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Morning Java: What price Price?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Thursday column urges the Pirates to think big regarding starting pitching. And in there you’ll see a handful of names tossed out, solely because they set examples of the kind of possible trade acquisitions that fit the criteria described.

If you’ve got any others, would welcome hearing them in the comments below.

One bunt single was all the Padres needed to keep the Pirates from sweeping. Rob Biertempfel reports from San Diego.

Should the Pirates draft for need tonight? Travis Sawchik asks.

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

Here’s Padres news from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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

Here are official game highlights on

>> The Penguins still don’t have a GM. Rob Rossi reports.

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

Here are official game highlights on, including the Kings’ OT triumph over the Rangers in Game 1 on a goal by — who else? — Justin Williams, the King of Clutch:

>> Antonio Brown is awesome. Alan Robinson reports from Day 5 of the Steelers’ OTAs.

Mike Tomlin rips into a rookieMark Kaboly is on that.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m., after which I’ll work on the Friday column. Honestly, don’t really have a topic for that just yet.

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. Wilbur says:

    The return for 1.5 years of David Price likely would start with Glasnow and either Meadows or McGuire. There’s no universe in which the Pirates should do that. It’d be a firing offense.

  2. Agreed. I’d rather see the Pirates win the ‘Baseball America championship’ into perpetuity than a sixth World Series. By all means, hang onto every single prospect in a deep system, even though only a low percentage of even the elite prospects turn out.

  3. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Let’s do it!….I’m all for it.
    I want the Pirates to win a World Series, not a Double A title and a trial offer to “Braniac Metrics.”
    Do it!

  4. Mizery says:

    I agree with Dejan. When you have a chance to compete you bring in the pieces to make it happen. It’s great to develop prospects, but what good is it if you don’t use them to strengthen the big-league club?

    I think Pirate fans get caught up in prospects because that is all we had to cheer for the past 20 years. It represented hope. Now that the Pirates have a chance to compete prospects can be used to bring in talent to help now. I choose proven commodities over potential any day.

    What did John Gruden say?

    Potential just means you haven’t done anything yet.

  5. david s says:

    the penguins still don’t have a gm, and francisco franco is still dead …

  6. twentytwo22 says:

    You’re a dead man. Propect lovers gonna eat you alive.

    The last two years
    Starling Marte is a 5 tool player.
    Jameson Taillon is better than Gerrit Cole.

    Giancarlo Stanton is wheelchair bound with bad knees and a bad back.


    Starling Marte is a 5 tool player

    Justin Upton is mediocre in a hitter’s park. He has a degenerative shoulder injury.

  7. Wilbur says:

    I’d imagine winning the Baseball America Championship correlates better with success than does claiming the Trade Deadline Headline Title. Teams with payroll limitations should keep pretty much anybody they evaluate as a major league starter. The Pirates absolutely cannot afford to forego the chance for 6.5 years of cheap labor, per prospect, in return for 40 starts at $500k/per and a compensatory pick.

    Following your prescription the Rays wouldn’t have Price around to trade. That they still do is related to the reason why they have Wil Myers for the next 6 years, while the Royals are already looking to salvage some return for James Shields before he leaves. I’m sure there was a columnist somewhere in Kansas City who was happy when that trade went down.

  8. chris says:

    I don’t ever see the pirates doing two things in the near future.

    1) Trade prospects for a great mlb player

    2) Sign a great player in the off season for big money

    Why? Because their mentality is that championships can be won from within and there is no need to put the team over the top when such great prospects are in the system. Even when those top prospects are in the system, past super 2 status, and going into a 3 game series vs. 1st place division opponent.

  9. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Immensely predictable reply, including the painting of all paid journalists in the same Neanderthal light.

    God, how I miss this beat and the abject lack of independent thought that takes place at both extremes.

    I’m guessing that for every columnist who penned an ill-advised piece supporting a prospect-for-vet trade, there have been more than a fair share of those that described successes. The difference is — and should be — that knee-jerk reactions like yours don’t apply. Actual objective, independent thought does. Each situation is weighed on its own merits.

    Moves don’t happen in vacuums. If a prospect-for-Price trade results in the Pirates having significant success, then the individual grade assigned to the trade is immaterial to all but the most anal-retentive baseball fans. Had the Pirates won five more games last fall and reached the World Series, no one except the same, small, tired, condescending crowd would still be ruminating the damage to the precious prospect pool.

    Don’t you have somewhere else to be concocting outright lies about me, Wilbur?

  10. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Derrek Lee, Ryan Ludwick, Russell Martin, A.J. Burnett, Justin Morneau, Marlon Byrd and some other guys would like a word with you.

    Narrative, narrative, narrative.

    Parrot, parrot, parrot.

    Does anyone even pause to think about these things before sharing them?

  11. OldSoldier21 says:

    Isn’t the goal of the draft to improve the team in the future? Whether the “prospect” improves the team by providing direct services, or by indirect services through a trade for a veteran should make no difference, the goal has been achieved…… This hold on to every prospect thing is never going to go away, is it?

  12. Thundercrack says:

    Today: Immensely predictable reply, including the painting of all paid journalists in the same Neanderthal light

    Yesterday: because the world’s unhappiest fan base would rather be miserable about something or other barely related to baseball,

    So I guess that paint brush works on fans and journalists

  13. NMR says:

    Completely agree…in theory.

    The Pirates DO have enough depth to acquire a significant piece without “mortaging the future”. And they should absolutely do that.

    But it takes just as much fortitude to be honest about your own ballclub as it does to pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade. Is this 2014 Pirate team really a World Series contender with the addition of a pitcher? Sitting here on June 5th, the answer is easily no. A month from now that could change.

    Further, you sure as heck better not be trading for 35 year old Cliff Lee who hasn’t thrown a baseball in a month because of an elbow injury and you sure as heck better not add blockbuster pieces to a division rival.

    And yeah, a fine reply would be that you can always talk yourself out of a trade, and that is true. No situation will ever be perfect. We’ve had these same discussions countless times. We know the drill. Just comes down to opportunity and timing. Hopefully they know it when they see it.

  14. Pucknutz says:


  15. meglasdad says:

    You dont trade Polanco. You dont trade Tallion. Pretty much everyone else is available. A GM once said, sorry I cant remember who it was, that prospects were good for getting GM’s fired. Chad Hermanson was a 5 tool player who one scout said could walk on water. His MLB stats are only slightly better than mine. If you have the chance to trade someone who MIGHT be good for a proven major leaguer, I feel you have to do it.

  16. Thundercrack says:

    I really wonder how much organizational depth they really have. It seems to me that a lot of it is in the lower levels of the minors.

    Is a team like the Rays really going to trade Price for prospects that may not be MLB ready for another 2-3 years? I would think they would want more AAA prospects.

  17. John Lease says:

    Dejan, remember Wilbur is basking in the glow of the ‘scoop’ on Pirates Prospects that Polanco is on his way to Pittsburgh Friday.

    Reality sometimes just isn’t what it should be for that crew.

  18. NMR says:

    It’s always both, Thunder. Something to help soon and something to help later.

  19. John Lease says:

    If the Rays would take Taillon for Price, do it NOW.

  20. NMR says:

    Fun fact: there exists a Marlins beat writer named Jaun C. Rodriguez. Miss you, Wandy!

  21. Wild Bill says:

    DK wishes for bold, go-for-it action from the Pirates?? So do I, but I’m not holding my breath. It’s one thing to add a bat or two at the trade deadline for very marginal prospects, and quite another to trade more valued ones earlier for a top shelf guy who would soon have to be re-signed for some real money.

    This would represent a hunger for winning NOW that we’ve never seen from this management. But as I’m about to see next week, the corn dogs are supposed to be pretty special.

  22. NMR says:

    Ugh, here we go again…

  23. theplanisworking says:

    Happy Hold on to Your Prospect Day!

    “I’d rather see the Pirates win the ‘Baseball America championship’ into perpetuity than a sixth World Series. ”
    You know there are many ‘fans’ who echo this line of thinking.

    To the point of trading for Price, or any other big ticket player ……. you have to factor in the cost of the contract acquired. Neal has stated that a certain % of the club’s salary pool will not go to just one player. So I believe the trading of prospects for a vet is mostly a moot point. (Please don’t forget that Wandy and AJ had significant portions of their salaries paid for by other teams.).

    As an aside, other than Polanco, there are no other ‘prospects’ ready to be promoted to Pittsburgh for the next 2 years (Taillon had TJ surgery). So most of the Pirates ‘prospect depth’ is in A ball. That is a long time in coming to the bigs. But I know how many Pirate fans just LOVE prospects!

  24. JoeyBats says:

    When is the model for the Pirates franchise going to be ==> win for THIS YEAR?

    Instead of ……”WIN for 5 years down the ROAD?”

    Sometimes…SOME YEARS….you have to go ==> ALL IN IN!!!
    One of these years….not saying it is this year, is it 2015, or 2016……
    ….many of us are tired of pushing the ball down the road, year after year, after , year after year with this gang of “promises, promises” (….and BROKEN promises)

  25. NMR says:

    By seasons end, half of the top 10 prospects will be in AA or above.

  26. Wild Bill says:

    Not sure how what I wrote and what you wrote are incompatible, NMR. Mine was a little more caustic.

  27. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah, acquiring Burnett, Rodriguez, Liriano, and Martin, as well as trading for Ludwick, Lee, Morneau, and Byrd, weren’t about winning now.

  28. JAL says:

    JAL’s Hound Dog Morning Links

    Hound Dog Elvis Presley


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects

    Pittsburgh Pirates Organizational Probable Pitching Chart

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Gregory Polanco, The Draft, and Starting Pitching

    Prospect Watch: Two Homers For Tony Sanchez, Three Hits By Gregory Polanco

    2014 Draft Primer: A New Challenge For the Pirates

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates MiLB recap: 6/4/14


    Gregory Polanco may or may not be called up on Friday

    8 Green Weenie

    Walks & Miscues Haunt Bucs In 3-2 Loss

    9 Rumbunter

    Gregory Polanco Has Been Called Up Admist High Expectations

    10 Saber Bucs

    Mr. Huntington: Get This Player

  29. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 San Diego Union Tribune

    Padres are one-hit, but pull off rare win

    12 CBS Sports

    Padres defeat Pirates despite one hit out of offense

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Cubs not helping next year’s draft position with 5-4 win over Mets

    14 Pirates 101

    Most Interesting Projections for the Pittsburgh Pirates

    15 Pirates Site

    Liriano gives up just a bunt single in strange loss

    McCutchen marks five years in the Majors

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds lose momentum, fall to Giants 3-2

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Different city, same score in Brewers’ loss to Twins

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Carpenter helps Cards win in 11 innings

    Bernie: Cards have spoiled fans, so recent woes become irksome

    19 Fangraphs

    Gregory Polanco Won’t Fix The Pirates’ Real Problem

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    Jose Abreu’s Not-So-Slow Bat

  30. theplanisworking says:

    That is a very bold statement.

  31. Wild Bill says:

    Good morning, 21. If I recall, the first group you mention were, with the exception of Wandy, off season acquisitions, which all teams do in their planning. The second group were the type I mentioned, pick up a bat at the trade deadline types.

    What I think DK is talking about is going for it at a whole other level.

  32. NMR says:

    “It’s one thing to add a bat or two at the trade deadline for very marginal prospects, and quite another to trade more valued ones earlier for a top shelf guy…”

    This is the yin to the prospect hoarder yang of crazy trade deadline memes.

    It’s not good enough to acquire Derrek Lee and his .982 OPS, Wandy Rodriguez and his lowest post-trade ERA of any starter dealt, or Marlon Byrd and his lineup changing bat and glove in right field. You’re not REALLY trying to WIN NOW unless you give up better prospects than you should for them!

    Makes absolutely no freaking sense.

  33. NMR says:

    You mean fact?

  34. Wild Bill says:

    Guess we see the situation somewhat differently. But I would never choose to described yours as making no freaking sense.

  35. theplanisworking says:

    Unless you are Kyle Stark or Neal Huntington posting on this blog, you, nor I have any idea if your statement is ‘fact’ or not.

    I don’t think you, or anyone else can guarantee that the prospects from A ball will be promoted this year. They might, but again, due to any number of reasons, they might not.

    If you can guarantee that, I am having you play my lottery numbers. I need the money. :)

  36. Nastynate82 says:

    No it’s probably true. Taillon, Kingham, Hanson, possibly Glasnow. Ok so four

  37. Thundercrack says:

    DK layed out pretty well why he thinks money won’t / shouldn’t be a big issue.
    The money is still there.

    Plus if they were to trade for a Price, they would only be paying him for a half season.
    And depending on what the overall payroll is next year, his full year salary may not be over that % threshold.
    Plus maybe they will decide to go over that %….Price is a lot younger than Burnett.
    Plus they could always trade Price too

  38. chethejet1 says:

    The issue of trading for a significant upgrade or addition is not in the Pirates 5 year plan. They are a small market team by revenue and ownership and it is unlikely they go against that model. I can see the benefits of that in the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay as they generally are competing for a playoff most years. Would I like to see a splash trade that sends a message, yes. Pirates had some bad luck this year with Tallion and Wandy but like the Pens on defense, sooner or later you have to play the talent that will make you better. Bucs path is Tallion, and the arms in the minors.

  39. kr70 says:

    DK calls out the Buc’s management, get a starter!!! preach it baby! let’s get back in this thing.

  40. Last night’s game clearly shows that although they had an unexpectedly successful road trip, for once, and beat the tough Dodgers three of 4 games, the Pirates still have a lot of work to do if they’re going to be contenders this season, since they allowed only one hit but still lost last night since they also walked 9, and played poorly in the field as well.

  41. BFD says:

    This organization has mastered manipulating fans into always thinking years down the road. They always have fans looking at the prospects rather than the players on the big club. Their marketing people are the best in the business at selling propaganda. It is always about the future instead of the present.
    Prospects are a dime a dozen. Every team has them. I hear how good and deep our system is. If this is the case, then ‘we’ can spare a few for the present. Keep in mind, I recall hearing how highly though of our minor league system was a few 5 year plans ago too.

    I also see statements such as “Teams with payroll limitations” – that should read – “teams with SELF-IMPOSED payroll limitations.”

    Keep in mind, the acquisitions should have been made (or pieces kept ) during last offseason. They weren’t and will not be made due to payroll. Plain and simple. It is much cheaper to tout 2020 and talk about suspects rather than winning in the MLB.

  42. mannitto says:

    If they sign martin to an extension like he says he wants to do ,that would make Tony Sanchez available and the pirates have a lot of guys in the minors to make a good trade. Also keep an eye on Mel Rojas JR.

  43. kr70 says:

    You checked the Curve record lately? no double A title in their near future.

  44. BFD says:

    “By seasons end, half of the top 10 prospects will be in AA or above.”
    so what? wake me when they are a contributor at the MLB level

  45. And the fact that Liriano was wild again and walked 6 clearly shows that they badly need another starter, that’s for sure.

  46. Jandy says:

    Rough crowd this morning. I think I’ll observe and learn.

    Happy Thursday everyone :)

  47. BillyBaduka says:

    It is preposterous that the Pens are looking at Franco as a GM candidate.

    Did Spain even have an ice hockey team in the late 1930’s?


  48. BillyBaduka says:

    Good morning Jandy.

    How bout that game last night?

    The scoring chances at the end of the third were thrilling; up and down the ice, chance at both ends. Not something you expect to see in the finals.

  49. Brandie says:

    As far as this discussion goes, if you are planning to bring in a pitcher or any position player for prospects, this has to make sense both need and cost wise. The thing with prospects is there is no guarantee they will make the big time. Prospects can have all of the talent in the world, but if they are unable or unwilling to put it all together on a consistent basis…Just saying even when you pour over all of the numbers and employ the eye test, none of this is exact science. GMs’ are always taking a chance.

    Just my two cents.

    Good morning “Toto, we’re not in Plansas anymore”.

  50. radio wave says:

    Will Tampa Bay do it?

  51. Thundercrack says:

    That’s not the context of our discussion. We’re talking about what level they are in regards to be more/less attractive for trades

  52. dcpinpgh says:

    instead of going for the sexy name, how about Brandon McCarthy.

    I cannot say this is my idea read it on saberbucs, but cannot argue with the math

  53. Nastynate82 says:

    Three of them already ARE at AA or higher. I guess four are if we’re talking about Polanco too. The only ones who might be promoted are and fit that bill are Bell and Glasnow.

  54. 21sthebest says:


  55. theplanisworking says:

    Good Morning oh Nickname Queen.
    You are already past the ‘prospect’ status. You are an All-Star. :)
    Be glad you aren’t on the Pirates.
    You would be traded for more ‘prospects’. ;)

    Good Day, Most.

  56. DJ says:

    Some bold “all in” moves by Shero at the deadline helped get him run out of town. You wake up a few years later seeing that the level just below is barren of players who are difference-makers and capable of meaningfully contributing to the big club.

    Not saying Bucs shouldn’t do it but I only pull that trigger if the deal makes them a legit World Series contender. Rationally assessing both where you are and whether the move or moves put you squarely in that category is the trick.

    Trading for Price alone would not do it, in my view. Glad I’m not making the decisions.

  57. Wild Bill says:

    Ah, Jandy, dust ups happen. No blood, as far as I’m concerned.

  58. radio wave says:

    Appreciate the cup coverage. My Rangers were out of gas by the third period.
    Are the Pirates prospects in the lower minors that good? I know the standings are secondary to player development, but the double A and class A teams are terrible.

  59. Wild Bill says:

    Greetings, Brandie. A big part of the discussion this morning should not just be about the cost of a pitcher in prospects. It also as to be about signing that pitcher to his next contract in a year or so. If we are not willing to do that, then the cost in prospects would indeed likely be a waste.

  60. theplanisworking says:

    Good Morning, and Good day, BFD!

    Don’t bring these points here.
    They aren’t allowed!

    Hope to see you again soon.

  61. DJ says:

    Agreed, NMR.

    Could a more mid-tier guy like Jeff Samardzija bring the same impact — for less in return — than David Price? Or do you need to go after David Price just to make the statement that you’re not just committed but REALLY committed?

  62. chethejet1 says:

    Assuming Polanco is the read deal, the Pirates now have solid contributors at 2nd, CF, 3rd, C. 1st base is OK, not great. Marte is key to building a great OF. The pitching from a timing point is out of sync with the other player development. Only Cole and possibly Tallion are blue chippers and Morton is a three which is fine. Extend Martin for a decent contract and now the question is do you or can you sign Francisco. The Pirates have 40 million coming off the books after this year, plenty of money to keep the team moving in the right direction. Even with raises for Cutch and Morton and arb with Pedro and Walker and Watson and Malancon, enough to sign Martin and good veteran pitcher preferably LH.

  63. Jandy says:

    Hey hey Billy, I watched the third, then had on the OT but fell asleep. Both teams came to play and it was great to watch :)

    Bill, that’s good, and I’m sure it’s mutual. As I don’t know enough about baseball, I’d rather observe and learn. Yinz guys are all good teachers. :D

  64. Jandy says:

    UGH, Curve lost 10 in a row, finally won last night to break that bad streak.

  65. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Theo will NOT give up Samardzija for nothing, but I think the argument could be made for him to be the target

  66. Jandy says:

    I’m gettn’ kinda attached to those lil bobbleheads…

  67. DJ says:

    My solution to the whole “trade v. hold” debate is to keep the prospects that will pan out and trade the others. That way, you’ll never be second-guessed.

    Anybody else with me on this?

  68. Nate83 says:

    Nope they are not even close to being a world series contender. That doesn’t mean in another 40 games they won’t look like one. I’m personally not trading two elite prospects for .5 or 1.5 years of a pitcher right now. The current players would have to show me they are a 90 win team or at least an 85 win team to consider making such a trade.

    You don’t sacrifice years of control not to mention those players being used to make a trade later to go from 81 wins to 84. You can only trade those players once. If the pirates truly are a .500 team this year then wait and trade those elite prospects during the offseason to get a pitcher that can contribute for 3 or 4 years during the outfields controled prime years.

  69. Jim S. says:

    Great response, DK. It certainly is not an outlandish position for the Bucs to consider trading top prospects for 1.5 years of a #1 starter. I would not want them to do that. But, that certainly does not make it an unreasonable proposal nor does it mean I would be right. It just means it’s my opinion and we can reasonably disagree.

  70. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    ames I respec your point I agre that there is work to do…but I will also say that last night was one of those crazy things hat happen in baseball from time to time. I listened to a lot of the game on the radio, but bing out of the zone certainly attributed to the 1 hit effort as much as it did to giving the padres what they needed to get the W….someimes things are mutually exclusive….unlike my seat on a return flight from Indy being mysteriously “overbooked”.

  71. Jim S. says:

    They wouldn’t.

  72. DJ says:

    Agreed, BotR. Epstein will always want to be regarded as “the winner.” If for no other reason than to satiate his ego.

  73. Jim S. says:

    +++, NMR.

  74. DJ says:

    Is that a Rico Fata bobblehead I see on the top shelf?


  75. Jim S. says:

    I couldn’t tune in until the 3rd, was watching intently, and then fell asleep on the couch only to wake up and it was over. The Bucs in San Diego on Mon/Tues did me in.

  76. Maz in Iowa says:

    Happy draft day.Gonna be interesting to see if the early picks are for the near future or the distant future.Tough room for such an early time,I see

  77. Jim S. says:

    Well said, Wild Bill.

  78. BFD says:

    Good to see you too

  79. Jim S. says:

    I think that’s perfect, DJ. It just takes a little bit of logical thinking to solve problems like this in a very simple way. ;-)

  80. DJ says:

    Well okay then, I’ve got my man Jim riding shotgun.

    Passengers feel free to hop aboard.

  81. JohnS says:

    I think DJ really hit the nail on the head.

    In all honesty my feeling is always you have to know what you are willing to do moving forward. If you move a top level prospect you have to be ready to extend the guy you acquire. In the case of David Price he is a FA in 2016. I am not sure I give up a guy that I think might be a top of the rotation guy for 1.5 years, but if I know I have him for 4 plus then I do it.

    Teams like the Pirates can’t make mistakes in their asset management because if something doesn’t work they aren’t going out into the FA market and sign a Robinson Cano or Jacoby Ellsbury.

  82. 21sthebest says:

    Great post Jim. But I see that you have been manipulated by the organization like a lot of us fans have because we are unable to think for ourselves. Maybe we should start a new group.

    But actually though, I’d have to see a deal for Price first to be able to say yes or no. I suspect it would take more than I am willing to part for. Also, pitchers give me more hesitation than position players because I think they’re a greater injury risk.

  83. Nate83 says:

    I’m not sure if this has been mentioned already but I found it interesting on Rossi’s blog that he said there was chatter that many teams have already contacted James Neal’s representatives about working out a trade with the next Penguin GM. I always thought he probably has the most value in a trade and would be the quickest and easiest way to mix up the Penguins identity. I personally don’t like him as a playoff player and would be interested to see what they get in return.

    I’m also not opposed to moving Letang and I find his cap room more valuable then what we would get in return for him. With the young defensman coming through the system I think it’s a move that can be offset and not hurt the team as much as some might think. I’ve never been a fan of his all or nothing style of play. Very talented player but he puts his team in too many bad situations by not making the solid hockey play.

  84. DJ says:

    Jim S: What’s the book on Samardzija this year?

  85. Stuart says:

    Excellent avatar Maz. Sums up 20 of the last 21 years!


  86. Karen22 says:

    I’m with you, Jandy! Not jumping into the foray. Just want to win…how about NOW?!! :)

  87. Jim S. says:

    Price discussion aside …

    * When was the last time any of our starters pitched 7 full innings? The last guy I recall even getting into the 7th was Gerrit Cole vs. 12 days ago. And, even in that outing, his pitch count was way up. I believe he lasted 6.1. Unless something changes quickly, Price, Lee or whomever would not make much of a difference.

    * Pirates relievers (Hughes yesterday being the exception) seem to throw a decent % of strikes most nights. Pirates starters get to 2 and 3 ball counts on just about every hitter, and often they get to 4 ball counts. When your pitcher throws a 1-2-3 inning and it takes 20+ pitches, there is something not quite right. You can’t do that very often because it gets even worse for the majority of innings where batters reach safely.

    * Seems like every night now, our starter averages close to 20 pitches per inning. Pretty soon, we’ll need a 13-man pitching staff.

    * 3 more XBH for Josh yesterday. He is squaring up a very high % of pitches right now. But, I think we saw why he is not a starter at any position. The weakness of his arm was on display 2x in the 1st inning, and not in a good way.

    * Snider has to go. Until he goes, he has to sit. I can’t take any more of those 1-handed, weight on the front foot swings where he takes off-speed pitches on the outside corner and rolls them to 2b. He seems to guess fastball in a specific location every pitch, and if he doesn’t get it he is toast. And, the fact that he did not catch the sac fly to our 2b probably cost the team the game. He may be a wonderfully likeable guy, but he’s not a major league quality ballplayer and he hurts our team when he is on the field.

    * I don’t think I can live in a world where Travis Snider is our RF, and Pierre McGuire is the Pens GM. What next? Tommy Maddox or Neil O’Donnell being named Steelers starting QB?

  88. Karen22 says:

    Love it!

  89. DJ says:

    With you on both points, Nate.

    If we’re overhauling this roster — which is required — let’s get it done this summer, especially in light of Letang’s contract kicking in.

  90. Nate83 says:

    Nope they are not even close to being a world series contender. That doesn’t mean in another 40 games they won’t look like one. I’m personally not trading two elite prospects for .5 or 1.5 years of a pitcher right now. The current players would have to show me they are a 90 win team or at least an 85 win team to consider making such a trade.

    You don’t sacrifice years of control not to mention those players being used to make a trade later to go from 81 wins to 84. You can only trade those players once. If the pirates truly are a .500 team this year then wait and trade those elite prospects during the offseason to get a pitcher that can contribute for 3 or 4 years during the outfields controled prime years.

  91. Jim S. says:

    Exactly, 21. Well said. I am generally an admitted “prospect hoarder.” But, even I recognize a steal of a deal when I see it. I thought they made such a deal for Rodriguez a few years ago. It didn’t work out, but to criticize it after the fact is not fair. It was a good deal at the time, based on the information available. The Pirates gave up decent, but not great prospects and expected to get 2.5 years of Wandy.

    I probably lean more toward those types of deals. But, if Price or the like can be obtained for a similar cost, then I’m all for it. That would not deplete the farm system.

  92. Jim S. says:

    If Shero were here, he’d probably be eyeing defensive help in a trade of Letang.

  93. Karen22 says:

    Why is my generic comment awaiting moderation??

  94. Karen22 says:

    I’ll try again:

    I’m with you, Jandy! Not jumping into the foray. Just want to win…how about NOW?!! :)

  95. Jim S. says:

    Sorry, meant in “a trade of Neal.” I think in my haste to scroll to the top and shut off the 15th successive running of Cinesport I neglected to proof read that.

  96. Maz in Iowa says:

    One would have assumed the Bucs would have performed an “autopsy” of sorts after last season’s near miss.However the lack of improvement in the offseason from trades /free agents suggests otherwise.The proclivity of being patient and “waiting” for another year is wearing thin.I read somewhere that the Bucs ticket sales were doing very well.If so, open the moth bearing leather… sign Martin,sign a short term SS(Hanson should be up in a couple years)and look at some depth at 3B(cause Pedro is gonna want some huge return and re signing him looks doubtful.Now I’ll get down off my soapbox.

  97. Nate83 says:

    If their idea of changing identity is moving 3rd and 4th line players I will be very disappointed. Meaningful change has to happen with core players. They are the ones not getting it done. Kunitz and Dupius don’t have much value in trade and I personally like they way they play. Players like Suttur, Martin and Niskanin were not the problem in the playoffs.

    Neal and Letang are the obvious candidates to change things up. They practically have a neon sign above their head that says very talented player available for trade. Despite their poor performance in the playoffs I have to imagine their skill set which is great is valuable to a team trying to get over the hump and either become a playoff team or become a top 4 seed in the playoffs.

  98. Dom says:

    Some feel McGuire might have already won the GM job and the Pens are waiting for the cup finals to end before announcing it.


    Interesting read from Rob Rossi this morning on the Pens GM search. He reports that Pierre McGuire is still among the finalists… God help us all.

  100. NMR says:

    With Polanco in the show. So 5.

  101. Jim S. says:

    Please, no!! I’m just getting over living in a town that fleeced the Bucs of ARam and having to watch him crush us for the next 10 years.

    No trades with the Cubs unless we are the ones dictating the terms.

  102. Dom says:

    I should have specified that they’re waiting for the cup finals to end because PM is still under contract by NBC.

  103. Jim S. says:

    Sorry, Dejan! I’m with Milo. I can’t accept the Cinesport thing with the startling restart every time I refresh comments. Yesterday, it worked for me when I just turned the volume all the way down after watching it the first time. I don’t know why, but that isn’t working today.

  104. Jandy says:

    Why Jim, you miserable malcontent you!

  105. NMR says:

    TOOT TOOT! ;)

  106. Maz in Iowa says:

    Thanks.Charlie reminds me of my childhood……also the Pirates presently


    cole is hopefully price in 3yrs. if you want 2 top of the rotation pitchers you trade for price. if you don’t want to give up precious prospects how’s this deal: throw in one prospect and pedro. you can move the new all star harrison to 3b. all the pirate problems are then solved


    or we could do the forbidden and trade jhay for price straight up (he can dh for tampa)

  109. Jandy says:

    Put this above, movin it down here:

    Bill, that’s good, and I’m sure it’s mutual. As I don’t know enough about baseball, I’d rather observe and learn. Yinz guys are all good teachers. :D

  110. Jim S. says:

    You caught me, Jandy.

  111. NMR says:

    Good stuff, Jim.

    Can’t believe I’m saying it, but Starling Marte needs a trip to the CL and a few accompanying weeks in Indy. Clint Hurdle has lost confidence, and there weren’t two more embarassing at-bats by either team than Starlings last two.

    One imply cannot believe that the starting pithing needs to improve while also recommending Josh Harrison play either infield position up te middle. One step forward, two steps back. But the guy’s bat just has to stay in the lineup right now. Dude has earned it, and it makes the Pirates a better ball club.

  112. Jim S. says:

    I pray they are wrong.

  113. Jandy says:

    Heyhey Temptress, looks like the blog has bugs today.

    I’m content to watch so far….lol

  114. Nate83 says:

    The video needs to start only if you want it to like all other video’s posted on the blogs. I have the same problem of it playing everytime I refresh. It’s also been refreshing really slow.

  115. Dom says:

    I hope they’re wrong too but I feel the more time that goes by the more likely Pierre will be the new GM. I would have certainly thought they would have announced a victor by now.

  116. Jandy says:

    ha! Love the video! I’m climbing aboard, but only if I can sit quietly in the back…

  117. Nate83 says:

    I don’t think the Rays want 2.5 years of Pedro anymore then they want 1.5 of Price. They will want as many pieces as possible that are controllable for 6 years.

  118. DJ says:

    I guess that answers my question to you below on Jeff Samardzija.

  119. mjp1542 says:

    Yes, absolutely trade prospects for pitching help, along the lines of Price or Samardzija. But just don’t think about Cliff Lee. Elbow issues this year, lots of miles on the arm, and owed $25 million per year for a few more seasons. Even if he was healthy, they’d need a ton of money back, and the Phillies might not be willing to do that, even though they can afford it. Plus, Ruben Amaro is so scared to sell. I don’t see it.

    The next few weeks should be interesting.

  120. Maz in Iowa says:

    Interesting article on Price.Hmmm wonder if Dejan and the this writer were on the same page?Nine straight losses by the Rays and…well I’ll just leave a link:

  121. DJ says:

    I’ve got you in the Pullman, Jandhi, holding a big glass of Cabernet.

  122. ++++++

    Couldn’t agree more, Karen.

  123. Jim S. says:

    I already have such a group, 21. It’s called Jim and The Prospect Hoarders. Admittedly, it does not have the mass appeal of TC and the Pot Stirrers. We mostly just meet in the family room of my basement and discuss BABIP, xFIP, WAR and other exciting topics. We obsess over the line drive % of 18 year old Dominican prospects, and whether or not Tyler Glasnow will ever get good enough command of his secondary pitches to be a dominant MLB pitcher.

    As you may have guessed, right now the group consists of 1 person. And, I keep having to supply the beer for the meetings. So, new members are welcomed. :-)

  124. Jandy says:

    Ahhhh! Perfect! :*

  125. Thundercrack says:

    Not true at all

  126. Wild Bill says:


  127. Nate83 says:

    Bill a trade like that would have made sense last year in my opinion as the Pirates had shown already that they indeed had a complete team capable of competing and a big splash like Price could have made a huge difference. For what it’s worth no such players ended up being traded last year and I was perfectly fine with what the Pirates ended up with.

    This year they have not shown me it would be wise to add a player like Price. I’m personally not convinced that they are good enough. They are 3 games below .500 and a run differential of -23. A pitching staff that is missing more then just 1 starter to be fixed and offense depending on JHay who is a career .250 hitter staying hot and Walker hitting homeruns at a rate 200% better then anytime during his career. To many problems on June 5th to mortgage the future for something that isn’t nearly enough. Maybe on July 5th things will be different but they have to convince me first. I don’t buy Lexus then hope I get a 25% raise.

  128. Jim S. says:

    Agree 100%, NMR.

  129. Maz in Iowa says:

    Imagine if Polanco was a yankee prospect and wasn’t called up yet.Heads would be exploding,talk shows would be vehement/nasty, and tv would be full of vitriolic nasty threats.THAT would be fun!

  130. Stuart says:






  131. Wild Bill says:

    Howdy, Jim. Good stuff. This “ball flies over that white thing” concept sure has escaped some of the starters.

  132. Don’t you have a thought of your own, parrot, parrot, parrot?


    Just mocking the boss.

  133. Nate83 says:

    I agree with most of your post plan however Kingham could easily make the jump at this time next year. Hanson will probably be moved to AAA for the last 20 or 30 games this year and could also come up at some point next year. Taillon depending on his recovery could come up after the all star break but I wouldn’t be surprised if they wait until 2016.

  134. I’d love to see Samardzjia and all his wide-receiverness in a Pirates’ uniform.

  135. Dom says:

    You must be on notice…

  136. JohninOshkosh says:


  137. Maz in Iowa says:

    Me too.Here goes:Imagine if Polanco was a yankee prospect and wasn’t called up yet.Heads would be exploding,talk shows would be vehement/nasty, and tv would be full of vitriolic nasty threats.THAT would be fun!

  138. Jandy says:

    Revvie, you pot stirrer, you! :P

  139. 21sthebest says:

    Jim, I’ll supply the beer if you provide a subscription to MiLB.TV.

  140. JD says:

    I love how after DK is finished, a nice picture flashes up of what appears to be his MUCH younger, better dressed twin. It cracks me up every time.

  141. Maz in Iowa says:

    Is there a deal on Price?Buy one/get one free.Cuz that’s absitively a no-brainer then

  142. Wild Bill says:

    Strikeout to walk ratio of 101 to 9!!! I’m starting to drool.

  143. Maz in Iowa says:

    You know….half Price

  144. Just using Jim to dig DK. I know Jim wouldn’t get mad.

  145. Maz in Iowa says:

    Price is right

  146. Jandy says:


  147. Jandy says:

    I dig the Boss all the time…don’t need camouflage ;)

  148. Stuart says:




  149. Maz in Iowa says:

    I wonder how much it would mean in ticket sales if they did acquire Price?Are we talking several million for the next 1.5 years.Just a thought

  150. Maz in Iowa says:

    I just hate that I would have to copy his name because I’m not smart enough to type his name correctly. :)

  151. Jim S. says:

    MiLB.TV tells me if I can just bring 8 more subscribers aboard, I get 6 full months free! :-)

    “Watch the Stars of Tomorrow Today!”

  152. Maz in Iowa says:

    He does look a lot like a Pirate too.Put a do rag on his head and one of those 3 corner hats

  153. Nate83 says:

    But does that make sense this year with a team that is 3 games below .500? There are things that point to them being better going forward but there are a number of indicators that show this is what they are and about where they belong. Polanco being added and trading for Price wouldn’t be enough in my opinion. Not to mention Price has not been solid, Lee has injury problems and is aging and Samarjza probably isn’t going to be traded within the division.

  154. Jim S. says:

    Nice use of “foray,” Karen.

  155. Karen22 says:

    Bed bugs overnight? I AM a little itchy today…;)

  156. Jandy says:


  157. Wilbur says:

    “Concocting outright lies?”

    That’s one bizarre non-sequitur. I think you’re wrong about trading for Price. That’s the extent of my heinous allegations.

  158. Nate83 says:

    In the end it all depends on if they are winning but from a pure numbers standpoint we are talking 45 starts. Maybe 23 of them at home. 8 or 9 of those are weekend games that probably get sold out anyway. So maybe your talking about 14 games. I’m not sure how many more tickets he sells per game. Maybe 3,000-5,000 but the purely is a guess.

    I don’t think it’s enough to offset his cost and the lost years of low cost of the players you traded away. The trade would need to be made for baseball reasons. I personally don’t think the Pirates have shown enough this year to justify such a leap of faith. Last year yes but this year no.

  159. Karen22 says:

    LOL. I’m out “foray” while…heading up the road to Amish country with a pal. Carry on the foray! :)

  160. Karen22 says:

    Bad, bad Karen!! Moderation timeout!

  161. Jim S. says:

    Maybe I can be the Best Man at their upcoming nuptials. ;-)

  162. Karen22 says:

    Good points, Jim!

  163. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m pulling the old G-Man trick and hiding under the bed. ;-)

  164. Jim S. says:

    I’m just being selfish on the Suh-marge-a thing, DJ.

    If they can get him reasonably (i.e. not giving up too much) I’d be ok with them investigating it.

  165. Karen22 says: – has all the answers…

  166. Maz in Iowa says:

    Nice.Really appreciate all you guys/gals that do all the brain work.Thx

  167. Jim S. says:

    He’s actually pitched very well, DJ. I think he got bombed the last time out, but pretty much good outings the rest of the way. He has great stuff, and he seems motivated to get out of Chicago and to a contender this July. The word is he did all he could to accommodate the Cubs in a contract extension because he’s from the area and wanted to stay. Theo & Co. claimed they wanted him to stay, but it is debatable whether that was actually true given that no serious efforts seemed to be made to extend him. They want and need pitching prospects.

  168. Jim S. says:

    Yesterday, I was able to turn the volume all the way down and that “fix” worked like a charm for the rest of the afternoon.

    Now, today, it is as though someone decided we can’t have anyone rigging it so as to not have to listen to it over and over and over. I’ve left and come back several times, hoping the autoplay has been disabled. I’m trying to deal with it as best I can, but my patience is about done. I hope it gets fixed soon.

    I’ll check back a few times sporadically to see if it has been fixed; otherwise, it is a deal breaker for me, I think.

  169. Jandy says:

    My keyboard won’t even function properly with that dang thing on. I make enough typos myself. And I know it’s the Cine0-thingie as I have no problems typing on anything else. GGgggGGRRrrRRRr!

  170. Jandy says:

    Tomorrow is donut day. Sheetz is offering a free glazed donut with any beverage purchase.

  171. Does that include beer? You could get several dozen!


  172. NMR says:

    Hey pal, I apologize for the comment earlier. It was rude and unnecessary.

  173. JohninOshkosh says:

    Maria Sharapova and the Canadian, Eugenie Bouchard, currently engaged in a terrific three set semifinal match at Roland Garros.

  174. Wild Bill says:

    Love it, Jandy, but it might be a little small for me.

  175. Arriba Wilver says:


  176. Nate83 says:

    Does Indy play today? I know they are denying he is coming up but we will know as soon as that lineup is posted. I find it hard to believe somebody like Rosenthal reported it and it wasn’t true but who knows with today multimedia. Also Tim Williams has pretty good access to the team. He has nothing to gain by incorrectly reporting that information but a lot to lose.

  177. Jim S. says:

    I don’t see him coming for tomorrow’s game. They have vehemently denied it now a million times. I think they’d look pretty foolish if he still showed up tomorrow. I think someone passed out some info after they had already changed the plans from this weekend until next week sometime.

  178. They do. At Syracuse, 7:00PM.

  179. Jim S. says:

    Looks like the Cinesport thingy got sent to the shop for repairs or something.

  180. Nate83 says:

    Hopefully they decided it was totaled and get the bluebook value for it and give the money to the Pirates to spend :)

  181. Arriba Wilver says:

    This is getting exciting, the local vs. national and blog media. ;-)

  182. Jim S. says:

    I didn’t see it mentioned yet. RIP Don Zimmer! 60 years at the MLB level, and I never heard anyone say a bad word about the man. We need more like him.

  183. Arriba Wilver says:


  184. Jim S. says:

    Of course we know what happened. Someone almost forgot that the games this weekend already have heavy advanced ticket sales. Once they remembered, the plug was pulled. But, I’m guessing upcoming weekday games don’t.

    Continuing the narrative. ;-)

  185. Arriba Wilver says:

    It was talked about a little last night, but doesn’t hurt to bring it up again. Good guy, good guy for Baseball.

  186. Arriba Wilver says:

    I had heard that he didn’t have that tucking in shirt tail thing down, and it was especially important when playing the Brewers. ;-)

  187. Jim S. says:

    Not all all.

    Polly want a cracker!

  188. Pete in Dayton says:

    On the GM search- I keep telling myself that McGuire isn’t really going to be named, right? And the delay is with Briesbois’ contract? Right? Right?
    On the finals last night- If Letang had given up the turnover that Doughty did that led to the Rangers short-handed goal, the collective Pens facebook feed and Pittsburgh sports blogs would have melted down with the number of “CUT LETANG!!!” posts.
    I like Letang as a player, but I don’t 7 million a year like Letang. And since we’re paying 3 something million a year for Scuderi to do his best traffic cone impersonation, we can’t afford Letang.
    Just name the GM already. Even if it’s McGuire, it’s gone on too long. The GM needs to get to work on this roster and cap disaster right away.

  189. Naterosboro says:

    Except Pedro Martinez.

  190. Jim S. says:

    Would we allow our new GM to continue to be an on-ice analyst for the rest of the Finals while there is real work to be done?

    The thought of them not only choosing a guy with no recent experience in evaluating players and building a roster, but then waiting a few extra weeks while he works his current job as commentator is frightening.

  191. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I think Pedro probably regretted that just about right after it happened.

  192. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sharapova, showing that famous steely resolve, defeats the Canadian in three sets, winning the last set 6-2, to advance to women’s final at French Open.

  193. Arriba Wilver says:

    ” we’re paying 3 something million a year for Scuderi to do his best traffic cone impersonation”

    Great line. :-)

  194. Jim S. says:

    It’s b-a-a-a-a-c-k!!

  195. Jandy says:


  196. Wild Bill says:

    What’s back, Jim?

  197. Jandy says:

    LOL! :P

  198. Jandy says:

    The Cine-thingie


    There is no way that Pierre McGuire makes sense as a GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins. None. Zero. There is no way that I would trust a media guy with scarcely one season’s experience as head coach to guide the direction of a franchise who’s stakes are so high.

    If you like McGuire because of his encyclopedic knowledge of players and prospects, then hire him in an advisory role.

  200. Jandy says:


  201. Arriba Wilver says:

    I did see that “live” on TV at the time.

    It reminded me of a time when my Boxer was about 9 months old and I took her and my kids fishing.

    Someone else came to the same area with a momma boxer with two pups. Those three were all laying flat on the ground under a tree. My dog got loose and tore over, full speed ahead, towards them. The momma boxer never even twitched, but in the blink of an eye reached up with one paw to put my dog flat on the ground. No one got hurt.

    Zimmer was going full speed ahead at Pedro. Pedro put him down on the ground.

    And I always liked Zimmer, before and after that.

  202. Wild Bill says:

    I leave my computer and tablet muted most all the time, unless I want to watch something specific. I’m not even noticing this problem you guys mention.

  203. Jim S. says:


  204. Jandy says:

    Mine’s muted too, but it’s messing up my keyboard! >:<

  205. Jandy says:

    OK, I have some heavy stuff to get done, and since that cine-thingie is such a PITA, I’m closing this down a bit. Catch ya’ll later Loonies.
    be good.

  206. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ve been here since 8 AM & haven’t refreshed the page once. I’m just reading the same posts over & over & over again. It’s great fun, you all should try it sometime.

  207. Jim S. says:

    I’ll have to do that also. But, there are things I need to view all the time. So, I’ll keep having to unmute then mute. Would be much easier if it weren’t forced on us. Hopefully, they are working on it.

    I hate that the Pirates articles on the sports page have ads and other videos that are forced on us also. But, I’ve learned to live with that.

  208. Wild Bill says:

    Sounds a lot like root canal, Milo.

  209. BigE says:

    I wouldn’t deal for Price without requiring a visit to Dr. Andrews. He hasn’t consistently looked like the same pitcher since his DL stint last summer. He’s smart enough to win without his A+ stuff, but due diligence is required if the Buccos are thinking about trading top prospects.

  210. NMR says:

    Sometimes ya just get worked up and go too far. Bill’s a great guy and didn’t deserve that.

  211. Jim S. says:

    Zimmer apologized fully for it, and said Pedro had no choice. I know Pedro said he regretted it many times, but he didn’t apologize.

    He sure spun Zim like a top, though.

    Zim got hit in the head with a pitch, and was unconscious for 2 weeks. He lived a pretty amazing life, I think.

  212. Rene says:

    Or how about Jason Hammel or Franklin Morales?!?!? I agree they need another dominant starter but why does it have to be at the expense of a very very promising stocked farm system?? The two mentioned are significant upgrades who would not be cost prohibitive.

  213. Wild Bill says:

    Hmmm… the plot thickens, thanks, E.

  214. NMR says:

    Not a whole lot different than reading the Blog for the last month or so.

  215. Jim S. says:

    Great story about the dogs, btw. Wasn’t the momma boxer’s first rodeo, apparently.

  216. Naterosboro says:

    Thursday thoughts…

    * I’m 100% for trading prospects for proven commodities. I’m also 100% for holding onto your prospects so they can contribute with their play to the MLB club. It’s about finding a balance. Neal Huntington gets paid the big bucks to find that level. And we get to play armchair analysts with all of his decisions. Truth be told, I kind of like this role better. No pressure, and there’s really no repercussion for spouting nonsense (other than being called out by a fellow lunatic ;-) )

    * David Price in this rotation? Where do I sign…..

    * I still back Starling Marte to come good. But I’d send him on a weeks vacation to an island somewhere. And, no, that island is not named Convenience Island (List). Tell him to relax and not even think about baseball. The game is in his head. I think it’s his first real “adversity” within the context of baseball. That pinch hit AB yesterday was, oh, how do I say this….subpar…..

    * Frank Liriano had 6BBs yesterday to go along with 7Ks. So much for improved fastball command. So much for command of anything…..

    * Don’t look now, but AJ Burnett is human:

    * Not sure why all this fuss over Pierre McGuire as the possible new GM of the Pens. Lots being made out about the fact he’s not qualified. What’s the basis for this statement? Because he hasn’t been in hockey operations for awhile? B/c he’s been mainly “between the benches” and involved with the entertainment side of the game for awhile? Who really knows what Pierre does, what he knows, and what his actual qualifications are? Hopefully the Penguins do (b/c they’re the ones doing the diligence on candidates), and I’ll trust them if that’s who they pick.

    * What were Neal Huntington’s credentials before he was hired? Pretty sure there used to be a daily mockery of the former demoted Cleveland asst. GM. My point is, let them [Penguins] hire a guy first, and then let that hire actually, you know, implement his plan, before we start talking about the sky falling.

    * I still don’t get all the negativity towards Kris(topher) Letang. Is it really all because of the contract? Is this somehow his fault that his play dictated that the Penguins wanted to give him a long-term deal? He’s still a ridiculously good defenseman. He had a down year, and then had to deal with the stroke. I remember certain people were none too happy with Paul Martin’s play when he was first signed, and we see how that changed…

    * Julius Campbell once said “Attitude reflects leadership, Captain,” to Gerry Bertier. Some of the Penguins problems have to do with Sidney Crosby (from a player performance stand point). If guys are looking and seeing their Captain (and “best player”) not playing up to his abilities and not enjoying himself, this is going to have a negative effect. Whether it’s them trying to do more to make up for Crosby’s down play, or following his lead & not enjoying the game. A big priority for this franchise is getting Crosby back to playing this game with childlike enthusiasm.

    * Whatever Marc-Andre Fluery eats for breakfast, give some of that to the entire franchise. Guys always seems to have a good & positive outlook on things. That’s what is needed. There’s too much negativity surrounding this franchise.

    * A lot has been made about Markus Wheaton’s bad finger. Can we somehow make it less? If the finger is healed (to the way it has), he may have to adapt a little bit, but as long as it’s pain free, it shouldn’t cause that much of a problem. That said, they should definitely sign another WR before training camp, and I kind of like the idea of bringing Santonio back. His most productive time as an NFL player was as a Steeler, and I think Ben had trust in him.

    * Santonio still hasn’t gotten both feet down. Doesn’t matter. Steelers lifted No. 6….

    * My prediction for the winner of the World Cup: Uruguay. Luis Suarez becomes the hero that everyone wants him to be.


  217. 21sthebest says:

    Bill, as I look at your post again, I didn’t read it correctly. So sorry about that.

  218. JohninOshkosh says:

    “First thing we do, let’s kill CineSport.”- Shakespeare

    Video launches are the bane of the internet. Ad banners with silent video images ? By all means. I appreciate greatly this site is free and the Trib needs to make a buck.

    But death to the video launch, now.

  219. JohninOshkosh says:

    By the way, @Nate83 with the best avi in awhile.

    Whining Dawson. I love it.

  220. 21sthebest says:

    They say we’re young and we don’t know
    We won’t find out until we grow
    Well I don’t know if all that’s true
    ‘Cause you got me, and baby I got you

    I got you babe, I got you babe

    Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties….!

  221. buggee says:

    Dejan said “anal”

  222. pattonbb says:

    I’d rather watch and listen to non-stop CineSport vids every time I go online than to hear one more criticism of “the narrative”. Hasn’t that term’s 15 minutes of fame expired?

  223. Thundercrack says:

    That sound of the coffee pouring into the cup (over & over)….makes me have to visit the mens room

  224. I’ll make you a deal, Wilbur: You and all of those people stay the hell out of here, and I’ll spare everyone a list of the lies you and others were telling about me a couple years ago.


  225. buggee says:

    There are times when all this blathering over the foibles of TBMTIB… just… gets… old.

    You know who would make a helluva GM for the Pens? Jaromir Jagr. The best hired gun the NHL has ever had.

    That was a helluva game last night between the Kings and Rangers. Interesting to see how each team’s goals were scored and how those goals seemed representative of how each team got to the finals in the first place.

    I’m guessing the Kings in 6, but NY has been full of surprises so far this season.

  226. Nate83 says:

    Thanks it represents the unhappiest fanbase in the world.

  227. Jim S. says:

    You don’t see a hole in McGuire’s resume for the last bunch of years leading up to this job, Nate? He has done very little in his job as commentator that would seem to prepare him for running a team. He also didn’t exactly receive glowing reviews in his short time as a head coach.

    Huntington worked for over 15 years for 2 organizations focusing specifically on all aspects of the functions he now oversees with the Pirates.

  228. Pretty sure there’s a way to turn off video auto-launch in your browser. If anyone wants to post that, I won’t object.

  229. cmat0829 says:

    Can you give me any baseball draft examples that were for the NEAR future?

  230. Jim S. says:

    Have the 2 been seen together?

  231. Nate83 says:

    Just wanted to clearify I didn’t mind the comment itself. I didn’t assume he was including everyone that is a fan by saying that wasn’t in the slightest insulted. I just found the reaction to the comment funny so I’m playing along. Plus James Van Der Beek has had an epic career that spans many different genre of entertainment (most of them bad) but he’s OK with that.

  232. cmat0829 says:

    LOL. Harrison has as much trade value right now as Brock Holt, which is close to nil ( at least if you want something good in return). Lets try to be at least somewhat reasonable or we will start to sound like Mike Francesa’s callers from Staten Island “da Yanks should trade Solarde for Zach Greinke and that Kershaw fella..IF the Dodgers throw in Rihanna’s ex squeeze. I’ll hang up and listen”

  233. cmat0829 says:

    is there any realistic evidence that a starting pitcher really increases attendance? If that were the case I’d think the bigger draw is Cole but I doubt it.

  234. 21sthebest says:

    There’s probably a Kathleen Sebelius joke in here somewhere.

  235. Kelso says:

    dude, chill out

  236. Stuart says:

    I believe that you are misinformed about that. In MAC OS, you used to be able to go into your advanced sittings and make “plugin click to start” true.

    Doesn’t work now. Looks like a hasty marketing decision without envisioning the consequences.


  237. chris says:


    We did not overpay for any of these players with prospects or money. I am not one of those yinzers who just scream and shout about the pirates doing everything wrong. With the exception of Russell Martin a lot of these guys came relatively cheap or we got lucky with as if with AJ. But who did they have to trade for Byrd, Morneau, Ludwick. Burnett or Lee? Other than Herrera, NOTHING! Don’t just mock one of your biggest supporters because you are upset with the rest man.

  238. chris says:

    and tell me man, who is the last David Price type of player they ever went for in the past 2 years to put them over the top. Be it in free agency or trade deadline? You can hark all you want on getting that player (cough cough) last years Stanton, but they will never ever get a player of that caliber Because they are afraid of taking risks trading away great players. That is what I meant from my original post.

  239. Just a question for DK if he comes around anymore today. Instead of telling Wilbur to stay the “h” out of here, can’t you just ban him like a few others?

    Just wondering. Hope that ability hasn’t stopped since we got the new blog.

  240. JD says:

    ++. Good one, NMR.

  241. Pete in Dayton says:

    I know, I don’t get it either. I hope that his interview is Mario letting an old friend “wave the flag” about wanting to move into hockey ops somewhere, not actually giving him a job running a team. I mean, he’s got hockey knowledge, and he knows players, but he hasn’t had any input into running a team for close to 20 years. I know Scotty Bowman said nice things about McGuire’s abilities, but if he’s gonna be hired to be anything other than “assistant to the GM” to learn the role, it’s a terrible, terrible, terrible idea.
    I remember hearing, a few years back, someone on XM’s hockey talk station saying that the NHL seems strangely obsessed with taking ex- star players and putting them in charge of personnel and operations. Trevor Linden is in charge of the Canucks, Shannahan in charge of the Leafs, and we all remember Gretzky in Phoenix. Is this part of the same thinking? That if someone knows hockey, that they will automatically know how to run a team? The track record is pretty spotty, and most of the GMs in other sports aren’t ex players, at least not ex-star players.

  242. I love that word “foibles”. Sounds like the name of a being in a Tolkein book.


    1. a minor weakness or failing of character; slight flaw or defect: an all-too-human foible.
    2. the weaker part of a sword blade, between the middle and the point (opposed to forte

  243. Naterosboro says:

    Can’t argue with anything you put out there Jim. And, Pierre would not be in my finalists. But, the Penguins brass are the ones that are doing the hiring. They’re the ones talking to everyone, trying to come up with the best hire.

    They know they need to get this GM hire right. And Pierre made their final list. There’s gotta be a reason for that, no?

  244. wvstarship says:

    When is the model for the Pirates franchise going to be ==> win for THIS YEAR? “” NEVER “”

    Instead of ……”WIN for 5 years down the ROAD?” “ALWAYS ”

    Sometimes…SOME YEARS….you have to go ==> ALL IN IN!!! ” NOPE “”
    One of these years….not saying it is this year, is it 2015, or 2016……
    ….many of us are tired of pushing the ball down the road, year after year, after , year after year with this gang of “promises, promises” (….and BROKEN promises) ” GET USED TO IT–FOR ANOTHER 21 YEARS “

  245. Phil the Groundhog says:

    All you have to do is work for the government and read the blog at lunchtime. The CineSport video (and all others) are blocked! All I see is a little red box with an X in it. Nice and quiet.

    But, I forgot how loud the train whistle is on the Pirate Train video. I think I made people several cubes over jump!

  246. Jim S. says:

    I would hope so, Nate. I’m just not seeing the fascination with him. You can really like a guy, but people have to actually work toward a job in my opinion.

  247. NMR says:

    Duke Welker via Twitter:

    “At Andrews institute ready for surgery for my new elbow. Probably wouldn’t be tweeting normally but these meds make everything sound great.”

    Best.Tommy John.Announcement.Ever.

  248. Nate83 says:

    I think you are probably correct but I just saw Tim say he had one of his sources tell him that Polanco is still coming up on Friday even after the Pirates denied it. I really don’t understand waiting until after maybe the most important series of the year up until this point. It’s not that I think Polanco’s actual play would make much of a difference over 3 or 6 games but it’s an atmosphere thing. The crowd would be amped and I think some if not all of the teammates would get amped.

  249. Nate83 says:

    That’s funny.

  250. Poole says:

    Okay, just want to talk about something other than Pierre Mcguire for a minute…

    In my opinion BriseBois, Gorton, and Maciver were the best candidates out there. Strictly speaking from their credentials. That’s why I really don’t like hearing names like Jim Rutherford, PM, and Pat Brisson come up. That being said, we still don’t have permission to speak with Gorton and Maciver’s Blackhawks were just eliminated. I wonder if that’s still a factor.

    What about head coaches? Any preferences on who’s out there? I think Tocchet would be a nice assistant. I really don’t like the idea of Jaques Martin taking over as head coach. Maybe its just me but he had a really strange role last year and never looked engaged or interested at any point. I think we can do better.

    Lastly, per Rossi’s blog, sounds like there have been teams already contacting and inquiring about James Neal. This is promising. The guy still has highly appealing value around the league. I think that will play out well for the new GM to make his first big splash. I was hesitant on trading him if only because we are hurting for young forwards and James Neal is exactly that. But I can see a trade being beneficial if we get multiple wingers in return or even if its a more of a lateral one for one move for a guy like Kane/Eberle/Oshie/Tarasenko.

  251. Poole says:

    I think DK actually pointed it out once on TribLIVE radio about the Rick Nash trade. Nash was a proven commodity and a big name but its fair to say the Jackets won that trade with the multiple pieces they received.

  252. Thundercrack says:

    I really don’t understand the crap storm about this on twitter last night.

  253. Poole says:

    Plus I think there are a couple decent wingers in Free Agency that could fit under the cap. Guys like Hemsky and Kulemin could be fits here. They aren’t huge money guys and could easily replace the salaries of Goc/Jokinen/Stempniak. I think Benoit Pouliot has priced his way out of us taking a run at him.

    Wow, I’m feeling encouraged about the possibilities? What’s wrong with me..

  254. NMR says:

    -I say this not to revel in his demise nor to offend my fellow bloggers, but the fact that Edinson Volquez has a lower ERA than AJ Burnett after a third of the season is just beautiful. You can’t predict baseball.

    -Speaking of, how many more at-bats until we start wildly speculating that Josh Harrison is on PED’s? That’s when you know you’ve truly made it.

  255. 21sthebest says:

    “. I really don’t understand waiting until after maybe the most important series of the year up until this point.”

    Nate, which option do you think sells more tickets at this point. Promoting him for tomorrow or for Monday?

  256. Jim S. says:

    He does seem to be flashing power to all fields. Gotta keep this rolling.

    Totally kidding. Josh has become a big favorite of mine. 3 XBH in one game. Dripping with power.

  257. Jim S. says:

    And, Wilbur doesn’t have an avatar.

  258. Donald says:

    I’ve seen rumors also that Ben Zobrist could be on the block as well if the Rays fall any further out of it. A starting pitcher and a shortstop would be just what the doctored ordered.

    I agree that the system at this point should be used it if can bring back genuine all-stars like Price and Zobrist. A few years ago Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie were considered future aces…. now Taillon is having Tommy John and Allie doesn’t even pitch. If your future outfield is McCutchen, Polanco, and Marte, where do Josh Bell and Austin Meadows fit? I’m pretty sure we can only have 3 guys in the outfield. The Pirates have a window to do great things. We’ve been waiting for prospects who never turn out to be what we expected basically since the time OJ Simpson was fleeing police in the white Bronco. How long does it seem when put into that perspective??

    When you can land one of the best pitchers in the league for a year and a half, he’s a sure thing. Prospects aren’t. Especially on a team that has a huge question marks for a starting staff next year. I’d love to see Price (and Zobrist) playing at PNC Park. Now is the time. McCutchen is here… Alvarez is here… Walker, Cole, Marte… let’s take advantage of this window with this team of former prospects who did make it while we can!

  259. buggee says:

    Wow Dejan, that’s some of the strongest stuff I’ve ever seen from you! (digging it too!) not enough Starbux or did the guy actually irk you?

    Not that I’m being nosy (nebby) mind you

  260. Nate83 says:

    I think making the playoffs sells the most tickets and there is 0% chance ticket sales are being considered in this thought process. Winning more game will always bring more ticket sales. If he comes up this weekend and sweep the Brewers they will have no problem selling tickets for his 4th, 5th and 6th games.

  261. AJS says:

    Working in teh health care business I find this more hilarious than 99% of what I have read on this blog in teh past month!

  262. Nate83 says:

    I don’t follow twitter so I will take your word for it that it was a crap storm. Some pretty reliable people reported it so I would think the sources where credible. I still hold out some hope that they may be working out a trade for Tabata or Snider and that is the reason they wanted to announce it themselves when they had those details nailed down.

  263. Pete in Dayton says:

    I would drive Neal to the airport to get a deal done for Eberle. I think the Pens need a power forward for the top lines, someone who will stand in front of the net and clear up space for the other players. Kesler used to do that when he was on the PP with the Sedins in Vancouver, as well as centering the 2nd line. And they were a Luongo meltdown away from a Cup one year. Thats what I thought Iginla was brought in for, but he seemed to always be on the point.
    St Louis would never trade Oshie unless he begged out. Same with Tarasenko. Plus, I don’t see how you fit Tarasenko under the cap in a few years unless it skyrockets up again. The Nash trade seemed like a rip-off for the Rangers at the time, and I’m still not sure if the Jackets “won” that trade- they have some nice pieces, yes, but the Rangers are in the Stanley Cup final. And Nash has not been as good as he was in Columbus, so I guess you could say that the Jackets have the better players, but do they have the better “fit”- Again, the Carter for Jack Johnson trade- Johnson has been great for the Jackets, but LA has a Cup win and are going for a second.
    The Pens new GM has some very big decisions to make. Can he be put in place to make them already?

  264. A1C McG says:


    Can we trade a Primanti Bros sandwich and a case of iron city for some of that “Buffalo” sauce the govenor of NY wont be sending out to LA?

  265. 21sthebest says:

    But you just said, “It’s not that I think Polanco’s actual play would make much of a difference over 3 or 6 games but it’s an atmosphere thing.”

    I wouldn’t wait to promote him, I wanted him a couple of weeks ago, but I sure wouldn’t say 0% chance that ticket sales are being considered.

    “I think making the playoffs sells the most tickets”

    I don’t know exactly what that means. I think making the playoffs helps to sell for the following year.

    If they sweep the Brewers with him, sure they’ll sell more early in the week. If they promote him Monday, they’ll sell a lot early in the week. But either way, I’m not sure how many will be sold for the weekend series.

  266. Robert says:

    Funny you say that. I looked this up this morning because I’m a baseball nerd and will actually watch some of the draft tonight. It illuminates your point about draft uncertainty, but also shows the Pirates have had reasonable success in that regard.

    Pirates draft results since 2008

    Currently in MLB
    2008: Pedro Alvarez, Justin Wilson, Jordy Mercer, Robbie Grossman (HOU, Wandy trade)
    2009: Vic Black (NYM, traded to HOU for Wandy), Brock Holt (BOS, Melancon trade)
    2010: Brandon Cumpton, Casey Sadler
    *Jameson Taillon would likely have been called up this month.
    2011: Gerrit Cole

    Appeared in MLB:
    2008: Matt Hague, Chase D’Arnaud
    2009: Tony Sanchez, Phil Irwin

    Current Top 20 prospects:
    2010: Jameson Taillon, Nick Kingham
    2011: Tyler Glasnow, Josh Bell, Clay Holmes,
    2012: Barrett Barnes, Wyatt Mathisen,
    2013: Austin Meadows, Reese McGuire, Jacoby Jones, Cody Dickson, Blake Taylor

  267. Jim S. says:

    The Padres hit one ball out of the infield last night – 2 if you count the ridiculous sac fly to our 2b, which I don’t. They had one hit – a bunt single. They scored 3 runs and beat us.

    Baseball is a funny game. But, it is a lot more fun winning games like that than losing them. I have a feeling that one may sting awhile in the standings.

    I’m looking for 2 of 3 from the Brewers this weekend, nothing more. They are much better hitters than San Diego, of course. But, probably not as interested in working the pitch count. So, if our pitchers throw good strikes they may log more innings this weekend.

  268. Nate83 says:

    Making the playoffs and getting past the wildcard gives you 35,000 more tickets sold for this year for every game they play. I don’t think selling an extra 5,000 on Monday or whatever the number would be makes any sense.

    Do you actually believe they would wait until Monday just to sell a few more tickets or are you just being funny?

    My very next sentence after saying his play wouldn’t make a huge difference was that his presense would get his teammates and fans amped which gives them a better chance to win. Wouldn’t you want that for the series that is against the very team you are trying to catch in the standings?

  269. A1C McG says:

    have you been to a Jackets game recently. Solid team set for the coming future. you cant say rick nash is the reason the rags are still playing, he didnt score tile the third rd and they havent had a ton of post season success since he arrived. this is b/c (a) torts is gone (b) St. Louis is there and (c) a conn smythe winner has been allowed to play consistently b/c torts is gone. LA may be a different story with who won or lost. i think if anything this was a solid draw Johnson solidified a blue line in columbus that has become a strength while LA received a player that didnt want to be in columbus and provided a spark when he got back with his long lost friend from philly and they won a cup

  270. Dejan,

    Just read your article on Bleacher Report. That removes all doubts that it’s true.


  271. Poole says:

    Well, I don’t think Eberle is what you described as a power forward. But I do think he would be a great two way player on a line with 87 or 71.

    Oshie/Tarasenko are just pipe dreams for me. We would probably need to add another piece in order to get one of them back so it probably doesn’t make much sense for either side.

    I certainly understand your philosophy of “fit” but I don’t put too much stock into which team went deeper in the playoffs. The Rangers were a lot closer to that than the Blue Jackets were to begin with so I don’t really consider that important in terms of the trade itself. If you recall the trade, it was Rick Nash for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon, and the 19th overall draft pick . I think for a team like Columbus, that was a much better use of $7 million and becoming a more complete team. I’m not just looking at this trade in a vacuum though.

    I’m just throwing out there the “type” of trade I would think makes sense for shipping Neal out. Given Neal’s age and contract, no reason he couldn’t pull a haul like Nash did. A proven top 6 guy, a top 9 guy, a prospect, and a first round pick. Sign me up.

  272. Thundercrack says:

    They need time to coordinate the Groupon.

  273. 21sthebest says:

    “Do you actually believe they would wait until Monday just to sell a few more tickets or are you just being funny?”

    I think it’s possible. A chance. If he’s not promoted tomorrow Nate, do you think it’s because they’re not Super 2 comfortable yet?

    “Wouldn’t you want that for the series that is against the very team you are trying to catch in the standings?”

    You’re asking me to buy into the getting his teammates and fans amped which gives them a better chance to win theory. That’s a little touchy feely to me. Not sure if getting amped translates into winning more. How long does being amped last anyways?


    {because NOW is never more important than 6-7 seasons from NOW}

    If they hold him back any of these Brewer games, they PROVE that NOW is not important!!!!!!

  275. Pete in Dayton says:

    Dubinsky has been good for Columbus, and Anisimov has been good as well, but if Rick Nash went and scored 50 goals for the Rangers, it’d be a terrible trade. Johansen has been the main driving force behind the Jackets looking 10 times better this past season than when I saw them in person a few years ago. That and Philly’s idiocy behind dumping Bobrovsky. I saw the Blue Jackets play the Oilers three seasons ago, and the team quit after Mason let in some mind-numbing goals. Dumping Mason was the single smartest thing the Jackets GM did. So while Nash has stunk, it’s not as if the Jackets got a bunch of diamonds in return.

  276. Robert says:

    And I’m not an advocate either way. Prospect for veteran trades are about weighing value now against value later. The Pirates, until last year or the year before, didn’t have enough in the cupboard to trade away the elite talent. Now, they have greater numbers of guys other franchises would covet. I’m usually not a fan of trading ready-this-year-or-next top of the rotation starters. Those guys tend to be much more valuable than a half season or even 1.5 seasons of a veteran. However, getting a Price for a Jacoby Jones (#14) or Willy Garcia (#11), comp pick, and Clay Holmes (#13) package is reasonable, mostly because pitching and the OF are positions of plenty for the Pirates.

  277. Nate83 says:

    So Groat was your countdown correct and somebody isn’t telling the truth or are you going to be off by a week? I think it is evident they are safely past the date so bringing him up makes too much sense not to do it.

  278. One universal truth about baseball is that you do not give a good team 4 outs in an inning.

    You especially don’t give even a bad team 5 outs in an inning.

    What a sparkplug that Josh Harrison is!!! A sparkplug for the other team!

  279. Maz in Iowa says:

    Cole and Pedro.Distant is reserved for high school and near(more/less)is college.Sound better?

  280. Nate83 says:

    I agree with your overall point you are making except the Rays got one of the top prospects in all of baseball for 2 years of Shields from the Royals who isn’t as good as Price. The Royals even through in a really good pitching prospect. I have to imagine the Rays get a good return for Price. I don’t think Jones, Holmes and comp pick even comes close to getting it done.

  281. Thundercrack says:

    Am I the only person that thinks this has nothing to do with selling extra tickets?

    I think the ‘baseball people’ will bring him when they want him up.

    Besides, it is the Penguins that are concerned with selling tickets and sellouts.

  282. Can never tell when you’re serious. Can you link that, Groaty?

  283. Lad 9 says:

    I have not commented to date on the Penguin’s GM search, so since I am perhaps the last Penguin fan who hasn’t, here is my two cents. I think it is absolutely brilliant of the Pen’s mangement to have Pierre McGuire as a finalist. No, I really do. Why, you ask? Very simple. The fanbase is in a lather over potentially hiring someone who is incredibly unqualified for the job. Someone who would likely screw this franchise so far into the ground that it would take years to dig it up. Fans are slobbering and clawing to express their disdain for good old Pierre, and the longer the process goes on, the worse it gets.

    Now, what better way to guarantee your real choice a smooth transition? The new guy gets announced and is not Pierre, everyone breaths a sigh of relief, and rolls out the welcome mat. And for the next year, every move the new GM makes, no matter how questionable, we think, “well it could have been Pierre”. It is brilliant I tell you… Brilliant! Bravo, Bravissimo! A PR coup! :)

  284. Robert says:

    Vic Black was traded for Byrd and Buck, not Wandy. Zoned out on that one.

  285. NMR says:

    Preach it, Groat.

    Baseball is just too damn hard at the highest level to play guys out of position and expect nothing bad to happen.

  286. Thundercrack says:

    I think the Rays-Royals trade makes team a little weary of trading prospects for pitchers.
    Shields has been very good for the Royals – and it could have been a good trade for the Royals is they had won.

    But I think teams don’t really want to give up a good prospect bat….and like some others have noted I wonder about Price’s health.

  287. Wide Receiver Nate,

    I agree wholeheartedly with your 2nd sentence.

    If they don’t bring him up tomorrow night for the Brewers, it’s only to prove that BMTIB marches to a different drummer. Sometimes the smartest guy in the room, in trying to prove how smart he is, really becomes the dumbest!

  288. Nate83 says:

    He is much more of a defensive liability in the infield then the outfield. With a man on third and a pop up that went that high in the air there is no reason for the second baseman to take that ball. Even with him taking the ball it seemed as if there was time for him to not to be going backwards.

    With his hot bat he adds value but as soon as that cools off he just doesn’t do enough things well enough to get more then 1 or 2 starts a week.

  289. I just trashed it away before I came on here. Sorry.

    I promise: Dejan was a featured article on Bleacher Report. Dari and kids will be so proud!!

  290. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jason Grilli would probably be very happy about that. ;-)

  291. Nate83 says:

    ++++ It will be interesting to see how zimmerman plays in the outfield. If JHay starts in left instead of Marte like a lot of people want get ready for at least one extra run to be scored on sacrifice flies to left field every 10 games. They will run on him every chance they get. Also be ready for a lot more doubles by the other team.

  292. Robert says:

    First, two top 15 prospects and a comp pick is more than fair for 9 months of one player. But we can agree to disagree.

    Second, there was much more to that trade than that. Shields was traded with a player to be named later and Wade Davis to the Kansas City Royals for Patrick Leonard (minors), Mike Montgomery (minors), Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi. The Tampa Bay Rays sent Elliot Johnson (February 12, 2013) to the Kansas City Royals to complete the trade.

    The comparison isn’t even comparable.

  293. A1C McG says:

    no but they were able to fill multiple holes by making that one splash and in this context if you dont think we could get a solid 3rd liner, prospect/pick and possible a second liner or more for neal then you are nuts Neal’s stock > Staal’s Stock and look what we got for him

  294. Nate83 says:

    That’s a resume builder (sarcastic font not available).

  295. And both of which are gone and Vic is in the majors, but the argument remains that Byrd (not Buck) was a big factor in our march to the LDS. And he was, but it was a no-brainer not to re-sign either he or Buck and therefore do we say “we lost a good prospect” in Black or “gained some playoff games” with Byrd.

    Which is better? I sure enjoyed the playoff baseball and winning record myself. The jury is still out on Vic although he should make it.

  296. Maz in Iowa says:

    I keep checking mlbtraderumors for news about Snider. *sigh* As my Russian ancestors would say “Nyet”

  297. Dali and the kids.

    You mean from today?

  298. Isn’t it amazing that a guy who got 2 doubles and a triple and drove in one of the two runs his team scored was actually a detriment to his team, a conduit of his team’s loss?!

    A Loss! His wild throw and Infield Fly Flub gave up 2 runs, too much to overcome. And 2nd Base might be his best position!

  299. 21sthebest says:

    TC, I feel like they were definitely waiting until they were Super 2 comfortable even if they thought he was baseball ready.

  300. Jim S. says:

    I’ve been supportive of not bringing Una Paloma Gregory Polanco up until the date had safely passed. Everyone seems to be sure the date has now safely passed. For the love of Derek Bell, please don’t force us to watch another game that features Mr. Snider in RF or at the dish, NH! The 12 year olds I coach know OF have to take charge and call off backpedaling IF on shallow flyballs. How does Snider not yet know this, especially in a sac fly situation?

    It’s time. It really is time.

  301. Robert says:

    Just last season, they traded Dilson Herrera (top 10 in the organization) and Vic Black (top 15 in the organization) for Marlon Byrd and John Buck, both spent only 2.5 months with the Pirates, in order to “win for THIS YEAR”.

    So, your point is invalid now.

  302. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s a really odd argument to make, Nate.

    What the heck does it mean?

  303. Jim S. says:

    There’s no trade market for him, Maz. But, even if we didn’t have Polanco, I think Dickerson and Decker are better than Lunchie.

  304. Nate83 says:

    How is it not comparable. Price is a Cy Young and Shields is not. They got a top 5 prospect in all of baseball and ROY last year for him. Odorizzi is not a bad prospect. That sets the market and the fact that Shields has been very good for KC may even make them more reluctant to make a trade which would raise the price. Jones and Holmes are nice player but neither is on any top 100 or even 150 top prospect list. A trade for Price more then likely includes Glasnow, Kingham or Hanson and probably two of them unless they want 2 or 3 players like Jones or Holmes.

    Myers and Odorizzi = Polanco and Holmes and Price is perceived as a better pitcher. Shields is a very solid number 2. Price is an ace when he is going right.

  305. Robert says:

    Again, it’s about value. You either resign Byrd for 2 years or you hold RF down until Polanco is ready. I think they made the right choice on all fronts. Can’t forget they also traded 2B Dilson Herrera, number 9 prospect in the organization at the time, for Byrd and Buck.

  306. Nate83 says:

    The Pirates also gave up Dilson Herrera in that trade. I haven’t kept up with how he is doing but he was a good prospect.

  307. Jim S. says:

    “infield fly flub”

    I’d say the pop fly was clearly Snider’s screw-up, Groat. If either guy can catch the ball, and there are base runners, the OF has to catch it because he is coming toward the bases while the IF is going backwards away from the bases. I don’t really blame Harrison for making the catch, since Snider was acting like uninvolved 3rd party. But, Harrison’s weak throw was evidence of why he is not an everyday starter.

    The bad throw on the DP by Harrison was all on him. He was being taken out on the play, as I recall. But, once again, his arm was not strong enough to get the throw where it needed to be.

  308. Robert says:

    So, you’re not happy unless they “overpay”? Let’s just give up Polanco, Taillon, Holmes, and Hanson for Bud Norris. Would that satisfy you? lol

  309. Nate83 says:

    I agree that was a good trade for both teams. Bryd was very valuable and the Mets got some good pieces. Byrd is gone but the memories of the Pirates in the playoffs and my son jumping around the room everytime the Pirates hit a home run in the wild card game will last forever.

  310. Thundercrack says:

    Yes 21, Super Two was definitely the overriding factor

  311. Nate83 says:

    Sadly you are correct. Even a strong supporter of Snider like myself came to the realization a while back that he has very little value.

  312. Maz in Iowa says:

    How about a few fungo bats and a bucket of bp balls. :) Geez look what they got for Morris

  313. NMR says:

    I’m not as bearish on Jhay in the outfield, I’ll be honest. The frequency at which the plays occur that he’s limited in making isn’t high, and he shouldn’t be out there for long.

    His best position is 3B, IMO. It’s obvious that his instincts and lack of aggressiveness make him a liability up the middle, and those plays happen in fr greater numbers. Isn’t as exposed at the hot corner, and plus arms are more for show than substance.

  314. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t have it at my fingertips, but I KNOW there is evidence that Oliver Perez increased home attendance when he was pitching. At least by 4.

    (Not taking a position up, down or sideways on Price)

  315. Dickerson yes. Dacker no, at least from my first hand observations.

    But you are correct that Bucs will have to throw in some used bats and balls to get someone to take Snider.

    Or Oakland will take him and he’ll hit 30 homeruns!

  316. Gary Morrison says:

    Yes, get another pitcher and win it all!

  317. Your nose is growing. Can’t find it.

  318. Jim S. says:

    I think, defensively, JHay might be more of a liability in LF at PNC than he is at 2b at PNC.

    I know Marte is all kinds of screwed up batting right now. He’s a mess. And, I also realize he has made some of the most boneheaded miscues you will ever see in the past 10 days. But, Marte is so friggin’ fast that I think he catches balls in LF with ease that look like hard plays when other guys are chasing them. And, his arm is very good. And, he takes an extra base on hits so easily that it looks like everyone would have gotten that extra base – and I don’t think that is actually the case.

    If I were the Bucs, I would think long and hard about giving Marte anything more than a couple of days rest. I trust their judgment if they think his hitting is so screwed up that he needs time on the CL. But, if Polanco is coming up to play RF exclusively, who plays LF while Marte is demoted? I trust JHay in RF more than LF at PNC. I trust Tabby more than JHay in LF, but there is a huge dropoff defensively from Marte to either of them in LF.

  319. NMR says:

    Jose Fernandez.

  320. 21sthebest says:

    Add 3 more. I remember getting tickets for a Saturday night in August 2004.

  321. 21sthebest says:


  322. Nate83 says:

    21 I don’t know. Maybe they are still worried about Super 2. Maybe they honestly don’t think he is ready which at this point is hard to believe. Sure he is learning everyday but I think he has shown without a doubt he can contribute at the major league level while continuing to learn.

    I’m with you on the chemsitry thing and was one of the most vocal about that not being the reason for the 2012 collapse. However I do believe for 1 game and maybe even a series a prospect like Polanco coming up can definately energize a team and sharpen their focus. It would be impossible to prove.

  323. david s says:

    prospects for marlon byrd last summer?
    prospects for justin morneau last summer?

    maybe i’m wrong, but when you trade prospects for rentals, your goal isn’t winning five years down the road but rather something more at hand.

    (oh and don’t forget the prospects for ike davis deal. yeah davis will be around for a couple of years, but likely gone five years from now.)

  324. Nate83 says:

    I bet Darvish, Kershaw and Tanaka get bigger crowds right now. I would think C.C. Sabathia when he went to the Brewers sold out weekday games for the Brewers.

  325. I promise you it is/was there. I opened it only because I thought it might be another Travis Sawchek numbers game.

    There was Dejan, presenting his Price case.

    By the way, has anyone figured out how to turn that crap above off? How many times must I listen to it? It loses its cachet!

  326. Pete in Dayton says:

    Looking back at my post, I should have made clear that Eberle was not the “power” forward that the Pens need, but playing on Crosby or Malkins wing, he would score a lot more than he does in Edmonton. I like him a lot, would love to see him in a Pens uniform.

    Neal could fetch the same as Staal, but I would trade him to free up cap room, and it’s not as if you are trading from a position of strength. The pens got a lot more than thy should have for Staal considering the handicap they had ( him wanting to go to Carolina). Unless a team thinks that Neal is the missing piece and is willing to mortgage their future for him, it’s hard to see value.

  327. Jim S. says:

    Those now very frequent ABs where the pitcher throws him something soft away, and he is obviously sitting dead red … so his weight is 90% on his front side, yet he insists on pulling the ball, anyway … I’m not sure even Oakland can fix that. Maybe they can, though. Maybe he just needs a different voice talking to him. But, he doesn’t look like a major league hitter to me. Way too much soft contact to be successful with no speed.

    At that level, I think a lot of it is mental. Maybe smarter hitters just do a better job of predicting what pitch will be thrown and where, so they guess right more often. Maybe someone smart just needs to impart some wisdom. Man, hitting is hard.

  328. Jim S. says:

    That’s a good thought, NMR.

  329. Nate83 says:

    Oh lord wouldn’t that be horrible. Moss was literally a week away from deciding to go play in Japan before the A’s called him back up. I’m happy for Moss. He seemed like a good guy.

  330. Bizrow says:

    Wow, this place is cranked up today. Draft nerves?

  331. Maz in Iowa says:

    Good post Groat and I really like the Oakland thing

  332. Nate83 says:

    Sorry AW I can’t tell if that question is serious. Just in case it is.

    Looking at Polanco I think most would agree he is ready so if Super 2 was the only speedbump holding up his promotion then he should be up now because that seems to have past.

  333. I can back you up on that, Phil. Mine is blocked, too. Didn’t want to say because people will get mad that we don’t have to put up with it.

    There are some advantages to working for the government.

  334. Arriba Wilver says:

    So, are you suggesting that if they don’t bring him up this week the real reason he wasn’t brought up earlier was he wasn’t ready rather than Super 2?

    (Sorry, I’ve been agreeing with you so much lately I was starting to get hives).

  335. Justin says:

    James Shields and David Price are 2 of my favorite non Pirate pitchers. Sign me up for either. Upside is needed for the 2015 (and to a lesser extent) the 2014 rotation. 2015 has Cole, Morton, then a bunch of #4 types. Upside needed. Like DK notes, the money is there because of what they offered to Burnett. They should not be hoarding prospects anymore. That doesnt mean to get rid of them Willy Nilly though.

    I love Samardzija too, but the thought of helping their rebuild is nauseating. Not that it really makes a difference whether they get Josh Bell, Barrett Barnes, and Tyler Glasnow from us or… you know…. Kevin Gausman and Hunter Harvey from the Orioles. No real difference, but i would just feel better seeing Cutch K vs Gausman than against Glasnow in a few years.

  336. The Gunner says:

    The Bucs need an arm real bad if they intend to compete for the Central Division title. Get it done, now BMTIB. And while you’re at it, get Polanco up here immediately & DFA Goofball Snider.

  337. Justin says:

    Throw in Cliff Lee as well. There is a myriad of ace or near-ace pitchers who should be somewhat available. make it happen!

    Buuutttt honestly, i’ll be satisfied if they get someone like Brandon McCarthy or Jason Hammel.

    McCarthy has some outstanding peripherals and a nice velocity increase this year. Hammel just solid.

    Moral of the story… there is enough of a market out there for their rotation to be improved one way or another.

  338. Nate83 says:

    They should be familiar with McCarthy they looked at him a few years back. How many guys do you think are available right now? The second wild card and few teams pulling away from .500 ball isn’t exactly quickly eliminating teams from contention. Add that to teams like the Philly’s and Texas being too stubburn to admit they are not playoff teams there just isn’t many trade partners at this time. Maybe in August but that would probably be too late.

  339. Poole says:

    Thanks for clearing that up. I agree Eberle would be a great piece but I’d rather have Kane or Oshie simply because we need some grit. Again, may take more than Neal to get them so I think best case would be that Jordan Staal/Rick Nash type deal. u wouldn’t really be trading Neal to free cap space but rather redistribute it among a few players.

    I think A1C is right in regards to the return. Neal’s value is much greater than Staal’s even though that trade was highway robbery considering the circumstances. I think Tampa Bay makes for a good trade partner. They’re stocked with young forwards/young forward prospects and could use a pure sniper. Something like Neal and a 2nd for Brett Connolly, Ted Purcell, Adam Erne and a pick. You get a lesser top 6 forward in Purcell, a potential top 6 star in Connolly, a gritty young guy with upside in Erne and a pick.

  340. Poole says:

    I’ve heard this theory. One of many. I really think hes a legitimate candidate. I dont agree with it…t doesn’t make any sense.. that’s for sure. But when the man leading the charge is David Morehouse, Pierre’s talking/bragging/hockey knowledge skills probably sound great to Morehouse in an interview.

  341. Justin says:

    Just glancing at some playoff odds…. there are 13 teams with playoff odds of less than 15% on Baseball Prospectus (for reference, they have the Pirates at 17%, so i’m not even sure if we can say theyll be buyers).

    but there should be some sellers by July.

    This page is a very useful reference.

    Teams like the Cubs and Rays would be smart to sell Samardzija and Price now to avoid the possibility of waiting too long and having them get injured for the rest of the year. The Royals can sort of afford to be a little more stubborn with Shields. He’s so durable and they do still have a prayer at the postseason if their talent wakes up.

  342. Sarah says:

    I think a lot of the PM publicity is generated by PM himself.
    With a lot of help for his gigantic ego.

    Looks like Rutherford is the next It Girl.

  343. NMR says:

    James Shields is not going anywhere unless Dayton Moore is fired, Justin. Just isn’t gona happen.

    You don’t trade your all-in, job-saving attempt at playoff contentionafter eight years of failure.

  344. Sarah says:

    I would add that PM WAS in hockey Ops and in Hartford flamed out in significant fashion and was raked over the coals by his own players.
    And since then nobody has gone near him.
    Not for 20 years.

    That may not resonate with you, but it does with me.

    To each his own.

    I thought the Pens were waiting for McIver from Chicago, but today the new precious is JimRutherford,

    So make of this mess what you will.

    If they were NOT waiting for some specific resource like McIver…..for THIS long….then it just seems like a cluster to me now.

  345. Sarah says:

    I’d take anything from Rossi with a Volkswagin-sized grain of salt.

  346. Wilbur says:

    “I’ll make you a deal, Wilbur: You and all of those people stay the hell out of here, and I’ll spare everyone a list of the lies you and others were telling about me a couple years ago.

    I have utterly no idea what you’re talking about. You either have me (very much) confused with someone else, or you’ve concocted a fantasy of persecution to deflect that you’re enraged some anonymous guy had the temerity to disagree with something you wrote.

    Either way, I am really surprised someone of your prominence has such thin skin.

  347. Sarah says:

    IMO the longer it goes on and becomes clear that they’re not waiting for Maciver or trying to swing some deal, the more they look like the Keystone Kops.

    Did they not think they might have to be looking for a GM/HC after this season? Really? T

    ….and the longer they let Bylsma swing in the wind, the more it looks like a) they’re punishing him, or b) they might actually keep him.

    And either of those possibilities makes them look even more like the Keystone Kops.

    IMO they’ve handled this horribly.


  348. JohninOshkosh says:

    Will there be a thread for MLB draft tonight ?

  349. Poole says:

    The process has been bad. Really bad.

    If they hire someone decent by early next week, I can forget all this crap. Otherwise, I’ll just be, uh, mad and keep complaining about it. Macgruber is still my favorite choice.

  350. Maz in Iowa says:

    Hope so.I was going to keep tabs on Pirates Prospects.They were going to give info on Pirate picks as they are drafted

  351. Maz in Iowa says:

    Just read an article about Polanco that said that GP and his peeps gave a counter offer to the Bucs offer earlier this year.It doesn’t say how much the counter was.Hmmm

  352. Maz in Iowa says:

    In my mind the Pirates need to promote him (hopefully)on this homestand.To do it on the road is a bit of a slap in the face to patient Pirate fans who are part of the unhappiest fan base in the world.Just a stirring of the pot…..oops JMO!Sorry it’s a lil dead here in the asylum

  353. Jim S. says:

    I know sometimes you have to be aggressive with deadline trades to try to put a team over the top in a given year. I had no problem with the Bucs doing that last year. But, I don’t see it this year.

    All I can say at this point is I’m glad we didn’t the trade the following previous prospects (McCutchen, Alvarez, Walker, Marte, Cole, Pimentel, Watson, Wilson, Sadler, Cumpton). And, I’m glad we have thus far resisted whatever temptation there is to trade Taillon and Polanco, plus a whole bunch of other minor leaguers (Glasnow, Kingham, Hansen, Bell, Ramirez, etc.) who will form the core of our team in the years ahead.

    I respect everyone’s opinion on this subject, but making a habit of trading away your best prospects is a very dangerous path to take IMO. The Yankees have taken that path, and they are barely a .500 team – even after signing a stud starting pitcher, stud catcher, stud CF, really good RF, etc. this off-season.

    When I hear that not trading prospects means you are not serious about contending, I wonder where we’d be if we had traded a chunk of the guys I mentioned. Would we have a WS to show for it?

    I respect everyone’s opinion on this topic. There is no definitive right and wrong. Each situation is different.

  354. Maz in Iowa says:

    New thread is up

  355. Cmat0829 says:

    Sweep the creeps!!!!!

  356. Cmat0829 says:

    Chiming in:

    YES to trading for a legit starting pitcher. Too early to call whom us available but yes yes yes yes

    Don’t look now but the Colorado Rockies may become sellers even sooner than I thought. Not sure if they have any pitchers worth grabbing though.

  357. chris says:

    you are truly an idiot for making that statement. you give up something like marte and tailon for stanton last year or a kingham and jacoby jones for a price this year

  358. Cmat0829 says:

    I guess I don’t see waiting 2 years as near future. But ok.

  359. Cmat0829 says:

    I meant pirates examples.

  360. dennis g. says:

    Was his name Jaun or Juan? The Bucs also had a minor league oitcher in their system in 2000 named Juan D. Rodriguez.

  361. John Lease says:

    I know, but it’s fun to dream.

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