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Morning Java: No Pierre, please

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Friday column pans the Penguins’ increasingly circus-like GM search, particularly Pierre McGuire, who … I still can’t believe this is happening. Really can’t. These are smart men with good intentions.

Latest news on the GM search, by beat man Rob Rossi.

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

Here are official Stanley Cup final highlights on NHL.com.

>> The Pirates open one really large series tonight against the Crew. But honestly, I wouldn’t look at it so much from the head-to-head — Milwaukee’s 6.5 up — as from the simple standpoint of continuing to take series. Remember, there hasn’t been a sweep yet. All these gains since the end of April have come the hard way.

Cole Tucker, a scholastic shortstop, is the Pirates’ top draft pick. Karen Price reports.

Pretty cool vid on a day in Tucker’s life here:

Remember Jim Rooker’s famous walk home from Philly 25 years ago? Bob Cohn retraces the steps.

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

Here’s Brewers news from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

>> Jarvis Jones has work to do. Alan Robinson reports from Day 6 of the Steelers’ OTAs.

Ryan Shazier signs, by Robinson. Remember when first-rounders signing was a big deal?

Cam Heyward’s new role, by Mark Kaboly.

>> Jamie Dixon touches some hearts in a Downtown speech, by Jerry DiPaola. Enjoyed the imagery invoked here.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m., then make a stop over at the ballpark.

>> 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. siggy says:

    Pirates draft #24 and #39 and draft two guys ranked 84th and 102nd.

    Swell.

    This is what happens when unqualified people are running baseball teams. More unqualified than Pierre McGuire would be running the Penguins.

    How anyone can defend these morons anymore is a mystery.

  2. DJ says:

    Let’s give these picks a chance.

    And let’s give the BMTIB the benefit of the doubt. They’ve earned it.

  3. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Youre wrong.

    This is what happens when baseball decisions are made based primarily on cost and sign- ability.

    These picks cannot be defended with sane arguments.

    For those that believe this team wants to win and that decisions like this that defy logic arent based in fiscal restraint, I dare you to change my mind.

  4. Vette60 says:

    Interesting column. Seems this whole deal has gone on far too long and is starting to get a bit silly. The whole Brisson and Pierre things don’t foster a lot of confidence in what is happening over at CEC. Hope it is resolved today.

    The cine sport video didn’t show in my iPad and when I went to the link and searched I couldn’t find the vid either. Probably me. But either way it really is unfair IMO to the current coaching staff to leave them hanging.

    The article on Rooker’s walk brought back a lot of memories. I remember listening to that game and was surprised that he actually came through.

    Happy Friday all.

    Randy in RVA.

  5. DJ says:

    Let’s have your list of picks at each of the slots.

    Then we’ll revisit each in 3 years.

  6. Ryan says:

    If Pierre is a serious candidate I’d like to throw my resume out there. I took the penguins to a 67-8-7 record with 4.25mil in cap space in NHL ’14! I could always google where players grew up.

  7. DJ says:

    If you traded Letang before the season began then you’re hired, Ryan.

  8. Mizery says:

    My enthusiasm for a new hockey regime is fading pretty quickly. Remember in school when you had your mom drop you off 3 blocks from school so you weren’t seen with her? This is how I will feel about the Pens GM if McGuire is hired. Crazy stuff.

    pirates can draft whoever. I would get mad if it was a high level pick and they drafted Moskos over Wieters but these picks hardly get me to lash out at Pirates ownership, front office, etc. and I like nothing more than an opportunity to do that.

  9. DJ says:

    Any chance Pens waiting on Jeff Gorton “interview moratorium” being lifted by Rangers?

  10. Baywatch says:

    Tony Sanchez has seen a few setbacks, and still has some growing to do on defense. I like the way he’s come along with his bat. But given the way people have trashed him being taken 4th overall by us in the 2009 draft, I thought it might be fun to go back and look at that draft to see what all we passed over in favor of Sanchez.

    Honestly, NOTHING really jumps out at you in that first round. Mike Leake was taken 8th overall. While he’s looked great on some occasions, and I don’t think he even played minor league baseball, it’s not like he’s been a dominant pitcher. Be nice to have his HITTING :-)

    And what did the Angels know that nobody else knew about Mike Trout, way down in the 25th round?

    I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t really see anyone else in that first round that was head over heels better than Sanchez. You just never really know, for sure, how they’re gonna turn out. This guy the Padres chose, just ahead of Sanchez, Donovan Tate, has had all kind of injury AND substance abuse problems.

    I still like Sanchez, though he’s 26 and might not even be our No. 1 catcher next year if they sign Martin again. Too many variables, and allowing for the Pirates’ scouting department doing their jobs, I say it’s only fair to wait and see, as opposed to comparing to some media guy’s Top 100 prospect list.

  11. chris says:

    I actually had respect for Jim Rooker until I checked his Twitter feed. Sad. Also sad the story even mentioned it, but I guess that really isn’t surprising considering the source.

  12. Cobra39 says:

    You’re serious with the BMTIB? I thought that was a joke around here said with derision. I’m wondering if either of the top two are Boras clients. I think I know the answer.

  13. Cobra39 says:

    Can someone who is more learned than I about hockey tell me why McGuire is so hated as a GM pick? I’ve looked up his history and he has plenty of experience in scouting and personnel. Was an assistant coach at plenty of places with a head coaching gig, also. I don’t get it.

  14. Jonathan says:

    Yeah, those 2 posts are fully ridiculous. You cannot judge a draft pick 2 minutes after it was made. This is not Dave Littlefield making picks based on money anymore. You only have to look at Alvarez, Taillon, Cole, Appel, and Josh Bell to refute your arguments.

  15. chethejet1 says:

    The Pirates have had great success in Walker, Cutch, Alvarez, Cole, along with Marte and soon to be Polanco even making the major leagues. The chances of anyone in this draft making a major league roster and being an all star is so remote. Olberman had a interesting stat. Only 21 players selected since the draft have made the majors the next year. That isn’t round one, that is the draft picks in total.

  16. bpn8pitt says:

    I doubt he stays at SS, but Jacob Gatewood may end up being a decent stick for the Brewers someday. That’s one name I’m watching. Chavis I think was also rated higher than Tucker across the board. Went to Red Sox, who know players.

    I thought they selected two projects with Tucker and Joe. There were plenty of pitchers both college and prep, that had more upside IMO. The consensus was this was a pitcher heavy draft.

    But this draft is easily the biggest crapshoot of them all, like a lot of guys have mentioned. Who knows right now?

  17. Reading says:

    Don’t the Penguuns, as a courtesy to the League, have to wait until the Stanley Cup is over before announcing a new GM/coach in order not to detract from the championship.

  18. bpn8pitt says:

    I for one am glad the Pirates did not draft Eric Fedde or Jeff Hoffman.

    You want to talk about heads exploding, NMR. ;)

  19. bpn8pitt says:

    I think its very, very debateable that Cole Tucker was the 24th best player this year.

    Hope you get the call today, Boo.

  20. meglasdad says:

    I am not defending these picks. I beleve both could have been grabbed later in the draft. I also hate to defend Huntington, but the man has built a minor league system rated as high as #1 by some respected organizations so lets give him the benefit of the doubt for the moment.

  21. BFD says:

    Nutting apoligists love draft day. More Suspects to tout within the system. For some, it’s better than playoffs.

    The only thing i like about McGuire for GM, is that apparently he (correctly) doesn’t feel Fluerry is an elite goalie. Besides this, it reminds me of the ridiculous Eddy O. behind the bench hire.
    And before people start bashing my post for my Fleurry comment, i am not saying he stinks, he is just not “elite” and should not be signed to an extention until we see what he does next season. HE is too inconsistant.

  22. NMR says:

    LOL at our amateur Blog scouts judging players they’ve never heard of until last night.

    Bravo, guys.

    You’ve outdone yourselves.

  23. Nastynate82 says:

    And that’s a dim view anyway. Cole and Pedro are Boras clients.

  24. BillyBaduka says:

    Did you read DK’s article? He’s got a full paragraph on it.

    A. His last stint in NHL was 20 years ago. (If he’s so great, why hasn’t he been back in NHL?)

    B. His head coaching run was brief (a few months) and less than stellar. After his firing one of the players is quoted as saying “the best thing that could ever have happened to the Whalers.”

    C. He’s only had success as a Scout and Assistant Coach and that was over 20 years ago.

    D. With all of the above, what’s to like about McGuire?

    Read more: http://triblive.com/sports/dejankovacevic/dejancolumns/6230571-74/penguins-mcguire-kovacevic#ixzz33r9FxhuR

  25. JAL says:

    JAL’s Old King Morning Links

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muhITRlTi6c

    Old king Neil Young

    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

    2014 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014draft

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Reactions to the Pirates Day One Picks

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/first-pitch-reactions-to-the-pirates-day-one-picks.html

    Draft Day One Recap: What Needs to Happen to Justify These Pirates Picks?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/draft-day-one-recap-what-needs-to-happen-to-justify-these-pirates-picks.html

    Prospect Watch: Five Hits For Josh Bell, Luis Heredia Makes Return

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/prospect-watch-five-hits-for-josh-bell-luis-heredia-makes-return.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates draft analysis: Bucs have unconventional Day One

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/6/6/5784980/pirates-draft-analysis-bucs-have-unconventional-day-one

    7 WHYGAVS

    Pirates take two high school arms with second round picks

    http://whygavs.com/june-2014/pirates-take-two-high-school-arms-with-second-round-picks.html

    8 Green Weenie

    Notes on an Off Day

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/06/notes-on-off-day.html

    9 Rumbunter

    Only The Pittsburgh Pirates Could Ruin Arrival of Gregory Polanco

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/06/05/gregory-polanco-arrival-ruined-pittsburgh-pirates/

    10 City of Champions

    2014 MLB Draft: Pittsburgh Pirates Take H.S. Shortstop Cole Tucker In First Round

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/06/05/2014-mlb-draft-pittsburgh-pirates-take-h-s-shortstop-cole-tucker-first-round/

  26. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Bleacher Report

    Cole Tucker: Prospect Profile for Pittsburgh Pirates’ 1st-Round Pick

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2072979-cole-tucker-prospect-profile-for-pittsburgh-pirates-1st-round-pick

    12 CBS Sports

    Brewers vs Pirates Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20140606_MIL@PIT/brewers-pirates-preview

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Cubs feel right at home with 7-4 win over Mets

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/27902092-573/cubs-feel-right-at-home-with-7-4-win-over-mets.html

    14 Minor League Ball

    Bucs’ Bell collects career-high five hits

    http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140606&content_id=78456286&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb&sid=milb

    15 Pirates Site

    Cumpton aims to rebound vs. Brewers in series opener

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_06_06_milmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=preview&vkey=preview_web_home&c_id=pit

    Pirates select shortstop Tucker at No. 24

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140605&content_id=78406190&notebook_id=78440624&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Doc: How healthy is healthy enough for Joey Votto?

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/columnists/paul-daugherty/2014/06/05/doc-how-healthy-is-healthy-enough-for-joey-votto/10029605/

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers bats pick up Wily Peralta

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/carlos-gomez-khris-davis-and-jonathan-lucroy-provide-the-power-b99285171z1-262070341.html

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cardinals let another one get away

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinals-let-another-one-get-away/article_d35923e1-3b7d-54ed-9be2-fafd02ddd475.html

    Bird Bytes: What’s wrong with Holliday?

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bird-bytes-what-s-wrong-with-holliday/article_2ae53af5-4ea4-570e-ac2f-46965e958cc9.html

    19 Fangraphs

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

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-worst-of-the-best-the-months-wildest-pitches-2/

    20 Sweetspot

    Rays are done; time to trade David Price

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/48135/rays-are-done-time-to-trade-david-price

  27. BillyBaduka says:

    Nope.

    They wouldn’t announce it Wednesday, the start of the SCF. I doubt the Pens would announce it a few hours before the start of any SCF game.

    Other than that, I don’t think the Pens owe any courtesy to the NHL or Lord Stanley’s Cup.

    Washington and Vancouver announced new GMs during the playoffs. Does the “courtesy moratorium” only exist during the Cup Finals?

  28. Pucknutz says:

    This whole Pens GM thing is quite bizarre.
    Right or wrong ya fire the GM.
    Keep the coach? Quite unusual, don’t ya think?
    Either Mario or Mr. Burkle must want to keep the coach. I can think of no other logical reason for DB not being gone already. Its always the coach’s fault first, in almost any sport. Hmmmm…
    An agent and a TV guy show up high on the replacement list. Thinking “way” outa the box here are we?
    Is one of the qualifications for the new GM that he must be at least open to keeping DB?
    Very strange indeed.

  29. likeabugonarug says:

    Have you stayed in a Holiday Inn Express, too, recently? If so, then you’re probably over qualified.

    Kevin

  30. Wild Bill says:

    Don’t know the exact answer to this, Reading, but why would the league care if it simply wasn’t announced on a game day?

    The reality behind the delay may be logical, but it is very unseemly to leave the current coaches in this situation for so long. It could hurt the image of the Pens as an organization to work for, compared to other teams.

  31. Jandy says:

    The Pens owe the Garage League nothing!
    just sayin’
    ;)

  32. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Regarding Pierre, I read all the bashing and I understand it.

    The owner of this blog interviewed the owners three weeks ago today and came away impressed that Lemieux and Burkle had a plan moving forward that earned his trust.

    So the serious consideration of Pierre has eroded that trust level? Even if Pierre isn’t hired, that level of trust is gone just for entertaining the though of him as GM right?

  33. Jandy says:

    The damage is already done.

  34. NMR says:

    Whew, man…Mike Rizzo knows baseball better than I do, but that’s two TJ guys drafted in RD 1 within three years.

    Just not sure we know enough about hoe long these guys usually last until their next surgery to make it worth it.

  35. NMR says:

    “I beleve both could have been grabbed later in the draft.”

    Who were your sources?

  36. likeabugonarug says:

    Excellent post, Bay.

    When you consider the man got hit in the head by pitches, you can’t blame that on a FO and say he was a bad pick. Just a shame we’ll never know how he would’ve turned out otherwise.

    Kevin

  37. Wild Bill says:

    It is bizarre, ‘Nutz. I keep hoping that these odd candidacies are just a smokescreen for a much more substantial candidate to come.

  38. BillyBaduka says:

    ;)

  39. Well, after 3 weeks, the Pens have yet to name their GM, so the rumors, speculation, and frustration will continue, and Pierre McGuire will keep campaigning for that posirion unless otherwise indicated.

  40. Wild Bill says:

    NMR, I see you’re on here this morning. I was off the blog for a long time yesterday due to a more than adequate workload, but I saw last night a post you directed to me, and it was very decent of you. I appreciated it, and appreciate your passion for the teams we follow.

    Regarding the Pirates’ draft, when a team drafts 24th and so on in later rounds instead of the top 5, it makes sense to look hard at high school players with a potential to grow/develop. Did the Bucs get the right ones? We will know in a few years!

  41. You’d think that a professional sports team would’ve hired a new GM and settled most other issues by now, and you wonder why the Pens would be any different, except that they are for whatever reason.

  42. bpn8pitt says:

    I know right?

    Almost as bad as those guys that copy and paste from Fangraphs. :)

  43. NMR says:

    Very big of you not only to accept my apology, but take the high road in the first place, Bill.

    Your draft comment is very wise…the irony of the first round, as it relates to the Pirates and their fans, is that the team drafted a speedy high school shortstop light on power in 2011, as well. That player chose to attend colllege, and was drafted 13th overall last night as the top shortstop in the draft.

  44. NMR says:

    The nerve!

  45. DJ says:

    I believe a club coordinates an announcement with the NHL during SC Finals. Outside first game and a possible close-out game, I can’t imagine there are any restrictions.

    On moratoria, Rangers said any Jeff Gorton interviews were off limits. Want no one messing with their mojo, I guess.

  46. DJ says:

    Well stated, Garage Lady.

  47. Dom says:

    Cy Clark has unfortunately passed away.

    If you dont know, Clark was the well known fan who dressed up like Hulk Hogan when he attended Pens games.

  48. Jandy says:

    Oh that is sad :(

  49. NMR says:

    Cincinnnati baseball writers really do revel in their own stupidity, don’t they?

    There isn’t a player in baseball less respected by his own city than Joey Voey. Idiots.

  50. And if a more substantial candidate never appears, than who do the Pens finally hire? Pierre McGuire?

  51. DJ says:

    Bash you on Fleury?

    I happen to agree he’s not elite. That said, if he’d extend for two years as a bridge to Jarry, I’d do that but there’s zero chance he will.

    Pens GM has MAJOR, course-altering decisions this summer. Job 1 for Pens is to get the GM pick right.

  52. Thomas says:

    Scout a lot of amateur talent, do ya? I’m sorry to know you’re not part of the Pirates scouting staff. The Pirates have one of the top farm systems in baseball, but they must have lucked out since the people running the Pirates are all “morons.”

  53. Jandy says:

    You’re right. We should just take him off their hands for them

  54. Rbilak says:

    Even the long time MAF lovers know he is not Elite, never was. Elite is what the Rangers have, Elite is not beaten 5 years in a row, Elite does not lose 2 playoff series up 3-1, they find a way. The core must be broken up, either him or Letang need to go.

  55. Jandy says:

    +++

  56. DJ says:

    In an NY minute.

  57. DJ says:

    . . . a NY minute.

  58. NMR says:

    Exactly!

  59. Rbilak says:

    That is what I have been thinking, the delay is due to them wanting someone still involved, otherwise it makes zero sense. If that is reason, I am cool with it. Means they doing due diligence.

  60. Dom says:

    Why do the Reds fans hate him?

  61. DJ says:

    Let’s start with Letang and see where that takes us.

  62. NMR says:

    BECAUSE TEH RBI’S!

  63. Thundercrack says:

    I’m not sure I would draft a kid that had had TJ surgery. But some feel that having the surgery is inevitable so the kids got it out-of-the-way already.

  64. BillyBaduka says:

    RIP Hulkster.

  65. bpn8pitt says:

    Ha. I love this.

    Who told you they had a top rated system?

    A publication. The internet. 93.7 the Fan.

  66. DJ says:

    Some are now having two. Given the frequency, pretty soon we’ll have a stat line for % of repeats. And I’d be interested to see a developed stat on performance based upon WHEN they had the surgery . . . HS, college, pro.

    Or maybe those stats are here already and I’m oblivious. NMR or Andrew can be sure to weigh in.

  67. Ryan says:

    Package deal. Orpik’s rights, Letang, Scuderi, and a 2nd rounder for Gudbransen(sp?), Kulikov, and Kopeckey. Felt like a virtual Ray Shero trading with the Dallas Stars.

  68. NMR says:

    Some also feel that having TJS increases the odds of having it again.

    I think it comes down to timing. If you only have guaranteed control of a kid for six years, and three of them are free, maybe you don’t worry about him having a second surgery if it happens towards the end or after that span.

    Lucas Giolito, the last TJ guy the Nats took in RD 1, has been called one of the best 3 RHP in the minors this year. Kids gonna win a lot of games for the Nats.

  69. DJ says:

    You’re hired!

    Now unload Neal for Evander Kane.

  70. Nastynate82 says:

    Except the publications and certain sites are made up of scouts who worked in baseball.

  71. Thundercrack says:

    Early POTD bpn

  72. DJ says:

    Totally agree and hope that’s the case.

    No need to publicly finger a prime target as long as a plan is in place. Assuming they’ve got a plan, of course.

  73. Thomas says:

    Well, let’s not let facts get in the way opinions, Nastynate. Obviously that dude doesn’t deal in the real world.

  74. Robert says:

    Really? Signability? Have you been living in a cave? The draft now has a cap mostly because of teams like the Pirates, under Huntington and Nutting, signing guys to enormous bonuses. Pedro, Taillon, Cole, and Josh Bell were signed to some of the largest draft bonuses EVER. Look it up. Talk about nonsense.

  75. AJS says:

    Dejan,

    Loved the reference to the Olcyk hire in your article. That has been what has come to mind for me in this debacle with McGuire. last time Mario decided to hire one of his buddies it didn’t work out so well.

  76. DJ says:

    I say Sean Heiney from Barracuda Networks for Pens GM.

    Have no idea about his qualifications but I’ve heard the CineSport ad 43 times over the last couple days and that’s the only name left in my head.

  77. NMR says:

    And there’s the minor, most likely inconsequential fact that minor league rankings are based on prospects who have actually played professional baseball for several years and not 17 yo high school kids who might’ve been seen a handful of times.

    Nah, that wouldn’t make a difference.

  78. Jandy says:

    ZING!!!

  79. bpn8pitt says:

    So are the guys who rate prep and college players for the draft.

    Ive basically learned this morning that its okay to take numbers off of Fangraphs and tout Baseball America’s #1 Minor League rating of the Pirates system. But God forbid if you think the Pirates reached on a 17 year old SS.

    And my jackass actually went to 6 ACC ballgames this year.

  80. Jandy says:

    Oh, the horror!!!!!!!!!

  81. Jandy says:

    Did you go along with the jackass?

  82. bpn8pitt says:

    Now, we are arguing over who’s second or thirdhand information is more valid?

    Isnt it amazing what one 94 win season does?

  83. NMR says:

    You don’t understand the difference between statistics and opinion?

    We’re pretty far apart on the spectrum if that is the case.

  84. BFD says:

    I guess my point on Fluery is that after this years playoff fiasco, i heard sports media types (on the FAN, PG writers,and Madden) commenting on how the Pens need to extend Fluery since he was ‘good enough’ in this playoffs and was not the reason for another early pitful exit. I disagree. Let him play out his contract and go from there – possibly with him or with someone else.
    Those game 6 and 7 performances in Detroit are a long time ago and he hasn’t come close to that type of play when it counts since Detroit.

  85. Robert says:

    ANYONE who says “cost” has anything to do with these MLB drafts hasn’t been paying attention. The MLB draft has a cap, for each team, based on the number and positioning of their picks. That cap was a direct response to teams like the Pirates, under Huntington and Nutting, signing players like Pedro, Taillon, Cole, and Josh Bell to some of the largest bonuses in draft history. If you bring it up, or if you use this to further this ridiculous “cheap” narrative, then you’re flat out wrong. Facts are facts.

  86. NMR says:

    Oh who cares about facts and logic. Move along…

  87. DJ says:

    You’re reading my mind, BFD.

    Sometimes you roll the dice. This is one instance.

  88. Cobra39 says:

    And what would you assess the odds of either one of those players re-signing with the Pirates with a long-term deal before they hit free agency or are traded away prior to that?

  89. Cobra39 says:

    Aside from Polanco, who are the potential impact players in the minors right now? Taillon before the injury, of course, but what else is there at the AA or higher level?

  90. Sarah says:

    Who knows, maybe they did finally ask Maciver, he found he’d have to report to Morehouse, and said No.
    And now it’s not just Bylsma who’s left dangling.

    But it’s a circus.

  91. Thundercrack says:

    What about this scenario:

    You pass on the #15 ranked player because you want to use the money to sign the players ranked #45 and #67.
    So cost does become a factor. And the #15 may turn out to be a better player than the other two…and actually make it to the majors.
    It is a crap shoot but I do believe that sometimes cost does factor in.

    (rankings used for comparison purposes only)

  92. NMR says:

    But FWIW, my first post wasn’t actualy directed at you. I very much agreed with your last line.

  93. Cobra39 says:

    The same publications and experts that you cite as the Pirates having the number one farm system.

  94. NMR says:

    And they did end up taking two high upside prep pitchers with signability concerns, so I’m not really sure why you aren’t happy with their draft thus far.

  95. NMR says:

    Kingham and Hanson.

  96. Jandy says:

    Barnum and Bailey, move over!

  97. Dom says:

    Why did the Pirates reach so badly with their picks?

    I’m not a fan of their draft at all!

  98. Jandy says:

    Dom, you’re so adorable!

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    He also doesn’t smile much.

  100. Sarcastic Sword says:

    A cap reflects a maximum one has to spend.

    There is no law that a team has to spend to the cap is there?

    How does having a salary cap for a draft class take out of the equation that a draft pick t might have been selected for cost savings?

  101. Jandy says:

    Yeah, like Pedro!

  102. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    I don’t buy it. They’ve already got an interim GM in Botterill that they named immediately after releasing Shero. If they’re looking for someone better to come along, let Botterill do the job with the interim tag until that person comes along.

  103. Thundercrack says:

    People want their first baseman to be tall

  104. DJ says:

    Talking potential, I’d put Bell, Meadows and McGuire in that category although not AA, but Bell very soon.

  105. Zico says:

    Anyone find it odd in saying one sports franchise needs to trade prospects to fill roster needs, and criticize the other franchise for having traded/not developed enough prospects to fill their roster? Because I feel like that is what is happening with the Pirates and Penguins. Also, criticizing every move the supposedly terrible GM makes(who is still employed), but praised almost every move the other GM made(who is now no longer GM).

  106. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    Malkamania! Another local media outlet did a nice piece on Cy today. Great presence, great Pittsburgher, great fan gone too soon.

    If he’s not already in the Hall of Fame, I’ll definitely nominate him.

  107. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Good points – all of them.. The comparisons are spot on.

    You never know – NH might even be a better GM if he didnt have the rope of fiscal restraint around his neck.

    You know I laugh when I hear the Pirates owner tell DK a few weeks back that he never once told his front office to Polanco in the minors due to Super 2 – its because his front office knows the marching orders and he doesnt have to say anything because his agenda is ingrained in NH and FC.

    This gives him plausible deniability on any questions about cost restraints put on the GM.

  108. 21sthebest says:

    Hey Bill. Don’t know if you saw where I mentioned that I read your post from yesterday morning incorrectly. The one that I obviously responded to.

  109. Bridger says:

    Zico……….Been thinking the same thing

  110. Bridger says:

    And it did look like the Pirates reached for some of the picks! We shall see though and I hope I am wrong

  111. 21sthebest says:

    I just read something about Dr. Andrews saying that the replacement ligament they’re putting has a life of around 7 years. Which is kind of odd since Tommy John pitched another 15 years after his surgery. But he only threw like 65 mph.

  112. TODAY IS THE DAY THAT GREGORY POLANCO SHOULD BE A PITTSBURGH PIRATE. TODAY!!!

    I’ll give the cheap Nutting regime their Super 2 $$$$ fetish. OK! So they care more about money than winning: I get that!

    We are now past that date. Today is a Safe Date, probably a week past the cutoff. Sure, it’s not guaranteed but is certainly is 90-95 % safe.

    Polanco is hitting .356 in 59 games. 84 hits in 236 ABs. 17 2B. 5 3B. 6 HR. 48 RBIs in 59 games. 15/20 SB. .412 OB% .547 Slug % .958 OPS % .329 BA against lefties. .367 BA against righties. .412 BA with runners on base .453 BA with RISP .417 BA in June

    The only reason BMTIB would have now to keep Polanco in Minors is to show they march by their own drummer and they are “smarter” than everyone else.

    Gregory Polanco may struggle when he first comes up. Many do. But NOW is the time to give him the chance. NOW is the time for the Pirates to put their best team on the field. NOW is not the time for BMTIB to prove they are “the smartest guys in the room.” NOW is the time to commit to winning games. NOW is the time to commit to winning the National League Central. The Cardinals are not going to struggle forever. The Brewers are in 1st Place. NOW is the time to commit your BEST 8 to a winning line-up!

    Raise your hand if you think the Pirates are better with Travis Snider in right field. Raise your hand if you think the Pirates are better with Josh Harrison in right field. JHay giveth and JHay taketh away, as last game so well proved. Despite 3 extra base hits, JHay lost that game.

    NOW is the time for Pirates to commit to winning!! NOW BMTIB has already saved their money for 6-7 seasons from NOW. Good for them, the cheapskates———I sure hope Bucs don’t lose this season by 2-3 games.

    NOW IS THE TIME——TODAY——FOR GREGORY POLANCO TO PUT ON A PIRATE UNIFORM!!!!

  113. Bridger says:

    yup

  114. Jandy says:

    I guess the Bucs are screwed then ;)

  115. NMR says:

    So then how does the “cheap” narrative apply if the same amount of money is spent either way?

  116. Sarcastic Sword says:

    From ESPN.com’s live first rd draft analysis on the Bucs first selection…

    “Tucker improved his stock as much as any prep infielder in the draft after performing very well at the NHSI this March, but even still, most thought he was going in the middle of the second round. He’s a switch-hitter who can stay at shortstop, but the hit tool doesn’t project to be much more than average, and he doesn’t have the frame to ever hit for power. The Pirates had a need up the middle, and he does remind some of Asdrubal Cabrera, but after having one of the best drafts in 2013, the Pirates now have have arguably my most puzzling pick of 2014.

  117. NMR says:

    Do you read the explainers behind draft rankings?

    Every one of these guys maks sure to differentiate between where they personally rank the players and where they believe teams will take them. There’s a huge difference.

    Saying a guy is ranked #60 IS NOTthe same as saying he will be selected #60.

  118. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    Good column, DK. You’ve echoed a lot of my own sentiments, and I appreciate your candor in calling the Penguins ownership out for what is becoming a huge farce.

    I’m still bothered by the neutering of Botterill. If he’s strong enough to be considered a finalist, why handcuff him on personnel decisions? I can accept a moratorium on decisions related to the off-ice staff (coaches, etc), but to prevent him from at least starting negotiations with the upcoming FAs puts the organization in a very precarious spot. Honestly, it would have been better had the Penguins not named an interim GM in the first place.

    I don’t even want to discuss Pierre McGuire as a GM candidate anymore. Like David Letterman, sometimes you can take a bad joke way too far…

    As for Bylsma, at first I thought the Penguins were following the Vancouver Canucks approach in firing a GM but not the coach. Except, the Canucks immediately named Trevor Linden President and tasked him with architecting the direction of the franchise, hiring the GM, and making a decision on the head coach. To Linden’s credit, the decision to release John Tortorella was made with almost no hesitation. Linden took a bit longer to name Jim Benning his GM, but this was the man he targeted since day one and he did need permission from the Boston Bruins to speak with him.

    If the Penguins learned anything from the Canucks, the ownership group should have named Mario Lemieux interim President and given him complete authority to make the necessary decisions to move the franchise forward. Instead, it seems like ownership is stuck trying to make decisions by committee… and getting a consensus appears to be quite the challenge. With no disrespect to the other owners, but you can’t run an NHL franchise like a business. In this case, you have to pass the puck to the Hall of Famer and let him take the shots.

  119. Andrew says:

    From Bob McKenzie: Jim Rutherford is going to be announced as the new GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins. #TSN

  120. chethejet1 says:

    Sooner or later the Pirates had to draft a SS. Sammy Khalifa says hello.

  121. Arriba Wilver says:

    It doesn’t.

    I remember reading that the caps would put more of a premium on identifying talent. For example, everybody knew Bell was a top talent, but thought he was going to school and/or weren’t willing to pony up the signing bonus that would be needed.

    Also, I think it’s the first ten (or 11) who have a total cap value, and one of the strategies has been to get some of those who you know will sign for less to be able to have more for other guys. (I know it’s more complicated because if you don’t sign a guy at all I think you also lose that slotted amount).

    It does take “cheapness” out of the equation for the most part, though.

  122. Wrong.

    You didn’t consider shirt-tail tucking and how he holds his mouth.

    Those stats lie. He’s not ready yet.

    Pot Stirrer!

    Nutting hater!

    ;)

  123. There’s an excuse for Tony Sanchez I hadn’t heard before. Congratulations.

    Getting hit on the head must have affected his throwing!

  124. chethejet1 says:

    Jim Rutherford as GM? Well I guess his first order of business is extension of Sutter. I guess trading him for Vancouvers all star center is out the window. If Bylsma is back next year, Mario may want to change out the chardonnay for whisky this season.

  125. Wild Bill says:

    Hey, 21. Yes, I did see that too. As I said to Jandy, dust ups happen. Thanks for being kind enough to post that.

    Only thing I know for sure, is that I’m going to say something soon that will annoy someone.

  126. Poole says:

    Per Bob McKenzie….Jim Rutherford is the Penguins new GM.

    Awful, awful, awful hire. More qualified/more experience than Pierre. But he’s old. Does not have new methodologies for a team that needs new blood. He overpayed for a bunch of players. He gave away a lot for Staal, he let Jokinen walk, etc. This is just BAD.

  127. NMR says:

    Interesting. Thanks, 21.

    I’ve heard tha 7 year figure, but never connected to Andrews.

  128. DK will have a column and a thread up on it any minute if it’s accurate and if he’s had his Starbux, as buggee calls it.

  129. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wonder if they are using a different replacement ligament now. Nothing lasts like it used to. :-)

  130. NMR says:

    And that has what to do with the draft?

    Moving the goal posts, I see.

  131. Arriba Wilver says:

    2 thumbs up.

  132. Andrew says:

    I think it is fair to call these first two picks reaches, based on the available outside information. Also the Pirates haven’t not really developed any native hitters drafted outside the first round, not that this is an easy task, but there is some credence to question there ability to evaluate hitting talent.

    I wouldn’t and I don’t have a strong opinion, baseball’s draft is such a low and diffuse information environment that any position is based on very little information.

  133. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Nailed it NMR.

    Never mind the minors being rated as the tops in the bigs, mainly built by NH and company.

    This isn’t the NFL draft. These picks won’t be a factor for many years to come.

  134. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Ha! That was a good one too

  135. Scott says:

    Really? You have two of the best players in the world in their prime and you think this is a situation where it’s ok to “roll the dice”?

    That doesn’t make a lot of sense. This is pretty much at the very bottom of the list of situations where it’s ok to roll the dice. The Florida Panthers can roll the dice, because they have nothing to lose. The Penguins have everything to lose.

    Extend MAF for a few years to at least give the Pens a fighting chance of being Cup contenders, then go with the young goalie when he’s ready. Or, if you advocate getting rid of Fleury, you’ve got to have a plan for how you’re going to find someone who’s better and more affordable. Consistent 40-win goaltenders do not grow on trees.

  136. Wild Bill says:

    Wow, Groat. That was a two beer rant! Loved it.

  137. HeyBullDog says:

    It’s only a circus if people in the organization keep changing their minds or contradict each other. Far as I can tell, no one has said anything. It’s media speculation or heresay. It keeps the advertising dollar up. Take it easy. As far as McGuire goes, he gets Scotty Bowmans recommendation, so that’s got to count for more than DK’s non-recommendation, right?

  138. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Agree Bay.

  139. Jandy says:

    Dayum trees, anywy!

  140. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sounds too reasonable to me, Andrew. You must be wrong. ;-)

  141. What did The Rook do to make you so down on him?

    I brought his 3 kids books on baseball for my kids.

  142. Jandy says:

    LOL Spunkster!

  143. NMR says:

    Fron National Baseball Analyst Kiley Mcandiel at Scout.com:

    “Heard the Pirates 1st rder Cole Tucker may be a money-saver designed to help pay for 2nd rder Mitch Keller, who wants will into 7 figures.”

    “Would be interesting strategy. Keller’s demands kept him available in 2nd rd while multiple teams may have taken Tucker before PIT’s next pick.”

  144. Andrew says:

    Fluey never was an elite goaltender, the contract extension is defensible because it came after a Cup run when Fluery had a .933 SV% in the playoffs and .921 in the regular season he was young and looked great.

    But goaltending is like bullpens it is volatile, and when you pay for a career year, Niskenan, cough, cough, it will look suspect in hindsight. Fluery is just about league average and with the subsequent goalie contracts is paid like it. The problem with average is performance fluctuates, and he has looked terrible at the worst times.

    No idea what they do from here, one of many decisions that apparently Rutherford will have to make.

  145. NMR says:

    Haha, awesome.

  146. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Sweet Jesus!

    That inspires trust and faith doesnt it?

  147. I like Kris Letang. I’m not upset at his contract.

    I hope he doesn’t go anywhere. He has not approached his ceiling.

  148. NMR says:

    You’re a seriously cool dude, Bill.

  149. Marshall Hickok,

    It annoys ME that you are being so gracious!

  150. Dcpinpgh says:

    Any chance the lack if qualified GM candidates says something about either

    Crosby(and his people)
    Or
    Ownership group.

    Crazy question. The rumor of Mike Babcock coming to Pittsburgh. He has a coaching contract, could the Pens hire him as GM and then he could appoint himself as coach? Have the assistant GM handle all the day to day stuff….

  151. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Are we really getting upset over the draft?

    Where the players a reach? Maybe, not sure and no way to know until their time approaches.

    None of these draft picks will have any immediate impact on their big league clubs.

    Give it time, see how they work out.

    A 17 year old kid still has some growing to do, both mentally and physically.

    SS is a position that he should be able to stick at and he seems to have a good head on his shoulders.

  152. 21sthebest says:

    I agree that that’s reasonable Andrew, but I always wonder how the 30 GM’s with their staffs would rank the top 100-200 prospects.

  153. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    that top minor league system is doing wonders for the MAJOR LEAGUE team. your top player is still in the minors. and you are still out of the playoffs at this point. most fans don’t want to trade those top prospects for legit major league talent, because they won’t have control of their contracts in 3 yrs. keep winning the best farm system trophy and miss out out the playoffs.
    the first surprise of the draft was the pirates pick. that’s what mlb thinks of the pirates.

  154. Thundercrack says:

    Ike Davis is 6′ 4″

  155. Arriba Wilver says:

    Interesting.

  156. Andrew says:

    I haven’t seen the 7 year figure, but the guys at Hardball Times did a study and they found that on average hard throwers, >94 mph fastball, (this number could be wrong), average 400 innings from the first UCL reconstruction until the next major surgery.

    It is not really something that you can get of the way, because the biggest risk factor is repetitively throwing a baseball hard. Not a lot of data on 2nd reconstructions because there have not been many, but that is likely to change.

  157. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    Rutherford? Seriously? What an uninspired choice. He was GM behind the Carolina Hurricanes since they were in Hartford, and I’ve seen nothing in years from that organization which makes me believe they’re the model to follow. The Hurricanes, honestly, have fallen way behind the curve under Rutherford’s watch. And for a GM who’s historically not been very active in the trade market or the FA market, he’s got an awful lot of pieces to deal with in short order. Finally, I don’t believe the Hurricanes ever had the kind of talent Pittsburgh has: it’s a totally different ballgame when you’re building around two of the best players on the planet.

    I’ve got respect for Rutherford, but I was hoping for someone with fresher ideas to rejuvenate the franchise.

  158. 21sthebest says:

    :-)

  159. Jandy says:

    No I meant taking Joey off their hands…

  160. Sarah says:

    JR smacks of Plan B.
    They must have wanted someone else, to wait this long…..
    Seriously? is his drafting any better than Shero’s?

  161. Jandy says:

    Weell, let’s see, Rutherford. Maybe it’s just for a year until Babcock is free…
    ;)

  162. likeabugonarug says:

    I’ve posted that comment many times on this blog for a number of years. It set him back in his development, especially his hitting, with his lost time. If you don’t realize that, then you haven’t been paying attention. And yes, Groat, I know you’ve been around for a LONG time.

    Kevin

  163. Jandy says:

    Where the heck is Jim S?
    Monster Mash agrees with you…the Cinesport thingie is a deal-breaker.
    He’s taking a break…

  164. Andrew says:

    21, that would definitely be interesting, you always hear apocryphal stories about misses years later.

  165. NMR says:

    Lighting his hair on fire. TEH PROSPECTS! ;)

  166. Jandy says:

    LOL!!!!

  167. Wild Bill says:

    Could it be that Rutherford is going to do this for a specified (short) period of time until somebody else they want for the long run becomes available (Babcock)??

  168. Jandy says:

    Loonies, I am out…playing hookey this afternoon….enjoy the day and be good!

  169. Jandy says:

    I said the same thing below lol

  170. Wild Bill says:

    lol Jandy, didn’t see this before posting the above reply to poole.

  171. Wild Bill says:

    If this were so, I’m not sure where it leaves the coaching staff. If they stay, it might be short term anyway. If they go, the new staff could be facing a new GM in a short period of time.

    Issues.

  172. Sarah says:

    Has this come out in Trib anywhere?
    Or just PG via McKenzie?

  173. Thundercrack says:

    Oh. I know you are a fan of Gabby…and he is not tall

  174. GAWTS2009 says:

    My two cents after taking a little bit to think. You allhave legitimate points that I whole heartedly agree with. Now with that being said. He is better than Pierre. He won a cup. He was in a non hockey market and managed to field some impressive teams. On paper I always felt CAR souldv’e done better. Also, if he brings a head coach like Laviett; well I atleast give him a chance.

  175. Wild Bill says:

    NBC Sports Talk has it, Sarah, but they’re citing McKenzie at TSN also.

  176. Wild Bill says:

    Update report says a 1 p.m. presser is coming.

  177. GAWTS2009 says:

    It ws confirmed by multiple sources on twitter. Also, Post Guzett has confimed it as well

  178. NMR says:

    Travis has a great write-up on the Bucco Blog. Highly rec’d.

    Couple things…

    There is strategy to the draft, even moreso now with the restricted rules and caps. Saying a player is a “reach”, with a negative connotation, at a given spot cannot be analyzed on it’s own. Gotta let all the dominos fall first.

    Tucker was supposely one of the fastest “risers” in the draft. I think you have to consider how relatively small the windows are to evaluate these kids, relative to their development. I’ve read that Brady Aiken, consensus best player in the draft – possily the last two drafts – wasn’t even a lock for the first round before the season began.

    None of this means the Pirates did well yesterday. It also doesn’t mean they did poorly.

  179. Eric Bowser says:

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE this move if the reports are true about Rutherford.

    Lemieux, Burkle and Morehouse…. great job ruining this franchise.

    Might as well call it the circus with this hire.

    “Hey we need to improve our draft and development programs”…. so let’s follow that up with hiring someone with a terrible track record in that regard.

    Just dumb.

    DUMB.

    DUMB.

    DUMB.

  180. Maz in Iowa says:

    Maybe Tucker will be a taller Tim Foli.Foli’s skill set wasn’t very high.Avg arm…not very fast…pretty smart though.BTW he was very instrumental in the success of the 1979 team

  181. Bizrow says:

    I was going to ask about that rumor

  182. For anyone interested, there’s a picture of Cole Tucker on Twitter that DK RT’d with him in his Little League Pirate uniform from last year.

    ;)

  183. Maz in Iowa says:

    I hope Polanco will be up by this time next week,but I sure ain’t holding my breath

  184. Poole says:

    Exactly my thoughts. His track record with drafting has been very poor. It’s not just Zach Boychuk at 13th overall. It’s year after year of poor drafting and never finding quality players in rounds 2-3-4. I don’t see how this makes the team better in the long term…

  185. Sarah says:

    And really, why would JR leave Canes? he has an easy job and pat ownership???
    This makes zero sense on many levels…..

    Maybe they really couldn’t find anyone willing to be Morehouse’s puppet,
    Or maybe it’s really short term til they can land Babcock…

    On it’s face, a ridiculous move.

  186. John Lease says:

    I didn’t understand the college hitter being picked that high. 9 homeruns isn’t a lot when you use aluminum bats.

  187. Thundercrack says:

    The franchise is ruined.

    I just hope the sell-out streak isn’t.

  188. John Lease says:

    I guess you missed Strasburg ahead of him? Mike Minor for the Braves sure is pretty worthy too.

    Sanchez might be a starting catcher, but he’s looking a lot more like Steve Nicosia, to me.

  189. Wild Bill says:

    More and more I’m thinking “caretaker”, Sarah. Doing it out of boredom and love of his original team.

    He can make some tough calls and remake the place, then ride off into the sunset.

  190. Sarah says:

    I guess Bill.
    Just that JR doesn’t have much history of making tough deals.
    Only of getting fleeced by Shero!….

  191. Maz in Iowa says:

    Little over an hour away from RD 3 in the draft.I can just feel the love for Pirate management swell. hahaha

  192. Wild Bill says:

    I still wonder how much happened there because of limited cash? Maybe not a problem with the Pens – except for the tiny salary cap issues. :)

  193. GAWTS2009 says:

    I love the story of CY but I lost a lot of respect from him after the pierre incedent. In which he had a sign (Pierre head with the words: Regis (Pierre’s real nam)). That was fine but he was escorted out of th areana. He took t social media claiming he was a victim but on the other side of his sign he had F you and what may have been a middle finge. Just unexcusable. Too many kids in the areana to be doing crap like that. Cancer sucks but it doesn’t mean you get a pass on doing things like that.

  194. NMR says:

    @John

    I think Connor Joe, and to an extent Cole Tucker, represent a change in drafting philosophy.

    In scouting terms, the “hit tool” describes a players ability to translate physical tools into actually hitting a baseball in game action. The Pirates seem to have traditionally targetted players with big physical tools such as power in hopes they could develop that into actual hitting. Pedro Alvarez is the poster child for this.

    Prospect guys say power is worthless without the hit tool, which makes sense. Without a player available that contained both, I think it could be wise to adjust strategy and target guys like Joe.

  195. NMR says:

    This is basically the strategy St Louis has used to hit on guys like Allen Caig and Matt Carpenter.

  196. Wild Bill says:

    Nah, Maz. It’s the rising blood pressure over the Pens GM choice you’re detecting.

  197. Arriba Wilver says:

    Pass the popcorn.

  198. Pete in Dayton says:

    Yes, if the reports are true (and no reason to think they’re not) this is a bad hire. The only way this makes any sense to me is if he is warming the seat until Botterill is ready to take over the team.
    If that’s not the case… wowow…

  199. bpn8pitt says:

    Im sorry about before. When they made the Morris trade a week ago, I was like “Allright, two picks in the Top 40 !!!” …completely forgetting this the MLB draft where guys can go to school or go back to school, for any reason.

    Osh said it before on a thread. I miss the days where they could just play their best 9 without having to worry about all the other stuff. Hes right…I wish the draft was about taking the best player available.

    Headed down tonight to add to my Tshirt collection. Take care buddy.

  200. This Kiley McDaniel is my favorite writer from all those boards.

    He uses pertinent statistics and makes it readable.

  201. Baywatch says:

    John, did NOT miss what was ahead of him. The idea of my post was what was available to us AFTER Strasburg and the two others before Sanchez. Minor’s not been a ball of fire either: 11-10 in 2012, 13-9 last year. OK, good ERA last year and working on a 3.something this year. He may pan out but still, when you’re talking about the PROSPECT of a good catcher … perhaps apples and oranges Minor and Sanchez?

  202. The Pens have just announced that they’ll be holding a press conference at 1 pm likely concerning the GM situation. So stay tuned.

  203. Arriba Wilver says:

    My problem with Joe is his name’s confusing.

  204. Maz in Iowa says:

    The Phillies recalled Ronny Cedeno.Yikes!!

  205. Tony Sanchez’ hitting is not his problem: he already hits at a Major League level.

    It’s his defense, especially his throwing and his pitch blocking. His pitch blocking is subpar. Neither of those should be affected by concussions, other than the time off.

    Sanchez is a somewhat ironic figure . . . . . when he was drafted from Boston College he was touted as a defensive catcher and a leader (captain at BC). His supposed weakness was hitting.

    In the Minors, his leadership skills became suspect (tweets, immaturity, etc.) and his defensive skills very spotty and weak, while he has hit much better than expected. His handling of pitchers also has been only adequate, not outstanding as expected.

    How ironic that the scouts had Tony Sanchez exactly backwards. Maybe the bonk on the head “reversed his poles.”

  206. Arriba Wilver says:

    Since the article mentioned that Rook tweeted about politics, my guess is he disagrees with his political views. And this is not a political post because I have no idea what Rook’s political views are.

  207. Patrick(ri) says:

    Just watched the Tucker video. Kid appears likely to have C.H’s “slow heartbeat.” When he starts to eat better food, look out! Or he might be good for Piemanti’s(sp?) bottom line.

  208. Arriba Wilver says:

    You need to read the blog more, James. That info’s been on here for at least an hour.

  209. Coach Bylsma has apparently been talking to Tampa Bay about filling their coaching vacancy, so he obviously knows that the Pens won’t likely keep him regardless of who’s appointed the new GM.

  210. You mean THE Bob McKenzie? The Bob McKenzie who said that Dan Bylsma was definitely fired and Ray Shero was very probably safe?

  211. Cobra39 says:

    It’s not moving the goal posts at all. Pedro almost didn’t get signed in the first place and he will be moving on either in trade or as a FA because he’s unsignable for them. We saw what happened with Appel, another Boras client. Can’t you see where the trend is going with last night’s part of the draft?

  212. chris says:

    Yes, I don’t agree with his political views, but it’s not what his views are it’s how he expresses them. Sad that someone that’s had such a rewarding life can be so angry.

    And the Trib is the one that brought politics into it, if the article hadn’t mentioned it I would have never looked at his Twitter feed.

    I was actually listening to the game when he made the walk comment and I was always impressed that not only did he make the walk, but he did it for charity. He was someone I admired. Now I just feel sorry for him, it has to suck to be that angry all the time.

  213. He can only talk to another team with Pens’ permission.

  214. Dom says:

    I thought the Buccos had an advertising deal with the Reach toothbrush company with those picks from yesterday.

  215. NMR says:

    What’re they gonna do about it, fire him? ;)

  216. NMR says:

    That’s cool, Groat. I agree.

    You might enjoy the Pirate update on his Blog this morning. Lots of new info.

    http://recruiting.scout.com/story/1409043-mlb-draft-live-blog?s=143#/story/1409043-mlb-draft-live-blog?s=143

  217. Is there a reason there are never any “scoops” by Pittsburgh writers any more?

    We learn about Pirate moves via CBS Sports. We learn about Penguin moves via Canada.
    We probably learn about Steeler moves via Cleveland.

    The only scoops Pittsburgh writers give us anymore is on the Riverhounds, the bankrupt last place begging-for-attention Riverhounds.

    Where is Kristy Robinson when we need her?!?!

  218. Arriba Wilver says:

    Mario said he wouldn’t stand in his way during the “Interview.” DK asked him directly.

  219. NMR says:

    He’s also an actual former Major League amateur scout, fwiw. I know thats an appeal to authority, but it makes sense to me that those guys might have a better idea of what they’re looking at than a journaist who covers baseball.

  220. Andrew says:

    Dan Bylsma likely fired, but I am going to wait for confirmation from Groat2Maz.

  221. MarkV says:

    NHL.com says the new pens GM is Jimmy Rutherford!

  222. Maz in Iowa says:

    Sarcasm meter is off the scale.Not even Mr Scott could fix it

  223. Maz in Iowa says:

    Then expect a new thread

  224. NMR says:

    No, because one doesn’t exist.

  225. Arriba Wilver says:

    :-)

  226. John Lease says:

    Well, I’d take a good ML starter over Steve Nicosia. Shelby Miller was also drafted after.

    That was a very pitching rich first round. Not that long ago, and lots of guys have already made an impact.

    Of course, the draft is not an exact science. But no one was predicting Sanchez to be drafted that high. And that looks like it was an accurate opinion. On the other side of that, no one was predicting that Sanchez would be a better hitter than a defensive catcher either.

    I’d like gambles though to be had in later rounds, 1st round picks should be guys that barring injury or drug use, make your team and aren’t just hangers on.

  227. NMR says:

    I also have two first names, so I know the feeling.

  228. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    On Jim Rutherford…

    The thought that perhaps Botterill needed just a bit more guidance before he was given full confidence of ownership makes a certain degree of sense, especially in light of how ownership handled Botterill to this point. If the Penguins bring Jim Rutherford in to advise or to handle some other aspect of management (say, operations) while still giving GM responsibilities to Botterill, I could accept that as a solution.

    However, giving Rutherford charge to manage what has to happen over the course of this offseason is a bad decision, IMHO. In order to jump in three weeks before free agency and the draft and make the kind of go/no-go calls on so many players within the organization requires an aggressive, decisive, and confident manager who knows exactly where this organization is going. I dare say that Rutherford strikes me as none of those.

  229. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    TSN is reporting Dan Bylsma has been fired.

  230. Pete in Dayton says:

    My guess is that they’re either a) pissed that the local writers have the nerve, THE NERVE, to write honest opinions about the team, or b) Rutherford himself told McKenze. I think pretty much all of the “Pierre McGuire has interviewed to be the GM” was from PM, not from the organization. The Pens stayed silent pretty much the whole. darn. time.

  231. NMR says:

    Nah thats on me, not you. We wouldn’t have gone down that road if I didn’t pick a fight with the wrong guy in the first place.

    Wish you could get some Polanco with that T tonight. I’ll be at Tweedy across the river. Enjoy!

  232. Pete in Dayton says:

    Really? In related news, the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. Good lord.

  233. Pete in Dayton says:

    I meant that as a dig to the Pens, not you RENTLESS, btw… just thought I’d clear that up.

  234. AJS says:

    The difference is the Pens cupboard wasn’t very full to begin with. And that Shero did this year in and year out until you could see the cockroaches on the shelves and the spider web in the corner.

    The Bucs have a ton of talent in the sytem. Giving up one or two strategically is different than cleaning out the system.

    There are also more players in a baseball farm system than in hockey so there are more assets to deal with.

    If the Pens had the number one farm system in all of hockey then this wouldn’t be a problem. If the GM would have drafted better talent to replace the talent he traded away, this wouldn’t be a problem. It wasn’t necessarilly about the trades with Shero, it was about not restocking through the draft after trades were made.

  235. Patrick(ri) says:

    My wife just browsed a derelict sports page and asked me if it is possible that Calipari makes $52 million for coaching $tudent athletes at U. Of Kentucky? I told her to calm down as sports are just a game, especially at the major college level. Hope he can pay the deductible on his hip replacement.

  236. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    Thanks, Pete. I understood where you were coming from.

    So much for ownership letting the new GM handle the housecleaning…

  237. Thanks, National Mart of Records.

    I read and enjoyed. Makes me feel better.

    This 17 year old Shortstop will play with few Pirate players now on the team. Cutch will be 32-33 before they appear in a real game together, if they do. This kid is a Next Pirate level/team player.

  238. Wild Bill says:

    Anybody out there getting the presser? It’s not on here in Central Pa.

  239. JohninOshkosh says:

    I stalk, er lurk, Kristy’s Twitter account from time to time.

    Last I saw, KR is teaching yoga in Tampa Bay. And not giving out high fives.

    Milo has met her!

  240. Nastynate82 says:

    Besides the point. Your comment seems to be they directed at the fact that they steered clear of Boras clients. When they drafted those two that kind of disproves that point. Extensions have nothing to do with this; almost all Boras clients go to FA.

  241. Thundercrack says:

    Listening to the press conference. If ownership wanted a complete change in direction, why didn’t they let Bylsma go weeks ago?

  242. Nastynate82 says:

    In addition, do u even know if any players available to them last night were Boras clients?

  243. MarkV says:

    Check out WPXI.com

  244. Andrew says:

    Move over Pirates fans a new contender has jumped into the ring to challenge for the Title of Unhappiest Fan Base in Sports.

  245. Rutherford says in presser that he fired Dan Bylsma not from personal interviews but from the information he gained from talking to management here.

    In other words, Penguins stuck it to Dan Bylsma for the last three weeks!

  246. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Watch some Cole Tucker vids…kid has a nice looking stroke and what appears to be nice hands at short. Gets rid of the ball fast and from a lot of angles. I like the pick but not because of who made it, so you can stuff your nutting appologist crap as deep as you can get it, but because of what I could actuall see….seriously, have a look.

  247. I like him, too. He would have made a great Round 2 pick!

  248. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Because the next head coach will certainly remember who is in charge….

  249. Botterill Associate General Manager. Billy Guerin and Tom Fitzgerald now Assistant General Managers (not “Assistant to the General Manager.”)

    Assistant Coaches can be interviewed by new Coach, not yet fired, but can look elsewhere. New Coach by Free Agency date (July 1).

  250. Cobra39 says:

    I knew both of these guys would be the answer since they’re on the prospect list.

    However, I’ve seen both in person multiple times and am not as impressed as you seem to be. I see Kingham as a back of the rotation guy at best. The first game I saw, his fastball was barely hitting 90 on the Altoona gun and he labored throwing a lot of pitches. The second game against Akron was better, but if a guy is expected to be a mid-rotation guy he needs to have at least a couple of plus pitches, and I didn’t see that from Kingham.

    Hanson has batted in the .250s in both years at AA Altoona and the kid looks like a twig at the plate. I’m not sure he can play SS at the MLB level, either. Check your precious advanced metrics to verify this. He may have a future at 2nd whenever the Bucs let Walker go, though (because they will let him go). He’s hit for some extra bases at AA but I don’t think it will translate to the MLB level.

  251. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Yeah I know the dissatisfaction is not the skills but where they took him…..and of the other 60 guys guys ranked ahead, I would have probably had somehing positive tosay about the clips MLB selected for their promo vids too…

  252. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just disgraceful what the Penguins did to Dan Bylsma.

    “Thanks for the Stanley Cup, Danny Boy. Now, hit the bricks.”

    Hope he goes to another team and knocks the greatest hockey team ever assembled out in an early round.

  253. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    ALL of these guys likely had to show some sort of plan of action on paper….won’t be doing anything but executing and reacting right along with gentleman that just handed of the keys

  254. Dom says:

    With all the star power, we never made it back to the SC in five years.

    How much longer would you have given him?

  255. Really should have canned him right away, out of respect if nothing else, especially if it was a foregone conclusion anyway.

    Now, Rutherford can get the blame and not Mario, Burkle and the others.

    They’re paying him one way or the other, right?

  256. Maz in Iowa says:

    Luplow, Jordan Fresno State (CA) RF R/R JR 6’1″ 195lbs DOB: 09/26/93

  257. Maz in Iowa says:

    Fresno State might be more known for pitching prospects, but Aaron Judge helped put the Bulldogs’ hitters on the map when he went in the first round in 2013. Luplow isn’t quite at that level, but after a successful junior season, he has the chance to do quite well in the Draft. Fresno State’s right fielder and No. 3 hitter has shown the ability to hit for average and power in 2014, improving his Draft stock consistently throughout the spring. The right-handed hitter makes consistent hard contact with good bat speed. None of his other tools particularly stand out, with Luplow being more of a solid all-around performer in an A.J. Pollock kind of way.

  258. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Feels like Bylsma got hung out to dry and I dont understand why.

    We were told 3 weeks ago by Morehouse that the head coach deserved to be evaluated by the new GM
    Rutherford basically said ownership wanted change behind the bench and communicated he took all that into account and fired Bylsma this morning.

    Doesnt sound like Rutherford had any types of talks/discussions with Bylsma.

    So why the dog and pony show regarding saying one thing ( GM to review the coach) and reality that Rutherford basically did what his new bosses wanted?

    Answers / guesses appreciated.

  259. Yeah, Patrick, thank God for alumni, right? The real state workers here in KY haven’t had a raise in about 7 years. Most are receiving the same benefits they are issuing in this office.

    Says a lot for the state as a whole (hole), doesn’t it?

  260. Dom says:

    They stink!

  261. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Quit picking fights

    Bully, troublemaker

  262. JohninOshkosh says:

    Dom, I get that argument. But, you don’t treat a coach that brought your organization one of its only 3 SC championships that way.

    Bush league. Juvenile in not addressing it three weeks ago.

  263. After hearing Rutherford, not even giving Dan Bylsma an interview or hearing, I agree with your “disgraceful” call, Oshkosh b’ Gosh,

    I too will be rooting for Dan Bylsma at his next team, and he certainly will get one. Think Jordan Staal would like to play for Bylsma again?!

  264. Dom says:

    I agree with that. It makes them look unprofessional.

  265. I have never liked AJ Pollock.

  266. Well, for the next two or three seasons, Pittsburgh will hopefully have a hockey team that.will be run more professionally by Jim Rutherford, not Pierre McGuire, since Jim once played for the Pens and then, with Ron Francis’ help, was Carolina’s GM for 31 years and led them to a Stanley Cup in 2006 as well as 2 Eastern Conference titles, and as for Coach Bylsma, well, I wish him well and hope he will find a suitable coaching job soon. And now, I would hope that the new GM and a new coach can lead the Pens to -a Stanley Cup sooner than later since we’ve waited long enough for that to happen.o

  267. Fire him or don’t fire him.

    Don’t make him stand around with his finger, or another lower appendage, stuck in a light socket, wondering if the switch will be thrown.

    Bush league!

  268. Wild Bill says:

    Thanks, Groat. Go to The Fan just as the thing ended.

  269. Pete in Dayton says:

    Over at the Pensburgh blog, the pitchforks and pikes are being sharpened, and it appears that they are getting ready to reenact Bastille Day over at the CEC.
    I wonder what airport lobby Bylsma is currently sitting in, waiting to be picked up by a limo… Vancouver or Miami?
    Again, the only way this makes sense if Rutherford is seat warming for Botterill.
    I wonder who the Pens will give away Letang to, and how much Niskanen gets overpaid.

  270. A1C McG says:

    the sky is falling, 2 draft picks who may not play for 5 yrs in the majors are not as good as the draft picks who may play in the majors in 4 yrs…

  271. Dom says:

    How much longer would you have given him? Five years? Ten years?

  272. JohninOshkosh says:

    My argument isn’t that, Don. My argument is that they should not have relieved him in the manner they did. They should have done it three weeks ago. And, they should have honored him with some gratefulness…..then.

    Big boys don’t ignore issues. Or put unpleasant tasks off.

    For the record, I would have kept both Shero and Bylsma. I have been on record for that the last year. But, I understand the winds of change were too great. But, if you are going to make such changes, then do it like a responsible mature human being.

  273. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Vin Mazzaro back to AAA Indy.

    I don’t understand how this guy keeps passing through waivers.

    Aren’t the Marlins wanting more BP help?

  274. Nor Cali Ryan,

    By BP, do you mean Batting Practice?

    Because if that’s the case, Marlins are waiting to pick up Jeanmar Gomez.

  275. JohninOshkosh says:

    Much more elegantly put than by me, Mr. Sword.

  276. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    I’ll second that, John and Groat. Releasing a guy who was strung along for the past month solely on second-hand information? First, if that information was so damning then why did ownership not take action sooner? Second, what kind of tone does that set for you as a GM when you couldn’t make the first decision on your own?

  277. NMR says:

    Oh, well since you scout baseball prospects for a living then I guess I have no choice but to agree.

    Good gravy.

  278. You know, of course, that with all this angst and publicity about Rutherford being hired and Bylsma fired officially, this would be the perfect time for the Pirates to make an announcement. This is their MO.

    Gregory Polanco might be in the Pirate starting line-up tonight after all!!!!!!!!

    Better be!!!

  279. NMR says:

    Only on the interweb. I generally consider it bad form to pick fights fith Marines on the street.

  280. Patrick(ri) says:

    Alas. Kentucky is hardly alone in this. Even in Lil Rhody, the BB coach is the highest paid state employee. Someday he may even have a winning record — something our politicians cannot seem to do.

  281. NMR says:

    Preach, Lucky.

  282. Couldn’t agree with you more, Groaty. Bullpen and batting practice are one in the same with Jeanmar.

  283. I shake my head every time I think of her . . . . stiletto heels on the grass behind the batting cage at Pirate City.
    Got them stuck in the grass, deeply, and couldn’t bend down to pull them out because her sundress was too short.

    Someone helped pull her out and she finally ended up, after getting stuck again, having to take off shoes entirely.

    I laugh and involuntarily shake my head every time I see it in my mind!

    “Scoop” Kristy!

  284. Maz in Iowa says:

    Gushue, Taylor Florida (FL) C S/R JR 6’1″ 215lbs DOB: 12/19/93 |

  285. GAWTS2009 says:

    I heard they didn’t want the caps t steal him via Mike Ross

  286. Maz in Iowa says:

    Sounds like a good young catching prospect

  287. God Bless You!

    Another catcher. Joe in Round #1 and now in Round #4. He better hit!

  288. GAWTS2009 says:

    Caps job was still open then. Logical explaination to me. Not saying what they did was right but I’d feel better losing to Bylsma and TB over him and the caps.

  289. Maz in Iowa says:

    I know.I really like what I’m reading about him too!

  290. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’re funny, Groat. :-)

  291. Arriba Wilver says:

    Is Pierre McGuire in the running for the open HC job?

  292. chethejet1 says:

    Maybe the brass felt Shero sold them a bill of goods on Bylsma and talked them into an extension that will cost them 4 million or so. Maybe they are not happy watching him lose the team and the star players fed up with the whole situation. Maybe if Dan had more success in the playoffs we wouldn’t be talking about some three week period of his “twisting in the wind”. He was fired and the Pens are paying him nice money that he never should have received in the first place if not for Shero. From a business perspective, Shero was fired in part that he didn’t put together a cup wining roster and he stuck with a coach for five years that didn’t deliver. They were all in two years ago and gave Shero and Dan what they wanted.

  293. cmat0829 says:

    EXACTLY. I pay little attention to the draft, and much less attention to the so-called experts who are more often wrong than they are right — and that applies to all sports, and even more so baseball.

    Many years will pass before we know the yield of this draft, and it is often times the later rounds that yield the productive players, many many many 1st round busts all around the game.

    But how anyone can sit back and say one 17y/o shortstop is much better than another is beyond me.

    Pretty clear to me the Pirates went with the save money in the first 2 picks to use money over slot on later picks… it is a sound strategy. So is picking so called best player available first few rounds and paying full slot. Which is better? Neither. They are both reasonable paths, the one that is better is the one that works.

    By the way, the Cubs employed a similar strategy this year, at least I am reading the player they took with the 4th pick (yes, the 4th pick) was a reach – and the comment from the top scout was…. SHOCKER…. “this was our best player available on our board….” though he did acknoweledge they will sign this player quickly and ‘save some money’ that they will use on later picks.

    I guess Nutting isn’t the only miserly owner that employs this strategy…even Lord Theo and crew follow this strategy….

    Criticizing or praising the draft is just a proxy for yet another ‘apologist’ vs. ‘nuttingisthedevil’ yawnfest. Wake me when it’s over.

  294. cmat0829 says:

    Phillies are GOD AWFUL and no idea how Ruben Amaro still has a job. They are collecting old, has-been players I guess… they really need to sell everyone they can and plug in the youth movement.

  295. cmat0829 says:

    duh. byslma was terminated same day shero was. long delay was just to try to get him to quit and save the $$. Nutting advised Mario on that move.

  296. Fast Chester,

    3 ‘maybes’ in first 3 sentences don’t lend credibility to your comments. Makes it sound like you are guessing.

    Chester, I’m guessing that you are guessing. I guess that’s OK. But doesn’t make it correct. I guess.

  297. cmat0829 says:

    duh. come on folks, when they fire the gm, the coach has to go too. Not sure why ANYONE believed for a second Byslma was ‘left hanging’ or ‘in limbo’. He was terminated the day Shero was, but not fired. If he wanted to leave sooner he’d have to quit and forfeit the rest of the contract. Now he has been fired, he gets his money.

  298. Andrew says:

    Liberté, égalité, grit!

  299. cmat0829 says:

    If Byslma really thought he was in limbo he is A FOOL AND AN IDIOT. He just was made to wait for this payoff and his firing. If he wanted to take another job in the meantime the Pens get compensation and out from what they owed him. But let’s not suspend reality and make it seem like Byslma was put through psychological hell. HE WAS FIRED THE DAY SHERO WAS FIRED, just not on paper.

    I’m not a Pens follower so no vested interest… TYPICALLY coaches in similar situations DEMAND to know their status and get fired sooner. he could have done that.

  300. cmat0829 says:

    TERRIBLE PICK. REACH. CHEAP NUTTING. TBMTIB STRIKES AGAIN. GO EAT YOUR EXPENSIVE CORNDOGS SUCKERS!!!!!

  301. NMR says:

    And the worst part is that the old guys are the only ones who can play.

  302. Andrew says:

    Same thoughts Sword, Penguins stated the GM would review Bylsma position and they have now basically said that did not happen.

  303. Darrell27 says:

    This Polanco thing is a real head scratcher. Takes me back to the Daniel Moskos selection and Hoka Hey days of the front office. Just two years ago they were on thin ice, got a reprieve, had a great year, now it looks like another screw up. There is a reason the Pirates have not called him up and that is stating the obvious. What is not so obvious is why. Usually, things like this are transparent, but this is hard to wrap my head around. I have read some theories from other writers, national media, and other fans and could only come up with 5 possible reasons. Would love to take a straw poll on here and see what you fellow readers think. Very interested in seeing what the majority of this group thinks. Has to be one of these, but which one?

    1. Super 2. Really not confident or sure of the date having already passed and want to make sure.

    2. Vindictive reasons and power play with the media to show who is in control. How dare the media release this info before the Pirates do officially.

    3. Trying to play hard ball with Polanco and make him sign their low ball guaranteed offer. Sign it and come up, or don’t and stay down in AAA.

    4. Stalling so they can work out a deal for the OF who will be DFA’d after he comes up. Would rather trade Snider than release him.

    5. They honestly don’t think he is ready yet and want him to work more out of the lead off spot.

    Crazy thing is, I don’t know which theory I am leaning towards, and for the record, I don’t endorse, agree with or prescribe to any of the theories. My only solution or theory I agree with, is that he should be up, period! Would love to get DK’s take on what he thinks the reason is.

  304. NMR says:

    Exactly, John.

    Absolutely zero professionalism shown during this entire process. And that has nothing to do with hockey.

    Completely classless move by Mario & Co.

  305. NMR says:

    Is that copied and pasted, Maz?

    If not, you’re missing your calling.

  306. cmat0829 says:

    they need to make a deal with the Mess and bring Bobby Abreu back.

  307. cmat0829 says:

    WELL ITS OFFICIAL , NO POLANCO TONIGHT. BUCS LINEUP:

    1. Josh Harrison (R) RF
    2. Neil Walker (S) 2B
    3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
    4. Ike Davis (L) 1B
    5. Russell Martin (R) C
    6. Pedro Alvarez (L) 3B
    7. Jose Tabata (R) LF
    8. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
    9. Brandon Cumpton (R) P

    No Marte, which means I will predict the roster move, come, oh… tomorrow – Tuesday, is Polanco up and Marte down.

  308. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    if danny boy gets hired by another team pens don’t owe him anything. he won a cup with therrian’s players and then never made it back. great regular season coach, but can’t coach in the playoffs. he’d be good for pirate management, win as best minor league system but come up short at the major league level.

  309. JRay3 says:

    No Polanco, and no Marte in lineup tonight. Tabata to play LF and bat 7th. Really important series for the Bucs here. Not only to keep the momentum of the west coast road trip, but to also turn the tide a bit on the season series where the Bucs have gone 2-8 versus Milwaukee and need to keep chipping into this 7 game deficit.

    Really interested to see how Cumpton bounces back from his first really poor outing in a Bucs uniform he took out in LA. Kid seems to have composure and doesn’t look like a lot would get to him, so tonight is a very good test.

    Hope PNC is lively this weekend. Go Bucs.

  310. Crematorium,

    Your 3-4 comments in the last few minutes indicate an inverted anger.

    Everything OK?

  311. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    #7 waiting for jhay to cool off – doesn’t make sense which is probably the real reason with this group

  312. cmat0829 says:

    In all seriousness, devoid of any ‘agenda’ either way, I think the initial reason was Super2 clearance… now that it seems to have passed, they are delaying due to the ‘corresponding move’. Could be they are trying to deal Snider, could be they are making sure they talk to Marte and establish a plan for him in a demotion… but that is my biggest issue/question on this whole “Friday’s a go…no it ISN’T ” crap… why next Tuesday or Wednesday and not tonight? There might be a small consideration, though I do not support it, for not putting too much pressure on Polanco on a big stage (Brewers, big crowd, etc) and preferring to do it on a lesser stage (Cubs midweek) or Marlins road series.

    Again, trying to provide some sort of logic, though personally tonight was the perfect spot to go Polanco all over these creeps from Milwaukee.

  313. JRay3 says:

    Tabata is 14-33 .424 with a 1.094 OPS in his career versus Lohse, so looks like a smart play.

  314. Andrew says:

    Daniel Moskos was not this front office group.

  315. Certainly Not Blinded By the fact that Dan Bylsma took a team that was not even in the Playoffs, in 11th place for the 8 teams that qualify, and Coached them all the way to winning the Stanley Cup.

  316. cmat0829 says:

    Marte is not a good bench player, so if he is not gonna play, he needs to be in Indy.

  317. cmat0829 says:

    all caps = sarcasm.

    as to how I am doing, how nice of you to ask. It’s Friday. Which is great. Have jetlag and a cold, which sucks. Hate the fact Polanco is not up with the Bucs tonight. Don’t like the misplaced “poor Byslma” energy on the blog today. He will get paid and if he didn’t like the so-called limbo, he could have forced the issue, either commit to me or fire me… he didn’t which meant he was waiting to get paid. Good for him. But let’s save the hankies for him, oK?

  318. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    that team quit on therrien and that’s why they were in 11th place. they played better with danny but how come they never got back. how do you explain losing 5 yrs in a row to a lower seed. if you are going to blame injuries then why overplay people during the regular season. when you are given an all star team and future hall of famer to play rw why do you put him on lw (a position he never played). maybe jagr talked with some pens and that’s why he never resigned with pgh because of the coach. dan should have been gone after last yr’s failures.

  319. cmat0829 says:

    i’m happy Vin is still ours and expect he will up sometime soon to be what he is, which is a serviceable bullpen arm who can throw multiple innings stints. I’d have him up and Gomez down (or DFA’d) but it’s close either way, so I won’t waste any of my pent-up anger on it

  320. Wild Bill says:

    Everything but #5.

  321. Darrell27 says:

    Forgot one more theory. Already had impressive advanced ticket sales for this weekend, wanted a boom for the Cubs series during the week. Seems crappy, but that is how business tycoons think. Maximize your $$$ with your product. As for the previous management not being responsible for Moskos, I was referring to ownership, not the GM (Littlefield) in that case. I think that is who is driving all of this anyway, the owner, and they just act out his orders, good or bad.

  322. AJS says:

    The whole super 2 having passed thing is bunk. it hasn’t passed. not definitively. teams with prospecst ready to be called up will wait until they are almost assured that is passes. The date I have heard from everyone other than in this forum is the 13th of June. They start a 3 game set in Miami that day. If they want to do it at home then maybe the 11th or 12th against the Cubs. Otherwise they wait til the 20th whent hey come home again. I’m betting sometime during that Cubs series.

  323. Good. Glad you are doing well. You were exuding uncharacteristic frustration. Fridays will do that.

    I also hate Hate HATE HATE that Polanco is not up.

    Bylsma lives here and has kids in school here. I could see why he waited to see how thing play out. It has nothing to do with money. His kids have lived a majority of their lives in the same house and in the same schools.

    I do think firing Shero and Bylsma in one move would have been better PR for the always PR savvy Penguins. Letting him hang to be heard/interviewed by new GM, then new GM doesn’t even talk to him indicates someone was messing with Bylsma.

  324. NMR says:

    Boy, you must be a peach to work for, cmat.

  325. Sarah says:

    So the first time Rutherford talked to the Pens was SATURDAY?
    Is that correct???

    Did I say Plan ????

    Good lord what a circus.

    Though I have to say, refreshing to hear JR’s bluntness re lack of adjustments and lack of locker room leadership. That was interesting to say the least.

    Possibly Morehouse doesn’t quite have him on the short leash just yet re how rosy everything is in this organization.

    But really, could it be any more of a circus with JR having to fire Bylsma sight-unseen??

    What a mess.

    I hope this is an interim and they’re still hoping for Babcock somehow….but who knows.

    Meantime, Jacques Martin has interviewed with Canes…..

    Possibly Disco ends up in FL? that might actually be a good fit for him…..lots of muckers, few stars…..

  326. Sarah says:

    Oh – and did anyone hear the rumor that they offered PM the job? but he wanted 5 years and they said No?

    that sounds like pure Pierre propaganda…..

  327. NMR says:

    +1

    Doesn’t mean I like it, but if ya kept the kid down this long you may as well be positive it was worth it.

  328. Too much incorrect to even try to respond.

  329. NMR says:

    Ah yes, maximizing profits.

    That explains why they announced the exact game he’ll be called up a week in advance to make sure as many fans bought tickets as possile…

  330. NMR says:

    Just like they did with Cutch. And Pedro. And Marte. And Cole.

    Pass the tinfoil, please.

  331. Andrew says:

    Maybe the players quit on Bylsma too.

  332. Morehouse, if he is to be believed, said in the presser that no one else was offered the job at any contract. Rutherford was the one and only.

    Sounds like Regis is still the only one talking!

  333. cmat0829 says:

    Jon Heyman, respected CBS baseball columnist, had an article yesterday that indicated most feel the Super2 deadline ‘has passed’. So that’s another spot, other than this forum, where that has been expressed. And Heyman is very well respected.

    But as I said it’s a combination of Super 2 and corresponding move. ZERO factor on things like crowds, etc. And zero chance it is really ‘he isn’t ready’…now they may SAY that, but come on.

  334. cmat0829 says:

    lol… i love that people think that nutting is so involved… that he ‘ordered’ Littlefield to draft Moskos…. if any of you guys write any science fiction stuff, please send me a link… >I bet it is GOOD!

  335. Secret call-ups.

    Like secret contract extensions.

    I’m still surprised Front Office didn’t change their minds and bring Polanco up after all this Rutherford ruckus ensued! Always want to be the 2nd or 3rd best story of the day!

  336. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Go Gators!!!

  337. Andrew says:

    What? Marte is ranked in the top 10 in base running runs in the NL and top 10 in fielding runs for outfielders. And his slump can be attributed to a period of low BABIP, his K and BB rates during the last 60 PAs are not outside career norms. This is not like a Pedro slump were he strikes out 40% of time.

    Yes Marte has not looked good, so sit him out bit, didn’t the Pirates just do something similar with Mercer. Pirates are a better team with Marte on the roster.

  338. cmat0829 says:

    LOL, I’m not necessarily supporting Mario/Burkle on this at ALL… I do think it was cruel to fire the GM and not go ahead and fire the coach… I’m just saying that DB is not an idiot.. he knew he was fired that day…. and so this ‘limbo’ is manufactured by all of us and not really what DB was ‘living’ through.

    How many coaches are ever retained when the GM was fired? It is very very very rare (Rex Ryan in NY was kept after Tannebaum was fired) but it is very rare.

    I’m actually a very good manager and would never do to my employee what the Pens did to Byslma… I’m just taking the angle that the narrative he was left ‘hanging’ is a bit naive.

  339. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    sarah, you’re not regurgitation @MarkMaddenX from 3:19 are you, lol

  340. Sarah says:

    Yeah I’d believe that for sure Groat. Pierre is his own biggest fan!!!

    But really – letting Disco twist in the wind for 3 weeks whilst assuring us that the new GM would make his own decision re the HC , then have Rutherford FIRE him SIGHT UNSEEN at the presser?

    My God, that reflects horribly on this organization …..just horribly.

    Forget circus. That was inexcusable.

    That was just an awful way to treat anyone, and no fan of Bylsma I.

    Inexcusable for the organization to behave that way.

  341. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    *regurgitating… auto correct

  342. Sarah says:

    ER – nope…..more likely Madden regurgitates what he reads on these blogs LOL!

    What did he say?

  343. cmat0829 says:

    oh, have to share what i heard on the radio while driving back from the airport last night here in Phoenix… almost drove off the road….

    Sportscaster said that “KT (Kevin Towers, DBacks terrible GM about to be canned by Tony LaRussa) said the young pitcher (didn’t hear which one) reminded him of a YOUNG BOB GIBSON”.

    IF that doesn’t neatly and concisely tell you all you need to know about draft day analysis nothing will.

  344. NMR says:

    I can respect that explanation.

  345. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    pierre asking for 5 yrs and sounds like typical pierre

  346. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    used term pierre propaganda

  347. Sarah says:

    I’d also say that the talk of analytics may mean that the likes of Adams, Glass, Scuderi and Orpik are on a train out of town…..
    Speaking of refreshing…..

  348. cmat0829 says:

    just saying that as a bench player he is worthless. Maybe they are working with him in the cage and want to give him a week or so off, that’s ok… but I was expecting him to be in the lineup tonight after 3 full days off and he wasn’t so I deduced he may be headed for some Indy time.

    I am not giving up on Marte, though I’m not as high on his baserunning as you/ the stats are. Too many bonehead mistakes, especially recently. Hopefully the Mercer treatment works… just thinking he may need a demotion to get it together and get back up here and be the Marte we know he can be.

  349. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    they did, i was hoping for a change in january. he overstayed his time just like therrien did.

  350. NMR says:

    Ha, so that’s Bob Gibson to go along with Didi “Jeter” Gregorius at shortstop.

    Man, Towers is getting lit up like the Fourth o July.

  351. Sarah says:

    Hah! I heard the first 5 mins of Madden (or maybe it was Fan?) anyway they played the clip from the presser when he talked about “from afar” noticing the lack of adjustments, and some blurb about better leadership in the lockeroom….

    I daresay I am not the first person to use Pierre and Propaganda in the same sentence when it comes to McGuire…..nobody promotes him harder than he does.

    I’d be stunned if they actually gave him an offer…..more like a figment of PMs imagination….

  352. Sarah says:

    And BTW how does Rossi keep getting scooped in his own backyard by McKenzie?
    Are the Pens freezing him out??

  353. NMR says:

    And over his last 41 PA he’s struck out 29% of the time an has a wRC+ of 6.

    Hey, I can play the arbitrary end points game, too!

  354. Darrell27 says:

    Well, cmat0829 for you or anyone to think Nutting does not allow $$$ to come into or supersede baseball decisions than I would like to buy your science fiction book. Are you trying to tell me Littlefield drafted Moskos over Matt Wieters because it was a better baseball decision and Moskos was the better prospect? If not, then why? Signability, and that saves money for the owner. There is no way he was not nudged towards drafting the player that cost less money that year. You are smarter than that…..

  355. Sarah, You know I was a Bylsma supporter. But, after Shero is let go, Bylsma had to be fired.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about keeping him to talk to him, then firing him 3 weeks later without a face-to-face, is an indication that Morehouse or whomever is the Conductor of this mess is incompetent. That lowers my confidence level considerably about actions present and future at the Con.

    Maybe Bob Nutting has taken over as Managing General Partner from Mario!

  356. Sarah, You know I was a Bylsma supporter. But, after Shero is let go, Bylsma had to be fired.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about supposedly keeping him to talk to him, then firing him 3 weeks later without a face-to-face, is an indication that Morehouse or whomever is the Conductor of this mess is incompetent. That lowers my confidence level considerably about actions present and future at the Con.

    Maybe Bob Nutting has taken over as Managing General Partner from Mario!

  357. Sarah says:

    Hah! I hope not re Nutting!!

    But really Groat, it erodes our faith in the whole org doesn’t it?

    A shabby way to treat a classy guy in Dan Byslma, no matter one’s opinion of him as a coach.

    If they only first talked to JR on the weekend, that puts the lie to their line that his resume was the best. It smacks of Plan B as I said before….

    Let’s face it, JR has had a very lackluster last 5-6 years – which is the offense for which we’ve fired Shero/Bylsma.

    Furthermore,he was “gently” encouraged out of the GM spot to some cushy job as President with a share of ownership in the team, which to me says one of 2 things: he either was no longer competent for the job, or no longer wanted the job (maybe both)….

    Now at the last minute Morehouse and Co want us to believe he was the best guy all along?

    Sorry, no sale here.

    What a mess.

  358. Marte has 0 hits in his last 2 at bats. .000 batting average .000 on base %

    I seriously did think Marte was a candidate for the Convenience List a couple days ago, but he pinch hit and would be stuck with little to no backdate.

    I expect him back in the line-up by Sunday, especially if Cumpton and Edinson Bedard don’t come through.

  359. NMR says:

    Look, Starling Marte is abslutely one of the best 25 players on this team.

    But you’e burying your head in the spreadsheets if you honestly can say with a straight face that the only thing wrong with Starling Marte right now is his reaking BABIP. Come on, man.

    His Manager has lost confidence in him. He’s lost confidence in himself.

    Maybe a couple days off is all he needs. But we’re going on a week now, and its not like he’d be the first guy that needed to go down for a stint and regroup.

  360. Darrell27 says:

    Don’t care what the Pirates or multiple sources put out, it was a $$$ decision pure and simple. I am not alone in that thinking either so we must have many awful historians out there. It was pure PR spin after the fact so you have your opinion, I have mine, as do others about this draft. If Littlefield really felt Moskos was the better prospect and this was not money driven, then he should have not even been allowed to be over a rec league softball team.

  361. I agree. No sale here.

    The best organ-I-zation of sports leadership in town has fallen mightily right before our eyes.

    My confidence is more than shaken.

  362. NMR says:

    Darrell, did you even bother reading the link?

    The money, Bob Nutting’s money, was spent. More than was needed to sign any single player in the draft.

    It happened. It is fact. There is no disputing it.

  363. NMR says:

    I don’t even know why I’m having this conversation.

    You cannot reason with willful ignorance.

  364. Thundercrack says:

    I like to bury my head in the wRC+ spreadsheets

  365. Darrell27 says:

    And……like I stated earlier in my first post, I did not endorse or say any of these reasons were why he is not up. I was very clear in saying these were theories others put out there and wanted to see this group’s take on what they thought the reason was. Never stated it was any of these as to why he wasn’t up….

  366. NMR says:

    And lord knows Jon Heyman has NEVER been wrong.

  367. That’s not her spreadsheets I was looking at . . . .

  368. Substitute “John Hart” for “Jon Heyman” and Travis believes your statement.

  369. Darrell27 says:

    No you cannot argue with willful ignorance, great advice NMR. I did read it, I probably read it the day it came out. Doesn’t change the fact it happened after the draft as a desperate PR move. Can see you won’t answer my question either about Littlefield must have thought Moskos was the better prospect. That is what you are sticking with? If not money, Moskos was rated the better player by our management team. That has to be what you believe then. And who is being willfully ignorant? You are right, don’t know why I am having this conversation either. Believe what you want……Peter Pan is real too.

  370. NMR says:

    Darrell, the problem with our thinking is that you won’t allow for any other factors to be included.

    Littlefield had a history during his entire tenure of preferring to spend money on aging veterans rather than the draft and Latin America. It is literally the central reason he was fired and his replacement, Neal Huntington, has the polar opposite approach.

    The absolute only way your logic makes sense is if you believe Bob Nutting himself dictates not only how much money is spent, but exactly what it is spent on.

  371. Andrew says:

    Well then the issue is the players, not the coach.

    I am sorry I don’t often call opinions dumb but the idea the Bylsma won with Therrian’s team or Therrian’s players is one of the dumbest opinions that get tossed around the Pittsburgh sports scene.

    Does no one remember that Therrien’s solution for the struggling Pens was to run the old 1-2-2 Montreal Trap. Bylsma overhauled the system with an emphasis on forechecking and puck possession, it got results and with a little bit of luck a Stanley Cup.

  372. NMR says:

    Hey hey hey only I get to bust Travis for John Hart. ;)

  373. Andrew says:

    All I was trying to do with the 60 PAs was isolate his bad stretch of play, yes it is arbitrary, but almost any in-season cut point is arbitrary. And when your career strikeout rate is 26%, 29% is not really that much of an increase.

    Marte’s issue is he isn’t making contact and when he is it is bad contact, he has always had the first problem.

    I just think it is a little fickle to want to demote a guy after what amounts to two bad weeks of baseball. You can certainly disagree, I just cringe with Tabata roaming left.

  374. cmat0829 says:

    thanks for saying i’m smarter than that. It is a head scratcher to be sure why Moskos was the pick in June and then the same GM went out and scarfed down Matt Morris’ huge contract. Dejan’s point in his article, linked by NMR, that they MONEY WAS THERE IN JUNE to draft Wieters, the same money that Littlefield used to trade for Morris.

    It was incompetent and Littlefield was fired for it. Who knows, maybe he had his eye on Morris back before the draft and was determined not to spend $ on the top pick to instead use it for Morris. Either way, it points to an incompetent GM that knew he was close to being fired, who focused the $ available on ‘help now’ players and not committing to grow through the draft. That does not lead me to conclude that Nutting as the owner told him to draft Moskos and then turn around and spend the savings on a rag-armed pitcher. If Nutting were truly behind the ‘draft Moskos’ move, then to succeed on his save money strategy he DENIES Littlefield the trade approval to acquire Morris. He then pockets all the savings. That DID NOT HAPPEN, as much as you wanted it to, it did NOT.

  375. cmat0829 says:

    cant believe he hasn’t been fired already. Maybe LaRussa is pulling a Morehouse.

  376. cmat0829 says:

    not as much as i cringe when i watch lifeless and clueless at bat after lifeless and clueless at bat. and then daydreaming and getting picked off 2nd base and showing ZERO ENERGY whatsoever…. no smiles, looks like he is miserable to be playing a game.

    Maybe he is sick? But I will gladly cringe watching Tabby in left if it means my eyes get a break from the absolutely train wreck that is Starling Marte…and it’s been longer than 2 weeks. And I’m ROOTING for Marte to succeed!!! Just have to be realistic, though, guys.

  377. cmat0829 says:

    i just offered it up to the statement ” the date I’ve heard from EVERYONE NOT ON THIS BLOG” is June 13. Heyman was an easy example of another place, NOT ON THIS BLOG, where an earlier Super2 date was referenced. I can make no knowledgeable statement on the credibility of Jon Heyman.

    But my gut (which is all anyone really is going by anyway, those with columns and those without) says June 13 he is called up for the Miami opener. Thought that since Spring Training. I think the ‘sources’ that spooked Tim Williams did indeed hear “Friday” they just got the wrong Friday.

  378. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree with you, but only to a point. Therrien took basically the same team to the finals the year before, correct? Not dumb at all.

  379. Andrew says:

    Dumbest, is a little harsh but I just think it is an opinion that is very short on facts.

    I generally believe coaches receive too much blame and too much credit, to win in the playoffs you need talent plus luck.

    I am not judging Bylsma so much on winning the Cup but more on how he change the team’s structure. Therrien ran a system that bleed shots and was one of the worst puck possession teams in the NHL. He required elite goal tending to succeed, the 2007-08 run relied on beating a 5, 6, and 7, seed and the best sustained performance of Fluery’s career. When Therrien didn’t have elite goaltending the Pens looked bad.

  380. DJ says:

    You missed the point, Scott, and apparently skipped over my post @ 8:34 a.m.

    What’s a “few years” under your idea of an extension? Two? Three?

    I stated I’d accept a two year-extension, keeping MAF for three more years. I also said there is zero chance he’d sign for that term. He is going to want — and get — a minimum of 5 years. Sorry, too long. And particularly because we’re not bereft of talent in our system with Jarry, and won’t necessarily be reliant upon a trade.

    So a minimum 5 year commitment to MAF? Sorry, roll the dice.

 
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