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Morning Java: Catcher chaos

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column is about a young, five-tool Dominican outfielder who has a very bright future with the Pirates.

No, not Gregory Polanco, though here’s a bit from Neal Huntington on that topic:

The Brewers took the rubber game, and the result was wacky enough to send the Pirates to the rubber room. Rob Biertempfel has the game story.

Another negative to the rotation saga: Gerrit Cole to the DL, by Travis Sawchik.

One positive: A fine return for Jeff Locke:

Josh Harrison could help Polanco and many others, by Sawchik.

Charlie Morton, tonight’s pitcher, is plunking at an historic rate, by David Golebiewski.

A Rule 5 pick faring well in Altoona, by Bob Cohn.

Blogginess from the scene: After the game, the Brewers’ Jonathan Lucroy said publicly that the controversial called third strike on Russell Martin was, in fact, not a strike. Yeah, here’s betting every ump in baseball won’t take notice of Ed Hickox being shown up like that. Deserved or not — and I’m sure there are some fans who will love it — that’s considered terrible form within the sport. … Martin didn’t exactly do himself any favors with the hystrionics after the call, throwing his bat and helmet like a six-year-old who’s had his Tonka trucks confiscated. … Yes, it’s a third strike. Yes, again, fans love these kinds of displays. But they aren’t productive. … Loved Locke’s outing. Everything about it, but especially that he faced 15 batters on three or fewer pitches. “I just wanted to go right at people,” he told me as part of our long talk after the game. “That’s what got me here, and that’s what will keep me here.” Only a W could have brought a more uplifting outcome for the Pirates on this day. … Everyone in baseball needs to take a deep breath and figure what in the blue hell is going on with blocking the plate. … Tony Watson pitched a 19th consecutive scoreless appearance. That’s outstanding, no matter the inning involved. … For years, I’ve been complaining how lax PNC Park is about kicking out fans who interfere with balls in play. I’d always imagined nothing would be done until it cost the Pirates a game. I’m not sure it cost this game — Lucroy would have had second either way — but let’s hope it at least brings the right result. … How about 35,002 on a Sunday? Again, those have been the biggest upticks in attendance. That used to be a slam-dunk 24,000, most of it children in groups.

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

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

Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

Here are official game highlights on

>> The three-man team that will work under and learn from Jim Rutherford, the Penguins’ new GM — Bill Guerin, Tom Fitzgerald and Jason Botterill — is detailed in this piece by beat man Rob Rossi.

An obit on super-fan Cy Clark, by Bill Vidonic. Mr. Clark will be missed. A good man, a longtime acquaintance and a vital part of the experience of supporting the Penguins.

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

Here are official Stanley Cup final highlights on
>> The Steelers say yes to a no-huddle sequel, by Mark Kaboly.

Some good stuff on all-over-creation defensive lineman Cam Thomas, too, by Kaboly.

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

>> Big trouble on the Bluff: Two Duquesne players arrested, by Carl Prine. And where it happened won’t surprise you at all, if you know about the university’s shameless bids to shove students onto the South Side rather than upgrading the campus.

>> Check out WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word page for highlights of last night’s episode in which I joined Robinson, Rossi and Bill Phillips for discussion on the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m. Much, much earlier, I’ll be part of WDVE-FM’s Morning Show at 7:15 a.m.

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. Maz in Iowa says:

    Firsties. My sister is a Cubs fan. Going over there to watch the next few games. Good thing we get along pretty well. :)

  2. bpn8pitt says:

    Marte is just gonna have to hit his way out of this. A ticket to Triple-A probably does more harm than good. Agreed that taking more pitches, and maybe trying to bunt his way on, may be the way to go.

    Starting to think maybe the way Martin constantly debates the strike zone with umpires, is detrimental. Seen a lot of inconsistent strike zones this year from a variety of blue. And like you said, the temper tantrum doesn’t help.

    There were horrible calls today. But some bad baserunning, too.

  3. bpn8pitt says:

    Hockey comment:

    I’d like to see Ulf get the job.

  4. dcpinpgh says:

    Marte’s Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP) was so high last year, that his average was more luck more then skill. Another skill he had last year, was getting hit, which helped his OPS. He’s around a 2 WAR player, which makes his contract “good”, but he’s not as “good” as we all want him to be. Expecting him to be “good”, is not fair to him

  5. DJ says:

    “In the broader scope, Marte’s 0 for 23 has come with a superlative rate of 4.42 pitches per plate appearance, meaning he finally is laying off a few.”

    He’s laying off a few, yes, but the wrong ones. Good number have been center cut with the bat on his shoulder.

    If recollection serves, his first two pinch hit opportunities after being benched were a total of six pitches. Two of the worst at bats seen since . . . well, since the last time Snider was at the plate.

    If he doesn’t find a balance soon with a modicum of plate discipline, I say swing like hell. Can’t do worse at the moment.

  6. 21sthebest says:

    “if you know about the university’s shameless bids to shove students onto the South Side rather than upgrading the campus.”

    Not following this DK.

  7. JoeyBats says:

    BUCCOS — Down on the Farm
    (We’ll keep you apprised of how some of the top prospects are doing; …..this week the PITCHERS. Games played through June 8).
    P- Vance Worley – Triple A – Indianapolis – Throws: R
    W- 3, L – 2, ERA 4.30…..G 7, IP 46, H 47, ER 22, K 43, BB 4, HR 3, BAA .264, WHIP 1.11
    P – AJ Morris – Triple A – Indianapolis – Throws: R…… (1 game pitched @ Indy, the rest @ Altoona)
    W- 5, L – 2, …. ERA 1.77…..G 14, IP 61, H 47, ER 12, K 43, BB 20, HR 3, BAA .214, WHIP 1.05

    P – Nick Kingham – Double A – Altoona – Throws: R
    W- 1, L – 7, ERA 3.04…..G 12, IP 71, H 71, ER 24, K 54, BB 25, HR 3, BAA .259, WHIP 1.35
    P – Joely Rodriguez – Double A –Altoona – Throws : L
    W- 3, L – 4, ERA 4.08…..G 11, IP 57, H 61, ER 26, K 31, BB 18, HR 3, BAA .274, WHIP 1.38
    P – Tyler Glasnow – Single A – Bradenton – Throws R
    W- 2, L – 3, ERA 2.15…..G 8, IP 37.2, H 21, ER 9, K 41, BB 26, HR 0, BAA .167, WHIP 1.25
    P – Luis Heredia – Single A – West Virginia – Throws : R
    W- 0, L – 1, ERA 9.00…..G 3, IP 9, H 11, ER 9, K 7, BB 5, HR 2, BAA .297, WHIP 1.78
    P – Mitch Keller – Throws: R …..Rd. #2….pick # 64…….Unsigned
    P- Trey Supak – Throws: R ……Rd. #2 …..pick # 73 …..Unsigned
    P – Tyler Eppler – Throws:R…Rd. # 6…pick# 191…..Unsigned

  8. Thundercrack says:

    I said this last night too, I think a two week stint in Indy might be good for Marte.
    Explain to him that it isn’t a punishment. It is for him to relax, get his mind clear, just play, and get his swing & approach at the plate right.

    Right now, he looks awful in the batters’ box

  9. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t know about the campus but I do know there are shuttle buses that carry kids just to the South Side.

  10. Thundercrack says:

    “Go back and look at all the inside pitches that were definitely off the plate, how many of those they got,” Roenicke said. “It’s a lot. It’s way more pitches than we got.”

    Another Brewer not to like

  11. JAL says:

    JAL’s Year of the Cat Morning Links

    Year of the Cat Al Stewart


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects

    2014 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Where the Pirates Could See Improvements in the 2014 Draft

    6 Bucs Dugout

    External factors conspire to defeat Pirates, 1-0



    8 Green Weenie

    Breaks Go Brewers Way In 1-0 Loss

    9 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Hurt By Bad Calls, Bad Luck In Series Finale With Brewers

    10 Rant Sports

    No Need for Pittsburgh Pirates Fans to Worry About Gerrit Cole’s Shoulder Fatigue

  12. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Beaver County Times

    Locke shines in Pirates’ loss

    12 CBS Sports

    Cubs vs Pirates Game Preview

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Challenge system is a challenge for Cubs

    14 SB Nation

    Manny Machado ejected after throwing bat toward 3rd base

    15 Pirates Site

    Locke drops duel despite outstanding outing

    Shoulder fatigue lands Bucs’ Cole on DL

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Fay: Will return of Votto, Latos be enough for Reds?

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Yovani Gallardo gets the job done for Brewers

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards starting to put pieces together

    19 Fangraphs

    The Allure of the Unknown

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week in Quotes

  13. Wild Bill says:

    Most Pirate losses bother me for a half hour or so, and then I move on. But yesterday brought a foul mood that lasted for hours. Other than Lucroy, the Brewers are a very hard team to stomach. Locke deserved so much better than what happened.

    Ok, maybe Martin should not go off like he did yesterday, and maybe Locke did get some calls. But the quality of the umpiring we’ve seen this year reeks, and it’s hard to blame players who are busting their butts on the field for losing it. Yesterday Walker WAS safe, despite the lack of reversal. The tag wasn’t down. Marte’s steal should never have had to have been reviewed. And that’s beside the terrible third strike call on Martin.

    Somebody’s got to hold these guys accountable.

  14. Wild Bill says:

    “You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre, contemplating a crime…” Al Stewart could have been at yesterday’s Bucs game, Joe.

  15. Jandy says:

    Have fun Maz :)

  16. Jandy says:

    Good luck with that! (holding them accountable)

  17. 21sthebest says:

    Yup. Several other area colleges do the same. It’s a better option than letting the students drive it on their own with the potential of bringing them back earlier than they might otherwise.

  18. 21sthebest says:

    Apparently the umps get fined but it’s not publicized.

  19. chethejet1 says:

    Marte was always a free swinger and that thought he will become a disciplined hitter rarely happens. But he will fail if he doesn’t adjust to what they are pitching to him. It may be me but the pitch recognition has always been either a talent issue or simply uninspired at bats. The majority of great hitters were never bad ball hitters. Clemente may have been an exception, but he knew what he could hit. Perhaps experience and reps will benefit Marte, but If I was managing and he came back to the dugout after swinging at three balls in the dirt, he would be informed that was unacceptable. That is not a slump, that is indifference to opportunity.

  20. Jandy says:

    Really? I didn’t know that.

  21. Karen22 says:

    On Marte: Not if he takes the strikes and swings at the balls, which is what he’s done all season. And bunting his way on would be nice…if he could bunt! He’s so frustrating to watch – all of that talent, fizzling away right now. He needs to get his head straight. Flailing away either in the lineup or sitting on the bench does him AND the Pirates no good up here.

  22. Wild Bill says:

    Well said.

  23. Jandy says:

    which one?

  24. Jandy says:

    Yes, one hates to send him to Indy, but maybe he could just work his way out of this funk and not be hurting the team. I am really pulling for him to come out of it soon.

  25. NMR says:

    Enjoyable read, Dejan, even if the topic was not so much.

    I must have missed your instant analysis column on whether or not the Pirates “won” or “lost” the draft along with letter grades and big league players these 17 year old kids will end up being. Wednesday, probably.

  26. Jandy says:

    You don’t think it could be that he’s trying TOO hard?
    I’m sorry, just can’t see Marte being “indifferent”.

  27. NMR says:

    For the first 100-some years they’ve played baseball, Gaby Sanchez ties the game yesterday with a line drive up the middle. Silly shifts, just a fad.

  28. likeabugonarug says:

    Awesome song, JAL. Love the sax solos.


  29. The Gunner says:

    Marte really needs to go to Indy sooner rather than later. In your post, you reference Roberto Clemente, whose 1st year with the Bucs was 1955. The Great One did not have a breakout season until 1960, 5 years after his debut! This very well may be the case with Marte and we all need to be patient with him, it’s that simple.

    The BMTIB is probably waiting until he Super 2 date has passed & once it does, Marte will go down and Polanco will be called up.

  30. NMR says:

    The Legend of Vance Worley continues his push to make bpn’s head explode… ;)

  31. NMR says:

    What it looks like to misunderstand “streaky”:

    Pedro Alvarez, since being dropped to 6th on June 23: .304/.361/.518
    Ike Davis, since moving up to 4th on June 23:: .182/.315/.250

  32. Nate83 says:

    He’s good depth and at the rate the Pirates are going they will need it. It’s nice to see Kingham getting his BB down again and looking more like the pitcher he was last year. Heredia just makes me sad. Anybody know much about AJ Morris???

  33. Arriba Wilver says:


  34. Nate83 says:

    Our number 4 hitter is like the 13th floor in a hotel we should just skip it. Just have a number 3 and then a 3A and then skip right to 5.

  35. NMR says:


  36. Bridger says:

    Machado’s a Jag

  37. Karen22 says:

    We need to know about when this happens!

  38. Botherhood of the Redus says:




  39. Karen22 says:


    Probably. It appears to be all in his head…he’s never experienced this kind of adversity before. I believe it’s just snowballing every at bat. But in the meanwhile, he’s hurting the club when he’s in the lineup, and can’t fix things when he’s on the bench. Sending him down for a bit when Polonco comes up sure seems like a solution to me.

  40. pattonbb says:

    He needs to be suspended. And when he comes back, every pitcher he faces should start him off “high and tight”.

  41. Poole says:

    Babcock rumors still going around… Is it in any way possible to poach him out of Detroit? Through a promotion… Could he become head coach/assistant GM? We already have 3 assistant GMs…what’s one more?

  42. NMR says:

    Everyone pointed at Cutch being pitched to differently when he whined for a moment, but it’s Marte that is actually seeing the biggest change. Pitchers are throwing him 5% less pitches inside the strike zone this year, compared to 0.3% less for Cutch.

    The league is adjusting. Marte needs to adjust back.

  43. Poole says:

    Oh man, the Final Word is not available on WPXI’s site or the Trib site..

  44. NMR says:

    “It seems to me, shifting is obvious. It seems to me, shifting should’ve gotten popular ages ago. It seems to me, the numbers don’t indicate what I’d expect. I can’t explain it, I don’t think, but I can sure point to it. I don’t know why these are the numbers, but I know damn well the numbers are interesting.”

  45. Karen22 says:

    We all are. I feel bad for the young stallion (that includes California Chrome)!

  46. Arriba Wilver says:


  47. Karen22 says:

    Is that just because anyone named “Morris” on the Pirates automatically “stinks?!” ;)

  48. NMR says:

    See, when you try to use an article to support your point, it helps to find one in which the author doesn’t admit to using incomplete analysis and fails to come up with a conclusion.

  49. NMR says:

    Ha, strike one against.

  50. NMR says:

    Always liked Warren Morris, fwiw.

  51. Arriba Wilver says:


  52. Maz in Iowa says:

    A new way to describe unhappiness.”I went all Machado after missing an 8 foot putt on the golf course”

  53. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not following your point.

  54. NMR says:

    Flawed lineup having your four highest walk rates on the team in front of Jordy Mercer. Neil Walker needs to bat cleanup with Ike Davis in the 2-hole and Tabby/Marte in front of Mercer. In my opinion, of course.

  55. NMR says:

    Ha, that much is obvious.

  56. NMR says:

    Ha, POTD.

  57. Thundercrack says:

    5% still doesn’t seem like a lot – or that big of difference.

  58. Jim S. says:

    I did not see the game. Only listened to Brown and Blass on the radio. But, Greg Brown was adamant that Lucroy stood and watched his ball land before running, and would have never gotten to 2nd base if the ump had not given him the extra base on fan interference – which would make it a bad call that cost the Bucs a run. DK’s account, above, says Lucroy makes it either way. I’m confused.

  59. Arriba Wilver says:

    Switch to decaf.

  60. Jim S. says:

    I lost a lot of respect for the guy with some of his comments after the game with the brawl. He just said some things that were flat out untrue. But, I’ll bet he was never angling for my respect, anyway.

  61. Nate83 says:

    It’s a name I wasn’t very familiar with before this year so I assumed he wasn’t much of anything but now that I know he stinks I will act like I never heard his name.

  62. Thundercrack says:

    Somebody posted yesterday that Marte had a good ways to run to get the ball…and that he wasn’t really busting it.

    I was there and didn’t really pick up on that.
    I don’t think Lucroy is fast enough to really want to try and make it to second. He would be testing Marte’s arm – – and did he really want to take the chance of making the first out at second, late in a tie game?

  63. NMR says:

    What Greg failed to mention, unsurprisingly, is that Starling Marte also did not hustle. He wasn’t anywhere near the ball when it was touched. Never had a chance at throwing out Lucroy.

  64. NMR says:

    It is.

  65. Jim S. says:

    ++, Nate.

  66. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think DK meant later in the inning he would have gotten to second anyway, not on that play. Lucroy definitely stopped part way. Marte also seemed to hesitate some, as was explained in the game story. It was a strange sequence of events.

  67. Nate83 says:

    I thought Marte approached it cautiously because he really didn’t know how the ball would come off the fence. It’s hard to run hard towards something you don’t know where it eventually will be. You don’t want to sprint to a spot and have it take an awkward bounce.

  68. Jim S. says:

    * Jeff Locke got through 7 innings on 75 pitches. He gave up one unfortunate run on a softly hit ball to the infield. This was a radical departure for Pirates’ starters, who generally require at least 75 pitches to get through 4 innings.

    * The Bucs missed several opportunities to score a run yesterday, including one play at the plate where the call didn’t go their way and at least one other time when a ball was hit right on the button but directly at a Brewers player or a great play was made by a Brewer player.

    Things are just working out for Milwaukee this year, and they aren’t working out for the Bucs so much. Last Tuesday evening, we had improved our record on the roadtrip to 6-3, with one game remaining vs a team that seemed to be imploding. If we could just win that game, we’d be coming home within a game of .500 and a chance to gain ground on the Brewers.

    Of course, we managed to lose on Wednesday, and once again in amazing fashion as San Diego got one bunt hit and only managed to get the ball out of the infield one time all game long.

    But, this series once again started in promising fashion, with a 15-5 thumping of the Brewers. I recall the last time the Brewers came to town we also thumped them in Game 1. In both of those series’, the Bucs managed to fall apart the remainder of the weekend.

    I guess that’s why you can summarize baseball up in 1 word: “Youneverknow.”

  69. Jandy says:

    why not?


  70. Jandy says:

    I agree, as long as it’s put to him that it’s only temporary to give him a chance to breathe and get his mojo back.

  71. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think they should publicize fines or show replays on the scoreboard during the game.

  72. Milo Hamilton says:

    Of the Pirates next 26 games only 3 of them are against a team with a winning record (Miami). The Cubs, Marlins, Reds, Rays, Mets, D’Backs & Phils have a combined winning % of .439. The time for excuses is over. It might also be a good time to have their 25 best healthy players on the roster.

  73. Jandy says:


  74. NMR says:

    I should say, I do know what you mean. It doesn’t seeeem like much. But baseball at the highest level has razor thin margins.

  75. Jandy says:


  76. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s what Marte said. Being at the game it looked to me that Lucroy AND Marte thought it was going to be foul. THEN it hit fair and the fan interfered.

  77. NMR says:

    Any particular reason?

  78. Jandy says:

    Oh don’t even remind me of Chrome losing :(

  79. Thundercrack says:

    I just looked at the replay.

    Marte was hustling when the ball was off the bat.
    Then slowed up when the ball hit the ground. Probably to see where it was going to bounce to.

    I do not think it was a lack of hustle on Marte’s part.

  80. Jim S. says:

    Thanks for the clarification, guys. Sounds like maybe a 50/50 call for the umps.

  81. Arriba Wilver says:

    He absolutely did have a chance since Lucroy had totally stopped on the base paths halfway to first. What we don’t know is which way the ball would have caromed.

  82. NMR says:

    I disagree.

    99% of similar balls hit are easy doubles, and the left fielder plays them as such.

  83. NMR says:

    The only thing worse than batting a player such as Pedro Alvarez in the 4-hole is moving them off the position before the inevitable “hot streak”.

  84. Arriba Wilver says:

    It was interesting during the Marte steal replay most of the Brewers players on the field were turned watching the different angles on the scoreboard.

    And, on the Walker at the plate replay, it was pretty clear that there was no convincing evidence that he was safe. Looked like he probably was, but nothing definitive.

  85. John Lease says:

    I don’t see why an obvious blown call like that ‘shows up’ an umpire.

    If anything, that ump should be embarrassed.

  86. NMR says:

    If you can watch this replay between 0:05 – 0:10 and tell me Marte ever even hit half speed then we have major differences in what we believe to be Starling Marte’s defensive skill set.

  87. Wild Bill says:

    8 foot! I’d go crazy if I could make one of those!

  88. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    I love Russ Martin.

    Yes, he lost it yesterday and in a tight game with an inning to go he could have stated his case without getting tossed. I would have rather seen him get tossed as a result of knocking out Gomez with one punch. His emotions got the best of him. It happens.

    If we had 8 Russell Martin types, the Bucs would be a championship caliber team.

  89. NMR says:

    Reasonable people can certainly disagree on the meaning of “clearly” and “definitive”, but…

    There was an angle that clearly showed Lucroy’s first contact being Neil Walker’s left knee. Lucroy did not successfully block the plate, as Walker’s right foot continued over the plate, and Lucroy was set up directly over the plate, not out in front.

    I have a hard time explaining how those three events can simultaneously occur resulting in an out call.

  90. Jim S. says:

    Furthering the shift discussion, from above …

    I’ve also read the inconclusive evidence on the effectiveness of infield shifts, and that grounders are not being caught at a greater rate, overall, today than in years past.

    * Maybe some teams are really good at predicting where balls are hit, and others are really awful at it, which leaves an overall negligible effect. I haven’t seen team-by-team, multiple years data.

    * Do teams understand how to mesh pitch location with where they place their fielders? It seems to me the two strategies need to go hand-in-hand. But, maybe that isn’t the case. Maybe the guys who hit the ball very often to a small portion of the field tend to do that no matter where they are pitched.

    * If I’m managing, there are a lot of times where I’m ok with a slugger on the opposing team hitting a ground ball to beat my shift. If there is at least 1 out and no one on base, I’d probably prefer Pedro Alvarez trying to hit a groundball for a hit the other way. At least, he isn’t taking me deep. But, if guys like him begin to show they can actually beat the shift at a high rate, I might not employ shifts with RISP.

    * It would seem to me that OF shifts are where teams can really save some runs. It is tougher for batters to hit the ball where they want to in the air to beat a shift. I don’t hear many comments from announcers about OF shifts, nor do I see many aerial views to show OF alignment.

    I agree that more will be learned about shifts as we move forward, and shifts might be radically different 3 years from now. But, shifting is here to stay now.

  91. Dom says:

    Anyone know why the Padres drafted Johnny Manziel in the 28th round of the MLB draft?

    They know he’s not going to sign with them. Why waste a pick on him?

  92. Jim S. says:

    That was the point Brown made on radio, AW.

  93. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was referring to how it looked on the scoreboard at the game, to me and the people around me. Consensus was it wasn’t clear from what we could see. Those images aren’t the clearest.

    I was making the point, perhaps badly, that the replays at the game weren’t a bad thing, going back to 21’s comment. At least based on what I saw yesterday. Beats having your thumb somewhere that the Rev talked about last week during the delay.

  94. NMR says:

    Ah, I gotcha. And agree.

  95. Arriba Wilver says:

    I may have to rethink it, then, Jim. (Just kidding). ;-)

  96. Wild Bill says:

    Maybe in case he washes out as a qb and wants to go Michael Jordan for a while.

  97. NMR says:

    Because it is pointless for the draft to last any longer than 20 rounds.

  98. JohnS says:

    on the Lucroy double, TV showed a replay of him stopping and turning back towards the plate as he was thinking foul ball. I don’t have as much issue with the umpires giving him second than I do with the idiot fan reaching onto the field.

    I disagree with DK saying Lucroy would have scored anyway. no way he moves up to second on the fly ball to CF. Then AM-RAM grounds to first. Last out fly ball to right. All that equals no run.

    All that said left too many chances to score on the base paths.

    Great efficient outing by Locke.

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    In case he washes out in the NFL, I’d expect. And, is it possible to “waste” a 28th round pick? ;-)

  100. 21sthebest says:

    I like seeing the replays at the game AW. But as much as I don’t like the umpires and the umpiring these days, and as much as I wish technology could replace them altogether, I was thinking that I didn’t like showing the umpires up by showing the replay on the scoreboard. But the more I think about it, I guess that’s not so bad now that they have replay review.

  101. Jim S. says:

    Maybe the team has an autograph session lined up for the public. ;-)

  102. NMR says:

    There’s a cause and effect in those two sentences. Baseball plays are very difficult to judge correctly 100% of the time. If we divorce the notion that missing a call leads to embarassment, then umpires wouldn’t be some damn defensive in the first place.

    The attitude of the typical MLB Umpire is toxic. Nothing will change in performance until that is fixed.

  103. Jim S. says:


  104. JohnS says:

    Sorry to the host he didn’t say score, he said that Lucroy had secod either way. I disagree with that but we will never know.

  105. 21sthebest says:

    NMR, isn’t having 40 rounds easier than signing a bunch of free agents to fill out the 25-30 that you’ll put into the system

  106. bpn8pitt says:


  107. NMR says:

    Excellent, Jim.

    The problem with outfield shifts is that relatively few hitters require them, and guessing wrong is exponentially riskier.

  108. bpn8pitt says:

    Ol, Brandon Moss is making bpn’s head explode, NMR.

  109. Maz in Iowa says:

    I have several friends in the Cedar Rapids Ia area(I live about 50 miles away now and lived there for a few years myself).I was talking to a friend that lives there yesterday and the local buzz is: the Pirates have not even called Mich Keller yet(2nd round pick).Is that normal?I’ve seen a number of players have already signed.Keller is done playing for his high school team(doesn’t want to risk an injury I guess). I thought they should have at least called to say “hello”…..or maybe this is the Huntington/Coonelly way.

  110. cmat0829 says:

    now that larussa (let’s change pitchers 12 times in the 8th inning of a 11-1 game) has retired, my new least favorite manager is that snake Ron Roenicke and his ‘let’s go out to the field very play at 1B in case we need to review it’…. best not to say anything about the umpires in his position, pretty clear his team got the big calls they needed.

    that said, he basically is saying that Wild Ed Hickox, if he were a player, would be due for a benching and perhaps some time in AAA…will MLB EVER TAKE ANY NOTICEABLE ACTION on inferior umpires?

  111. Arriba Wilver says:

    Or maybe that was the only way to get Johnny to vacate the studios.

  112. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Ike at 2 sounds fine….would like walker cleanup….I’m with that….someting to shake marte loose….he’s gong to go nuts soon.

  113. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    wait minute…isn’t four walks a run – HA

  114. cmat0829 says:

    When and where is it written in tablet that we are ‘not to show up umpires’? Players, when they fail, face all the incessant replays, analysis, fan booing, media and blog bashing, etc. Managers and GMs even worse. Yet umpires don’t deserve to be publicly reprimanded or have their performance publicly questioned? BS. Complete BS.

  115. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    If I was drafted out of High School….I’d have been sitting at PNC park the next day. How about a call to let your potential new employer know you’re ready to get down to Florida any day.

  116. cmat0829 says:

    I don’t have a HUGE issue with the 2b on fan interference… seems to me Lucroy’s slow down was on fair or foul and Marte’s slowdown was on carom and then when fan intervened, so in a case of lesser of two evils, I’d have put Lucroy at 1st in that situation. If he wanted a double he should have run for it.

    But it was not as blatant as the missed calls by the home plate ump who should be fined, but not disclosed because egads it would ruin civilization to know that MLB disciplines umpires, for that inconsistent joke of balls/strikes yesterday. When both managers and teams gripe about the ump there is something there.

    Oh and the league has no issue whatsoever leaking when players are disciplined for PEDs, etc. but the MLB umpire union is so fear-inducing we can’t learn about ump discipline?

  117. NMR says:

    Sure, if you believe that having all those players and all those affiliates at twelve different levels is actually necessary.

  118. Maz in Iowa says:

    He’s still 17 and has a scholarship to North Carolina.His slot calls for $900,000.There’s a decent chance he could make a lot more by waiting a few more years.The Pirates have 5 1/2 more weeks to sign players.I would have thought there might be a sense of urgency to sign him so they could get him evaluated and playing.The sooner he gets to rookie camp…..the sooner he gets to PNC

  119. NMR says:

    Is everyone that claims Marte was slowing down for the carom watching the replay above?

    The balls was barely moving by the time it reached the fan.

  120. hockeymonster says:

    In the event the Pens and Dejan’s voice have you ready to jump off a bridge feel free to take a gander at this link:

    Linked towards the bottom is the plan and outline my crystal balls would like to see the Pens follow.

    It’s always darkest before the light…or is it before it goes pitch black? Guess it depends on the plan they follow.

    P. S. If the Crows can hold the gate against the giants then surely we reinforce our bottom 6. It’s time!

  121. Dom says:

    I read that Manziel didnt even play baseball in college.

  122. Thundercrack says:

    Marte began to slow down when the ball hit the ground.

    Maybe he was waiting to see if it was fair or foul. But off the bat he went full speed

  123. Arriba Wilver says:

    My guess is disclosure is all controlled by the CBA’s involved.

    Plus, if a player isn’t playing for 50 or 100 games, what are they gonna say? He’s on vacation? ;-)

  124. Dom says:

    You have to let your agent do his thing.

  125. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t see a problem with it.

  126. Arriba Wilver says:

    Did he play it in high school?

  127. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just for me, the carom issue, along with Lucroy stopping between home and first, goes to whether Marte could have thrown him out at second absent the fan interference, and regardless of how much Marte had hustled prior to the fan interference.

    It was in response to your comment that “Never had a chance at throwing out Lucroy.”
    What I think you fail to take into consideration is what Lucroy was doing on that play also.

  128. 21sthebest says:


  129. Court Jester says:

    I think the point DK makes about getting a coach for the Penguins who can match lines and make adjustments is spot on. Dan Bylsma’s biggest shortcoming was his inability to make the adjustments in a very nuanced game. Bring someone in who understands that it isn’t always about trying to make the other team adjust to your game. Sometimes you have to step back and counterpunch with your line changes and match ups. I hope they find a coach who will be able to do this.

  130. Dom says:

    Why would they draft someone who hasnt played the game in four years???

  131. Clint Hurdle talked about that very play. He said Marte got a good jump, but had to hold up to see if the ball would hit the stands and ricochet out at 90 °, or miss the stands and roll into the corner.

    He absolved Marte of any other action on the play other than how he played it.

  132. Arriba Wilver says:

    See answers above.

    And why are you so worried about the Padres, anyway? :-)

  133. Lucroy stopped dead after about 3 steps. Then had to start up running again.

  134. Maz in Iowa says:

    First basemen who “are available” to be traded include the Yankees’ Kelly Johnson, the Phillies’ John Mayberry Jr., the Nationals’ Tyler Moore and the Pirates’ Gaby Sanchez, sources tell Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News.

  135. Good call, Wide Receiver Nate!!!

  136. NMR says:

    @TC – like I said, Marte did not hustle to the ball.

    @AW – That’s fair. I cannot say definitively that Mare didn’t have any chance, because none of us will ever know. But I absolutely know what Lucroy was doing on that play. What you also have to consider, however, is that Marte slowing down negated much of the time he could have made up when Lucroy made his mistake.

    Marte treated that play like the easy double it almost always is when a ball is hit to that part of the stadium. Which is fine.

  137. NMR says:

    Right, because the Manager is always 100% truthful in his postgame presser.

  138. Pirates are 1 WIN and 2 LOSSES since Gregory Polanco should have been called up.

    {because NOW is not as important as . . . . . . NOW!!!}

  139. NMR says:

    JACKPOT. ;)

  140. NMR says:

    Neither do I. I just think they aren’t necessary. MLB thought 52 rounds was necessary for how many years.

  141. Jandy says:

    Are you sure you two aren’t blood brothers?

  142. In others words, there are NO legitimate Major League 1st basemen available.

    As to Gaby Sanchez, reporters in Dallas and New York like to hear themselves talk/write. See———you are talking about him!

  143. Thundercrack says:

    NMR, so now you are saying that you are fine with the way Marte fielded the ball because it is usually a double when hit to that part of stadium. Earlier you said Greg Brown failed to mention that Marte didn’t hustle.

    I still think Marte has a chance to throw out LeCroy at second – based on LeCroy’s speed and Marte’s arm.

  144. Maz in Iowa says:

    The quartet is cited in the context of Mitch Moreland‘s season-ending ankle surgery, leaving the Rangers dealing with yet another major injury. Despite losing a host of notable players to the DL, Texas is still just 2.5 games behind Seattle for the last AL wild card slot, and could still be looking to make additions down the stretch.

  145. NMR says:

    Dude isn’t even boom or bust anymore. Turned himself into a legit Major League hitter. Unreal.

  146. Arriba Wilver says:

    Pot stirrer. :-)

  147. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    The Gerrit Cole injury situation concerns me because you can never count on being given (even close to) accurate information by this FO.
    If Cole goes down for any great length of time, the Pirates are in big trouble.
    Unless….The FO goes out and acquires another good starting Pitcher.
    In other words….The Pirates are in big trouble if Cole goes down for any big length of time.

  148. Jandy says:

    Very good reading, Monster Mash.

    Good to see you posting again.

  149. Jandy says:

    guilty as charged ;)

  150. Maz in Iowa says:

    Polanco held hostage-Day 4

  151. NMR says:

    Idealistically, no, I’m not fine with Marte or any player not hustling all out on every play. But I’m also a realist. Every batter isn’t going to go full speed out of the box every time on routine plays. And the vast majority of the time that is fine because the fielder executes.

    But every once in a while a fielder will make a mistake, as Lucroy did by stopping, and not hustling will cost the runner a base. It is my opinion that the way Marte played that ball would’ve cost him an out if the fan had not interfered.

    We obviously will never know.

  152. NMR says:

    He demanded $1.5m going into the draft, which is why he went where he wnt.

    Teams usually – not always, but usually – make the under sot deal to clear up bonus pool cash before extending themselves with overslot money.

  153. bpn8pitt says:

    Thats where I get nervous about giving up on El Toro.

  154. Naterosboro says:

    I’m not sure you say stinks, but the fact he’s 27 and started the year at AA should be some sort of flag.

    Organizational filler.

  155. NMR says:

    Dejan writes a column last week saying the Pirates, with Gerrit Cole, need an ace-level pitcher.

    Gerrit Cole goes down, and the solution is to trade for an ace-level pitcher.

    How does that do anything but get you back to the same – failing – situation you were in previously?

  156. NMR says:


    I think what he ends up doing by the end of the season, and more imporatantly what the market thinks of Pablo Sandoval ad Chase Headley this winter, will tell us a lot about Pedro’s future with the team.

  157. NMR says:

    Did you catch the one report that the Pirates were runner up to the Twins for Kendrys Morales?

  158. Maz in Iowa says:

    That is a knee slapper!

  159. hockeymonster says:

    Thanks. Got bored when it rained yesterday and didn’t see any commentary or coverage from the trib or anywhere else so thought I’d chime in. But with that silly video playing not sure how much posting ill be doing. Probably just will post links when i have something on my mind.

    And i’m glad you saw the post from saturday :)

  160. Jim S. says:

    Yes, getting an OF shift wrong is definitely very risky in comparison to an IF shift.

    I wasn’t sure how many players would be candidates for OF shifts. Thanks for the info. I guess that is why they just aren’t very prevalent.

  161. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I didn’t say “ace-level” Pitcher.
    I said if Cole goes down for any good length of time they really need to add another good starter.

  162. NMR says:

    So my question stands…how does that do anything but get them back to their current state of failure?

  163. bpn8pitt says:

    I think Gaby is very much in play, if we come apart here in the next 6 weeks. Decent 1B and to me it makes a lot of sense to have a guy who can hit lefties on the bench. And he’s affordable, which makes him open to just about every market.

    But just like with Josh Harrison, he really doesnt garner much in return. He probably has more worth to the Bucs then a mid to low level prospect.

    Sorry dont mean to give up, just not really sure what this team can do. Doubt they add if they fall out of it. Not really sure they can get a lot in return for a bench/platoon guy…Unless something crazy falls in Huntington’s lap.

  164. Jim S. says:

    He was pretty highly regarded when the Pirates originally acquired him, as I recall. Just took a couple of extra years for him to put it together. I wish they had timed it better, but what can you do?

    Now, if it suddenly clicks for Travis Snider two years from now in Oakland or some other place, I’ll be amazed.

  165. Dom says:

    But Dejan said that we might not be past the super 2 date yet. In fact, he said the Buccos dont know the date.

  166. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    What if Cole goes out for the year?….Would you stand pat?

  167. Jandy says:

    Indeed I found that post, and thanks again, friend.

    That darn Cine-thingie is making me nuts ;)

  168. Thundercrack says:

    We can agree that if Cole goes down for a long time the team is in big trouble.

    But I don’t see the correlation about what info comes from the FO. The player is on the DL.

  169. Jim S. says:

    I’ve been hearing good things about this Taillon kid.

  170. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    My concern is that this is worse than what they’re saying.
    It wouldn’t be the first time that has happened.

  171. Maz in Iowa says:

    I read an article last week that said the date was almost 2 weeks ago.Kinda like the catcher blocking home plate debate.There seems to be a large discrepancy about the exact date.I,for one have no idea about the date.No one is giving a date.I’ll dig around and see if I can find more info.Anyone out there with an idea about the Super 2 date?

  172. Jim S. says:

    So, what would possess Gerrit Cole to say he already feels better if his arm is about to fall off?

  173. Arriba Wilver says:

    In fact, nobody knows the date. What DK said is the Pirates, contrary to what others have said, don’t think they are “safe” yet, and that’s why Polanco isn’t up yet. I’m pretty sure the bank of computers at Federal Street have a “date.”

    If James Carville was commenting on it, his slogan would be “it’s the money, stupid.” ;-)

  174. NMR says:

    I think shifts are simultaneously working and making certain hitters better, if that makes any sense.

    Read an article last week about JoseBautista adjusting his game to “beat the shift”. One of the two exampls they used to illustrate successfully beating the shift was a line drive into right field. Unless your second baseman is 15 feet tall, that is not beating the shift.

  175. Jim S. says:

    Even if they are out of the race, Gaby seems like the kind of guy they need for next year rather than the kind of guy they should be looking to trade. The Pirates should be planning on contending next year, and they don’t have a righty hitting 1b to plug in to replace Gaby.

    I’m sure there would be a lot of interest in Sanchez, but I don’t see him being traded.

  176. Jandy says:

    I can’t see Gerrit Cole saying that. Not his style.

  177. 21sthebest says:

    I view Moss a little differently than I would an Alvarez or Snider. Moss put up some pretty good numbers for Boston in his 103 at bats with them before we got him. And I thought the ball really jumped off of his bat. Then he had that microfracture surgery on his knee in the offseason and wasn’t allowed to lift weights for nine months. That had to affect him big time. Then time just ran out on him, he was out of options, that’s that. And the Phillies gave up on him too after us.

  178. Jandy says:

    And Ron White would say “You can’t fix stupid” ;)

  179. NMR says:

    +1 – But I don’t think Gaby goes unless Ike goes as well.

  180. Jandy says:

    I sure hope Gaby is kept and around next season.

  181. Maz in Iowa says:

    New meaning to being treated like a mushroom.

  182. Jim S. says:

    Is that a Legend of Bagger Vance joke? If so, well played.

  183. NMR says:

    As of right now, unquestionably.

    The rotation is failing with Cole. Replacing him still leaves you with a failing rotation.

    I cannot think of any reason that you’d want to do that.

  184. Nate83 says:

    Exactly. Price and Lee are flawed pitchers at this point that are not guarenteed to be aces. Cole being out makes any addition to the team just treading water. You don’t go all in with a team 4 games under .500 that has many starting pitching issues. Nice stretch of games coming up that are winnable. If the team shows some life and gets to 4 or 5 games above .500 by all means go get something. Otherwise your just trading prospects away during a season you should have been punting on.

    I’m not sure the FO is withholding information. Cole himself has openly talked about it and it sounds as if they may have even had to convince him to skip more then one start. Remember when they had been accused of not announcing Stewart would be out for almost the entire season?

    They are no less forthcoming then any other FO. They where very honest about the first base situation and said they made offers and didn’t get the player or other teams where asking too much so they where going to wait the market out and see which asking prices came down. Ike Davis’s asking price came down and they pulled the trigger. For what it’s worth go around the league and see how the Smoak, Moreland, Carp, Morrison’s are doing. Lind is having a great year but I’m not sure he was ever available. Morneau has even cooled off considerable.

  185. 21sthebest says:

    The Front Office are all secretly Jedi Knights and perfomed the mind trick on Cole.

  186. Maz in Iowa says:

    Moreland is toast.Out for the year

  187. Nate83 says:

    Agree. I would rather find out what they have with Locke, Cumpton and Stolmy then go pick up a number 3 starter somewhere and give up some prospects to end up with 79 wins instead of 76.

  188. Nate83 says:

    Travis on his blog said NH actually said he was concerned that Cole may still yet be super 2. It’s a moving date and I don’t think the Pirates want to cut it as close as they did with Cole last year. If not for injuries last year I think Cole would have stayed down another week or two.

  189. Arriba Wilver says:

    Check’s in the mail, Nate. ;-)

  190. Jim S. says:

    Simple explanations are often overlooked. ;-)

  191. Nate83 says:

    He is a big sports fan. Maybe the Penguins should have made him their GM. Couldn’t have been any worse then Pierre Macguire and press conferences would have been must see. Maybe even a few SNL skits about the Penguins would have been in their future.

  192. Jim S. says:

    Wait just a doggone minute there, Nate. Are you saying they may have inadvertently placed winning ahead of saving $$ last season? Heads will roll if that ends up being the case.

  193. Nate83 says:

    I’ll take it. My AC in my house just went out and I just got a new furnace 4 months ago. I can use all the extra money I can get my hands on.

    I know you think I defend them all the time but truth is I think they do plenty of things wrong. Including not being completely truthful all the time. I just don’t think you can blanket statement that they never tell the truth. There is a lot of gray area.

  194. 21sthebest says:

    Just going by my eyes and gut, I feel like I’ve seen the shift cause a lot of outs. I can’t remember seeing too many hits and then thinking that it would have been an out if the traditional defense had been played. But this doesn’t seem consistent with that Fangraphs article.

  195. Jim S. says:

    I forgot about the knee surgery.

    Timing is everything. Timing was not right for the Bucs or Phils with Moss, but it was perfect for Oakland.

  196. Nate83 says:

    It was inadvertent so they probably get a pass. I added a salad to my meal last night thinking it was included but it was an upcharge. My wife kept me, at least she has for the 17 hours following that mistake.

  197. Jim S. says:

    All the more reason to teach young hitters to just hit the ball where it’s pitched and use the whole field. Maybe a guy with monster power would be an exception.

  198. NMR says:

    It’s also not like teams, in any sport, make a habbit over overselling injuries, either.

    Nobody is going to come out and say they think Cole might’ve torn his labrum and then two weeks later say nevermind he’s cool, just a ittle tired.

    This is how the world works, Daq.

  199. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree with you on Cole last year. And NH said that on his pregame show yesterday.

    There’s no controversy that the actual date won’t be known for a couple years. None. That’s just reality.

    And Neal even commented on the stats that Groat mentioned last week that no Player had gotten Super 2 by this date of being called up. He said that the last guy to be the earliest was a surprise, too. Translation—they are definitely sensitive to not making the wrong call on the projected date.

  200. NMR says:

    I call BS on the salad…

  201. Jandy says:

    Id be sure to order a big-a$$ beer next time ;)

  202. Jim S. says:

    That is my exact take, Groat. Just watched it now. I can’t say that is 100% what he did, but it looked to me like he slowed up because he could see the ball might hit the stands and kick toward LC and he didn’t want to overrun it. That might have made it a 3b.

    I also can’t definitely tell whether Lucroy would have gotten to 2b. I think I would need a split screen of the two players to determine that.

  203. Nate83 says:

    Yes that was part of my point. What was available wasn’t worth much and that has played out. Almost none of the names mentioned during the off season has done much. Most teams where asking too much for their garbage. It got to the point that it was obvious Davis wasn’t part of the Mets plan so his price came down.

    I don’t know how Davis turns out as a player but I do know they didn’t give much up to get him. He has a chance to be a league average first baseman.

  204. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree with your last 2 sentences.

    I go off the reservation with “They are no less forthcoming then any other FO. “. I can’t say whether that’s true myself.

    My AC is on the blink, too.

  205. 21sthebest says:

    I liked Loney and Morneau and they’re having pretty good years. Morneau has cooled off though.

    I don’t recall if his name came up much but Michael Morse has been a nice pick up by the Giants. He has played 20 games at first.

  206. Wild Bill says:

    Unpleasant story on Pro Football Today about a big drug bust at Deshea Townshend’s house. He was apparently not there, but two other guy were, with a lot of drugs, some other stuff and a chicken.

  207. Arriba Wilver says:

    The chicken aspect is very disturbing.

  208. Thundercrack says:

    He owned the house. But did he live there?

  209. Really don’t want to get too far on a public-issue tangent: Duquesne has for years blown off putting up its own housing in favor of basically ruining traditional South Side Flats housing by sticking students there. They become frat houses, and they’re immensely problematic.

  210. Nate83 says:

    I’ve always like Morse. Everything the Giants have touched this year has turned to gold. I thought some of the signings they made were horrible but I’m starting to think I am wronge they could be for real.

  211. Wild Bill says:

    The corruption of the lives of young chickens in this country must stop, I agree.

  212. The umps’ explanation to Hurdle was that they didn’t think Marte could reach the ball in time. Not sure Lucroy had anything to do with it, if only because he hit the ball to the fan in a pretty big hurry. I wouldn’t have kept running, either.

  213. Thundercrack says:

    I may be misremembering, but last year wasn’t there much more desperation with the pitching staff and that’s why they called up Cole. They had to. Not many other options.

    This year with RF, they aren’t quite as desperate. They had some guys to plug in.

    (just an observation, not an endorsement)

  214. Seems crazy to not have the guy guiding the bench also being the one guiding the strategy.

  215. Wild Bill says:

    The article says he’s coaching at Miss. State now. Just owns the house

  216. There’s a way to disable autoplay on every individual browser. If anyone wants to post it here, I won’t mind at all.

  217. Poole says:

    DK hinted that Rod Brind’Amour might be a top head coach choice for Rutherford. NOTE — Not trying to start a rumor and this isn’t something he heard from a ‘source’ but definitely an interesting thought. I think he has many great qualities to bring to a coaching staff, much like Tocchet and Ulf, but I’m not sure he has the credentials for head coach yet. I think of him more like a great assistant coach. Nothing about Rod Brind’Amour is country club and I like that. What do you guys think?

  218. End chicken abuse.

  219. The chicken was landlord.

  220. Maybe it would be best, regarding any coaching candidate, if we looked at their credentials as COACHES rather than how we think or thought of them as players.

  221. Jandy says:

    I’ve looked and can’t find it. If someone would be so kind as to post it, I’d be eternally grateful. (So would my keyboard)

  222. Wild Bill says:

    Laid an egg with those renters.

  223. Jandy says:

    Colonel Sanders is rolling in his grave…

  224. Wild Bill says:

    DK, with all of the other concerns about Rutherford notwithstanding, don’t you think he’s more than qualified to choose a good coach?

  225. Thundercrack says:

    raising chickens is becoming very popular.
    If they allowed it in my borough, I would bet that my wife would make us get a chicken coup for out back.

  226. NMR says:


  227. Nate83 says:

    It sounds like he is renting it. Very misleading headlines out there like “Former Steelers house raided”. I have to imagine many former athletes use real estate as a way to make money and they are not even aware of who lives in the houses because somebody else manages that part of it for them.

  228. Wild Bill says:

    My niece lives out in the country and has three. Every time I see her, she says “Dear God, take eggs with you when you leave.”

  229. 21sthebest says:

    Thanks. I didn’t realize they had housing over there.

  230. Wild Bill says:

    Okay, I’ll answer my own question. I think he’s very capable of choosing a great coach and he will.

  231. Dom says:

    Deshea Townshend was the man when he played for us.

  232. Thundercrack says:

    Doesn’t Duquesne have its own housing…in the form of dorms?

  233. Daquido Bazzini says:

    Duh…..Really?….This is how the world works????
    Kindly leave your words of wisdom on the front lawn.
    I’m not interested in learning the ways of the world from self proclaimed baseball geniuses.

  234. Jandy says:

    I’ll agree with you. It’s not like we have any other choice lol
    But yeah, he should be more than capable.

  235. Nate83 says:

    Tiger’s Bullpen……….discuss…………….I will hang up and listen.

  236. hockeymonster says:

    Just figured it out for Chrome. Go to Settings, then content settings in advanced settings, then select ‘click to play’ in Plug ins section.

  237. NMR says:

    Ya know, I bit my tongue last week thinking everyone would say I was crazy…

  238. NMR says:

    Laughably fanboy suggestions for what the Red Sox wouldhave to give up to get him, however.

  239. hockeymonster says:

    Still hope they interview S. Neidermeyer. Haven’t heard his name anywhere so I may be missing something but would like to see JR and pens give him a look. SN, hynes, JM, reirden and granato would be a solid staff. Unless we can put the screws to detroit.

  240. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s my recollection, too. Plus, they were in the race.

    That, and a code waiver, may get you a chicken.

  241. dennis g says:

    That just isn’t correct. The ball was a pop fly that may or may not have gone foul. Lucroy just did not charge out of the box as if it were fair, he jogged out of the box watching the ball as if he thought it was foul and when it landed fair he started to run hard. Whether Marte could have gotten to the ball I don’t know because I did not see any replay of his performance. But Lucroy was barely at first when the ball was grabbed. I think they simply treated it as a ground rule double and were not about to reverse themselves.

  242. bpn8pitt says:

    Makes sense for Red Sox. Not sure there is a prospect match for us, though.

    Cherington will shake the tree, I bet.

  243. Jandy says:

    I don’t think Babs is free until a year from now. That’s why we have Rutherford and crew now…we shall see…

  244. 21sthebest says:

    Yes. But I guess not enough.

  245. Nate83 says:

    I called BS on them charging me for 4 drinks when both kids drinks should have been included with their meal’s. I’m not lying about my 11 year old being 10 for nothing.

  246. Stuart says:




  247. Jandy says:

    I can’t find it on IE…really aggravates me >:<

  248. Arriba Wilver says:

    I can’t disagree with what the ump told Hurdle.

    I didn’t have the same perspective on how fast the ball got to the fan based on where I was sitting. Like I said, it was a weird play all around.

  249. Wild Bill says:

    Where’s he been lately, Hm?

  250. Jim S. says:

    Only thing I could do is just completely turn down the sound on my computer.

    Of course, I have to remember to turn it back up when I really need to hear something.

  251. Jim S. says:

    I always love the “Maybe if they won’t take our crappy player for their productive player straight up, we can throw in a 2nd crappy player” trade scenarios.

    I guess it really doesn’t matter what the other team might want in a trade. It’s really about how both teams can band together to bring another WS to Bean Town. #Bostonstrong

  252. Jim S. says:

    Was the chicken used as a drug mule?

  253. Wild Bill says:

    It works for me.

  254. dennis g says:

    Clemente hit .311 his first year as a starter in 1956 when he was 21 years old. You don’t think that was a break out year. The following year he regressed possibly due to injuries. He did not achieve the same success of1956 again until 1960.

  255. Jim S. says:

    That’s how they get you. :-)

  256. NMR says:

    They have a kid at 3B, Garin Cecchini, that would be a perfect centerpiece, IMO. They could move Mookie Betts back to the infield and not have to deal wth Middlebrooks anymore.

    Throw in a maybe-starter like de la Rosa, Workman, or Webster and I could live with giving up Marte.

  257. Jandy says:

    I turn it down, but it still messes up my keyboard. I have to backspace incessantly to fix things!

  258. Thundercrack says:


  259. Arriba Wilver says:

    I also think Clint Hurdle might have sat you down the next game if you quit running. If it was based on how fast the ball got to the fan why would he start running again? Which he did.

  260. I wasn’t aware of that, Stu. I’ll look into disabling. It won’t be this one, obviously. Too late for that.

  261. dennis g says:

    I couldn’t possibly agree more. He never takes a pitch off.

  262. John Lease says:

    You never know. He’s dominating in AA, and was injured before. Maybe he pans out.

  263. Nate83 says:

    Plus why would the Pirates trade Marte at his absolute lowest value? The possible outfield of Cutch, Marte and Polanco at the cost of less then half of one Ellsbury or Hamilton is the envy of every GM in the league. No way the Pirates give that up cheaply without allowing it to work out some kinks.

  264. dennis g says:

    What about that Jones guy in Miami?

  265. Nate83 says:

    Why are you giving into even the thought of this logistically being a possible trade???

  266. Arriba Wilver says:

    It’s called the “no soup for you” scenario. 3 bad players add up to one good player. :-)

  267. pants-n-at says:

    No…to eat the bugs off the marijuana plants

  268. Arriba Wilver says:

    Stinks. ;-)

  269. bpn8pitt says:

    Gonna stand pat again this offseason, Nate?

    While i admit its far fetched, not exactly impossible or implausible either.

  270. I heard the Huntington Show and he just threw an aside out there that it was still unknown if Cole was safe on Super 2. He did not say Pirates were “concerned.”

    It just sounded like one of those “we’re not sure it will ever stop raining” kind of statements. It was used in defense of “media” trying to mess with/predict/criticize Pirate decisions over Polanco. Neil wasn’t too complimentary of “media.”

    Travis’ statement on his blog (he said he did not hear Huntington say it) was a “media overstatement!”

  271. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree, he didn’t say “concerned.” Just a statement of fact.

  272. ALWAYS believe Wilver Dornel! He speaketh truth!

    And he LISTENS!

  273. Arriba Wilver says:

    It may prevent them from spending anything until they know for sure, though. ;-)

  274. Maz in Iowa says:

    Josh Harrison RF
    Neil Walker 2B
    Andrew McCutchen CF
    Ike Davis 1B
    Pedro Alvarez 3B
    Starling Marte LF
    Jordy Mercer SS
    Chris Stewart C
    (Charlie Morton P)

  275. Maz in Iowa says:

    Marte on display

  276. Maz in Iowa says:

    Good Chawlie OR bad Chawlie??

  277. Nate83 says:

    I hope not they have plenty of money coming off the books and plenty of holes to fill.

    I don’t know how many players have posted WAR’s in line with Marte’s in their first full year in the league but I do know it isn’t very common. Knowing what I do about the Pirates front office I can’t imagine a scenerio where Marte gets traded at any point during the next 3 years unless he just completely falls apart like a Cameron Maybin.

  278. NMR says:

    I know one guy, Nate: Peter Bourjouis.

  279. NMR says:

    Who said to trade Marte tomorrow, Nate?

  280. NMR says:


  281. If the sun comes up tomorrow, it may prevent them from spending. Too comfortable in their permanent spot of #27, #28, #29 in salaries.

  282. Nate83 says:

    Nothing against Harrison but I think he is starting to cool off and Tabata is actually swinging a hot bat of late. A few more games of Harrison cooling off I wouldn’t mind seeing Tabata back in there keeping the seat hot for Polanco instead of Harrison.

  283. bpn8pitt says:

    Im not saying that the guy is on display.

    But, havent we already seen a drawback in the Cole/Taillion 1,2 punch we thought we would have?

    For the life of me, I cannot think of a modern day OF where all three guys (Cutch, Polanco, and Marte) were or are all homegrown and turn into stars or at least good contributing baseball players.

    I know I dont have a Fangraphs article to link or some smart, sabremetric chart to pull stats from…I just think the odds are against a ” SuperOutfield ” with Cole and Taillon turning into two of the best starters in the NL…Im not writing it off yet, but Im not ruling out a little thinking outside the box either.

    Kansas City had the No 1 system not too long ago and it hasnt translated.

  284. NMR says:

    I don’t think bpn did anything but offer the article as a conversation starter, so lets pump the breaks a bit.

    All I’m saying is that you have one team with a potential excess of outfielders and one team with a potential excess of infielders. There’s a potential match there.

  285. Look at this positions listed for when Polanco comes up.

    The only folks Harrison could fit in for at 1B (BLAH!!) or SS (SCREAMING!!)

    As long as Harrison is hitting, Huntington keeps talking about Super 2 assuredness, and “still working on things.”

  286. Nate83 says:

    I don’t think Maz was saying that either. I think he was joking for the most part.

    To your point though they always say know your own players. If Marte is not living up to being his 1/3 of the super outfield then the Pirates should be the first to know and would be wise to trade him and get as much value as possible before everyone else knows. I’m sure the Padres are wishing they would have trades Chase Headly two years ago. Now he has almost no value as he enters his more expensive arbitration years and he is not even playing at replacement level.

  287. Maz in Iowa says:

    Cards ….McGee/Coleman/Van Slyke

  288. Thundercrack says:

    You crack me up NMR.

    You give a scouting report of potential Red Sox prospects that we could get for Marte.
    And then you say we should ‘pump the breaks’ a bit.


  289. Thundercrack says:

    So Ike is back in the starting lineup tonight.

    I thought it was reported yesterday that Gabby was going to get a few starts in a row.

  290. bpn8pitt says:

    Just not a fan of waiting around, crossing my fingers for prospects to work out Nate.

    My biggest fear these days is that we have built up Polanco a little too much, and once he faces some adversity like Marte is going through, he too will struggle.

  291. bpn8pitt says:

    DEE-FENCE!!! ;)

  292. Nate83 says:

    NMR good find. He may have been blocked by a pretty good player. Although If I was the Angels I would have left Trout in Left Field. I can’t even remember what the Cards gave up to get him. Was it a good return?

  293. Maz in Iowa says:

    Great homegrown OF.I hated it whenever the Pirates played the Cardinals.McGee/Coleman ran down everything and the pitchers constantly threw in a vain attempt to keep those guys on.

  294. The Gunner says:

    Desperately needs to be the Good Cholly…………………NEW GAME THREAD UP

  295. Nate83 says:

    Ummmmm….the linked blog post that started this thread of comments. Jim was replying about the overall concept of the linked blog and I was adding to why I don’t think it’s feasible. I may have misread but I thought the link was saying that this trade should be completely in the near future.

  296. Maz in Iowa says:

    New thread up.Ants marching over to it

  297. We’re disabling autoplay on the CineSport videos. Never let it be said that I run this place. It’s all yours.

  298. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ve always liked Morse, too, Nate.

    Something has to be wrong here. ;-)

  299. hockeymonster says:

    WB, was that for HM as in me? or Hm as in hmmmmmm :)

  300. hockeymonster says:

    And i just figured out how to disable it. Oh well…

  301. NMR says:

    @Nate – one year of broken down David Freese in return. And the Angels seetene the pot with Randal Grichk who became a top prospect the moment he was traded to the Cardinals and ESPN first heard his name. Funny how that works, but thats another conversation…

  302. Thundercrack says:

    What?! I love those things

  303. NMR says:


  304. Jim S. says:

    If the Pirates were to start taking trade offers for Marte, I believe it would signal everyone that they are very concerned about him. They just signed him to an extension.

    He has some things to work on, not unlike Gomez of Milw. a couple of years ago. I think Marte comes out on the other side just fine. We might find out that his true level of ability is that of a .260/.315/.420 hitter, who plays excellent defense. If he ever learns to lay off the soft stuff away and in the dirt, then maybe he’s the hitter who puts up .280/.343/.441 of last year. But, either way, he can be a productive player on a championship team.

  305. Nate83 says:

    So you want them to use their prospects to trade for what? Slightly more developed proven prospects that may have 3 or 4 years of control left. Or 1 or 2 years of soon to be free agents. The last one is essentially a high payroll approach that big markets use to go along with their top tier free agents.

    I’m not apposed to trading prospects for a player with 3-5 years of pre fee agent years. I just don’t know how many players like that are available. I’m personally not interested in doing what the Royals did to get James Shields for 2 years. At least not coming off of a 70 some win season. Now if the Pirates somehow turn this around and win 85-90 this year which would be two solid year in a row. I wouldn’t find trading some high end prospects to get two years of a James Shield type player because I would officially beleive that they are in “their window of oppertunity”.

  306. Naterosboro says:


  307. 21sthebest says:


  308. 21sthebest says:


  309. Nate83 says:

    That’s right because I remember saying moving Carpenter to 3rd made him a less valuable player then he was at second. He becomes a much more ordinary player at that postion.

  310. bpn8pitt says:

    I hope you are right Jim. I really do. Cross your fingers.

  311. bpn8pitt says:

    They ended up trading that Van Slyke guy for a catcher. ;)

    Outside the box thinking…just the wrong side of it. :)

  312. hockeymonster says:

    Did 93.7 just say JR trade justin williams or traded FOR justin williams? I really hope it was the latter…

  313. Wild Bill says:

    Yep, that was for you, ‘monster.

  314. hockeymonster says:

    Of all the people with contracts i can’t believe this guy doesn’t have one:

    What a waste of legit talent.

  315. NMR says:

    Very much agreed, Jim.

    But I still think it’s worth asking whether or not having three plus defenders in one outfield is really getting max value out of each guy. I think the possibility exists that there are bigger holes on the field that don’t have solutions in the minors and could be addressed by dealing from a strength.

  316. Brandie says:

    I hope it’s the latter Mawn -stah

  317. NMR says:

    Harrison is hitting better than anyone should expect out of Polanco, regardless.

  318. hockeymonster says:

    Was out of town for a while…grandpa passed away :( Then was busy when got back. In general don’t have a lot to say right now…posted some links i think you saw. Been reading your posts and others too. Will post have something to add or say.

  319. Sisyphus says:

    You have to be very careful on balls hit into that area. If you think that they are going to hit the extension of the stands and commit to it, it goes all the way past you to the corner for at least a triple.

  320. Sisyphus says:

    Mike Piazza, the Dodgers pick from the 62nd round, begs to differ with you :-)

  321. Sisyphus says:

    If you use Firefox, search for an add-on called “Flashblock”. Works like a charm, and you can still click on it to play the video if you choose.

  322. Sisyphus says:

    Morneau had a fantastic start. He’s been awful for the last month or so. His OPS over the last four weeks was .598 and it’s been falling through the floor since then. I’m guessing he ends the season somewhere around where he ended last season.

    Loney’s OPS for the year is .719, which is nice. For a shortstop. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up under .700 for the year. He wasn’t all that great last year, and that was his best season since 2007.

  323. Sisyphus says:

    Frankly, Cole strikes me as the kind of guy who would insist that he’s just fine even if you could see that his blood soaked arm was hanging on by a few badly frayed tendons.

  324. Sisyphus says:

    Almost 2 weeks ago, really? Are you aware that we still don’t know the Super 2 date for LAST season yet?

  325. Zico says:

    Justin Williams used to be a Hurricane, so I’m gonna go with JR traded Justin Williams.

  326. hockeymonster says:

    I was referring to time leading up to cup run. But you are correct that in 2009 when the canes were a category 1 JR traded JW. B. Dumoulin was selected with pick he received.

  327. BillyBaduka says:


  328. robert lackey says:

    DK , Bad form or not , Lucroy told the truth. Ed Dickson was off all game. They blew the home plate call and the call on Marte’s steal. Remember, every overturned challenge is a missed umpires call. Every sport uses instant replay. Why can’t MLB use it to call strikes like tennis uses it for line calls. I bet Joe Torre uses dial phones and has a 4 party line !!!!!!!! If I made as many mistakes in my business as mlb umpires make in a game, I would not be in business long. If every mlb pitcher gives his all on every pitch, why can’t umpires also be held responsible to get every call correctly ? Walk says umpires are graded by the electronic replays. If so, why cant balls and strikes be called electronically ?? If not, how are umpires graded ???? The hell with bad form , give me the truth !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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