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Morning Java: Hey, Pittsburgh … BETTER pack PNC now

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The weekly chat will take place from 1-2 p.m. today right here on the blog, but you can submit entries as soon as you see the post go up. That usually happens around 11 a.m.

Please be aware to use the actual chat field and not the one for blog comments.

BpvIVjNCEAAzLNV.jpg-large

>> Gregory Polanco will be promoted today, but it comes at quite a cost with Neil Walker having to undergo an appendectomy last night. Best wishes to an extraordinary young man. That can be a scary thing. Thoughts and prayers.

As far as Polanco, I’m pretty much all Polanco’d out, but I’ll add this now: PNC Park had better sell out.

I’m talking every seat, every suite, every standing-room inch on the rotunda.

Don’t misunderstand. I don’t care personally. Won’t mean anything to my life one way or the other. I’m talking, rather, about all that’s led up to this. Because after all this fuss, after all this bluster to the point of people concocting all kinds of stuff that had no foundation in fact, after all this oh-my-God-how-can-we-win-without-this-guy, we’ll know this was just a small, vocal group making all this noise. But I don’t think so. I think there are way more than 38,000 people in Pittsburgh to buy the remaining tickets to fill the place up.

No excuses, like they were when 8,000 seats sat empty for Gerrit Cole.

No nonsensical FanGraphs analysis comparing other players’ debuts in other cities, as if any of that was remotely relevant to Pittsburgh, a far more passionate sports city than most.

Every. Single. Ticket.

Or you’ve all just been blowing hot air.

In the interim, Charlie Morton, Andrew McCutchen, Travis Snider and — ahem — Starling Marte were both outstanding in the Pirates’ cruise-control victory last night over the Cubs. Rob Biertempfel has the game story.

Gerrit Cole tested his shoulder with light tossing, by Karen Price.

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

Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.




>> The Kings in three. That was my original call, and I nailed it.

Wait, they have to play another?

Oh, well. Guessing that one will play out the same way. What a hockey team. I’ll have much more to say about them once the series ends.

John Hynes, the Penguins’ Wilkes-Barre coach, will be interviewed for the vacancy in Pittsburgh, by beat man Rob Rossi.

Our Subway Final Word crew on WPXI-TV looked back at the firings:

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

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

>> Heath Miller is embracing full health for the first time in a couple years, by Alan Robinson.

Martavis Bryant signs, leaving just two picks to go, by Robinson.

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

>> Hope to see you in the chat. Thank you, as always, for reading.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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

Comments

  1. Wild Bill says:

    Heal well and quickly, Neil. Won’t be there for the Polanco debut, but will be for the next two.

  2. Thundercrack says:

    GROUPON!!!

    I usually hate when the media tells fans how/when to spend their money.

    DK, I agree with you. I know you don’t like the word ‘yinzers.’ But they sure did blow a lot of hot air about how good Polanco was and what was best for the Pirates. They need to put THEIR money where their mouth is.

    I’ll be there on Thursday night.

  3. rvfcprez says:

    I live in Tennessee or I’d be there! You’re right, after all of the complaining about Polanco not being here, now that he is, people need to show up!!!

    As excited as I am to see him in the lineup, I hate that it came at Neil’s expense. Hope he recovers quickly!

  4. Rob says:

    I’ll be there, minus a molar that’s being extracted in the morning.
    Oh, wait. I was gonna go, anyway. See ya there, DK.

  5. radio wave says:

    Already had tix to the game.

  6. Milo Hamilton says:

    All histrionics aside, with a lefty pitching I’m not even sure he starts.

  7. Maz in Iowa says:

    Nice pic of Lunchbox on that”I forgot how to slide”attempt.

  8. tdb1977 says:

    I got home tonight from the game, jumped on twitter to see that Polanco was coming up to replace Walker on the DL and told my wife “Well, not going golfing tomorrow night, going to PNC Park instead, already in the process of buying my ticket.” Even got a little bit of deal using my PAT ConnectCard as I will be sitting down along the right field line for the game.

    So, Dejan, I have done my part to fill PNC tomorrow night.

  9. It looks like the LA Kings have all but cinched the Stanley Cup since they lead in the finals now 3-0.

  10. Maz in Iowa says:

    Polancos splits show he hits good from either side. .338 vs LH…..350 vs RH.Lots more power vs righties though

  11. tdb1977 says:

    As for tonight’s game…Marte looked good at the plate. Davis cracked that ball to dead center, which is really nice to see. Pedro stung the ball on two of his hits. McCutchen brought his lumber to the party tonight. And what can I say about Charlie. He was efficient with his pitches. 7 in the first, a couple of innings of 9. He looked good tonight. Really impressed with the way he throw tonight. The first hit by Castro sure had a lot of english on it with the way it hit the ground and just spun backwards away from Charlie.

  12. MGR says:

    I went to the Lehigh Valley-Indy game tonight primarily to see Polanco – even bought tickets down the right field line – and instead heard Chase D’arnaud announced as the right fielder! Glad to see he was benched because he was coming up (not glad to see the reason why he is coming up at this moment)

  13. Cobra39 says:

    “Don’t misunderstand. I don’t care personally. Won’t mean anything to my life one way or the other. I’m talking, rather, about all that’s led up to this. Because after all this fuss, after all this bluster to the point of people concocting all kinds of stuff that had no foundation in fact, after all this oh-my-God-how-can-we-win-withouth-this-guy, we’ll know this was just a small, vocal group making all this noise. But I don’t think so. I think there are way more than 38,000 people in Pittsburgh to buy the remaining tickets to fill the place up.”

    When DK writes arrogant crap like that it makes me wish he would take his talents to another city that doesn’t give a damn about their sports teams. Claiming that Pittsburgh sports fans are ignorant, that he doesn’t root for any of the sports teams or figures because he’s above that since he’s a “journalist” — these things are getting tiring awfully quick.

  14. Maz in Iowa says:

    Snider DFAd or released?

  15. rvfcprez says:

    Since Neil went on the DL they don’t have to make any decisions on Snider yet, Polanco will take Walker’s spot on the roster.

  16. rvfcprez says:

    Unless they need to make a 40 man roster move. Is the 40 man full now?

  17. Poole says:

    Its not really arrogant. Hes just making a point. Anyone who reads his blog, chats, etc regularly can tell you how overblown this has been. Every day for,what, four months he’s had to field questions about Polanco. Even as a casual reader it reached the point of insanity to me. I’m annoyed by it and i can just read something else…its not my job to pay attention to it. And to the broader point, the ticket sales will prove if hype = reality.

    I hope the kid has a long productive career and we can all go back to watching games rather than obsessing over prospects.

  18. Poole says:

    WHEN IS TAILLON GETTING CALLED UP??? Oh he’s hurt….um..well Nutting is cheap

  19. Lad 9 says:

    Polanco is on the 40 man

  20. Sisyphus says:

    He didn’t say that Pittsburgh sports fans are ignorant, and I don’t see any way to read that into what he wrote. He wrote about a small, vocal group, and doesn’t mention ignorance at all. What’s the matter, afraid he was talking about you?

    As for rooting for the local teams, I have never heard any sports writer claim that they root for the home team. They root for the story.

  21. And fast games with lopsided outcomes. We root like hell for those. :)

  22. Sisyphus says:

    Can’t wait to read the convoluted logic we’re going to see from the conspiracy theorists, who will soon be reduced to claiming that Pirates doctors intentionally inflicted appendicitis on Neil Walker to cover up for the Pirates real plan, which was to call up Polanco to boost attendance for the Cubs series.

  23. See, now that’s what you get for actually reading what I wrote and applying thought to it. :)

  24. Apparently not too tiring, Cobra. I’m grateful that you’re here and reading. When you’ve truly had enough, I’m sure you know you’ve got options.

  25. I’ve already gotten a couple. Suffice it to say, I wrote last Thursday, last Friday and again in the Monday column that my expectation was he’d be called up sometime this week. And that there would be a day’s notice. And that it would be a home game. That pretty much left these final three games against the Cubs.

    I’ve no cause to believe Walker’s ailment did anything more than maybe cost a day or so of extra cushion against Super-2.

  26. Cobra39 says:

    As do you have options. May I suggest Los Angeles?

    I find it incomprehensible that a sports writer who was born and lived their whole life in Pittsburgh could fail to have any rooting interest in the local sports teams or individuals. It seems, at best, disingenuous.

  27. DJ says:

    I must have missed the “arrogant sports fans” part.

    Let me try another pass through the blog post. This time I’ll look under the photos.

  28. Arriba Wilver says:

    It really gets hard to tell sometimes what’s more annoying—The people complaining about Polanco not being called up sooner or the people complaining about the people complaining about Polanco not being called up sooner.

    In my non-Twitter universe it has become the latter. Glad when this is over either way.

  29. Kent Ries says:

    Wow, its amazing to see the amount of animosity this teams front office and their media minions have put out about our best prospect. I have never seen another organization in any sport that took to task their top prospect. And all to excuse an owner who has proven that he will not fund a competitive major league payroll.

    Where most cities media members take such an owner to task, here, the media enables him. Unbelievable.

    Go Bucs, and go Polanco. Real fans of the team want to see you succeed, even if the ownership and media minions don’t care.

  30. Davisson says:

    I just went on the Pirates’ site to buy tickets. By my quick estimate, only about 6,000 tickets remain available as of right now.

  31. Arriba Wilver says:

    OK, with Kent’s comment I’m back on the fence regarding which side is more annoying. :-)

  32. chethejet1 says:

    I always thought super two status was about Morgana running on the field in a halter top. Good to see the Bucs make a baseball decision. Marte may perk up now that his buddy is here. Hoka hey Harrison at second and batting leadoff seems like the best lineup but do they bat Polanco at leadoff tomorrow?

  33. Arriba Wilver says:

    :-)

  34. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    Hahaha!

  35. And I’m not responsible for your being unaware of the first rule of journalism. But that’s OK. Keep repeating it. Sure sounds like makes it sense to you.

  36. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    Some dandies here after midnight boys. Funny stuff.

  37. Well, Kent thinks I’m a media minion, and Cobra above thinks I need to be more supportive. A fan, actually.

    Fun!

  38. How’d you come up with that count, D.H.? Curious.

  39. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I think the bad news outweighs the good news here.
    Polanco is coming up (though it’s never mattered to me when he arrives), but Neil Walker is out for at least two weeks.
    With Cole and Walker on the shelf…..The Pirates cannot afford much more injury wise.
    Depth is lacking on this team and a super tight budget doesn’t help the situation.

  40. Maz in Iowa says:

    Free Josh Bell!!

  41. Andrew says:

    #FreeColeTucker!

  42. Maz in Iowa says:

    Somebody has to stir the pot

  43. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Can’t wait to see how some Nutting Regime-ites claim Neil Walker isn’t needed if the Pirates win without him for the next two weeks.
    Walker (whose resigning has been described as a litmus test for the FO) has been belittled the past couple of years because he apparently hasn’t taken a “hometown discount.”
    If he does….He’ll be patted on the back.
    If he doesn’t….We will be forced to hear that Walker indeed stunk all along.

  44. Maz in Iowa says:

    I just like to read the stuff that Dejan throws out there. I can find worse crap to complain about in this world. If I don’t like it … I don’t read it.

  45. chris says:

    Maz, how do you know you don’t like it if you don’t read it?

  46. Maz in Iowa says:

    It’s like watching the first part of a crappy tv show.You read till you decide.Not looking to pick a fight.Just laid out my opinion.We ok ?

  47. SeanAY says:

    As you should.

    Why am I posting? I’m trying to honeymoon.

  48. chris says:

    It’s all good. I just found it amusing that you’re complaining about the complainers while saying you don’t see the point of complaining.

  49. Maz in Iowa says:

    Never said I was smart.Just a crazy old guy in his 60s.This place is tame compared to the crap I got in espn the last 8-9 years.

  50. Maz in Iowa says:

    Geez I listened to Harry Caray back when he was with the Cardinals.If I could stomach homer Harry I can handle most anything

  51. Davisson says:

    When you go to buy tickets, you can select your section and seats from a map of the park. When you scroll over each section, it tells you how many are available in each section. Just did some rounding and quick adding of all sections, that’s what I came up with. Most of the upper level and outfield seats are sold, or at least not showing as available on the website. The URL is below that takes you directly to it.

    http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/MLBEventInfo?agency=MLB&pid=7616934&tfl=Pittsburgh_Pirates-Tickets-Single_Game_Tickets-na-x0

  52. JimmyJam says:

    DK,

    If Polanco happens to lay an egg up here by hitting say 230-240, How fast do the pseudo Bucco fans do the yinzer 2 step and start screaming for him to get sent back down? The Clemente bridge will be loaded with bodies falling off his bandwagon

  53. Davisson says:

    I don’t always agree with DK. In quite a few instances, I have really disagreed. BUT at least he backs up his opinions with sources and supporting information and they aren’t usually just knee jerk reactions like you get from others. There are a lot of other writers out there that I swear really do just write stuff to provoke and stoke fires. I wasn’t going to name any names, but I just have to say I think Bob Smizik does this all the time…or at least did as I don’t even bother reading him anymore.

  54. Maz in Iowa says:

    Harrison leading off.Polanco and then Cutch working the count.Protection for the new guy and fast runners on base for Cutch/Davis.

  55. DJ says:

    Just want to watch Polanco play.

    A welcome relief from all the comments about the commenters.

  56. dennis g says:

    Wow!!! You, a lifelong Pittsburgher, believe that Pittsburgh fans owe a duty to the team? If they criticize team management for its performance then when that performance is altered to the critics’ satisfaction they are duty bound to buy a ticket? Are you kidding me? Do you realize how hard it is for any working person in this city to afford a ticket? To get to a 7:00p.m. start after working all day? To buy food at the park and eat it there? To try and watch the game from anywhere near the right field foul pole and a lot of other lousy areas? Who are you to demand such a thing? You’re tired of listening to all of the crap? This is your job, you get paid for this, you get free tickets to the game and because of your “ethics” you can’t even take any pleasure in it so you take your hostility out on the poor fans who do care and who have cared for their entire life in most cases. This is the absolute worst column I have ever read by a journalist.

  57. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    What does NW’s extension talks have to do with topic of conversation?

  58. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m going to guess that Kent could’ve stopped at “I have never seen another organization….”

    Probably hasn’t outside of national coverage

  59. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Only thing I have to say about Polanco coming up….

    O-M-G!!!

  60. Reading says:

    Big night tonight.

  61. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    You do realize the Pirates have one of the lowest average of ticket prices in MLB?

    This ain’t the Pens

  62. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Someone’s not paying attention

  63. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    And apparently you don’t read anything on Yahoo Sports

  64. Brandie says:

    Doing the Polanco Polka. Here is hoping a young man with all of the tools is able to put it together and have a long, productive, and financially lucrative career. Just wish it did not come at such a hefty price. I told my husband “I hope it’s not appendicitis.” CRAP!!!!!!

    Here is where the rubber meets the road. I hope the place is packed, the conspiracy theorists STFU, and Dejan continues to make welcome visits here. Love interacting with him.

    RDNW…Get well soon. Missing you already.

    Aside to Jandy…Have a wonderful day darlin’.

  65. Brandie says:

    Wish I could be there to see Gregory The Great. Going to see The Curve in Saturday.

  66. dennis g says:

    You are right on both counts. I realize the Pirates have some of the lowest prices and I never read anything on Yahoo Sports. How is that relevant? The fact that Pittsburghers have been struggling financially since the end of the Viet Nam war has never been mentioned as a reason for these “low” ticket prices. The team does not charge “low” prices out of respect for the economic problems the locals have endured. They charge them because the team has been insufferably bad for twenty years and the second they have a chance to argue that the product is better under their stewardship they ask for higher prices and they got them. The fans of this city and state paid and will continue to pay for PNC Park. That is way more than sufficient to justify any and all complaints about the way the team is run.

  67. 21sthebest says:

    There’s a report that the Pirates have come to terms with Cole Tucker.

  68. Major Dad says:

    Living in Suffolk, VA, I won’t be making it tonight, other than via DirecTV. This will probably have an impact on tickets I would’ve been buying to see Indy visiting the Norfolk Tides from the 20th to the 23rd. Probably too soon for a rehab stint for Walker or Cole, but it’s still baseball and I’ll probably go anyway.

  69. JoeyBats says:

    Get well soon, Neil!
    We will miss your ALL STAR play @ 2B this year for the next couple of weeks !!
    .
    So happy…so VERY HAPPY…..that Gregory ‘the Great’ Polanco is finally making his Pittsburgh debut.
    .
    WELCOME !!! :-)

  70. Jandy says:

    She <3's me! :D

    Thanks, Sistah, you do the same :)

  71. Jandy says:

    +++++

  72. Jandy says:

    Good job, Maz!

  73. Jandy says:

    YOu need more wine…then ignore the hullaballoo ;)

  74. Jandy says:

    Gotta love old farts <3

  75. Thundercrack says:

    Today the Penguins will announce they have have re-hired Ed Olczyk as head coach. Him….or Mark Madden.

  76. Jandy says:

    Wash your mouth out with Gatorade!

  77. Thundercrack says:

    Who has belittled Walker for not taking a hometown discount?

    I like Walker and hope he signs an extension ( 3 years, the next two arb years plus one more).
    But do think he has been injury prone and a streaky hitter. And I believe the shifts have helped his defense.
    And I don’t care where he was born & raised

  78. JAL says:

    JAL’s Phenomenal Cat Morning Links

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmySezU9NwA

    Phenomenal Cat The Kinks

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dDNkaWxFNWIwNDVUQzEwYXp5SlpGNkE&usp=drive_web#gid=0

    4 Pirates Prospects

    2014 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

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

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Gregory Polanco – The Most Anticipated Pirates Prospect Ever, and For Good Reason

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/first-pitch-gregory-polanco-the-most-anticipated-pirates-prospect-ever-and-for-good-reason.html

    Prospect Watch: Way Down on the Farm, a Defensive Shortstop Shows Offense

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/prospect-watch-way-down-on-the-farm-a-defensive-shortstop-shows-offense.html

    Pirates Will Call Up Gregory Polanco Tuesday, Neil Walker Placed on DL

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/pirates-will-call-up-gregory-polanco-tomorrow.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Charlie Morton, Pirates’ power key 6-2 win

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/6/9/5795462/charlie-morton-pirates-power-key-6-2-win

    Postgame: Neil Walker undergoes appendectomy

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/6/9/5795604/postgame-neil-walker-undergoes-appendectomy

    7 WHYGAVS

    GAME 63: PIRATES 6 CUBS 2

    http://whygavs.com/june-2014/game-63-pirates-6-cubs-2.html

    GREGORY POLANCO WILL DEBUT ON TUESDAY AFTER AN APPENDECTOMY LANDS NEIL WALKER ON THE DISABLED LIST

    http://whygavs.com/june-2014/gregory-polanco-will-debut-on-tuesday-after-an-appendectomy-lands-neil-walker-on-the-disabled-list.html

    8 Green Weenie

    Charlie, Cutch Double Team Cubs In 6-2 Win

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/06/charlie-cutch-double-team-cubs-in-6-2.html

    9 Rumbunter

    Charlie Morton Twirls a Gem in Series Opener

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/06/10/charlie-morton-twirls-gem-series-opener/

    Gregory Polanco Recalled by Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/06/10/gregory-polanco-recalled-pittsburgh-pirates/

    10 City of Champions

    MLB Trade Rumors: Should Pittsburgh Pirates Be In David Price Sweepstakes?

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/06/09/mlb-trade-rumors-pittsburgh-pirates-david-price-sweepstakes/

    11 IS Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Why Josh Harrison has been the biggest surprise

    http://isportsweb.com/2014/06/09/pittsburgh-pirates-josh-harrison-biggest-surprise/

  79. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 CBS Sports

    McCutchen homers as Pirates top Cubs

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/recap/MLB_20140609_CHC@PIT/mccutchen-homers-pirates-top-cubs-6-2

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    No place like home as Cubs suffer another road loss

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/27983009-573/no-place-like-home-as-cubs-suffer-another-road-loss.html#.U5bgbNREPv8

    14 Beaver County Times

    First base still a problem area for Pirates

    http://www.timesonline.com/top_stories/first-base-still-a-problem-area-for-pirates/article_a2e34e7e-d0ae-5305-8ded-00323d8c8075.html

    15 Pirates Site

    Morton, McCutchen lead Pirates in series opener

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_06_09_chnmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Top prospect Polanco to make anticipated debut

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/pit/top-prospect-polanco-to-make-anticipated-debut?ymd=20140609&content_id=79040082&vkey=news_pit

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Cingrani roughed up in Reds’ loss to Dodgers

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2014/06/09/tony-cingrani-gives-up-career-high-loss-dodgers-reds/10265435/

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers’ Jonathan Lucroy among elite catchers

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/brewers-jonathan-lucroy-among-elites-catchers-b99287359z1-262466391.html

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bird Bytes: Former Cards are struggling

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bird-bytes-former-cards-are-struggling/article_19f709fa-4d60-56ff-951d-c5e986b622df.html

    19 Fangraphs

    Max Scherzer and the Incentives to Self Insure

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/max-scherzer-and-the-incentives-to-self-insure/

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    The Baseball Draft: A 50-Year Retrospective, Part Two

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23821

  80. Wild Bill says:

    After posting last night, it just occurred to me this morning that today, Tuesday, is my birthday. Polanco has become my birthday present! Not bad, though it came at Neil’s expense, which stinks.

    I’m not interested in any more taking of sides about what the Bucs management did with Polanco. Everybody had reason to feel as they did. MLB has negotiated an unfortunate rule with the players union that needs to be renegotiated in a way that spares us the drama of situations like Polanco’s. Something satisfactory to all should be able to be figured out.

    Can’t wait to watch the game tonight, and to get to the ‘burgh for tomorrow and Thursday.

  81. Jandy says:

    Happy Wild Birthday Wild one! :*

  82. Jandy says:

    Also, a shout out to Naje, happy birthday Naje :)

  83. Wild Bill says:

    Thanks, Jandy.

  84. Brandie says:

    JANDEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  85. Pucknutz says:

    Double snicker :)

  86. Nate83 says:

    A lot of angst on the blog today considering it is a day all Pirate fans should be excited and happy? I’m sorry Walker had to go down for this to happen a few days earlier but I for one am going to sit back and enjoy Polonco’s debut even if he goes 0-4.

  87. Brandie says:

    Happy Birthday Untamed William and Naje!!!!!

  88. Jandy says:

    hey, hey!!! So good to catch you! :D

  89. Jandy says:

    +++++

  90. Wild Bill says:

    Missed that it was Naje’s as well. If it’s today, then nice to share!

  91. Jandy says:

    He mentioned it in passing a few days ago and I made a little note ;)

  92. Naje says:

    Thanks Brandie… and a nice gift, as I, ahem, mentioned last week of Polanco’s PNC premier. Sweet!

  93. Naje says:

    Thanks all… HBD WB… got my wish: Polanco’s PNC premier.

  94. Wild Bill says:

    You too, Naje’s. The power of 6/10!

  95. Wild Bill says:

    No possessive intended – auto c got me for some reason.

  96. Pucknutz says:

    Feeling rather sadder about Walker than happy about Polanco.
    Best wishes to Walker and hoping ya play well kid.

  97. tdb1977 says:

    #FreeTheGroundsKeeperfromStateCollege!

  98. Jandy says:

    +++

  99. Jandy says:

    lol

  100. AL says:

    If you had to choose between Mike Babcock or John Hynes, who would it be? This would be a toughie for me.
    Mike’s got the experience managing star players; John’s done wonders in WBS while his starters were being called up to the NHL. Can’t expect John to stay in WBS forever, can we?

  101. JohninOshkosh says:

    If I’m going to make the game, I have to call in sick to work and leave right now.

    Sorry, I won’t be there. Truth be known, I was more excited for Cole’s debut.

    Nice of the Pirates to debut Polanco on Dejan’s chat day!

  102. Jandy says:

    A good question, AL. I love Babs, but Hynes deserves his chance as well.

  103. Naje says:

    All good WB… let’s see, we’ve got Polanco’s premier this year… three years ago it was DK’s premier column on 6/10… good things are about to happen with the PBC. Have a feeling that their run up to the all star break is going to be strong.

  104. AL says:

    Agreed….the only thing I can think of that might be a negative for John is that “the Dan Bylsma system” is also taught down there. Maybe Rutherford is thinking this will just be more of the same instead of complete change?

  105. Thundercrack says:

    slacker
    Non-fan

    :-)

  106. Jandy says:

    yeah, thought crossed my mind two. The system in itself isn’t bad. It’s the not making adjustments and playing certain players all the time that was bad. So I think Hynes would be fine.

  107. talldom85 says:

    Dejan, I enjoy and respect your work.

    But from trolling fans on Twitter to today’s column — where a small number of vocal Pirates diehards on the Internet are asked to clone themselves and fill a 39,000-seat stadium — this Polanco topic has brought out your worst, IMO.

    I’m glad this whole ordeal is over. And glad you can go back to complaining about the Pirates Charities sign and not a player who should have been in Pittsburgh not weeks, but months ago.

  108. NMR says:

    Ha, Blog meetup!

  109. Brandie says:

    Welcome Lunatics to Pittsburgh Polanco-vania, where you can get your one way ticket yo Polanco-ville, where PNC stands for Polanco Nukes Chumps!

    Polanco stinks! FIRE POLANCO!!! HAVE RUTHERFORD SEND HIM BACK TO WILKES BARRE!

    That should about cover it.

  110. NMR says:

    Hahahaha…

  111. BFD says:

    I am very glad to see that apparently Polonco has mastered his outfield angles, bunting, sunflower seed spitting or whatever nonsense the regime made up to keep a potential improvement to the roster out of the line-up.
    Most “fans” had an issue with Polonco toiling in the minors because:
    - he was touted so highly by the media in spring training that he was thought of as being worthy of making the big club
    - the best possible line-up was not on the field during a dismal start when ‘we’ were 8 games below .500
    - the regime kept concocting BS about why he was not brought up.

    So let me get this straight. The fans cannot express their opinion regarding roster call ups unless they attend a game once a player is finally called up? Bob Nutting should be rewarded for keeping the kid in the minors by selling out the tax payers ball park once he finally is called up? Nutting loves this type of thinking and is why he continues to keep this cash cow despite being one of the cheapest, worst owners in sports.

  112. Jandy says:

    lol

  113. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t get the connection between wanting Polanco up here and because you do, you’re supposed to go to the game. How people spend their disposable income is a personal decision and nobody should have to defend it.

  114. Wild Bill says:

    Good coffee today, Brandie?

  115. 21sthebest says:

    Or be criticized for it.

  116. NMR says:

    See you again in six weeks at the trade deadline, BFD.

    Love you!

  117. Jandy says:

    Oh my, does this mean the honeymoon is over???

  118. macchamp74 says:

    Tonight is the Pirate Charities Auction on Root Sports. Not to be cynical…but…more eyes on TV with Polanco up equals more bids on auction items……tonight was GP’s debut date come hell or Neil Walker. :)

  119. Naje says:

    Wrong. It’s Wild Bill’s and my birthday… and the three year anniversary of DK’s first column here. It all makes great sense to me.

  120. Dom says:

    But what if the super 2 date isnt until the end of the month?

  121. NMR says:

    We all die. All of us. Dead.

  122. NMR says:

    Can’t remember if you Twitter or not, but I saw Peter Gamons report that Billy Beane planned to take Tucker with the next pick.

  123. Dom says:

    Happy 25th to the both of yinz!

  124. DJ says:

    Here’s hoping Polanco’s non-tucked in shirt will be the first item auctioned.

  125. Jandy says:

    Life goes on, Dom.
    Sometimes you take chances, especially if the odds are in your favor.

  126. Jandy says:

    errr too. Damn typos

  127. Harold Dunn says:

    If the Pirates wanted to do it right they should have fireworks tonight

  128. DJ says:

    Photo of Snider sliding above looks like Macaulay Culkin in a Home Alone flick.

    Only thing lacking is a thought bubble of “Wheeeeeeee!!!!!”

  129. Flbucco says:

    May be the most idiotic article ever – which says something about the author…

    I wanted Polanco up in late April early May – could care less when he shows up once that window passed.

    And why don’t you tell Nutting to spend some of his money rather than tell fans how to spend theirs.

  130. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Sharing a majority view = ‘voice of the fan’ or some such. I get that a lot. Never acknowledge it.

    Not sharing a majority view = trolling.

    Equally silly. Neither is true. I work to gather my own info to form my own opinion. No one else’s. In some cases, such as this, I’ll have gathered info that runs counter to what a lot of people feel very strongly.

    Should I change mine to avoid ‘trolling?’

    Come on.

  131. Dom says:

    bummer

  132. Robert says:

    27th in revenue. 27th in payroll. Cheap spends as cheap earns. And they offered the overpriced, over-hyped, vastly under-performing, 38 year old AJ Burnett $12 Million. Nutting and the Pirates paying record draft bonuses to players like Alvarez, Cole, Bell, and Taillon is a major reason why MLB has a capped draft. Soooooo, those tricky facts…

  133. Flbucco says:

    +1

    Ditto!

  134. Jandy says:

    Don’t look now, the Boss is riled up!

    :taking cover:

  135. DJ says:

    Polanco looks D*MN good in that red and black uni.

    Can’t wait to see him tonight at the park in black and gold.

  136. DJ says:

    Don’t understand it, really.

    Life is too damn short.

  137. Jim S. says:

    Thank you for the voluntary Morning Java, DK. I am not personally a java drinker. Never had a cup in my life. But, I liked your take on Polanco’s arrival. We have, indeed, had other special players arrive in Pittsburgh in our history. This kid has a chance to be special, and we should celebrate it. But, lets not expect him to be McCutchen from Day 1. I wish I were in town to take in the festivities. I hope tonight is a sellout. I can’t wait to watch.

  138. Flbucco says:

    Agree with everything but you calling DK a journalist ;-)

  139. Jim S. says:

    Milo’s wisdom strikes again! I believe you are correct on that.

  140. Flbucco says:

    And they have a great stadium paid for by the taxpayers – jerry jones funded his out of team revenues

  141. NMR says:

    Unconfirmed reports from high atop Mt Washington that the chicken found in Deshea Townshend’s opiate den was sacrificed to Jobu by Marte and Davis prior to last night’s game.

    Jobu has reportedly picked up a nasty habit since Major League roylties stopped flowing.

  142. PittFan38 says:

    Totally agree with Cobra. There was a time when I really enjoyed Dejan’s writings and respected his coverage. Over the past six months or so he has become increasingly arrogant and condescending in both his tweets and articles. Any respect I had for him is gone and now he’s just a blowhard like most of the other members of the Pittsburgh sports media.

  143. JohninOshkosh says:

    Anybody know what the Pirates rank in ticket cost is ?

    People love to link revenue with payroll. 27 to 28, or whatever it is. Are their ticket prices a corresponding 27 or 28 in the league, as well ?

  144. Robert says:

    27th in revenue. 27th in payroll. The Pirates average attendance is less than 70% capacity and ranks 18th this year (19th last year) even though they have the 2nd lowest average ticket price in MLB.

    https://www.teammarketing.com/public/uploadedPDFs/2014%20mlb%20fci.pdf

    Instead of not buying cheap tickets while simultaneously complaining about spending, all the Polanconspiracists should have mailed checks to Nutting in order to pay Polanco for the extra arbitration year he would’ve earned. Just saying…

  145. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    This is great. You wanted Polanco up when you wanted him. Not now.

    How much more transparent can it be that a ton of the people doing the complaining genuinely weren’t Pirates fans in the first place?

  146. NMR says:

    Remember that one time we had the audacity to talk baseball during Nutting season?

  147. Jim S. says:

    I’m really confused now. I thought the Nutting-ites liked Walker because he’s from Pittsburgh, so the evil organization won’t have to pay him as much? And, he’s good for attendance even if the team stinks.

    I never know which side I’m on from day to day any more.

  148. Robert says:

    I’ll share it again. They have the 2nd lowest average ticket cost in MLB.

    https://www.teammarketing.com/public/uploadedPDFs/2014%20mlb%20fci.pdf

  149. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t but thanks for the info.

  150. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Because we disagree.

  151. Jim S. says:

    You better be wearing a Polanco jersey at the game tonight is all I have to say, DK!

    But, since you’re from Pittsburgh, you also need to have an “18″ patch just below the shoulder in honor of PRNW.

  152. MorselPix says:

    They can always send Polanco down again to “work out some finer points in his game”, if they want to gain a little more cushion.

  153. PittFan38 says:

    “First rule of sports journalism: Never let the fans think they know as much as or more than you do. If so, belittle and berate them to bring them down a few pegs.” – DK

  154. DJ says:

    Ha, good one.

    The pent up frustrations and spewing vitriol amaze me. Then again, not on Twitter.

  155. PittFan38 says:

    Not at all. I don’t mind disagreements in any way. It’s not so much what you say as it is how you say it. Your snark lately has been at a Mark Madden level, and that’s difficult to do.

  156. Dom says:

    That’s bad news.

  157. Milo Hamilton says:

    There’s nothing more off-putting than someone on their high horse telling other people how to spend their money.

  158. Jim S. says:

    I was gonna say Charlie pitched really great last night, and the team hit the cover off the ball. But, then I decided better of it.

  159. Jandy says:

    GEEZ! Don’t let Madden know, he’ll be even worse!!!!

  160. NMR says:

    I don’t give these guys nearly that much credit, DJ.

  161. pattonbb says:

    +++

  162. Jandy says:

    SAY IT DAMMIT, SAY IT!!!!

  163. Jim S. says:

    I mentioned it above, but it was way up there, Milo. Your call on Polanco very possibly not starting tonight was spot on. Might not be the best time to start a rookie vs. a LHP. Instant analysis like that is why we pay you the big bucks.

  164. Nate83 says:

    I already redid my will, gave all my money to Nutting to help him pay for Polanco being brought up slightly to early :)

    I’ve always thought this was the right move to wait until after Super 2, so now I’m excited to see the kid play for hopefully at least the next 6.5 years.

  165. Jim S. says:

    Charlie pitched really great last night, and the team hit the cover off the ball. I tried to shrink the font. ;-)

  166. pattonbb says:

    Apologist….

  167. Milo Hamilton says:

    Can you imagine the kerfuffle if he doesn’t play ? It’ll be awesome.

  168. Nate83 says:

    Agree, just say it. Get this blog back on track. Too much complaining about something that already didn’t happen. It happened today so be happy but by all means don’t feel obligated to go to the game.

  169. Nate83 says:

    Could you imagine. 10,000 people buy tickets today because DK told them to and Polanco sits the bench.

    I’m pretty confident the kid starts the next 3 games.

  170. Jandy says:

    I was thrilled for Charlie, he done good!!!!

  171. Jandy says:

    I heartily agree!!!!

  172. Jandy says:

    Free corn dogs for everyone!!!!!

  173. Kent says:

    Ryan, I grew up in Chicago and live in Texas. I have never seen such a concerted media effort to support an owner saving money over putting a better product on the field. With Polanco, the media have swallowed silly excuses the front office threw out for keeping him in AAA while the big league team was running out a pathetic RF platoon. Fielding angles, 500 AAA at bats, learning to struggle???? What a freaking joke.

    When Steve Blass just said on the air that he was sick of hearing about Polanco, I decided to quit listening to Pirate broadcasters for the season. Fortunately mlb.com gives you the option of broadcasters.

    When DK writes these snarky blogs calling out the fans, I write calling him out for being an ownership shill. Journalists don’t have to be fans, but they sure shouldn’t crap on them either. Real fans want to see their team do everything they can to win, not listen to owners promise to be competitive and then back off every promise they have made during a twenty year rebuild. Journalists call those kinds of owners out for their lies. I expect DK is towing the company line in hopes of getting some inside scoop. Whatever his reasons, his journalism leaves much to be desired.

  174. Jandy says:

    Have a beer and relax, Jimster!

  175. Robert says:

    But, back to an on-the-field-related topic. The Pirates management should be drug tested if they choose Snider over Tabata once Walker returns. The numbers at the plate aren’t even close.

    Tabata has a .289/.339/.400 line the last year. Snider .208/.290/.315.
    Tabata career with RISP .290/.361/.404. Snider .245/.337/.415.
    Tabata career with 2 out, RISP .311/.402/.437. Snider .195/.355/.376.

    And while Snider has had some success as a PH this season. Their career slash lines are almost identical. And Tabata is, by sabremetrical measure, a better fielder than Snider, and more valuable overall.

    Feel free to disagree.

  176. Dom says:

    What are you referring to, Milo. Who did that?

  177. Jim S. says:

    I’ve tried to be happily on neither side of the “Nutting is evil / Nutting is wonderful” debate. There are times when this organization flat out frustrates me, and I try to point that out when it occurs. But, I definitely wanted them to wait until Super 2 had passed in this instance because (perhaps naively) I still believe that extra money saved in Polanco future arbitration may actually be used by the team down the road. We shall see.

    Regardless, I do think it is fair to point out that Gregory Polanco played 57 games of High A ball for Bradenton in 2013. He’s in Pittsburgh in early June of 2014. Call it “slow walking” his entrance to the majors all you want, but that is a pretty rapid ascent for just about anyone.

  178. Jandy says:

    Dom, you are soooo cute! :*

  179. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m just worried about 3 years from now when the lack of AAA plate appearances really comes back to haunt him. I hope they send him back down after Walker comes back. You can never be too careful about these things.

  180. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Hey, is that video autoplaying for you guys?

    Sorry to interrupt. Right back to all the anger and misery and accusations because someone dares to have a different opinion.

  181. Nate83 says:

    This isn’t directed at you Jandy. Just a general comment about Charlie perception among fans.

    He has done well almost all year. In my opinino there is a huge misconception that he has been bad Charlie and good Charlie this year. That guy hasn’t pitched in a year going back to when he came of the DL last year. There has been pretty good Charlie and very good Charlie. Which is pretty much every number 1, 2 or 3 pitcher in the league not named Carpenter, Kershaw, Felix Hernandez and a few others and even they have bad outings.

    Talk about a reputation hanging on for years past the time you got it. He has an ERA almost a run and half better then the Pirate starting pitchers this year. That doesn’t happen by being Jeckyl and Hyde.

  182. Bizrow says:

    Wow, 182 posts already today, is something going on? :-)

  183. Jim S. says:

    Tabata is a better player than Snider, IMO. No question about it, Robert.

  184. Thundercrack says:

    Very good point Jim.

  185. Jim S. says:

    Don’t they like to bring a guy up and let him get acclimated? It seems to me they have done that in the past year or two with other guys.

    Kerfuffle is a good word.

  186. Johnstown Russ says:

    God help us if GP goes 0-4 tonight with 3 K’s. many of you wil want to ship him back to the farm.
    Could of/should of/would of. Relax, he’s here to stay. Potential for best outfield in baseball.
    Once walker returns this line up looks great as long as we get the good Akveraz.

  187. Milo Hamilton says:

    It is. But hey, at least we get Ray Liotta today !

  188. Robert says:

    Yes, it is.

  189. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks Robert.

  190. 21sthebest says:

    Jim, I was behind the plate in that box behind the Lexus Club boxes. Charlie’s Uncle Charlie was just absolutely amazing.

  191. Jim S. says:

    Pot sticker! ;-)

  192. Jandy says:

    Yeah Boss, it’s making my keyboard whack out as usual lol

  193. Jim S. says:

    My paycheck gets direct deposited into a secret Nutting bank account. He writes me out a check for whatever he thinks I deserve after he takes his cut.

  194. Jandy says:

    LOL Biz!

  195. DormontGeorge says:

    Flbucco: it’s not really about Nutting’s money. It’s about having one more year of control of Polanco…unless you want to forego that year and send him to the Yankees or Dodgers now to save your self the embarrassment and heartache later. You really don’t know how the system works, do you?

  196. 21sthebest says:

    +++

  197. Milo Hamilton says:

    My young friends taught me that one, along with narrative & meme. I support a constitutional amendment to remove narrative & meme from the English language.

  198. JohninOshkosh says:

    Many people go to games for reasons other than fandem.

    I’ve been known to go to people watch alone. And by people watch, I mean girl watch. And, that was when I was much younger, of course.

  199. Jandy says:

    Nate, you’re preaching to the choir, friend. I was happy to see him pitch into the seventh and outdo even himself in doing so. Charlie is helping to carry this team thru its pitching struggles. Hope we get some help soon, though.

  200. NMR says:

    The only argument I can muster is that they either feel Tabby would slide through waivers or if claimed that they coud get somethig back for him. No LHB on the bench without Snider, but Lambo could take his role once healthy.

  201. Jim S. says:

    I saw that also. As if Billy Beane has any idea how to run an organization. :-)

  202. Nate83 says:

    I definately don’t think he is evil. I think he cares passionately about how this team does. He has shown that to be the case with his spending on none team payroll type things. His actions have shown he is dedicated to the process and hands on. With the help of the FO I think he made a decision 6 years ago not to throw 20 million extra towards player payroll which doesn’t give you much return on the dollar. Instead I think they increased their scouting, draft spending, training facilities and international scope.

    They are attempting to out work everyone before these players become major league players and at least to me it does seem to be a dedicated effort. They have failed in some aspects of that plan but for the most part it has been successful. The return on the dollar for that plan is much greater but also goes unnoticed by a lot of fans who only see the low payroll. I do think he increased the payroll this year and NH for whatever reason couldn’t find a good use of that money. That money still may be used this year. If it isn’t then I could see it being used to extend Walker. In the end I’m not sure James Loney will be that much more productive then Ike Davis to justify using that money on him. I would rather have Walker for 2 extra years + Davis then have Loney for 3 years.

  203. Jim S. says:

    I’ll drink to that.

  204. Milo Hamilton says:

    Come on, you still look. ;)

  205. Thundercrack says:

    So that’s why we don’t worry about those people.

  206. Jandy says:

    LOL!!!!

  207. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m not wearing sun glasses just to block out the sun.

  208. pattonbb says:

    This is what happens when you rush guys through the system. I can’t believe they didn’t give Polanco 500 at bats at Indy. You can’t expect him to hit major league pitching this early. How stupid can this front office be?

    Oops…sorry…just practicing my lines for later.

    :)

  209. Milo Hamilton says:

    Front Row Amy !

  210. Jandy says:

    OMG, protect the chickens!!

  211. Robert says:

    That’s fair but, in all honesty, I don’t believe a left off the bench is necessary if Josh Harrison continues to produce. He could play 4 or 5 days per week, and each position he plays with some regularity is manned by a LH hitter (Alvarez 3B & Polanco RF) or switch hitter (Walker 2B). Therefore, on those days, there will be a lefty on the bench.

  212. Jim S. says:

    I feel like Tabby hits reasonably well, and pretty similarly for his career vs. both LHP and RHP. In that sense, he can take a key AB vs. just about any pitcher.

  213. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree about Cole, John. Not sure why exactly, maybe because he was an overall #1 pick, and with a SP there aren’t that many opportunities to see him in person at home.

    Happy Birthday to the birthday boys, WB and Naje, by the way.

  214. 21sthebest says:

    If I were management, I wouldn’t not spend now in order to maybe extend Walker. As of right now, he’s eligible for free agency when he’s 31. Not sure what kind of shape he’ll be in at that time or how his body may change. And if I’m Walker and looking for a big payday, I’m thinking I have a much better chance at one at 31 then when I’m 33 if I let the team extend me two years. So I think extending him may take a decent discount on Walker’s part and he may not be willing to that.

  215. JohninOshkosh says:

    ++++Jandy.

  216. If had more notice I would have considered taking the day off (actually 2 days off), shuffled my meeting schedule, and made the 6 hour drive from Jersey to see Polanco’s debut play. Unfortunately I can’t so my contribution to this debate was to just blow hot air. I would like to know what difference a sellout makes. If the Pirates do sell out does that mean the next elite prospect doesn’t haven’t to wait until mid-June to avoid being Super 2? If that promise would be made I’m quite certain the game would sell out.

  217. Jim S. says:

    Ok, so with Polanco being called up, we should expect a walk up ticket surge tonight.

    On the other hand ….

    With PRNW recovering from his appendectomy, we should expect a corresponding flood of tickets on stubhub any minute now.

    What’s a Yinzer to do?

  218. JTinDC says:

    Dejan, I know you have it completely backwards. Nutting and the front office owe the fans. Pirate fans owe Nutting and the front office nothing. The fans have been showing up for years. They’ve been going to games when ownership put far less than a major league product on the field for about 20 years.

    You also forgot one enormous payment that Pirate fans and Pittsburgh taxpayers made for ownership that still hasn’t been paid back. Those people paid for PNC Park. They are the reason that Nutting has a great field. They are the reason that Nutting has profited from the Pirates.

    The Polanco call up is nothing more than a past due bill that Nutting is just getting around to paying to the fans. Worse still, it’s not even the minimum payment. Nutting owes Pirates fans much more than a Polanco call up, he owes Pirates fans about 20 years of back payments for all that Pirate fans have done for him. The Polanco call up was the right thing to do. It was the right thing to do for the past six weeks. That would have been a good first payment to the fans.

    As I said at the beginning. You have it completely backwards. The fans are owed everything. The fans owe the front office and Nutting absolutely nothing.

  219. Nate83 says:

    +++ Agree with all of that. I actually wasn’t a fan of extending him until this year but I agree his age could be an issue. I don’t think the Pirates would want him more then a few extra years and I agree he more then likely will want to cash in and get a 4 or 5 year deal when he becomes a free agent. Probably not a match for the Pirates philosophy and what the player can get on the open market.

    I can’t remember the last player the Pirates have been commited to more then 2 years beyond the age of 30. Maybe Martin becomes the first one in a while because he will want at least 3 years. Let’s see if the Pirates will take that chance. He is very valuable.

  220. Jim S. says:

    That was totally inappropriate, Jandy.

    Thanks, Jandy. ;-)

  221. Jim S. says:

    AJ, Wandy. Reduced rates due to other teams assisting financially, of course.

  222. 21sthebest says:

    Just because I’m on a diet, doesn’t mean I can’t read the menu.

  223. Arriba Wilver says:

    Love you, man. :-)

  224. NMR says:

    Honestly, Milo made a good point above. A soft tossing lefty isn’t a very good matchup for Polanco’s first game.

    And I suspect expectations are generally ridiculous in the first place.

    Reality is that there’s little chance Polanco will replace Josh Harrison’s production from the last month over the rest of the season.

  225. Jim S. says:

    Great seats, 21.

    On TV, it looked like everything had great movement. Just as importantly, he had pinpoint control with everything. And, the home plate ump was giving him the inside corner plus an inch or two, I thought.

  226. Jandy says:

    I’ll take that as an affirmative vote, Jimster ;)

  227. Jandy says:

    Will we have another proposal today????

  228. NMR says:

    Yeah, that’s certainly not my opinion. Snider never did a thing to deserve the at-bats he got over Tabby so far this yea in the first place.

    I hesitate to include Josh Harrison as JOSH HARRISON in future plans, however.

  229. Jandy says:

    Watch on television :)

  230. NMR says:

    Good point, Jim.

  231. Jim S. says:

    But, as long as he produces more than Josh Harrison would have over the next 3.5 months, then we’re ahead. I think he will.

  232. Nate83 says:

    I think I worded that incorrectly. I meant to say signed something larger then a 2 year deal for somebody over 30.

    AJ was only two year. You are correct about Wandy he was 2 year and 50 games. What is happening to both those pitchers this year shows exactly how dangerous it is for a small market team to commit much payroll for a long period of time to players over 30. I think it’s worth the risk with Martin. He is to valuable and they don’t have an answer for catcher for another 3 years.

  233. NMR says:

    It’s taken this Blog three years to figure out what the hell Super 2 means.

    You really think the general fan population gives a crap?

  234. NMR says:

    Not arguing that. Just pointing out that he won’t necessarilly be an ADDITION to the offense we’ve seen lately, which is what I believe Russ alluded to in his last sentence.

  235. Arriba Wilver says:

    Interesting take, HV.

  236. PittFan38 says:

    I just want to know if Steve Blass will be in attendance, seeing as how he said just 5 short days ago that he was “sick of hearing about Polanco.”

  237. Jim S. says:

    About last night’s game …

    * Charlie was ridiculously good. He generally has nasty stuff. But, it is often difficult for him to harness his stuff. Last night, he had pinpoint control. Charlie was a #1 last night.

    * Small quibble, but why take him out Clint? 82 pitches of dominance through 7. We might need Melancon for the next 3 nights. Like I said, just a small quibble.

    * Cutch was Cutch. 10 XBH in last 8 games.

    * Marte was Cutch. 2 XBH, 2 RBI and a SB for the game.

    * Davis nearly had 2 HR, if he had gotten under his long lineout to RC just a hair.

    * On the other side … that was a very impressive HR by Castro. Dude has skills.

    * I think we are going to miss Neil’s bat. Get well soon, NW! We need you, man!

  238. NMR says:

    Lexus club…sounds like 21 had a good first quarter. ;)

  239. Jandy says:

    The BOLDNESS of Blass to say that! He should be BANNED!

    ;)

  240. Thundercrack says:

    He said behind the Lexus Club.

    :-)

  241. Jim S. says:

    I don’t notice such things. I didn’t notice more than 2:44 of that video.

  242. The general fan base just cares that the team is using the actual best players available to them. They might not understand the full scope of the Super 2 issue but they know that elite prospects like Polanco are being held back because of money.

  243. Jandy says:

    Jimster, don’t look now, but your nose is growing

  244. NMR says:

    Haha, good catch. ;)

  245. Wild Bill says:

    I wish, Dom.

  246. bpn8pitt says:

    Agree with you and Osh. Went to Cole’s debut, it was electric. Plus, I think the fact he has that ace pedigree that you need to win championships. The base hit was kind of a cherry on top, too…Outside of the WC game, that was my favorite from last year.

    But I hope tonight is special too.

  247. bpn8pitt says:

    Cutch is on a tear. Couldnt have come at a better time either.

  248. Jim S. says:

    I agree. I was thinking that the timing may be perfect, in that as great as Josh has been I’m not sure I see him continuing to produce as he has for the last month.

    Then, again, Josh was a .300+ hitter in the minors. So, with extended playing time, there was no reason not to think he would hit at least reasonably well.

  249. Matt hoffman says:

    If I lived close to “the Burgh”, I would be there tonight (but I would be there for every home game) lol. I am excited for the game tonight! (I am excited about every game).
    I have had a strong opinion that Polanco should have started the year in Pittsburgh. I can understand why he has been in Indy.
    I remember how excited I was when the following players were called up: McCutchen, Alvarez, Cole, Marte, Mercer, Walker,Sanchez,Cumpton and yes, even Lambo! We have a VERY talented group of players with many good years ahead. They will have hot streaks and they will have slumps. Some succeed and some fail, but overall, we have a good team with a strong farm system. I enjoy others opinions and that is why I read this blog (btw: where is LuckynKentucky?)

  250. Jim S. says:

    +++, Nate.

    The Walker one is a toughie. Some players continue to produce into their 30′s. But, most guys start to slide pretty quickly. I would not mind if they locked him up until about 33. He seems to be still getting a little better as a hitter – at least from the standpoint of plate discipline.

  251. Jandy says:

    Matt, good question..ABP out for the Spunkster!

  252. Blair says:

    Were the Hoka Hey articles him being a shill for the BMTIB?

  253. bpn8pitt says:

    He is outside Federal Street with a pitchfork and torch, next to a sign that says “FREE VANCE WORLEY”

    I have to bring him lunch later, when I pick up my tickets for tonight. :)

  254. LonelyLibertarian says:

    Great Post Cobra
    Ditto!

  255. Jim S. says:

    I was more excited for the Cole debut. I wasn’t at the game, but the possibility of a Pirate pitcher who could throw 100 sucked me in big time.

  256. Thundercrack says:

    I hear Fillaponi’s opening to his show today. He said he expects Polanco to do just as good as McCutheon did in when he first got called up. I thought that was ridiculous because even though they are the same age, Cutch had much more experience in the minors. So I looked it up:

    Cutch played 511 games in the minors, 2223 PA, 1967 at bats
    Polanco: 472 games, 1960 PA, 1743 at bats

    That wasn’t too different.

    But then I looked at their stats for AA & AAA
    Cutch: 319 games, 1226 AB
    Polanco: 132 games, 500 AB

    We shall see……..

  257. Ed Costello says:

    That’s right. Dejan insists that PNC Park sell out tonight because the team waited two months to call up one of their 25 best players. The Bucs waited two months to save an average of $2 million per Polanco season, but you yinzers better shell out your hard-earned cash and give your money to Nutting … NOW!

  258. NMR says:

    Great stuff, Jim!

    -Fair quibble, re: Hurdle. I don’t thik there’s any question Hurdle has been managing tight during this winning stretch. I mean, the guy just squeezed with a three run lead and went to his setup man/closer combo against the worst team in the league.

    But as I know you’ll agree, I’m gonna let him take the pulse of this team. He seems to be managing for every single win and will fgure out the rest later.

    -Going back to our conversation above re: Harrison/Polanco, I thnk we saw last night who really has an opportunity to be a game chaner in this lineup: Starling Marte. He’s going to have enormous opportunities hitting behind the four guys wth the highest walk rates on the team. Could end up leading the team in RBI if he hits .260-.270.

    -This is far from scientific, but I think Ike Davis has lost a good bit of batspeed with his retooled swing. Seems to struggle with velocity, but has no trouble squaring up soft tossers.

    -Baseball is a funny game. This time last year the Cubbies were getting drilled or extending Castro and Rizzo. Not so much anymore.

  259. Jandy says:

    LOL!

  260. JohninOshkosh says:

    +

  261. Patrick(RI) says:

    After scrolling the entries and watching the very slick DK video, I don’t think I need caffeine to get motivated today! My reaction to the call up is rooted in history: The subject of the greatest “bad trade” anguish went 0 for 21 when called up, as I recall.

  262. NMR says:

    We knew Josh Harrison could be a singles hitter, did it up here in ’11.

    But Josh Harrison isn’t getting the love for being a singles hitter, he’s blowing up for postng better power numbers than he has at any level of the minors.

    Big difference between an empty .270 batting average and what he’s done this year!

  263. bpn8pitt says:

    I like the point on Marte. Reports of a pending trade to Beantown were premature. Apparently. ;)

  264. JohninOshkosh says:

    Right back atcha, AW!

  265. Cobra39 says:

    But he’d be going to the Yankees or the Dodgers because of Nutting’s inability, or refusal, to spend the money to keep Polanco. So it really is all about Nutting’s money.

  266. Thundercrack says:

    He is insisting that those people that have been calling for Polanco to be up here for two months to go to the game.

  267. Maz in Iowa says:

    All those days of practicing tucking his shirting in have Polanco at the precipice. :)

  268. NMR says:

    Just rebuilding value for TEH PROSPECTS. ;)

  269. Nate83 says:

    +++ agree. He has grown on me. If he continues hitting line drives to the gap with the occassional HR he becomes a very valuable 300-400 AB piece of this team this year and moving forward.

  270. Thundercrack says:

    I also think that the general fan base has to realize that money is a big part of sports today.

  271. NMR says:

    Your favorite website, FanGraphs ran an article this morning on Jair Jurgens rebuilding his career in the minors. Clearly Worley’s similar article will run tomorrow.

  272. NMR says:

    Nate, you win the Blog.

  273. JRay3 says:

    Jim, agree with your small quibble about pulling Charlie, he was cruising and team had a nice lead, at some point Clint can save the bullpen by letting a starter in control go.

    The thing I think I liked best was the shot in the dugout where it looked like Morton was trying to sell to stay in the game with Clint, really demonstrated his competitiveness and his want to do all he could to save the pen.

  274. Nate83 says:

    0-21???

    That kind of slump can get discussions about platooning players around these here parts. I have no expectations at all for the kid. I’m excited to see him and will make zero judgements based on his first 20 games. Baseball is to crazy of a game to judge any player on a stretch of 20 games.

  275. bpn8pitt says:

    I will check it out.

    Think they miss Henderson Alvarez this weekend? Hope so.

  276. Nate83 says:

    I donate it back. It’s very angry and sensitive today.

  277. NMR says:

    Expect?

    Shows a severe lack of knowledge. Not that anyone should’ve expected otherwise.

  278. Maz in Iowa says:

    Cutpoma is going to be very good OF for a long time

  279. Flbucco says:

    DK

    I guess it is the new norm to insult someone you disagree with – I too am guilty of that over this mess. But I AM A REAL FAN!

    We disagree on some very basic things – and I have stopped respecting YOUR POV because you clearly have no respect for anyone who thinks that…

    1. Ownership had an obligation to the fans to try and build on last years success – I never thought they should do so by throwing around a lot of money and taking the payroll up to $100M+. But some sign that serious efforts were being made to sustain the momentum would have been nice.

    2. Putting the best team on the field and trying to win is an alternative strategy to trying to play the “years of control” game. I have said elsewhere that I would be angry if I were a McCutchen or Walker and I knew that there was a better option to Travis Snider and Jose Tabata sitting at Indy for financial reasons. Like MANY others I found the “every team does it” and “Super Two Status is not the reason he is not in RF” memes silly and insulting.

    3. I watched this team lose for 20 years – rooting from the various cities I lived in before retiring and paying for MLB.com to do so. As soon as we moved back to Pittsburgh I bought 20 game season ticket package and watched two totally embarassing epic collapses before enjoying a return to the playoffs last year – barely – people seem to forget the mini collapse in September that saw the Bucs move from Division lead to Wild Card.

    Had the Bucs made just a couple of minor moves to get better, I would have gladly gone from 20 game to half season package and would have been happy to pay the insane food and beverage prices the go along with attending games.

    I have said elsewhere and mean it – Nutting has every right to treat this team as his personal cash cow – but I also have the right to keep my money and not contribute to his wealth building -I love the Pittsburgh Pirates – as do many of those idiots who disagree with you and FO – insulting us and writing this sort of snarky crap is not something I respect.

  280. Patrick(RI) says:

    Exactly.

  281. Thundercrack says:

    I guess this move also says what they think of Tabata and Snider and/or what kind of infield depth they have in the minors.

    They are going with Mercer, Barmes, and JHay to cover SS and second base. That will be interesting.

    Any idea how long Walker is going to be out?

  282. Flbucco says:

    I promise to respect your opinion once you show you see some logic in the alternative POV and that not all of us holding that POV are idiots or whackos

  283. JRay3 says:

    Since the Houston Astros have called up George Springer on May 13, the Astros have gone 17-8, the third best record in MLB during that time. Now I am in no way saying that is sustainable.

    But, it also underscores why the Pirates still have a very good shot to get on a June run (5-3 so far this month), with the upcoming softer schedule and with the addition of Polanco which gives the lineup another jolt, could be an interesting lead up to the All-Star break.

    Disappointed that Walker will be down the next two weeks, but also looking at it as a nice little break for him to rest up and recharge. Hurdle had mentioned prior to giving him an off day, he was tired. Walker had 10 HR’s in first 49 games about 1 every 5 games and recently has just had 1 HR in his past 14 games.

  284. Nate83 says:

    The year of control has nothing to do with Super 2. That date passed in late April I believe. It only has to do with 3 or 4 years of arbitration. Both scenerio’s kept Polanco a Pirate for 6 years past this season.

  285. Andrew says:

    Hahaha, The City of Arlington owns the stadium.

    http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/courier/news/arlington-officials-we-ll-pay-off-cowboys-stadium-bonds-early/article_22eb8286-f9f1-50d2-b7e1-91a99cf07656.html

    And now the Cowboys are getting public money, $115 million, to build a practice facility.

    http://www.fieldofschemes.com/2013/08/14/5730/texas-to-prove-everythings-bigger-there-by-building-115m-practice-stadium-for-cowboys/

    Sports team owners are neither good or evil, they just are. Part of their existence includes waddling up to the trough of public money.

  286. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bobby Hill? ;-)

  287. Dom says:

    The only info i could find on the subject is that he was placed on the 15 day DL.

    One would think he should practicing in a week, right?

  288. Nate83 says:

    Did you post this or do you have a 13 year old daughter that posted this?

  289. JRay3 says:

    The type of procedure he had for his appendectomy, they say in most cases you can resume most of your normal activities in 1-2 weeks. Don’t know if swinging a bat qualifies but exercise and running do.

    It is a fairly common procedure that many adults face in their lifetime. So if no complications develop he may only need his DL stint before being ready.

  290. Jim S. says:

    That’s a heavy prediction by Fillaponi. It’s possible for Polanco, but I think few people actually realize how good Andrew McCutchen really is as a hitter and how good he was in his very first season. Cutch slashed .286/.365/.471 as a 22 year old rookie. Polanco has room to be a very nice player and never be on a par with Cutch. Cutch is historically good as a Pirate. At 27 …

    * He has a career slash line of .297/.384/.490
    * He has hit .327 and .317 the last 2 years, and appears to be heading for a similar year in 2014
    * He is a career .296 hitter with RISP
    * He is on pace for a career high of 72 XBH this year, while heading for his first 100+ walk season (116 pace)
    * He is averaging an XBH in 12.2% of his ABs – that’s big time stuff!
    * He has a slash line of .309/.423/.509 in 2014
    * He is slashing .327/.444/.551 with RISP in 2014
    * He is 7/7 in SB in 2014

    If Cutch keeps this up for about 8-10 more years, he will have a good shot at the HOF. That’s a big if, of course. Very few guys can maintain this sort of excellence for 10+ years. But, this is how HOF careers progress. He’s really special and he’s still getting better. We can only hope Gregory Polanco is close to as good as Cutch is someday.

  291. Nate83 says:

    I’ve heard typically it’s 5-7 days until you can start normal activity again. Normal activity may mean getting up and walking around and sitting in a chair. Not diving for ground balls or sliding into second base or swinging a baseball bat. I’m guessing 15 game DL with immediate return is best case scenerio.

  292. Thundercrack says:

    JRay
    The guy had surgery. I don’t think this is the kind of break he really wanted to have. Him recovering from the surgery is going to negate any benefits (rest up & recharge) that he may have gotten for not playing for 2 weeks

  293. Maz in Iowa says:

    I was wondering if the Bucs could go with a 6 man rotation for a while.I know everyone will say they don’t have 6 good starters,but giving some of these guys a start off might help with “arm fatigue” .Just a thought.

  294. Bfd says:

    Add in mlb wefare to your nutting math

  295. NMR says:

    Clearly the fear Ike Davis has put into the hearts of opposing pitchers.

  296. NMR says:

    Ha, clearly a lesson John Perrotto hasn’t learned. Sometimes it is painfully obvious to see why guys never amount to more than writing for small town papers.

  297. bpn8pitt says:

    Had it done when I was a kid. I was tender on my lower right side for a month. Thankfully it was in the winter, so I wasnt swinging a bat then. I cant imagine what that would be like, opening up the hips.

    Love Neil Walker. Having an All Star caliber first half…Just not sure about his body holds up. Always seems to be something. That alone, could be the reason he hasnt been extended. Only time he’s played close to a full season was 2011. And it wont get better with age, surely.

  298. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree, TC. Likely to come back weaker.

  299. Nate83 says:

    Good stuff Jim. I think we take him for granted. I also think expectations for Marte and Polanco are way to high. They could be very good without reaching Cutch’s level.

    8-10 years to have a shot at the HOF? I think he could clinch the hall of fame with 4-5 more years like his last 2. Anything after that is gravy. Just my opinion. I could be wrong but 7 years as a top 5 MVP candidate is pretty impressive. Add to that all the other things he does well and he would seem to make it easily.

  300. NMR says:

    Says Dr. Thundercrack.

  301. bpn8pitt says:

    This morning on the Fan, I was reminded Ben had the procedure too. Played in two weeks. But I think they lost and he didnt play well first game back.

  302. Jim S. says:

    I agree on Morton’s competitiveness, JRay. I loved after his last start, when he said something to the effect of, “I throw a lot of ground balls. I induce soft contact. I really have good stuff, and sometimes it gets away from me.” That shows me that Charlie knows how good he can be. He seems pretty confident to me right now.

    I have admitted to being frustrated by Charlie already this year. But, that is mostly on me and my nature, rather than Charlie. When other people say Charlie can be a solid #3, I always think he has so much more because of nights like last night. He was just filthy. He toyed with every guy in that lineup all night. One hard hit ball, by my count, all night. He was a #1.

    So, sometimes I expect him to be able to do that most nights, which isn’t really fair. Part of why Charlie is so hard to hit is that he has so much action on his pitches. And, frustrating though it may be at times for me, there will just be nights when he walks too many and plunks a few and ends up giving up more runs than we would like as a result. That kind of life and movement is really hard to locate precisely.

  303. JRay3 says:

    Not in any way trying to imply it is the break he wanted to have. No doubt he wants to be out there, no doubt he rather not have to go through that procedure.

    But I also don’t think him being shutdown for two weeks is catastrophic and team has enough depth to cover adequately during this time.

    Wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to having him back as soon as possible, as no doubt he is a leader of this team.

  304. dennis g says:

    I think your chart shows they had, last year, the fourth lowest ticket prices. It also shows that after the first winning season in 21 years they had the fourth largest percentage increase in average ticket prices.

  305. Jim S. says:

    Agree on every point, NMR.

  306. Bizrow says:

    I heard 2-4 weeks

  307. Sisyphus says:

    Feel free to post a link to anyone who has belittled Walker for failing to take a hometown discount.

    Feel free to post a link to anyone who has ever said that Walker isn’t needed.

    Feel free to post a link to anyone who has ever said that Walker stinks.

    Man, it sure is easy to win arguments when you get to invent the other guy’s position, isn’t it?

  308. Thundercrack says:

    I only play one on TV….and on this blog

  309. NMR says:

    Makes two of us.

  310. Arriba Wilver says:

    We’re all doctors on this, NMR. Not sure why you singled TC out.

    Calling Dr. Howard, calling Dr. Fine, calling Dr. Howard. Calling Dr. Howard, calling Dr. Fine, calling Dr. Howard.

  311. Andrew says:

    The general fan overvalues the present, isn’t not right or wrong, but they do. Winning is the predominate factor in driving general fan interest, thus if an team wants to maintain general fan interest they should place value on sustainable winning. If the league labor structure has a quirk that allows extra control and reduced future costs of a player that might be vital to winning, maybe the team should consider long-term.

    The other option is for the team to overvalue the present also, trade draft picks or prospects for upgrades, maybe they win it all. But winning comes with expectations, so you have to keep winning, if the team doesn’t win enough, the general fans then complains about those lost picks, the barren system and how the team didn’t win enough.

  312. Maz in Iowa says:

    Wonder what the odds would be to get Polanco to autograph a scorecard/program thingy.I imagine the young man would be wide eyed in batting practice and might just want to concentrate on the task at hand

  313. NMR says:

    Guy at work training for a triathalon put 30 miles on his bike a week after having the same procedure this spring.

    For a player that was just given a couple days off by his Manager in order to rest, I don’t think this is a bad thing.

  314. The Gunner says:

    Morton was on his A+++ game last night, he simply dominated the Cubs. The way he pitched last night was reminiscent of how AJ consistently pitched in his 1st year with the Bucs. I have been very critical of Charlie in the past but despite that, I do like him.

    Out of his 13 2014 starts, only 4 (or maybe 5) have been real good – he needs to double that #. Many of his starts have been sloppy due to lousy defense and lack of command (high pitch counts).

  315. Thundercrack says:

    +1

  316. Milo Hamilton says:

    Neil Walker has tweeted out a thumbs up picture from his hospital bed. Looks like losing one’s appendix nets one some great drugs.

  317. Sisyphus says:

    I’m a lot more worried about Cole than Walker. Losing Walker hurts, no doubt about it, but they’re replacing him with one of the top prospects in baseball. This is the time when Taillon’s injury is really a problem for them. They’re essentially replacing their top starter with their number 8 guy. Granted, Locke looked just outstanding in his first start, and you have to think that the pitcher who was a surprise all star last season is still in there somewhere, but the starting pitching has been problematic WITH Cole in the rotation.

  318. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think Ben had one of those things, too.

  319. Jim S. says:

    I assume each procedure and each person is different.

    I was reading yesterday that Matt Cassel (former Tom Brady caddie) was ok’d to play 4 days after his appendectomy a few years ago. The team thought it made more sense to wait an extra week as a precaution. He played at the 11 day mark with no complications, after having practiced and worked out for several days.

    I have no idea what, if anything, this means for Neil. But, hopefully, he can get back in 2 weeks. I know it is stil surgery, but I think we have advanced medically to the point where recoveries are often fairly quick now.

  320. Kent says:

    Bravo. DK considers himself a journalist, yet all he does lately is rag on fans who want to win and defend an owner who couldn’t care less.

    An investigative journalist has integrity and seeks the facts and truth. DK quotes Nutting and Coonley and snarks fans. I guess nothing that was promised over the past decade or so by the Nuttings and the front office should ever be thrown back at them.

  321. Jim S. says:

    If Nutting weren’t so cheap, he’d bring up Alen Hanson. JK.

  322. Kent says:

    Nutting doesn’t mind taking our money. Tax payer funded stadium, let alone the cost to go to the game. Yet they said if we would spend, they would put out a major league team. This past offseason was a disaster. Polancos deal is just salt in the wound.

    Or maybe you were just commenting about DK telling fans they have to sellout the stadium now that Polanco is coming up. Forget that the super 2 issue is now moot.

  323. hockeymonster says:

    Disco, take the job in FLA. I visit family there all the time. We can keep the disco stretch alive and well…as long as you work on an electric slide as a change up. Disco clubs there are no joke…you need to have more than one dance move.

    Just sayin…

  324. Jandy says:

    LOL +++++

  325. Jim S. says:

    For some reason, though, the voters (and we don’t need to get into that topic of discussion) seem to like you to compile stats. You are probably right, Nate, that 7 great seasons is enough. But, he would still need to tack on a few more mediocre seasons in addition to his first 3 very good seasons as a pro, IMO. Seems crazy, but that is often how it seems to work out.

  326. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Laughable….It’s all over the place as recently as yesterday.
    I’m not posting other blog links on this blog.

  327. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I didn’t know Polanco plays 2nd base.

  328. Zico says:

    Is Will DePaoli a reputable source for information?

  329. 21sthebest says:

    6 years ago my kid played a high school basketball game when he was a senior 10 days after having his appendix out. Almost played the entire game. He labored during the second half though.

  330. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  331. Maz in Iowa says:

    Pot stirrer. :)

  332. scapper says:

    Beautiful.

  333. scapper says:

    How dare you be a fan who simply enjoys the game and his team and puts into proper perspective in one’s life!

  334. Sisyphus says:

    As of last night, Loney was putting up a .719 OPS. Last year was the first good one that he’s had since 2007, and it was only a good season, not a great one. He was the best first baseman available through free agency, but he’s just not that good.

  335. Jim S. says:

    I heard Chuck Norris had the procedure in the morning. Some guy smarted off to him that afternoon, and he put the guy in a coma then went for a 20 mile run. Just sayin’.

  336. Andrew says:

    -One caveat with Morton’s recent performance, it has come against the two worst hitting teams in the NL. Though, Morton certainly made the Cubs look bad, through six there was about one ball hit out of the infield. Also the wins all count the same, this ain’t college football.

    -NMR you might like this, it is a tool to compared hitters versus pitchers by velocity and balled ball type.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/hitter-results-vs-unique-pitcher-types/

    It only includes up 2013, but it appears Davis was previously good against high velocity, relatively speaking. You could be right about this year. Also of note during his recent 0 for 27, skid he was still getting on base a .260 clip, so it was better than a Pedro or Marte slump.

  337. NMR says:

    He felt the need to correct JRay, so I felt the need to mock him for it.

  338. Jim S. says:

    Guilty, as charged.

    Maybe you should have been called up, Maz. I heard you had a pretty good glove at 2b.

  339. hockeymonster says:

    Can’t believe that lucky bastard is being paid 2M big ones just to hang out with and sit next KT. Some fella’s get all the luck…

  340. scapper says:

    Pretty sure they don’t even make an incision like they used to. I think they go in like they do for arthroscopic surgery…with holes or something.

    But I couldn’t even spell “pre-med” when I in college, so don’t mind me.

  341. 21sthebest says:

    Only 20? Wimp.

  342. hockeymonster says:

    Seriously though, really hope Polanco does well but not too well. Those contract negotiations are going to be difficult enough as it is…i hear his agent is a peach.

  343. Sisyphus says:

    Heck, that’s nothing. I heard him say that there’s no reason not to think that Polanco will come up and carry the team. I guess that’s true, but there’s also no reason not to think that he’ll hit .180 and get sent back down after 100 at bats. Filiponi isn’t exactly the guy that I go to when I want to hear pearls of baseball wisdom.

  344. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    All me Nate!!!!!

    I’m glad you took it as I meant it though.

    Understand my hands were to my face like Kevin McCalister

  345. Matt says:

    First of all, DK, the idea of you telling us we BETTER sell out the stadium is ludicrous- there are plenty of people out there still angry that he wasn’t up sooner (Sunday’s crucial but offensively-challenged snoozefest springs to mind).

    Secondly, you say you don’t care on a personal level, but then you take a pot shot in your closing “hot air” comments – which is it?

  346. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought it was just a difference of opinion, but to each their own, Dr. Fine.

  347. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Aren’t we already talking about the trade deadline????

  348. Gravitas says:

    You buying a ticket DK? Cause, after all, you contributed mightily to the fuss and bluster with the incessantly condescending and smug tweets on the subject. Please don’t act like you weren’t complicit in all this.

  349. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was thinking some kind of laser surgery. Have to figure whatever it was he’s getting the best, most up to date care.

    Signed,
    Dr. Howard

  350. Jandy says:

    lol Don’t be jealous

  351. Jim S. says:

    Forgot who my audience was for a sec.

  352. NMR says:

    But I didn’t agree with Thunder’s and did agree with JRay’s so I had to throw a hissy fit.

  353. hockeymonster says:

    Can’t help it…although i have forgiven her for picking columbus. Weeksie, not so much :)

  354. NMR says:

    Damn, great find. Wish I could download at the office.

    Don’t get me wrong, Ike Davis is doing what he needs to do in order to keep his career going. Pitchers adjusted and blew up that awful hitch. Ike saw the writing on the wall and finally adjusted back. And he has the pleasure regaining feel for driving the ball against live big league pitching.

    I don’t think it is physically possible to hit a ball 450+ ft as he did in LA and not have power, but for the time being I think he is miscast in his role as the cleanup hitter. I don’t see any reason at all – other than preconceived notions – that he and Neil Walker should not trade places in the order.

  355. Wild Bill says:

    Lotsa yak on here today about how well Charlie pitched last night and he did. I wonder if it’s related to watching Locke really go after people the day before – he was Attacking the hitters. Then last night Charlie looked more aggressive to me than he has for maybe all season.

  356. Reading says:

    Any and all Pirates fans that clamored for Polanco’s call-up must also bid on items in the auction tonight.

  357. Reading says:

    Missed the Humpty Dumpty slide last night. Not very attentive, I guess.

  358. Maz in Iowa says:

    Orioles GM Dan Duquette says demoting Manny Machado is “an option.Hmmm

  359. jefft says:

    I have a question…I’ve gone & purchased a ticket for tonight’s game. Does that make me a) a sellout to the Nutting plan of capitalizing on the new hot prospect; b) a hypocrite for purchasing a ticket just to see the new hot prospect; c) both, or d) just someone happy to finally see a game? I’m sure I’ll have done something wrong according to an awful lot of people on here, it seems. Oh, well…guess I’ll settle in my own mind for d).

  360. Thundercrack says:

    A thumbs up from Walker. So when does NMR expect him back in the lineup?

  361. Wild Bill says:

    D is good, Jeff. But you will be accused of all of them so enjoy!

  362. Jandy says:

    jefft, it makes you someone who wants to see his team play, especially the hot new kid on the block. Enjoy :)

  363. Jandy says:

    you’re killing me lol

  364. Jim S. says:

    Good point, Wild Bill. I wonder if Ray talked to everyone and said we can’t get people out without throwing strikes.

  365. bpn8pitt says:

    The best fans in my opinion, are the ones that go during the week, when there is a chance of rain. Regardless of what teams and who’s playing and what the standings are.

    So thats where you are in my book, jeff.

    Me? I am scumbag who goes on Free Shirt Fridays and bitches about low risk signings like Vance Worley. :)

  366. Bizrow says:

    I wouldn’t really worry if some bloggers don’t like it ;-)

    Enjoy the game

    Bring home a win!!!!

  367. Nate83 says:

    e) smart for doing what makes you happy.

    After looking at it again I guess that is d). Whatever the case enjoy the game. I’m jealous because I live 4 hours away and can’t attend myself.

  368. Nate83 says:

    He has infinately more home runs then Morneau did as a Pirate. But so does Barmes and I assume almost any player who swung the bat more then 100 times in a Pirate uniform. Even Belliard had a few I think.

  369. Patrick(ri) says:

    Late response, assuming your ? Is not tongue-in-cheek: At the other end, Aramis — I still recall the look of abject relief when he reached second base. No reason to believe Bobby Hill went 0 for 20+, too.

  370. NMR says:

    Friday night…if he’s a real man.

  371. Patrick(ri) says:

    No reason “not” to believe . . .

  372. Jim S. says:

    Same with me, Nate. And, to top it off, I once again have to listen to Len Kasper and Jim DeShaies. Kasper can never get through 3 innings without telling us that: a) the Pirates had 20 straight losing seasons; and b) it rains in Pittsburgh every time the Cubs visit.

    Last night, he droned on about the threatening skies in Pittsburgh all day, even though it never rained during the game. Meanwhile, it was raining off and on yesterday at my house in sunny IL. It is raining again today, and it will rain again tomorrow. And, Thursday. In fact, most times I believe Pittsburgh gets similar weather to what our area had the day before.

  373. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    Mike Babcock, without hesitation.

    You have to remember what the next head coach is walking into: a locker room with two of the best players on the planet and Stanley Cup aspirations. The head coach has to command instant respect of those players and he has to have the experience of coaching (if not winning) a Stanley Cup on his resume.

    If Jim Rutherford and his entourage follow the same course to selecting a coach as ownership followed in selecting a GM, the Penguins will have an established, proven boss behind the bench.

  374. Jandy says:

    scumbag! :P

  375. Jim S. says:

    I wonder if the lineup card for tonight’s game gets released unusually late by Hurdle, just in case GP sits vs. the LHP. #sellout

  376. Bizrow says:

    Its Tuesday, so maybe I will post the Lunatic Nation list tonight?

    We might get some new folks to drop in what with the new fellow?

  377. NMR says:

    I wonder if is actually a matter of secondary pitches.

    Don’t think I’ve ever seen Locke command his changeup like he did the other day and Chuck had the good yakker going for strikes.

  378. Jandy says:

    Sounds like a good idea, Biz!

  379. NMR says:

    I have a weekday 20-game plan. You’re “best fan” comment is gonna go to my head and make me even more insufferable.

  380. Jandy says:

    Insufferable scumbag :P

  381. pattonbb says:

    +++

  382. bpn8pitt says:

    You probably sit next to my sister. She goes for the pierogi races, hotdog/Tshirt tosses and Beat the Bucco.

  383. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    It’s going to be interesting to see where Disco Dan ends up. He carries a pretty impressive resume with him and will certainly find no shortage of offers, but I can’t look past the fact that he was afforded a tremendously talented lineup throughout most of his tenure in Pittsburgh. On paper, the Penguins were always a contender…

    Does he go somewhere like Florida and try to prove he can build a championship from the ground up or does he sign on with a team like Vancouver that’s much closer to a Stanley Cup? There’s at least one columnist I read suggesting he might take some time off and wait for the right opportunity to arise (and, perhaps, Ray Shero find himself in another GM role), but I have to think Dan Bylsma is too hungry to just sit around…

  384. bpn8pitt says:

    I didnt get Jandy’s full take on the Cole Harbour 87s yet…

  385. Naterosboro says:

    Just 1 thing from me today…

    it’s quite a turnaround from only a few short years ago.

    I used to read comments about how minor league players had done nothing in the majors (I believe some like to derisively call them “suspects” instead of “prospects”) and the Pirates needed to go out and put some real, major league talent on the field, and spend to do so.

    Now, by keeping Greggy P. in Indy until June, (keep in mind, Greggy P. is a player with a total of 0 major league ABs, meaning exactly 0 ABs above the AAA level, meaning not an established major league player) the Pirates are doing a disservice by not putting their best 25 on the field, meaning, a player that has never played in the majors is now considered to be a legit starting piece.

    I’m not sure what to make of this…

    Does it say something about the quality of the players we now have in the minors? Or does it say there’s a section of the fanbase that likes to just rag on this team no matter what they do?

  386. 21sthebest says:

    Well done Sweet Jimmie!

  387. Poole says:

    You say this on DK’s blog….lol

    Go take your negativity elsewhere please.

  388. bpn8pitt says:

    I am definitely one of the ones who wants to see the Pirates go out and get some major league talent. And when I say that, not the “d*mps*ter d*v*s”, meaning guy who sucked year before looking to rebound ( I believe the politically correct term is “re-establish his value”). I mean, one of the best guys available, hands down.

    That being said, I am also skeptical of AAA or minor league numbers. This goes back to the days of Midre Cummings, Ron Wright, Chad Hermansen etc etc. Maybe even throw Bullington and Van Ben Schoten in there.

    While I do think Polanco is going to be legit, I also would not be surprsied if a year from now DK posts a “Whats Wrong with Polanco” thread.

    You just dont know how a guy is going to react going from being the big fish in a small pond to just being another guy who cant hit ML stuff night in and night out.

  389. Jim S. says:

    +++.

    I didn’t see the Locke game, but heard his change was outstanding. Of course, Ron Roenicke said he got all the calls.

  390. Jandy says:

    Not sure what you’re referring to, bpn, my friend.
    has to do with Sid but that’s all I got.

  391. Jandy says:

    I seriously wish him all the best, except against the Pens

  392. bpn8pitt says:

    Did you like GM hire? What coach do you want?

  393. FREE VANCE WORLEY

    Direct from Federal St.

  394. bpn8pitt says:

    As was pointed out to me the other day though, this is probably the most talent the Pirates have assembled since the late 80s, early 90s. What I am curious to see is if they attempt to retain it and add to it. And I apologize at times if I come off pessimisitc…I dont agree with the BFD manifestos or Daq rants, but I do see in small, small doses what they are trying to convey sometimes.

    Not all prospects work out and not all washed up veterans return to form, I guess is the short version of all that.

  395. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good point. Been there. ;-)

  396. coba39 says:

    Not sure how my name got misappropiated, but it sure has. Why’d this guy pick my handle?

  397. Jandy says:

    :Blink:

    I would have preferred Brisebois. But I can handle Rutherford, as I think he is only a bridge until the Pens get someone else,….possibly Babcock.

    And Billy G is in the mix now, so that can only help.
    I’m patient. I’ll stick with that and see how it goes.

  398. Jandy says:

    He lives!!!!!

    <3

  399. Poole says:

    PattonBB – who are you? I’m from Patton too.

  400. Jandy says:

    Duncansville here, Poole :)

  401. Arriba Wilver says:

    I will be disheartened if that picture above of Snider’s slide isn’t posted above his locker for tonight’s game.

    Unless, of course, there is a video of the slide running over and over in the clubhouse. The picture’s great, but you have to see the video to get the full effect.

  402. bpn8pitt says:

    I just wonder if the GM democracy thing is going to work. That and you wonder about too many people in the kitchen, if you catch my drift.

    Like to see the Penguins hire a defensive minded coach. I just dont think Crosby wants to run the ball, punt and play defense. Neither does the Boss, i dont think.

  403. Nate83 says:

    Everytime I look at it again it makes me laugh. He looks like the chubby kid from Charlie and the Chocalate factory.

  404. Jandy says:

    I honestly can see why Sid is fed up.
    That said, any coach can help get things better for him, if they have one or two correct pieces to the puzzle.
    I’d like to see us a bit more defensive minded as well, but not to the extent that it stifles our star players.

    I do understand your point about too many cooks in the kitchen, though. Hopefully it isn’t an issue.

  405. bpn8pitt says:

    Im sure the NFL analogy applies here where you dont pay a QB 20 million dollars to run the ball. You pay him to throw…I imagine in hockey its the same thing, you dont pay a guy 8 or 9 million to check and block shots, you pay him to score…Thing is, the team that won the Super Bowl last year paid their QB 500k….You need the supporting cast, role players ect. Look at the Kings and Rangers. Excellent D, goaltending and third lines.

    I have to go. Trying to arrange tickets for tonight.

  406. Jandy says:

    You’re 100% right bpn. Good luck getting tickets, and DO have fun!

  407. Bill_StateCollege says:

    Yep, absurd.

  408. Bill_StateCollege says:

    Yep, absurd. (Meant to support this comment).

  409. Poole says:

    Small world :-)

  410. Milo Hamilton says:

    Polanco hitting 2nd in right field. All you real fans that go on the weekdays can exhale now.

  411. Arriba Wilver says:

    So I was half right? ;-)

    Wasn’t Aramis like 19 at the time?

  412. Jandy says:

    sure is :)
    I believe pattonbb is in the south though. Perhaps the Carolinas. My memory is failing me again…

  413. Bill_StateCollege says:

    I meant to say that I agreed with Ed. We must now spend because the Pirates refuse to do the same? Ridiculous.

  414. Rosebud says:

    20 years of losing, trading away top players and prospects. They finally break the losing streak, are locking up their own prospects, and have one of the most talented prospects about to arrive and you’re saying people are blowing things out of proportion? Isn’t the idea to rally behind your team. I know as a journalist, you have to stay away from reporting as a fan, but man, did someone spike your coffee?

  415. JohninOshkosh says:

    Regardless of all the bluster about Polanco these last few weeks, I’m just grateful and thankful that Nate83 has reminded me how much I liked Dawson’s Creek. And, just thinking about Katie Holmes even for just a minute-nothing wrong with that.

    Quick, to the Netflix mobile!

  416. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    trade deadline will be interesting depending on the pirates situation over the next 6 wks. with cole out at least one more start how will pirates do against teams like themselves (under .500). if they stay even (500 ball) i think they become sellers.

  417. bpn hasn’t brought my lunch yet, either.

  418. Jim S. says:

    DK tweeted that he heard ticket sales for tonight are currenty in the 30k range.

  419. Jandy says:

    I’ll remind him ;)

  420. Arriba Wilver says:

    South Carolina, I think. With Ryan from California. ;-)

  421. TK says:

    Who’s hitting 1st in right field?

    Or was he hitting 2nd gear in right field?

    I thought people batted at home plate.

    Wasn’t Polanco supposed to be batting lead off when he came to Pittsburgh?

  422. Dom says:

    DK said in his chat that it has been made public that Cole Tucker would have been selected by the A’s have the Buccos not have nabbed him.

    Anyone read an article on the subject? I’m not saying DK is wrong I just cannot find any information online about this.

  423. 21sthebest says:

    I haven’t exhaled since Pedro went to throw to first last night.

  424. 21sthebest says:

    Is he taking credit for the ticket sales too?

  425. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    premium ticket price is 13th, you’re chart also doesn’t include the suites. the cheap bleacher seats keep avg price down, move away from those seats and costs go up

  426. Jim S. says:

    No, to the contrary. I believe he’s mocking the low total because of the fans who wanted Polanco sooner.

  427. John Lease says:

    Greg Brown? Nothing more annoying than that jobber.

  428. Jim S. says:

    I’ve read it on Twitter yesterday, Dom.

    So, I guess that makes it fact. ;-)

    Actually, I can’t recall the source. But, I saw it a couple of times.

  429. Jim S. says:

    Personally, I think Snider could maybe use a hug right about now. Walker showed his support by having his appendix removed and breathing 2 more weeks of life into Snider’s career.

  430. Dom says:

    Who’s twitter was it?

  431. Nate83 says:

    Why are national outlets still referring to Josh Harrison as red hot? He is batting .270 over his last 10 games and that is with a rediculous 5.7% strike out rate which is well below his career stats so there is evidence that he may regress more. Don’t get me wrong he has convinced me he’s a valuable part of this team but continuing to refer to him as red hot is not accurate.

  432. John Lease says:

    That’s pretty petty, but not on John Perrotto’s part. I didn’t realize you were with the Pulitzer committee.

  433. Nate83 says:

    Jim just said it so that’s good enough for me. Honestly if DK said it then it is probably more then just a twitter comment or if it is just a twitter comment it’s from a guy who would know like Ken Rosenthal.

    I found it interesting it was other teams that function alot like the Pirates that sounded interested in the same player. It’s nice to see Pirate philosophy is aligning with some of the better run small market teams. No matter what it is, it’s important to stay ahead of the herd in how you do things. Maybe it’s overpaying draft picks before they took that away, maybe it’s aggressive defensive shifts, maybe it’s some other type of analytics or maximizing platoons.

  434. John Lease says:

    Wow, the explosion here was pretty mind blowing.

    I don’t get on here much, but what’s with all the agina?

  435. Nate83 says:

    I’ll hug him while you steal his wallet which should be pretty thick (Costanza size).

    I do like him and he seems like a good teammate. I hope he catches on somewhere. I just don’t think his once promising talent will ever be realized.

  436. TK says:

    What is agina?

  437. Nate83 says:

    It’s just Pirate fans being Pirate fans. Can’t be happy about anything.

  438. pattonbb says:

    Peter Gammons. I think.

  439. Nate83 says:

    I looked it up. The closest I could find was angina which is chest pain. Must be a typo. Maybe agony.

  440. Nate83 says:

    Peter Gammons, well that settles it, he is never wrong. There was that one time he was spot on with the comment that 15 teams where in the running for AJ Burnett when he announced he was coming back in 2014.

  441. Jandy says:

    I do believe that is angina…
    or agita….as in agitated :)

  442. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think DK started it off with a stink bomb.

  443. Nate83 says:

    Watch your language Jandy. My son doesn’t even know about that body part yet :)

  444. Dom says:

    You’re right. I just looked it up. Thanks for all your help.

  445. Andrew says:

    I think there is a post total you have to hit to qualify for nitroglycerin capsules, then another number when they pass out the anti-psychotics.

  446. Dom says:

    It’s hard to imagine that Baseball America was that far off. They had him listed as the 83rd best prospect in the draft and two teams were willing to take him well before that.

    One a side note, he signed with us already and we saved about $100K. I guess that diminishes any talk about the Buccos taking him to save on the moo-lah.

  447. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, Gammons. Sorry, Dom. I had to go look back at my timeline.

  448. 21sthebest says:

    He said the Orioles were “all in” on A.J which Orioles management denied.

  449. Jandy says:

    Oops! My bad ;X

  450. Jandy says:

    screw that, just pass the beer!!!

  451. Andrew says:

    While it is good the hear that another team had Tucker rated high, the As haven’t exactly drafted well, (nor have the Rays of late.) I think the skepticism over the pick is warranted because as others have pointed out the Pirates haven’t not really developed any drafted hitters taken outside the top 15.

    But two years from now this fact could be moot.

  452. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t know if he gave any names, but Keith Law also said there were several teams ready to take him if the Pirates didn’t. I think he was one of those guys who was moving up from the base rankings at the right time. But I’m totally speculating.

  453. Nate83 says:

    My understanding is very young players (he’s 17) are always ranked conservatively. It’s just harder to project how they develope I guess. Give him another year and maybe he ranked alot higher or maybe he drops out of the top 200. I guess he actually was moving up most rankings based on his performance on the National team.

  454. Andrew says:

    I’ll second that.

  455. Jim S. says:

    He was a fast riser this spring, Dom, from what I read. Keith Law had a higher rating for him, and said that he was moving up because of recent showcases.

    Plus, at 17 he was one of the 10 youngest kids in the whole draft. So, the thinking is if he can hang with guys up to a full year older than him, he may have a lot of upside.

  456. Jim S. says:

    Umm … that’s not allowed here. We deal only in cold, hard facts.

    :-)

  457. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    actually it was because he pitched against the cubs…

  458. Nate83 says:

    The best thing I heard about the kid is how hard he works. That is a quality that just shouldn’t be assumed with all good athletes. Ussually that characteristic corrasponds with a player that does things right and has sound fundamentals. Almost like the coaches kid in basketball.

  459. Jandy says:

    yeah, a really smelly one at that

  460. WOW! What an agitated place this is today! Glad I have had meetings today that precluded my involvement!

    I have been one who called for Polanco to be here for 49 straight days . . . . . . but I will not be buying a ticket for tonight’s game, as I also have a LIFE and had a previous engagement scheduled. If that makes me a bad person or an inconsistent person according to some above, including the Boss, so be it!

    My team has a scheduled ball game tonight. If I hit a double tonight, I will cry out Gregory Polanco’s name from 2nd base in honor of all imbibers of this angry and non-solicitous site. If I record the game, does that keep me in good graces with the Boss of Blogs?

  461. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  462. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s days like this that make me wonder why I come here in the first place.

  463. Jim S. says:

    Today on the blog … The Agina Chronicles.

  464. Jim S. says:

    I’m sure he’ll get a nice Omaha Steaks prize package as a lovely parting gift from his teammates.

    Seriously, though, maybe Snider’s not the guy to go. He just seems like the obvious choice to me. But, he’ll get other shots. And, maybe, like Moss things will suddenly click.

  465. Jim S. says:

    On a side note, Lucky, he would be at least the 2nd “Vance” in Bucs history.

  466. Jandy says:

    l like most of the posters, Milo, YOU included.
    Don’t allow ANYONE to spoil that for you
    :D

  467. Bizrow says:

    AW, sent you an e-mail. I am redfaced ;-)

  468. Thundercrack says:

    Groat,
    You are not an inconsistent person. You were pretty consistent for 49 straight days.

  469. Arriba Wilver says:

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think Milo was disagreeing with ME.

  470. Thundercrack says:

    I saw that somewhere too. But I can’t remember which team was ready to take him.

  471. Thundercrack says:

    Today on XM Jim Bowden said the Pirates should come out today and say “yes, we held Polanco down for Super 2 reasons”.

    I was on hold because I wanted to ask him if Bud Selig and the players’ union would be happy with that statement. A caller before me asked Bowden how they could do that without getting into trouble.

    He said that you can say that. Apparently Friedman from the Rays said that you can say it.

    I don’t believe him.

  472. Jim S. says:

    Per Alan Robinson, Pro Football Focus says the Steelers have the 6th worst roster in the NFL. Only the Raiders, Vikings, Falcons, Rams and Jaguars have weaker rosters.

    Bengals check in at #7
    Ravens #16
    Browns #24

  473. Jandy says:

    Darlin’ AW, I don’t think he was either. I’m just sayin not to let others ruin the fun for you.
    That’s all. No more, no less.

    This place really breaks up the stress of my days. wouldn’t have it any other way
    :)

  474. JohninOshkosh says:

    Always in good standing with me, Groat.

  475. Jandy says:

    Well, I guess it’s up to the Steelers to prove him wrong :D

  476. Milo Hamilton says:

    You’re not wrong. I was agreeing with you both.

  477. Jandy says:

    Groat, I <3 you, man!

  478. Jandy says:

    Gotta get some stuff taken care of so I can get out of my office.

    Later Loonies!
    GO POLANCO!

  479. Arriba Wilver says:

    Responded. No problem.

  480. The Gunner says:

    Papa Francisco needs to get things back on track tonight!

  481. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think the fact they offered him the Springer type contract makes it more problematic.

  482. Arriba Wilver says:

    Potentially more problematic.

  483. Arriba Wilver says:

    This whole premise that because the Pirates have now brought up Polanco because of the injury to Walker, announced last night, so the people who have been clamoring for him to come up should show tonight or somehow lose credibility has been ridiculous from the get go. It’s really kind of juvenile. Kind of a gotcha/payback.

    That’s my opinion.

  484. JTinDC says:

    There is nothing in the CBA that states how, when or why players should be called up. The Pirates won’t say it because it’s an admission that they are putting their costs ahead of the product the fans expect and could demand if MLB weren’t a monopoly. It’s also an admission that they are breaking their promise to the fans, that they would spend on the on-field product when they were competitive.

    It’s also an admission that they are breaking their promise to the fans, that they would spend when the fans showed up. Last year, fans showed up and the Pirates had their second highest attendance total in their history. How did the front office and ownership react? They kept Polanco in the minors because of cost, a cost that would be less than what they’ve paid Clint Barmes over the last three years.

    They can say it without fear from the MLBPA. They can’t say without fear of fan reaction though.

  485. NMR says:

    Nate’s been killing it with his avatars.

  486. Nate83 says:

    That rating system was terrible. They rated players elite, high quality, good, average and below average to get their total number. So essentially they gave every player a score of 1-5. So if a player was good he could be anywhere between 2.50 and 3.49. That is a large gap and causes a lot of margin for error. I would much prefer a rating system that is 1-10 or even greater. I also don’t know how accurate any rating system could be with the amount of turnover the Steelers had on their roster. Who knows how the new players will play in the new system.

    They also only used 12 players for offense and defense so team depth and special teams was not taken into consideration. There is a better chance of Madden 15′ getting how good these teams are then Pro Football Focus in my opinion. For that matter there is a better chance of the 10 idiots in my fantasy football league getting it correct (I can say that because I’m one of them)

  487. JTinDC says:

    Dejan, I know you have it completely backwards. Nutting and the front office owe the fans. Pirate fans owe Nutting and the front office nothing. The fans have been showing up for years. They’ve been going to games when ownership put far less than a major league product on the field for about 20 years.

    You also forgot one enormous payment that Pirate fans and Pittsburgh taxpayers made for ownership that still hasn’t been paid back. Those people paid for PNC Park. They are the reason that Nutting has a great field. They are the reason that Nutting has profited from the Pirates.

    The Polanco call up is nothing more than a past due bill that Nutting is just getting around to paying to the fans. Worse still, it’s not even the minimum payment. Nutting owes Pirates fans much more than a Polanco call up, he owes Pirates fans about 20 years of back payments for all that Pirate fans have done for him. The Polanco call up was the right thing to do. It was the right thing to do for the past six weeks. That would have been a good first payment to the fans.

    As I said at the beginning. You have it completely backwards. The fans are owed everything. The fans owe the front office and Nutting absolutely nothing.

  488. NMR says:

    Highly disagree with that, Andrew.

    The skepticism begins and ends with the fact that a bunch of ranking publications didn’t have him near the first round.

    If your theory were true, the people spouting it would either be incredibly hypocritical or flat-out ignorant considering many of the kids the Pirates “sould” have taken were far more raw than Tucker.

    You really wanna see a project? Follow the Brewers first thre picks for a couple years.

  489. Wild Bill says:

    Or, the Agina Monologues.

  490. Yeah, Vance Law. Somewhat of a bust, but had some minor success.

  491. Bizrow says:

    Thanks :-)

  492. NMR says:

    So, so, incredibly wrong.

    The budget is going to be what the budget is going to be. Doesn’t matter if Polanco is Super2 or not.

    The reason for holding him back is so that the Super2 money can be spent on other real ballplayers, not one month of a rookie.

    Boggles my mind how people can still have a fundemental misunderstanding of this entire situation. It is written in English, correct?

  493. NMR says:

    Good lord…

  494. Nate83 says:

    JT although I don’t agree completely with your post thanks for at least intelligently stating your opinion. I think they only owe the fans to do what they think is best for the team in both the short term and long term. Fans always want short term because we are greedy and want results immediately.

    Last year the took a chance and brought Cole up probably sooner then they wanted. He wasn’t exactly lighting it up in AAA. That was because the short term gain was worth it. They had a number of injuries and where off to a good start and starting pitching is so important. This year Polanco has been much more impressive then Cole was last year. However I don’t think the gain of a right fielder is as great and worth the future cost. It’s just not 10-15 million it’s not having that money to spend on other pieces to build around Polanco, Cutch, Marte and whoever else the keep.

    The team is good now so Nutting will have to put his money where his mouth is because he did say when the time is right payroll would go up. That doesn’t mean just throwing money away for 5 weeks of a player when the real problem is not the offense but the pitching. Honestly there is no way he was coming up in April. Not with less then 100 at bats in AAA. So we are really only talking about 5 weeks. By the way the Pirates are 5 games above .500 during those 5 weeks. Polanco coming up wouldn’t erase that 4-14 stretch and he wouldn’t have outperformed Harrison during the time enough to add any wins.

  495. NMR says:

    Inteligently?

    Are you grading relative to the drunken guy babbling at the end of the bar?

  496. Nate83 says:

    Come on……He stated his case much better then the DK your stupid and your insulting everyone responses we got earlier today. He is stating his case withou being ignorant. I don’t agree with it but I completely understand that perspective.

  497. NMR says:

    Take this for what it’s worth…but I really don’t think Dejan was talking about guys like you, Milo, and Groat.

    Probably could’ve gotten his point across a little better without being so absolute and ubiquitous, but what I believe to be his overall message is a good one.

    It wouldn’t surprise me what-so-ever if a large percentage of the people giving him crap for his opinion like bitching about Bob Nutting far more than they lke the Pittsbugh Pirates. If Nutting is robbing Pittsburgh of the great gift of Polanco, then why would it not make sense for all these clamoring people to want to see hs first game?

  498. Nate83 says:

    Happy Dawson wants you to smile :)

  499. NMR says:

    What in the hell does Bob Nutting have to do with 20 years of losing when he’s only owned the team for six of them? That is the definition of ignorance.

    And it is completely unfair to call out DK for this morning out of context. He’s been BEGGING for intelligent conversation and debate for over a month. Stuck his neck out there with a highly unpopular opinion and has taken more sh*t than you or I will ever have to deal with at work for it.

    Yeah, guess what. Good for him. He’s speaking his mind. Being honest. And there’s a whole lot of truth to what he says.

  500. Nate83 says:

    Yes I noticed the 20 year comment as well and thought the same thing about Nutting not being involved. I just thought this email was much less confrontational then others on the subject. That’s all. I don’t intent to debate the degree to which we don’t agree with the post.

  501. NMR says:

    DK certainly doesn’t need my help, and I certainly don’t absolve him of all responsibility.

    But I bit my tongue all day at that crap and this was the straw. My reply wasn’t an argument with you as much as it was with all these nonsensical posts. And you’re right, JT’s was far from the worst.

  502. Jim S. says:

    I always enjoy your posts and POV, Groatie – even when we don’t agree. FWIW, your consistency is one of the things I appreciate most about you.

  503. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t think he was talking about me at all, NMR. My position, since before the season started has been (1) it would be insane to call him up and burn a year of free agency for 2-3 weeks of play, and (2) after that it was all about money because of Super 2. Pretty much DK’s view. I didn’t think the $15 or so million over 6 years was the end of the discussion, but I barely talked about it, and certainly not on Twitter. I basically poked fun at both sides. What do I know?

    My issue with what happened today isn’t because EYE feel slighted. Or because of Groat or Milo. I just thought it wasn’t logical at all. And what caused me to comment about it was the suggestion it was just unhappy Pirate fans (not by DK, by the way). He lit the fire, though, and I’d be surprised if he didn’t know it. Look at the main critics today: I saw a lot of names I’d never seen before.

    Bottom line still is whether anyone goes to the game tonight is not indicative of anything except it’s a Tuesday night on June 10 . Don’t get me wrong, more people will show up because of Polanco’s debut, but how many really won’t indicate what he was saying it would anymore than what BFD says. IMO

  504. John Lease says:

    That’s a PA thing. I can’t be happy about anything at all.

  505. dennis g says:

    I think the people giving him grief for his comment that the critics better fill up the stadium after raising such a brouhaha are probably spit 50-50 on whether this is a proper time to bring Polanco up. I for one recognize how silly it is for the Pirates to risk losing him for an extra year because they bowed to public opinion and brought him up too soon. I also recognize that keeping Polanco in the minors while playing Sanchez and Mercer in right field is out and out negligence. My beef is 100% with DK telling people how to spend their money because they dared to exercise their right to voice their opinion. That is absurd.

  506. JTinDC says:

    Like Clint Barmes right?

  507. JTinDC says:

    He was good enough to bring up in April. I can point to any number of players who never played a game in AAA. Once the 172 day mark had passed and the black hole in RF was known, that’s when he should have been brought up. So really, we are talking about 1/3 of the season, not just 5 weeks.

    The gain of the right fielder, given what fans have invested for more than 20 years is worth the cost. Nutting has been asking, no demanding that fans buy out his risk for years. It’s time he assumes some risk.

    Yes, it’s 20 years, whether Nutting has owned the team or not. When you buy a company, you inherit all of it’s baggage.

    The team was good last year, it’s mediocre now. Nutting should have put up at the beginning of the season.

    DK’s been making up the $15M number for a while. There is very good analysis that shows if Polanco is one of the best players in the game, his super 2 numbers would cost the Pirates $10M-$12M. If he is anything less than that, it’s much less. Think about those numbers. One is slightly more than what they’ve wasted on Clint Barmes. The other is less than what they’ve wasted on Clint Barmes.

    Even it’s $15M, however, it’s spread over 7 years. That’s roughly $2.1M/year. If their payroll is $70M, the additional cost is less than 3% of payroll. Is that a real risk?

    Again, these discussion about the Pirates risk (there is little) miss the point. The fans have been taking all the risk. They are owed the best team the Pirates can reasonably field. It was more than reasonable to bring up Polanco a long time ago. The fans deserve much better than they’ve been getting.

  508. Sisyphus says:

    One of your more airheaded responses.

    Harrison will move to second base. Harrison is already in the lineup. The only new face in the lineup will be Polanco. Therefore, Walker is being replaced by Polanco.

    Surprised I had to draw you a picture.

 
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