from everything”.

  237. Arriba Wilver says:

    Granddaughter? That, by definition, means you can just leave. ;-)

  238. Like I said. Highly intelligent.


  239. Jandy says:

    As long as your hair isn’t on fire, you’re good to go, Revvie ;)

  240. Jandy says:

    Ha! Grandmothers are the ones given extra special service…what you talkin’ bout??? :P

  241. 40 miles east of Cave City, I should have said. Exit 53.

  242. Not much left to burn. Like NMR. Where is he BTW?

  243. Jandy says:

    Dunno, he hasn’t shown up today, he’s either off or extra busy…

  244. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t know, Rev, that sounds nuanced to me.

    It’s certainly possible, though, that daring to suggest they bring up Polanco (despite the awareness of the financial implications) puts you in the pitchfork crowd. Ironically, maybe, it gets complicated.

  245. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yinz guys are incorrigible.


  246. Bizrow says:

    I think most of here, at one time or another, have grabbed the pitchfork on occasion.

    Its a good thing, we care ;-)

  247. Arriba Wilver says:


  248. Jandy says:

    in·cor·ri·gi·ble adjective \(ˌ)in-ˈkȯr-ə-jə-bəl, -ˈkär-\

    : not able to be corrected or changed
    In case anyone needs help with AW’s big words ;)

    Full Definition of INCORRIGIBLE

    : incapable of being corrected or amended: as

    a (1) : not reformable : depraved (2) : delinquent

    b : not manageable : unruly

    c : unalterable, inveterate

  249. Jandy says:


  250. Arriba Wilver says:

    Your point ?


  251. Jandy says:

    hey, we Grandmothers don’t have t have one…. :P

    AW, you have a wonderful weekend, I’m gonna git some paperwork done here and go home for my three day weekend :) Enjoy :)

  252. Jandy says:

    As I said ^^ there to AW, I’m gonna get some paperwork done and get out of here (work) for my three day weekend. You all have a good one…enjoy :)

  253. JD says:

    Yep. My bad. Corbin is on 75. I was there this wk for business. Interesting town. At one exit, all the restraurants are “dry”, 4 miles south, they are all “wet”. I got wet.

  254. JD says:

    I drive by Cave City every now and then. Is that the exit with the dinosaurs & the ski lift going up the hill?

  255. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    As I mentioned earlier….The decisions are made by the people Bob Nutting has put in place.
    They know the ground rules, and they don’t have to ask, or most certainly aren’t going debate them.

    As for the “trolls under the bridge” (if the Pirates were 26-20)….Negatory!
    Almost anyone that debates the Regime is ridiculously labeled a troll or an idiot (which I read recently).
    The name Nutting has been attached to ownership since G. Ogden Nutting flew through those doors 18 years ago.
    It’s been a horrible ride outside of last year.
    Anyone….And I mean ANY Pirate fan that has hung on deserves the right to put their opinion out there whether someone like you agrees with it or not.
    What kind of world do you live in?

  256. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just joking on the definition.

    Have a great holiday weekend!

  257. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    cmat0829 – One more thing….There might be nothing many of us can do about the Nutting Regime remaining in power, but in return there is NOTHING you can do about people voicing their opinions against them.

  258. AJS says:

    The argument is that the Bucs never even try to get out of the basement on the spending ladder. That isn’t the case. They tried to spend 90 million this year and climb that ladder but the chips fell unfavorably. That’s the point.

  259. Arriba Wilver says:

    Seriously? You’re now telling people the correct way to be frustrated?


  260. Denis Cunningham says:

    I was at the game last Sunday when Harrison–presto changeo–turned into a gold glove outfielder. His horizontal snag in left made me do a double take…did Marte shrink a foot somehow? He was a dagger through the heart of every Yankee fan in the place! Now if only he can avoid getting picked off in crucial situations. Then we’d have our secret weapon!

  261. Wild Bill says:

    Just got back to the blog after several hours away, and in catching up on the posts, I think I’ve found enlightenment. This is not Pittsburgh’s baseball club that I’ve been fussing about over the years. This is the Nutting Family Professional Baseball Club that happens to play in the city of Pittsburgh by strength of legalities.

    Tonight the Nuttings are playing the Lerners in the second game of a series that began with a 3 to 1 win by the Nuttings. Since I don’t care about the Nuttings or the Lerners any more than they care about me, and they can do what they want with their baseball teams, all stress is off for me. I don’t even have to bother checking the score and have much more time on my hands this Memorial Day weekend.

    Thanks to those of you who have helped me see the light!

  262. AJS says:

    you have to get credit for trying if the argument being made is that the Bucs aren’t even trying to increase pay roll. I get you point that offering one less year or a ouple million less than the competitors shouldn’t cont, and to an extent you are right.

    But the Bucs left a 12 million dollar offer on the table being told originally by AJ that he would be a Pirate or retire. The next thing they know he is signing for 14 million on the dark side of the state and he can commute to work every day.

    As for Loney they have a stance of not offerig a player of that age more than two seasons. That is partially based on finances but is is also based on the fact that player at that age tend to regress. And I don’t know hat spending that much money on a switch hitting Gabby Snchez is really worth it, particularly if you are platooning him with Gabby Sanchez.

    If I am NH I don’t know that I play this off season much differently than he did.

  263. That be the one. Dinasaur World and that amusement park on the hill.

  264. AJS says:

    But if you operate in teh debt spiral that some are suggesting then you end up with a franchise that isn’t worth anything because it is so under water in debt you can’t sell it. You still have to make a buck or at least break even if you ever want to cash in on that big pay day when you sell it.

  265. Arriba Wilver says:

    Having a “stance” isn’t a justification or a defense if they don’t get the guy they targeted. They got Martin, who they targeted. (Still see comments they “overpaid”—not me).

  266. Arriba Wilver says:

    No one is suggesting they are anywhere close to that, even if they increased payroll more.

  267. AJS says:

    His power is down because he has worked hard on removing hat hitch from his swing. Which has increased his average. The big question is once he adjusts to the quieter swing and it becomes more naturan will the power gradually return?

  268. JD says:

    There’s nothing wrong with voicing your opinion. But does it have to be voiced every frigging day on this blog? I think we all know what you think of the Regime by now.

  269. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    When it comes to repetition….The Nutting Regime are kings.

  270. Arriba Wilver says:

    Going after the wrong guy, JD.


  271. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    By the way Wilver (on another note)….Now that Martavis Bryant has stood on the sidelines for “at least” one rookie camp workout, I won’t question further Limas Sweed comparisons.
    He’s going to have to do better than that.

  272. Thundercrack says:

    Clint is shaking up the batting order:

    Ike is cleanup, followed by Martin, Pedro, Marte.

    I think they were mentioning that Clint was ‘threatening’ to do something like this.

  273. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, Daq, but I admit I have no idea what I’m talking about there. ;-)

    Won’t stop me, though.

  274. Lonely Libertarian says:

    Ditto on the great post Daq!

    The get extended because they are the BMTIB!

  275. Arriba Wilver says:

    Who are “they?” The pitchfork crowd, the obviously challenged around King, the talk shows, Mark Madden?

  276. Arriba Wilver says:

    *Supposed to be “Rob” King.

  277. Lonely Libertarian says:

    So none of those fans bought a beer – or soda – or paid for parking – or ate anything. And the Baseball Club pretty much sold out – so those “average” tickets might not be the right way to price the incremental attendance. I have seen other places a value of $50 to $100 for each individual attendees contribution to the teams bottom line…

  278. Jason Grilli is expected back in the bullpen, maybe tonight. So maybe the bullpen will get a much needed boost. I would hope so.

  279. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Great column DK you definitely hit the nail on the head with that one I’m sure there still will be others that will question your realities

  280. Arriba Wilver says:

    You really need to get over the parking. DK’s made clear for years they don’t get anything from parking.

  281. BillyBaduka says:

    It’s not Dom. The article says the person is not real and the address of the plaintiff is CNN headquarters in Atlanta.

  282. Lonely Libertarian says:

    But JaCoby Jones is headed to the Mets – need to finish off that brilliant trade for the man who will make us forget GI Jones – I haven’t checked – how many HRS does the great Ike Davis have as a Pirate now – MUST BE in the double digits – and surely he is approaching 50 RBIs

  283. Dom says:

    Mark Madden is talking about Dejan’s column on his radio show.

  284. BillyBaduka says:

    Enjoyed all of your well reasoned, calm and rational points on this subject.

    Hope you all have a great holiday weekend!

  285. Arriba Wilver says:

    Is there a point?

  286. JD says:

    True. Should be to Bfd.

  287. Andrew says:

    Thank the Regime.

    Alvarez has the most PAs in the NL with men on base, and had the most base runners on, 162. Now much of that is that McCutchen leads the league in walks, but obviously teams are pitching around him to get to Alvarez.

    Alvarez has been scoring runners at a 10% rate league average is 14%, that is about 7 runs below average. I like the lower strikeouts and more walks and he may trying to adjust his approach but right now Alvarez has been making bad contact. His is missing mistake pitches and not putting the ball in the air to his pull side, he only has one homerun to right. If he is working through things let him do it lower in the order, and put guys who are harder to get out behind McCutchen.

  288. BillyBaduka says:

    Glad to see he’s not going to fight it tooth and nail.

    Even if he won in court (and I don’t think he would), he would be a pariah among the owners.

    I think a big part of owning a team is to be part of the “club” of owners.

    If you’re treated as an outcast, that takes a lot of fun out of it.

  289. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Reaction….That’s all it’s about for a sports columnist.

  290. Lonely Libertarian says:

    Ike has certainly earned his promo to cleanup – those 14 [or is it 15-I don’t look at stats very often] home runs he has hit since we traded for him are awesome!!!!!

  291. cmat0829 says:

    Dont think I ever said that people can’t voice opinions, did I? Just compared the ‘regime’ arguments as akin to religion and politics…meaning people on either extreme have their minds made up…and nothing, no facts, will stand in the way of their views. Mention I say BOTH extremes..those that think Nutting is responsible for all evil in the world, and those that say he’s above any blame for anything, ever.

    So I suggested that perhaps, knowing full well where people stand on the issue of the regime, we move on to debates where maybe, we can inform each other, change some view, open some eyes… makes the blog more fun.

    But if every discussion leads inevitably back to “regime, hate it or defend it” then it gets mighty repetitive, doesn’t it?

    For example…should Pedro bat clean up or not? I relish the various inputs by all on this blog…some will tout advanced metrics, some will tout history, some will bring perspective from other players/teams/the alternative… and that is very interesting. But some will plug in with some sort of comment to the tune of “Pedro sucks, we never should’ve drafted him… or doesnt matter, we wont re-sign him because the owners are cheap…or the beer prices are too high so Pedro should bat 9th”…. it takes the discussion down a rabbit hole that frankly is not really all that fun.

    But opine away…that’s what the blog is for…. it’s not rocket science or mission-critical, so post what you want… I will mostly read everything even if I scroll fast past the stuff that has been posted, oh, some 5 million times the past 2 years.

  292. cmat0829 says:

    if HRs were the key to hitting cleanup, we should leave Pedro there… but I prefer someone who will productively put the ball in play and Davis has been doing that WAY better than Pedro the past month. That said, I’m for Walker at cleanup and have said so for about 2 weeks, but even if this is addition by subtraction I’m not sure I see the negatives.

  293. Andrew says:

    I rather have a guy making outs a 62% rate than a 70% behind McCutchen, the only guys with higher slugging against RHP is Harrison at the moment.

  294. Justin says:

    if you go to the store to buy some expensive steak (a good player), but all of the steaks are gone (all of the good pitchers) because you hit traffic on the way to the store (waiting for AJ’s decision), does that make you cheap? Does this mean you lack a commitment to steaks?

    My argument is that the desire to raise payroll was there. If they had it their way, they WOULD be paying Burnett this year according to the national outlets’ reports of their $12 million offer. They WOULD have a payroll around 90. They WOULD be in the middle of the payroll pack. And… Unfortunately… they WOULD still probably be under .500 :(

  295. cmat0829 says:

    I’m personally done with the Pedro behind Cutch thing. Don’t care what the stats say. I’ve seen with my eyes the shitty pitches Cutch is getting and the waves and waves of runners left on base while El Toro does everything from hit it to the warning track to bounce into the shift to pop up and look bewildered to looking at strike 3 right down the pipe. My eyes need a rest.

    (caveat I like Pedro and think he tries really hard)

  296. Justin says:

    He’s almost outsmarting himself today. It’s entertaining.

    he started going through the pirates’ offense to prove that they have put no talent around Cutch. then he caught himself saying that too many guys were actually decent players and then just ragged on Clint Barmes for a little bit to cover it up.

    he also logic’d himself into saying that payroll doesn’t necessarily equal winning and then just trailed off.

    a caller cited the cardinals’ holding down of better-than-polanco prospect Taveras while trotting Peter Bourjos out there in CF. Madden just started yelling when the caller tried to say how bad Bourjos has been.

  297. Andrew says:

    I was referring to Davis in the 4:37 comment, I was responding to Loney. Alvarez K and BB rates look good but he is making terrible contact, put the tougher out and better hitter behind McCutchen and that has been Davis.

  298. Arriba Wilver says:

    Speaking of rocket science, who on the blog suggested benching Marte?

  299. JoeyBats says:

    Alan Hansen is coming @ SS…..

    ………………………………………………… 2016.

  300. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Just remember….No matter how many times this type of rhetoric sounds repetitive, it doesn’t match up with how many times we’ve heard and seen the same thing from the Nutting Regime.

  301. Lonely Libertarian says:

    The Cards do not want to play Taveras in CF – But they have to leave Craig and Holiday at the corners so they are stymied. They won’t trade Adams in the division – I actually suggested that the Bucs try and get him over the winter – instead of Davis and/or Loney

  302. Sarah says:

    JT were any names dropped???

  303. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Thanks, Jandy!

  304. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Why would anyone lie for the Pirates? Didn’t see the separation there between national and local.

  305. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Where do the Pirates rank in revenues?

    Hint: Don’t overthink it.

    Amazing how that works.

  306. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    People really, really hate facts that don’t fit the narrative. Funny, but if I wrote a piece that simply called all these people idiots for believing and parroting so much of that garbage — without bogging it down with numbers, just straight insults — it actually wouldn’t get anywhere near the reaction.

    What’s wonderful about the instant personal attacks — and I mean this — is that they’re instant validation that reasonable counters can’t be produced to the actual info.

    And that, in fact, the people believing and parroting so much of that garbage really are, by and large, idiots.

  307. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    List for me the sports owners — any league — who engage in deficit spending. I’ll sit right here and wait. Thanks.

  308. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Your stuff — which mercifully only spills over here when your obsession is brought up — has nosedived into comical territory at this point. Yeah, it’s better to not ask questions and just sit somewhere and make stuff up.


Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News