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Morning Java: Let’s hear it!

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 2-3 p.m. — will open with your calls, and the topics, as always, are up to you. Call me at 412-320-7925. Feel free to email if you can’t call. But I’d rather hear from you.

At 2:30, I’ll be joined by Rob Rossi, the Trib’s NHL beat writer, to talk about the Stanley Cup final that could conclude tonight.

And at 2:45, we’ll have more wit and wisdom — live and in person! — from our @SuckMeter.

To listen, just click the link up top. If you’re mobile, try the iPhone version or the Android version of the TribLIVE Radio app. Both are free and insultingly easy to use.

>> The Wednesday column is about Gregory Polanco.

A 1-for-5 debutTravis Sawchik has the game story, and right here below is a bit of reaction from the young man to his first major-league hit. Think you’ll like this.

Setting the scene is Karen Price.

What about Neil Walker? Sawchik updates.

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

Blogginess from the scene: Francisco Liriano’s strained oblique didn’t sound like the kind that would heal in time to avoid a DL stint. That would put Liriano and Gerrit Cole out, with the Pirates still not having made an outside move to address starting pitching. That’s got to change right away. … Jeanmar Gomez hasn’t looked like part of the solution in a long, long time. … Jordy Mercer told me he credits going the other way in San Diego with his emergence from the eternal slump. Expect to see a lot more of that from him. … Is anybody unluckier of late than Gaby Sanchez? He was screaming the ball left and right last night, right into gloves. Both he and his teammates single him out in that regard more than anyone, though I’ll confess to supporting that only with the eyes. Haven’t seen his line-drive stats. … This turned out to be a blah loss to a blah opponent, but that moment where Andrew McCutchen followed Polanco with a two-run shot probably shouldn’t fade nearly as quickly. Imagine how many times you might see that. … Looking for another bright spot? Two more scoreless frames pushed Jared Hughes’ ERA below 2 to 1.96. I know, I know, reliever ERA means nothing, but he’s also got a fine 1.17 WHIP and an exceptional 3.23 groundball/flyball rate. … Attendance was 31,567, about 6,000 and change shy of a sellout. There had been 25,000 tickets sold beforehand — 10,000 of which were complimentary to military families — which means roughly 6,000 game-day tickets were sold. That’s 2,000 fewer than were sold for Cole’s debut, also on a weekday.

>> Matt Niskanen is willing to wait on the Penguins’ new coach, by Josh Yohe.

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

Here are official Stanley Cup final highlights on, including all the info you’d need on what could be the last night of hockey season.

>> Be on guard for David DeCastro to break out, by Alan Robinson reporting from the OTAs’ one day at Heinz Field yesterday. Done to make an impression on all involved, tunnel and all.

Jason Worilds bides his time on the big contract, by Mark Kaboly.

The full training camp schedule is released.

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

>> Hope to hear from you on the show. Thank you, as always, for reading.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. Maz in Iowa says:

    About what I’d expect from a 22 year old,Some of the pressure is off him.Of course the Clemente wall will take some time to learn.Nice to have a new guy that isn’t all talk and is pretty humble.B- grade

  2. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    It’s earlier than early, but I get the feeling that Gregory Polanco is not really quite ready for the big leagues.
    Let me immediately add that I was not one of those clamoring for his immediate promotion.
    This whole situation could’ve been avoided if the Pirates would’ve resigned Marlon Byrd in the off-season.
    Byrd could’ve solidified RF, taken pressure away from Polanco…..And eventually been traded when Polanco arrived.
    But no…..

  3. Reading says:

    On Saturday, September 30, 1972, the Pirates played the Mets in an afternoon game at Three Rivers Stadium. The Pirates won 5-0. The final regular season game. The Pirates finished the season with a 95-57 record and first place in the NL East. Oh, and Clemente got his 3,000th hit. Attendance: 13,117.

  4. Maz in Iowa says:

    I bet 20,000 all claim to have been there too

  5. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Good column on Polanco.

    I’ve said all along, unless he pitches, hes not the savior.

    I’m hoping good things from him and they will come.

    Do the Pirates really go outside to help the rotation now??

    I don’t see that happening from anybody, but they don’t have a lot of options

  6. Reading says:

    My prediction: Polanco will get better and better with each MLB game as he gains more MLB experience. No turning back. The time is now. The “Dream Outfield” is officially here!

  7. Reading says:

    Side note: Harrison is a pretty good infielder. (Spare me the charts, graphs, scouting reports, etc. reaching a contrary conclusion).

  8. Maz in Iowa says:

    Just checking Vin Mazzaro’s stats for Indy.11.2 innings/0.00 ERA/4 hits.Sadler has been hit pretty hard.Could be time to make a change

  9. Cobra39 says:

    He seems like a genuine and very nice kid. I wish him a long and successful major league career.

    Anybody know how much his jersey went for?

  10. Matt says:

    How about Harrison is a pretty good baseball player? No charts, graphs, or reports needed.

  11. bpn8pitt says:

    I got nothing. I didn’t think we would be less than halfway thru June with no Wandy, Cole, and now maybe Liriano, when April started.

    These less than 5, 6 inning starts are killing us too.

  12. John Lease says:

    I was in 4th grade, didn’t have a job so I couldn’t buy a ticket. Cut me some slack.

  13. John Lease says:

    Got to save that 40 man roster spot for a starting pitcher!

  14. NMR says:

    Haha, way to spark conversation.

  15. JAL says:

    JAL’s The Love Cats Morning Links

    The Love Cats The Cure


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects

    2014 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: After Gregory Polanco, Who is Next?

    Prospect Watch: Josh Bell Homers, Lots of Poor Pitching in the System

    Polanco Debuts to Warm Reception, Lukewarm Start

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Polanco debuts, attention turns to Liriano’s health



    8 Green Weenie

    Polanco, Bullpen Human; Bucs Dropped 7-3

    9 Rumbunter

    Gregory Polanco Debut Not Sold Out Is Easy To Understand

    10 City of Champions

    Pirates’ Gregory Polanco’s Debut Spoiled In Loss To Cubs

    Re-Signing Russell Martin Should Be Priority For Pittsburgh Pirates

  16. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Indianapolis Star

    Pirates promotion of Polanco means Indianapolis has likely seen last of burgeoning star

    12 CBS Sports

    Manny Machado deserves a second chance, here’s why

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Rizzo’s HR, two doubles lead Cubs to 7-3 win

    14 KDKA

    Pirates’ Scout Rene Gayo Always Knew Polanco Was Special

    15 Pirates Site

    Polanco tallies hit, but Liriano injury proves costly

    Liriano may have left oblique strain

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds’ bats dormant against Dodgers’ Beckett, lose second

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Marco Estrada, Brewers done in by home runs

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards throw third straight shutout

    Cards try to get anemic attack on track

    19 Fangraphs

    Let Athletes Be Athletes: Fast Hitters Don’t Have to Be Lefties

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    Throwing Bats, Throwing Balls, and the Appropriate Punishment for Each

  17. NMR says:

    Really, reaaally never expected to use Vance Worley for anything but busting your chops. Get ready for things to get wierd. Here’s to some Aaron Harang magic.

    Toughest part is that claiming a move should be made now completely ignores the reality of current Major League Baseball. Nobody sells in June with two Wild Cards. Nobody. And teams sure as hell aren’t siphoning off pitching depth. It’s just not happening. Not in Pittsburgh, not in Coloarado, not in New York, not in Seattle.

  18. Wild Bill says:

    Getting ready to leave for the ‘burgh for the next two games and bringing lots of rain gear. We’ve got the Cubs best pitchers the next two games, so the work is cut out for the Bucs. Cumpton and Volquez need to bring it like Charlie and Locke did.

    Liriano is starting to feel like an epic failure this year, and everybody’s fussing about Polanco? Kid will be fine over time; Sanchez was right, just let him play.

  19. Thundercrack says:

    You are absolutely right about nobody selling – especially pitching – in June.
    But I’m still prepared to hear how NH is sitting on his hands and never wants to give up prospects.

  20. Sisyphus says:

    Given his performance this year and the fact that the Pirates would have had to out-bid the ridiculous contract Byrd received from the Phillies, the chances of trading him are about nil.

    I’ve been wondering how you were going to turn Polanco’s arrival into a “Nutting is cheap” rant. Now I know.

  21. Sisyphus says:

    I’ll agree that he’s a pretty good third baseman. Can’t agree with you on any other infield position. He’s below average at second and borderline awful at short.

  22. Thundercrack says:

    I wonder how much longer we’re going to say ‘just let him play’ about Marte.

    And as Polanco misplayed that fly ball last night I thought about how many times I read on this blog that people were glad that the cheap FO was keeping Polanco down in Indy so he would learn ‘routes to fly balls’

  23. Wild Bill says:

    Think we should have left him in Indy, Tc?

  24. The 2013 Pirates have got to start showing up every game, not just some games, since almost no team can count on a savior to bail them out every time they have problems, and the Bucs have simply too many problems at the moment.

  25. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t know. I guess we’ll see. And who knows, maybe he’ll go back down when Walker comes back.

    I just take notice when people (fans) look at just offensive stats to determine if a prospect is ready or not.
    But I guess there were plenty of quotes from ‘scouts’ who said he was ready.

  26. NMR says:

    Baseball has a beautiful way of correcting hubris, doesn’t it TC?

    The Most Athletic Outfield In Baseball letting two fly balls drop that should’ve been caught the very first game they played together. That’s just sooo baseball.

  27. NMR says:

    Always going to be the nature of fans, and that is fine.

    But it takes just as much fortitude to honestly evaluate your team for what it is as it does to pull the trigger on a trade. If having the “guts” to make a trade equated to being a good GM, Kevin Towers would have the Diamondbacks going in the opposite direction.

  28. Jandy says:

    Right field was more of a nightmare last night…sorry…

  29. Jandy says:

    He held his own last night.

  30. bpn8pitt says:

    Agreed. And the 2015 pitching FA crop isn’t enticing either. Although as I’ve understood it, NH always liked Joe Saunders.

  31. And one of those problems I was referring to is that Liriono is now in the DL after being pulled out in 4th inning last night.

  32. Nate83 says:

    60% of the starting pitching is on the DL or in Philly. It’s going to be a steep hill to climb.

  33. Nate83 says:

    +++ the problem is the most vocal voice on the topic is not a fan it’s DK so we will be hearing about this the rest of the season because many fans will join the cruisade to add a pitcher.

  34. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m glad he made his debut. Maybe now Dejan, Twitter and the blog will be quiet about attendance discussions.

    Way too many factors from day of week to macro and micro economics to weather and almost everything in between go into attendance.

    I regard it as one of the more unreliable things to look at when judging in season issues and stories involving a ballclub.

  35. Jandy says:


  36. Eric says:


    I think this Polanco issue deserves more attention than the 140 character Twitter limit permits.

    I also want to preface my comments by saying that I often disagree with you, but such is life. It’s what makes sports fun. That being said…

    I find it absolutely disgraceful that last night’s game was not (even close to) sold out. To share a brief story, I was on my honeymoon last week and touched down in Pittsburgh at about 10:55 on Monday night. I flipped on my phone and saw that Polanco was coming up last night. Long story short – I had tickets to last night’s game in Section 145 (in RF, of course) before we reached the gate.

    Last night should have been the most important game of the season (at least to date) for every Pirate fan. Polanco is the future. Paraphrasing Tim Williams (editor of, who I often disagree with, Polanco is supposedly the most “anticipated” Pirate prospect ever. And yet, no sell out. Scanning Twitter, I laugh at the excuses, each one more pathetic than the last. The team has no trouble selling out when the Goo Goo Dolls are performing after the game. Are the Goo Goo Dolls a bigger draw than Gregory Polanco? Apparently so (and don’t give me the Saturday versus Tuesday BS, it’s not that big of a deal). I could drone on, but you get the point. Anyhow, I think this all begs a bigger question…

    Is Pittsburgh a baseball town? Based on last night, I tend to answer no.

  37. Dcpinpgh says:

    Cole’s came up on a beautiful sunny day

    El coffee came up on a blah day with 40-50% of thunderstorms

  38. Steelkings says:

    All this fan would tell you is that despite the ever improving minor league system this small market franchise is still extremely fragile. And until a zillionaire with infinite disposable money owns the team, the team likely will always be fragile. Its the way the MLB system works without a salary cap.

    But what it all really means is that the Pirates were extremely lucky on the injury front last year.

  39. Karen22 says:

    Love the young man’s smile. Glad he’s here. Now PLAY BALL, Pirates, and address the myriads of problems (particularly pitching) you face NOW, or the season of Gregory’s debut will become a bad, bad dream for everyone.

  40. bpn8pitt says:

    Actually, I think its pretty neat Polanco made his debut on Military Appreciation Night, when the Pirates gave out thousands of tickets.

    I also thought it was a pretty amazing last night, the number of kids that were there considering for some places this is Finals Week or the last week of school.

    But sorry more of our Vets didnt show up last night, Eric. A lot of us had to reschedule our doctors appointments recently.

  41. Thundercrack says:

    Good for you for going to the game last night.

    But regarding the Goo God Dolls, how far in advance did fans have to plan on going to that game? (which was a Saturday night game). Months is the answer.

  42. Dom says:

    In regards to the Goo Goo Dolls, I think you should “let it slide.”

    Get it? That’s a joke.

    Feel free to use that one.

  43. Dom says:

    Was Polanco supposed to be even more promising than Cutch, Pedro, or Bonds?

    I certainly didn’t think so.

  44. John Lease says:

    More important than attendance…

    McCutchen just tied Bill Robinson for 45th all time on the Pirates list for RBI’s, with 412. How’s that for a Pittsburgh connection?

    And just as importantly, he drew his 407th career walk which ties him with Richie Hebner for 24th on the Pirates all time lists.

    History is being made before your very eyes…

  45. Thundercrack says:

    By the way Eric I used to be a newlywed at one time too


  46. Dom says:

    Doesn’t matter.

    The fans should have made it out to the ballgame after my man Bob Nutting went out of his way to obtain Gregory Polanco.

    I want this post to come across as me saying that the fans here in Pittsburgh owe Bob Nutting in a big time.

  47. DJ says:

    Loved that his first hit was a rope to left center off a lefty.

    Kid looked so well balanced and calm at the plate.

  48. The Gunner says:

    Vinnie will be back for sure. So will Tim Worley and any other warm bodies. Right now, the starting pitching is an absolute train wreck.

  49. The Gunner says:

    The BMTIB needs to forget Liriano for the rest of 2014, chances are he is not going to contribute this year. It is time to go in another direction. Obviously, there is either something physically wrong with the guy or he is plain just washed up.

  50. JuniataKid says:

    I don’t like the thought of trading for a pitcher now. Every team out there knows the Pirates are in a fix, and they’ll use that to their advantage. Starting the season, we’d have had to give up a lot. Now, it’d be a king’s ransom.

    Also… I’m betting this FO has drafted 150 pitchers during its tenure. Surely someone is ready to fill the gap… right?

    Time to stretch out Justin Wilson.

  51. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Oh yeah….sadler has been tossing bp lately

  52. The Gunner says:

    Saunders is the type of pitcher the BMTIB will get. Those who are thinking David Price or J. Samardija are possibilities are sure to be disappointed.

  53. Dom says:

    Do you mean you want Wilson in the rotation?

  54. The Gunner says:

    Why not Wilson?? Give the kid an opportunity. And, I know people will gag & choke on this one but, Gomez ought to be given some consideration, too. He did a good job last year filling in when goofy JMac went on the DL.

  55. bpn8pitt says:

    Sure isnt Luis Heredia.

    I miss 2013 when we were “deep” in pitching. :/

  56. Jim S. says:

    +++, BPN.

  57. DJ says:

    Some interesting observations by Yohe.

    I’d be in favor of Tocchet as an assistant and retaining Bales and Reirden. Could also see a new HC not wanting Reirden around.

  58. Nate83 says:

    All the teams problems come from starting pitching. Some brought on themselves and some that’s just is bad luck. Few teams in the league could overcome Cole, Wandy and Liriano being on the DL or released not to mention Taillon’s injury. The starting pitching was suspect even before this last week. Now they are missing 4 guys that they planned on being in their rotation at this point in the season assuming Taillon would have been called up this week or next.

    I personally do not want them to address this issue this year. I believe it is too much to overcome especially if Cole or Liriano have longer stints on the DL. The FO will have a lot of work to do this offseason to rebuild this starting pitching staff and bridge the gap until the pitching prospects come up which is no guarentee. They will have the money to do it because the money for Wandy, Liriano and Volquez will be coming off the books. Currently the only starting pitchers under contract for next year are Cole and Morton. Locke, Cumpton and Stolmy will be able to addition to fill maybe one or two spots but all three shouldn’t be in a starting rotation.

    I’m not punting on the season but I don’t want them foolishly chasing their tail all year thinking adding 1 or 2 guys will make a difference while during that process giving up pieces that could help in the future. Adding anything now just gets us back to the team they were a week ago before Cole and Liriano went down and that team was 4 games below .500.

  59. Dom says:

    Wilson hasn’t started a game since 2012. I doubt he’ll be looked to start ever again.

    What about Casey Sadler?

  60. Tom P says:

    I was there, seven years old. Family friends took my brother and I to the game. I’m sure I did not appreciate the significance at the time.

  61. bpn8pitt says:

    …or Vance Worley…smh.

  62. Dom says:

    Why not Sadler?

  63. Nate83 says:

    Last men standing Morton and Volquez. That is a lot to overcome for any club. Hopefully both Cole and Liriano have the minimum 15 days on the DL.

  64. The Gunner says:

    2013 was pretty much an injury free year and all the astrological stars lined up.

    Liriano is probably done for 2014 & definitely won’t be back in 2015. God knows what is going on with Cole, & there is no Taillon until 2015 or 2016. Right now, the Bucs have no choice but to give guys like Cumpton, Locke, Wilson, Gomez, Sadler, Worley, Wilk, & Brigham an opportunity to step up.

  65. Nate83 says:

    Stolmy has also been pitching rehab and is an option. Actually out of Cumpton, Locke, Stolmy and Sadler. I think Locke and Stolmy have the best chance to be starters next year for the Pirates. I think Cumpton will be nice depth and could even be used like Gomez last year.

  66. Poole says:

    Definitely an interesting blog from Yohe. I always like reading blogs in that format or like DK’s with quick tidbits.

    He raised a lot of questions we have all been asking. One interesting thing question was.. why would Rutherford care about the future?

    To paraphrase…he’s here to win a cup in 2-3 years, all the talk of trades, getting younger, etc might be moot. He could end up trading more first round picks and end up bringing in more veterans for all we know. He is not here to rebuild. And when hes gone in 2-3 years, is he going to care what the future/farm system look like?

  67. Tom P says:

    I heard the following description of goaltending in hockey: “It is 75% of the game if you have it, and 100% of the game if you don’t.” I think the Pirates are about to find out if the same saying applies to pitching in baseball.

  68. Dom says:

    I agree. Although I have nothing against Wilson, I just don’t think they’ll ever look to him to be a starter. I wouldn’t necessarily mind it if they did though.

  69. Jim S. says:

    I just don’t think the Bucs are ever going to make a run this year. I keep hoping things will turn around, but it doesn’t look that way.

    I found it extremely impressive that Polanco, the 22 year old Dominican, who has only lived in this country a short while, answered reporters questions before the game w/o an interpreter – at least, it looked that way in the snippets I saw. I can’t imagine myself, at 22, pulling that off in front of a group of reporters in another country, speaking a different language.

    Think of all the French Canadians, Europeans, and players from various Spanish speaking countries who come to play for the Penguins and Pirates with English not being their first language. How many of them are that impressive in that situation?

  70. The Gunner says:

    Yep, I forgot about Stolmy. I like what I have seen of him.

  71. bpn8pitt says:

    I think people were saying the same thing in March of this year. Or something a long those lines.

    I dont think the Pirates answer to the starting pitching is in house. If it is, its a couple years away.

    Say what you want about Taillon. Hes nothing more than a big question mark at the moment.

  72. NMR says:

    Saunders is the opposite of the type of pitcher they will get.

    What do Joe Saunders and Bedard, Burnett, Liriano, and Volquez have in common?

  73. Jim S. says:

    I apologize if this exact comment shows up later. It was “awaiting moderation” so I decided to copy and paste it again. DK, feel free to delete the one in moderation.

    I just don’t think the Bucs are ever going to make a run this year. I keep hoping things will turn around, but it doesn’t look that way.

    I found it extremely impressive that Polanco, the 22 year old Dominican, who has only lived in this country a short while, answered reporters questions before the game w/o an interpreter – at least, it looked that way in the snippets I saw. I can’t imagine myself, at 22, pulling that off in front of a group of reporters in another country, speaking a different language.

    Think of all the French Canadians, Europeans, and players from various Spanish speaking countries who come to play for the Penguins and Pirates with English not being their first language. How many of them are that impressive in that situation?

  74. Nate83 says:

    You mean you don’t want your GM grasping at straws and trying to save a season just to say well at least we tried?

    You are 1000% correct that it important to be able to honestly evaluate your team and be able to admit there just isn’t enough there to honestly compete even with a few moves. Many GM’s have ruined the next 2 or 3 years for their teams by chasing something that wasn’t ever there because they had not been honest with themselves.

  75. NMR says:


  76. Jandy says:


  77. Jim S. says:

    I would say part of his agreement with Mario and Burkle had to be that he better care … that he could not just blow up this organization in an effort to win a cup at any cost over the next couple of years. Any owner who hires someone as GM and gives them that kind of autonomy should have his head examined.

  78. Dom says:

    They teach English classes in the Pirates’ Dominican academy.

    On a side note, they also teach basic courses as well such as math and science. I believe the Pirates were the first team to do that.

  79. Jandy says:

    Everybody knows Pittsburgh is a hockey town

  80. The Gunner says:

    So what type will they get, NMR? Those who think Price or Samardija are coming to Pgh are pretty naive.

  81. Jim S. says:

    Extending Charlie for 3 years at a reasonable rate now seems like a pretty shrewd move.

  82. bpn8pitt says:

    “Right now, the Bucs have no choice but to give guys like Cumpton, Locke, Wilson, Gomez, Sadler, Worley, Wilk, & Brigham an opportunity to step up.”

    …That…is what I am afraid of Gunner.

  83. BillyBaduka says:

    I’d really like to see Tocchet as a coach, assistant or head coach.

  84. The Gunner says:

    I certainly understand your position, BPN. That is the quickest potential solution, experimental as it may be.

  85. Jim S. says:

    Every kid in US High Schools (and most middle schools) also take multiple years of foreign language, and very few could do as well as Polanco.

    Marte still needs an interpreter for the interviews I see. That seems more like the norm for a young guy in that situation. Polanco’s ability to understand and speak English as well as he does given his experience level is pretty darn good.

  86. Poole says:


    Agree with you on all points. One still wonders the real motivation of a 65 year old on a short term contract…

    Other points to note:
    The room needs a bad cop. Whether its head coach, assistant coach, or janitor…there needs to be someone who can tell it like it is.

    Penguins could make a splash on draft day.

    Are Kunitz and Dupuis still 1st line players? No one dares talking about trading either of these guys but if the answer to that question is “no”, might be time to sell high. I love both players, dont get me wrong. But Dupuis was moved off the top line last year when he was healthy. And Kunitz really showed signs of a decline towards the end of the year. Right now, they are 3rd line players, and they’re fairly expensive 3rd liners. Let me put it this way, the Kings/Blackhawks/Ducks are the model, right? Would these two guys be first line players on any of those teams?

  87. Nate83 says:

    I really think he has number 2 stuff and he is willing to work to fix the other stuff that is keeping him from putting up those numbers. I’m personally not convinced Cole is an ace but those two are a good starting point.

    The problem is the Pirates can’t spend to fill 60% of the rest of the pitching staff through free agency. Even if they do it won’t be long term solutions or high end type guys. They will need some internal options to at least pitch like backend rotation pieces. I think they have guys capable of that but I’m not sold on any of them yet.

    Even if the Pirates fade and are not in playoff contention I will be very interested on how Locke, Cumpton and Stolmy pitch the rest of the year because their performance will go a long way towards how the Pirates play in 2015.

  88. bpn8pitt says:

    For now, yeah. No choice. And no one is selling pitching like NMR eluded to earlier.

    My whole thing? If we are going to talk about winning another WC, a division, a pennant or a title you need high end, quality pitching. Not Gerritt Cole and four #4s and #5s.

    Then the conversation goes into wasting time, windows of opportunity.

  89. tdb1977 says:

    I’m going to be honest, before this season, I really didn’t like Harrison. I don’t know why, I just didn’t. But what I have seen him do this season, in the many positions around the field, he has started to really grow on me a lot, and I’m hoping they continue to find a place to play him going forward.

  90. The Gunner says:

    I think Polanco will be fine, Jim. Marte will come around, too. The success of 2014 rests on the shoulders of Morton & Volquez at this point, they need to step up as leaders.

  91. Dom says:

    I know I certainly couldn’t do as well as he did. I took two years of German and forgotten the meaning of every single word, except Guten tag.

  92. 21sthebest says:

    At the risk of nitpicking Nate, I’d say it’s important for a GM to accurately evaluate their team.

  93. Jim S. says:

    That starting pitching staff is a mess, Gunner. That’s for sure. You can only do so much to plug the holes.

  94. Nate83 says:

    I think but am not sure a few others did it previously. The Pirates do have a brand new facility that offers maybe the best conditions to learn in. Before that new facility they had one of the worse if not worse facilities in the league. Nutting deserves all the credit for this. I think it was in the works even before the current FO was put in place. Great competitive advantage and a great example of spending money wisely. If the 5 million dollar facility helps them just get 1 Polanco it pays for itself 10 times over.

  95. Jim S. says:

    You did make a good point about the Pirates preparing their young Latin players, Dom. I’m sure that had a lot to do with Polanco’s ability to communicate in English. I was just making the point that I think we have a pretty sharp young guy now on the team. Pretty soon, he may be helping Marte more than Marte is helping him.

  96. DJ says:

    Poole: Made the exact same point last week on Rutherford. I happen to think that, given his short term, it will be liberating — permitting him to pull the trigger on needed roster overhaul, with Neal and Letang at the top of that list.

    Wish I could add Scuds here as well but don’t see anyone wanting him unless we take back salary.

  97. Nate83 says:

    Maybe it didn’t come across that way but that is exactly what I was trying to say. I just used the word honestly instead of accurately. There are plenty of GM’s that love their team and are incapable of admitting it has flaws.

  98. DJ says:

    Had the same reaction, Jim. Very impressive.

    Wonderful personality with this kid as well.

  99. Jim S. says:

    And, don’t forget Rene Gayo signed both Marte and Polanco for under $250k, I think. He saved that cheapskate owner so much money that he had to invest it somewhere. There’s only so many ski lifts you can buy. ;-)

  100. The Gunner says:

    Yep, the starting pitching is an absolute mess, Jim. The quickest fix is internal solutions at this point. Hopefully, this will keep us in the race until the trade deadline & then the BMTIB can determine whether we are buyers or sellers.

  101. bpn8pitt says:

    Bell and/or Meadows will eventually be dealt for pitching help. Maybe even Pedro if the get creative.

    I dont see it any other way. Unless Taillon and Kingham really turn it on, which is asking a lot, IMO.

  102. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t see any reason why Liriano can’t have a solid second half assuming he gets healthy by then.

  103. Jim S. says:

    Does anyone know where Marte was looking in trying to find the ball on that popup? It looked like when he got up from his slide he looked right at the infielders who were staring up at the ball waiting for it to come down. I would have thought their actions would be a dead giveaway as to where the ball was. I guess he wasn’t looking at them. That was one strange play – in a sea of very strange plays involving him over the past 3 weeks or so.

  104. DJ says:

    Like the fact that Botterill, Billy G and Fitz will have input.

    Not viewing Rutherford as autonomous.

  105. Jandy says:

    Am I wrong or shouldn’t his coach be the first one he looks to?

  106. Jandy says:

    Agree with this assessment, DJ

  107. 21sthebest says:

    I think a ticket to a baseball game combined with seeing a fairly popular band is a great value.

    I think it’s also a personal decision as to whether or not people want to go to a game or how they choose to spend their money and I don’t think it’s right to criticize them for that personal decision.

  108. DJ says:

    Watched Leyva and thought he was no help.

  109. scapper says:

    Thank you. Clemente, while great, was NOT the beloved icon he has been turned into over the past 40 years. Not saying he wasn’t appreciated by a big part of the fanbase, but he is way more popular in death than he ever was as a player.

  110. Nate83 says:

    Thanks Dom.

    I remember reading that when DK first did it. Good read. I originally was part of the Nutting is cheap group but not because of things like not bringing Polanco up. I have grown to appreciate Nutting and his involvement with the team. During that same time I’ve grown to not like Frank Coonelly. The next 3 years will go a long way towards what I think about Nutting. He said when the time is right payroll would go up. If some pieces fall in place I don’t see how the time won’t be right during this outfields prime years.

  111. Jandy says:

    I did say SHOULD lol.

  112. DJ says:

    Maybe Leyva was yelling in English.

  113. Jandy says:


  114. DJ says:

    . . . to Jim’s earlier point, of course.

  115. Jim S. says:

    Some people say that, and that would be fine. But, I think it is simpler to locate the ball by the actions of the players on the other team. I assume guys on the bench would also be yelling “Get back” but sometimes that gets drowned out.

    I always thought it was quickest and easiest to find the ball myself in that situation.

  116. bpn8pitt says:

    Id rather hear that, than cross my fingers on a prospect or a dumpster d, errr, guy trying to “reestablish their value”.

  117. Dom says:

    He could very well be the best at what he does.

  118. Reading says:

    See my post above. When the reigning World Series MVP, arguably the greatest player in team history, 4 time NL Batting Champion, 2 time World Series Champion, former NL MVP, was sitting on 2,999 hits entering the final regular season game, 13,000 people showed up. 31,000 showed up for a guy’s first regular season game who has done nothing in MLB. That’s pretty good.

  119. bpn8pitt says:

    False. A lot of other teams had it well before then.

    You can give credit where its due, but only so much Nate.

  120. Nate83 says:

    Leyva and the first base coach (Sofield?) should be yelling BACK, BACK, BACK!!!!!!!! at the top of their lungs until Marte started running back to first. It literally is the definition of their job.

  121. Jim S. says:

    I was pretty confident they’d win 86 or 87 this year. But, I was thinking Liriano would be good but not great, Cole would be healthy and solid, and Taillon would be a boost by the middle of the year. The bullpen is about what I expected.

    I also thought they would play much better defense, and would run the bases much better.

    The offense is exactly what I expected.

  122. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think the word used was “anticipated,” not “promising.”

    Lots of things go into that.

  123. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    i have a hard time buying into the hype that the Lariano injury is devastating….he hasn’t thrown great, and these injuries have a way of causing performance issues long before the athlete is aware there is a problem. Clearly there has been some mechanical issues with Lariano this year, either due to another injury or something he’s missing on….Let him get right, completely, and then let’s see what’s doing with him…As it stood, Lariano had been placing a ton of strain on the bullpen. This should be considered a positive thing at this point (HA yeah I know I’m sick)

  124. The Gunner says:

    1972 was a different era, were you around then, Reading? Bob Prince was a one man show promoting the Pirates. There was no ESPN, internet, twitter etc. In today’s world, everything really gets blown out of proportion.

  125. Arriba Wilver says:


  126. The Gunner says:

    Makes sense to me, Redus. Papa Francisco hasn’t been right all year – there is probably something going with him that hasn’t been disclosed.

  127. Jim S. says:

    Rutherford’s motivation really is a big question, Poole. It did seem kind of odd for a 65 year old guy to want to start over. But, I guess he figures he has some great building blocks, and this might be his chance to get a Cup before retirement.

    If it really is a situation where they expect someone from the 3-headed monster to emerge as the GM when he retires in a few years, doesn’t that sort of lend itself to some back stabbing among them? They might all like and respect each other, but there are precious few of these GM jobs. You never know how a guy will react if he really wants it.

  128. Thundercrack says:

    Watching that play it seemed to me that Marte was the only one that didn’t realize he should get back to first base.

  129. Nate83 says:

    You don’t think they move Bell to First Base? I do think the outfield depth will be traded eventually. If Jacoby Jones, Barret Barnes or Harold Ramirez have good years this year I could see that doing one of two things. They could become attractive enough to other teams to get a nice return especially if combines with a pitching prospect like Blake Taylor or Coby Dickson or even Kingham or Glasnow. The other thing it could do is make the Pirates willing to part with Meadows who obviously would get a very nice return.

  130. NMR says:

    I very much agree with you there.

    I think the type of guy they’ll target is pretty clear: someone who can strike batters out and induce ground balls, potentially (likely) with past success that has recently faultered.

  131. NMR says:

    Ah come on, nobody? Gold, Dom. Gold.

  132. Jim S. says:

    I think Bell will be the starting 1b in Pittsburgh 2 years from now if all goes well. 3 years if he hits a bump in the road.

    Some of the many RF they curiously seemed to be collecting in the draft could be trade bait.

  133. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree. Way too early to write him off.

  134. NMR says:

    Where did Nate say the Pirates did it first?

  135. The Gunner says:

    I really hope Papa can recover and be a 2014 contributor, also.

  136. Nate83 says:

    Agree. I think he has been battling something all year and maybe a DL stint is long overdue. His underlying stats suggest he is better then his results so far this year.

  137. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    I agree….do not underestimate Jeff Locke. The young man was changing speeds very well the other night. it’s very easy to forget that he is, until early next month an all-star….

    Bold predicition is that Locke goes 2013 first half….these guys feed off of adversity.

  138. Dom says:

    He didnt say we were the first team to have a Dominican facility.

  139. bpn8pitt says:


    Cause they all pan out…;)

  140. Jim S. says:

    Maybe a Brandon McCarthy fits that profile?

    He has gone from flyball pitcher at one point to an extreme ground ball pitcher. Striking out more guys than ever, and hardly walks anyone. But, he really appears to be pitching in tough luck this year. XBH%, HR% of flyballs way up. BABIP has been way up the last 2 years – probably due, at least in part, to throwing so many more ground bals.

    But, he’ll be a free agent at the end of the season and he’s from CO and CA. Would he re-sign with the Bucs, and would they want him?

  141. Arriba Wilver says:

    It looked like he was trying to sell his case on the bench after, but wasn’t getting much support. Martin especially seemed to tune him out. Clint after the game seemed to be accentuating the positive regarding Marte, meaning his improved hitting over the last couple games.

  142. Dom says:

    I think we might have even been dead last. At least dead last in having a legitimate facility.

  143. Excellent NBA Finals game last night after Polancopalooza.

    Go Spurs!

    And give Marte a break! I’ll bet you all go through stretches when you and your spouse don’t communicate well and seem on different wavelengths. He’ll get it together soon and be a well above average outfielder, hitter, base runner. (just like you and your spouse always get back on track———oh, you haven’t? Uh-oh! Wrong analogy!)

  144. bpn8pitt says:

    I see a major problem with it. Looking at Liriano’s career, his bad years directly coincided with when he wasnt healthy. Mostly his lowerbody.

    I do not expect much from him this year. And like with Martin, another curious case as to what they pay to keep him around or not.

  145. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Marte looked like he was stealing 100 bags in that one attempt last night. He looks to have his wheels completely back and will be swiping bags every time he’s on moving forward. Love how focused he’s becoming on taking off every time he’s on….just like playing the Mets a few years ago when Reyes was running at will on the bucs, Marte is going to kickstart his production starting with his legs. If he can focus on swiping bags, he won’t be overthinking his approach at the plate.

  146. Jim S. says:

    His hitting seems to be getting back on track, Groat. It’s his brain that is off kilter right now.

  147. Dom says:

    Want to feel old?

    The cast of Napoleon Dynamite celebrated their 10 year reunion this week.

  148. Nothing that has not been disclosed: Liriano has NEVER put two good consecutive years together in his career.

    His performance thus far should not be unexpected . . . . by Pirate fans or by BMTIB.

  149. Jim S. says:

    I watched a lot of the Spurs-Heat also. Offensive clinic by the Spurs in the 1st half.

  150. Jim S. says:

    Of course, prospects don’t all pan out. A low % of them become productive players. But, I would say that guys you sign as free agents or acquire in trades don’t exactly all pan out, either.

  151. NMR says:

    Well according to the flawless logic going around here, Liriano only pitches well every other year so we’re good.

  152. Tom P says:

    I didn’t see the game, but to shoot 76% from the field in the first half (with a 24 second clock and people trying to guard you) is impressive.

  153. Naterosboro says:

    Barry Bonds went 0-5 in his major league debut.

    Barry Bonds hit .223 with 102Ks in 113G his Rookie season.

    “Man, just let the kid play.”

  154. Sweet Jimmie,

    Surely you do not forget what it was like to be 25 years old?!

    The body is at peak———the brain is along for the ride too often. That feeling of invincibility causes the brain to go into hibernation for stretches of time. He is surrounded by good people, coaches, and especially the center fielder. His brain will re-engage soon.

    Sometimes the best thing for someone in his station is to all of a sudden become a “big brother”, which he now will automatically become to fellow Dominican Gregory. Maturity comes wrapped in different packages. Nurturing Gregory will cause Marte to nurture himself.

    He will “hear” his own words as he shares with Gregory.

  155. Jim S. says:

    Seemed like he was finally getting it together last night after the bad start … then, pffft … oblique.

    One thing is for sure. He should be motivated to finish strongly to get more than a 1 year deal at low guaranteed $$$.

  156. Jim S. says:

    I’m definitely in Marte’s corner, Groat. I know he is a flawed hitter, and always will be. But, my opinion is he brings so much to the table with those wheels that he is a plus player with the potential to be even more.

    But, he’s had a mental rough patch for several weeks now. His mistakes have been costly. But, as you say, maybe he will be forced to be mentally sharper just by mentoring Polanco. Of course, if that distracts him even more …

  157. Karen22 says:


  158. Reading says:

    I was 9 living in Reading. The purpose of the comparison was to show that 31,000 last night was hardly a disgrace, and if either of the two attendance figures were to qualify as a disgrace, it certainly would not be last night’s figure.

  159. bpn8pitt says:

    I thought it was inferred through “great competitve advantage”.

    They also cap the spending in Latin America too.

  160. Only saw the last 15 minutes after Polancopalooza, but Spurs kept their cool when it was a 7-point lead, and that was great, great defense Leonard played on Lebron.

    Really just love the teamwork with which Spurs play! That versus the 1-on-1 Heat uses.

  161. Jim S. says:

    He pretty much took LeBron out of the game. Not easy to do, obviously. LeBron just did not seem motivated.

  162. Jim S. says:

    Oblique strains are nasty things.

    Travis just tweeted some research uncovered by David Manel that the average DL stint for an oblique strain is 44 days.

    I’d say Frankie will be very lucky to only miss about 5 starts, and it is quite possible he will miss more than that.

  163. Baywatch says:

    Josh Bell, Snider, Lambo, Tabata and a LOT of cash for David Price. Do it now.

  164. Naterosboro says:

    So is Gregory Polanco.

  165. Thundercrack says:

    No soup for you!

  166. Announced via Twitter, that most reliable of communication tools, at 10:34 PM, barely 20 hours before 1st pitch.

    Didn’t announce it even in post-game interviews, after which my TV went off. Many probably did not get the info until 12 hours before ball game.

    And there are some fans——like ME——who have a LIFE and had other things planned. I had a ball game for the team on which I play. Should fans cancel previous plans to attend the Grand Opening?!

    Flawed———very flawed———logic, to criticize “only a 6000 walkup” on a Tuesday night!! I’ll take almost 31,000 on an overcast Tuesday evening.

  167. Baywatch says:

    And Ike Davis! Platoon and a guy who basically hits like John Olerud takes backseat to pitching and Gaby coming on.

  168. NO ONE ever said that about Jordan!

  169. NMR says:

    At some point you have to consider that Marte is just uncoachable.

  170. NMR says:

    Gonna have to throw in Jeanmar and Tony Sanchez to get it done. Not enough crappy players in the original deal.

  171. Dom says:

    Quantity doesn’t equal quality.

    In order to obtain Price we would have to give up at least Bell and Glasnow.

    Considering all the injuries and the guys that are underperforming, I’m thinking this season might be over.

    I say we go all out in the offseason and make an attempt next year and not at the trade deadline.

  172. bpn8pitt says:

    Like I said Jim. If the goal is to win in 2015, the pitching is not in house. At least it cannot be counted upon. I feel pretty strongly about that.

    Pirates have zero complete games. 1 Shutout. St Louis has 4 complete games, and 13 shutouts. Hell of a disparity from your primary competition.

  173. Dom says:

    Got some BAD news.

    You know how the Marlins were unable to sign the draft choice we dealt to them last year in exchange for Gaby Sanchez?

    Well, the Marlins obtained a compensation pick this year in lieu of failing to sign their guy. It was widely believed on this board that this would not be the case.

    They took catcher Blake Anderson with their pick who was thankfully not listed in Baseball America’s top 100 draft prospects.

    It looks like their end of the deal isn’t dead yet.

  174. NMR says:

    I almost never try to read into inuendo caught on camera in the dugout or cryptic newspaper quotes, but Martin’s reaction really, really surprised me.

    I’m a hypocrit for even saying it, but that looked like a lot of frustration from Russell.

  175. NMR says:

    I think every guy in the dugout knows how damn hard the game is and would never get on a teammate in a slump, but these are completely unforced errors by Marte. And they’re piling up. Different animal.

  176. Baywatch says:

    Giving up Glasnow would be tough. But I say “make it happen.”

  177. Remember when McCutch went through that stretch last year——and 2 seasons ago as well (and, come to think of it 3 seasons ago)——when he was pulling everything, trying to jerk the ball over the fence?

    Everyone kept saying, “He’s so much better when he hits to all fields. Why doesn’t he go back to hitting to the off-field and let his natural power take over?”

    Even the best go through brain freezes, sometimes for weeks at a time.

    Marte will come out of this soon. Baseball is a season, not a game. (except for that detested Wild Card game, which I will NEVER accept!)

  178. NMR says:

    Understandable, and I do think I know what you were getting at. Some corners of the interwebs act like the Pirates were the first to spend overslot in the draft, employ shifts, and build academies in Latin America.

    Just don’t think Nate fits the bill here.

  179. Dom says:

    Price will be a free agent at the end of the season and I doubt we’ll make it to the playoffs with him. If we win something like 10 straight then I’d agree but until that happens, I say let’s wait till next year.

  180. NMR says:

    He’s also a walking injury waiting to happen. Love the guy, love the stuff, but wouldn’t trust it.

  181. Dom says:

    I’m sorry, I just read that Price will not be a free agent until AFTER the 2015 season. Maybe I would consider the deal given those circumstances.

  182. NMR says:

    Haha, oh Dom…

  183. bpn8pitt says:

    Vance Worley and Lunchbox gets it done, son ! Lol.

  184. JD says:

    Ein glas Bier, bitte!

  185. bpn8pitt says:

    That was exactly what I was saying. Thank you.

    I value Nate’s opinion as much as yours and Jims…Just wondering how NH proceeds here.

  186. The Gunner says:

    Last night’s attendance was certainly not a disgrace for sure! Other things that occurred between 7:10 and 11 PM could be considered a disgrace of sorts.

  187. Naterosboro says:


    Can you clarify what you mean? He’s in the Finals for a 4th straight year, trying to win his 3rd straight.

    Is there more motivation that’s needed?

    And what was different between Game 2 & 3?

    I think LeBron is plenty motivated, he & the Heat just didn’t have a good game in Game 3. It happens.

    I look for them to bounce back in Game 4, you know, when LeBron is motivated again.

  188. Jim S. says:

    Not that I ever heard.

  189. JAL says:

    Willie Mays started his MLB career 1 for 24

  190. Jim S. says:

    What you described about Cutch is a hitting slump. Everyone who knew anything was certain he would come out of that just fine, as he did.

    Marte seems to be in a mental funk right now. I don’t know that I would equate the 2 things. Cutch never did dumb stuff that hurt the team, over and over.

  191. Jim S. says:

    There’s been a lot of frustration expressed by Martin lately, it seems to me.

  192. The Gunner says:

    Could it be that Martin probably can see what is going on with this year’s Bucs and wants out of here?

  193. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Look it up!……I’ve said since late last October that the Pirates needed to retain and/or add to this team.
    If it wasn’t Byrd, Morneau or Burnett….It needed to be somebody similar.
    There was no rhyme or reason (except for the dollar bill) as to why Neal Huntington sat on his duff all winter.
    Anyone that gives the Regime a pass on doing nothing with a playoff team this past off-season must be nuts.

    As for Polanco…I am hardly saying he’s a bust.
    He may hit three HR’s tonight!
    I’m just saying that this pressure could’ve all been avoided if the Regime had retained OR added to this team….As they should have done.
    It’s a disgrace that they did not….Period.

  194. NMR says:

    Nailed it, Jim.

  195. dennis g says:

    On what do you base your assessment of his ability as a shortstop? The man has appeared twice for a total of 8.1 innings the past two years and for 158 innings in 2012. Admittedly the results have not been great but he also appeared in 30 games last year at Indy were his range factor and fielding pct. were higher than Mercer’s MLB performance. IMHO it’ way too early to place any limits on Harrison’s abilities.

  196. Jim S. says:

    I’m going to be in Seattle on business next week, and they are home vs. SD. I need to find a way to get to a game. Can’t visit a place which I don’t know when I’ll visit again and not put another notch on the MLB stadiums visited belt. I’ve never been to Seattle, and I’m really looking forward to it.

  197. The Gunner says:

    It’s a possibility, NMR but we’ll probably never know

  198. Thundercrack says:

    I just heard two callers to the Fan say that Polanco is not wearing his glove properly on his hand ( not all the way on his hand…just like JMac)

    Holy smokes

  199. NMR says:

    Wouldn’t surprise me if Huntington ends up more 2012 deadline than 2013 deadline.

    I think the Pirates will be one of three or four teams that could talk themselves into being contenders but really arent by the time the deadline roles around. Probably would pull the trigger on a guy who’d be around next year, but not on rentals like last year.

  200. Maz in Iowa says:

    Get ready for gridlock.Seattle seems to be constantly jammed up.

  201. Jim S. says:

    Well, he is off to a slow start. He’s only hitting .200 as a major leaguer. ;-)

  202. Jim S. says:

    Lots of traffic, Maz?

  203. 21sthebest says:

    I expected another solid year from Liriano. I don’t know if there’s anything to the every other year stuff or if it’s just a coincidence. But I haven’t seen anybody give any reason or theory why he seems to be good every other year and I can’t think of any.

  204. toochca says:

    There has been people saying that Polanco had some things to work on!! ;)

  205. Jim S. says:

    But, Worley has that great K/BB ratio in Indy.

  206. NMR says:

    I give Martin far more credit, as a man, than that.

    Let’s not forget the guy willingly signed with a team that just finished topping the worst Collapse in history by doing it again.

  207. Nate83 says:

    Heat are a very flawed team. Lebron and Lebron alone are the only reason they even make it to the finals. If surrounded by a complete team any team Lebron was on would win the title with ease. Leanard had a great game and is already a great player in this league. He has the potential to be tremendous. The Spurs hit 76% of their shots in the first half. I’m not sure how Lebron’s motivation would have changed that. Maybe the entire team wasn’t motivated or maybe the Spurs deserve more credit.

  208. DemonDachshund says:

    Hoping he gets back by mid-July so he can have a good start or two to raise his value before they move him at the deadline.

    Unless, of course, by some miracle they can make a push over the next month despite all the injuries. Just looking to me like they’ll end up sellers.

  209. toochca says:

    Define “traffic”!! Trade LA traffic for Seattle anyday!!

  210. 21sthebest says:

    Specifically, I feel like Marte’s issue is mostly confidence and he’s afraid to make mistakes.

  211. DemonDachshund says:

    I didn’t get a chance to see the game last night… How did his hat look? Was he wearing it correctly?

    Guess he DOES need more time in Indy.

  212. NMR says:

    You’re doin’ it wrong if you’re driving around Seattle in the first place.

  213. Nate83 says:

    So you think Price, or Samardjza puts them over the top this year? I’m all for trading prospects and adding pieces that help us win some games this year and remain on the team for years to come to help the team but not trading them for a player that we think will save this season and then be gone after this year. That’s very shortsighted and ingnores that fact that this team is more then 1 starting pitcher short of being a legitimate playoff team.

  214. Maz in Iowa says:

    Seattle just isn’t designed very well.Plan on a little extra time.I like the area…just hate the traffic.

  215. NMR says:

    “… Is anybody unluckier of late than Gaby Sanchez? He was screaming the ball left and right last night, right into gloves. Both he and his teammates single him out in that regard more than anyone, though I’ll confess to supporting that only with the eyes. Haven’t seen his line-drive stats. … ”

    Well, this just screamed for some nerd to take the bait so I obliged.

    According to FanGraphs, Gaby Sanchez has only hit three line drives in the last month.

    So yeah, that should tell you all you need to know about trusting line drive statistics.

  216. 21sthebest says:


  217. Those numbers lie! Josh Harrison is a TERRIBLE shortstop!

    Keep him out of the middle of any Major League game. His abilities demand he be a peripheral defender at best.

  218. NMR says:

    I’m tellin’ you guys, baseball is weird. You just watch!

  219. Jim S. says:


    I simply said “LeBron just did not seem motivated last night.” I didn’t see the whole game, but I saw the last half of Q2 and most of the 2nd half. He did next to nothing, and even the commentators mentioned that he did not seem to be into it. It was mostly Wade taking it to the Spurs during the comeback.

    I never said he was not motivated for the series. I never said he was not motivated the last few years. I simply commented on what I saw in one particular game. I thought maybe the defense of S/A did a great job on him and frustrated him. If you watched the game, can you tell me that his effort seemed to be at it’s usual level? You’d have to ask LeBron what was different between Games 2 and 3, not me.

    I fully expect him to come back strong. He’s the best player in the game.

  220. Gene-Zo says:

    Yes, your point is well taken, 31,000 was excellent. However, checking the attendance records for the two games bracketing the Sept 30 “3000” hit game for Clemente, I found that the Friday nite game preceding it had paid attn of 24000+ and the Sunday aft game, the final Sunday “prize day” home game (which Clemente sat out), attendance exceeded 30,000.

    Clemente had been sitting at 2999 for one game prior to the Friday game and went 0 for 4, having a possible infield hit for #3000 scored instead as an error. Naturally the large Friday crowd went home disappointed; the Saturday game in which Clemente got his #3000, a double in the 4th inn, was played on a cold, overcast afternoon.

  221. Nate83 says:

    That’s taking a leap. I think Martin is competitive and makes very few mental errors. He prepares himself that way because it’s his job and expects other to do the same. Like NMR said slumps are one thing and guys appreciate how hard the game is but mental mistakes or lack of hustle gets frustrating. Hopefully we are not saying that’s Marte being Marte for the rest of his career because he isn’t as talented as Manny Rameriz (very few have been).

  222. NMR says:

    Correlation without causation, and it isn’t even accurate, either.

  223. Maz in Iowa says:

    I did notice his shirt was tucked in correctly.I hate public speaking.I can’t imagine how fast his heart was beating.Things will slow down for him the next few games.Part of why they needed to get him acclimated.

  224. NMR says:

    Interesting theory. I could buy it.

  225. 21sthebest says:

    My feeling by watching Martin there wasn’t that he was frustrated with Marte but that Marte was out of his mind.

  226. bpn8pitt says:

    Bring some $$$ for tickets, thats for sure. Sticker shock.

  227. Maz in Iowa says:

    Dejan must love Seattle.Starbucks on every corner!

  228. Jim S. says:

    It’s a big corporate meeting. I won’t be driving myself. I’m going to have to find time away from the pre-planned activities as it is.

  229. Wide Receiver Nate,

    Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh aren’t also-rans on this “Lebron and Lebron only” team. Only individual player in their class on Spurs is 90 year old Tim Duncan.

    You can’t use the “Lebron and Lebron only” excuse if Heat chose the Superstar Highway approach to spending money.

    I prefer the “team oriented” approach———therefore I hope the Spurs win.

  230. Nate83 says:

    Sorry Jim, I know I mentioned motivation so it seemed as if I was referring directly to you but it was honestly meant as a general comment about the Jordon comparisons. They are completely different players with completely different supporting cast. Jordon had bad games as well but when Lebron has one it seems to always go back to his motivation.

    His motivation has and always will be to win. The way he plays proves that. He always makes the right play and trust his teammates. Maybe it goes back to the 2011 NBA Finals when he shrunk and showed zero interest in being the main guy. I don’t know what happened that year only he knows why he froze mentally. Besides that year he has been unbelievable with teams less talented then their oppenents in the playoffs.

  231. I like Vance Worley——I liked that pick-up from the beginning and declared so when only National Mart of Records and I would do so.

    I think he will help the Bucs.

  232. Arriba Wilver says:

    Martin’s a competitive guy who plays the game the right way, and I think expects others to.
    Since he also acts as his interpreter some times he may know Marte better than most. No language barrier.

  233. 21sthebest says:

    And that’s exactly why my attitude pretty much always is (it’s cliché time) one game at a time.

    I’m not interested really in anything more than winning tonight. I can’t worry about what this rotation may or may not do until most or everyone is healthy again.

  234. I prefer Seattle Coffee. Starbucks overpriced and overrated.

  235. Nate83 says:

    Groat, Wade is a shell of his former self. There are easily 15-20 players better then him in the league right now. Bosh does very little for this team. He has done his best to change his game to contribute but he has always been a square peg they tried to push into a round hole. They are very short on talent after that. If the Heat do win a third consecutive NBA title it will be a remarkable accomplishment because they are not a talented team and Lebron will easily be the top reason they did it. Second place isn’t even close. He makes his teammates so much better it’s silly. I almost hope he leaves next year so everyone can see how bad the team surrounding him was.

  236. Arriba Wilver says:

    That was supposed to go under the Marte discussion.

    Bud how you doing, DD?

  237. Maz in Iowa says:


  238. Nate83 says:

    I declared it a good move.

  239. Nate83 says:


  240. Naterosboro says:


    I guess it just one of those “RED ALERT!” things with me when I see someone question a great player for lack of motivation. Maybe on a Tuesday in January there’s a lack of motivation, but not in the NBA Finals. I don’t think there’s a player in the NBA that wants to win more than LeBron. He knows he’s already getting the Jordan comparisons now, but if he wants to be considered better than Jordan, he has to win a lot more.

    Also, I defend LeBron b/c I think he takes a lot of unnecessary criticism for things that no one else does. LeBron passes on a shot to give a teammate an open look (who misses)? He needs to take the shot. If he takes the final shot (and misses), he should’ve passed to an open teammate (he was being triple teamed!).

    Also, for some reason, everyone is open arms still for Cleveland b/c people think he somehow LeBron did Cleveland wrong. They had 6 years to put an adequate team around him. They didn’t.

    As for the game last night, I watched most of the 1st half, and LeBron was fine in the 1st quarter, scoring 14 of Miami’s first 20 pts. I think the Spurs making almost everything they put up in the 1st half, combined with LeBron watching his teammates provide almost no help maybe got in his head a little bit. Maybe he stepped off the gas (with the lead the Spurs had) and figured come back strong for Game 4 (kind of “Live to fight another day” mentality).

    As you say above, we’d have to ask LeBron, and I haven’t done that yet ;-)

    I still think the Heat rebound in Game 4 and even the series at 2-2.

  241. Karen22 says:

    Hey, DK, there’s a Starbucks Groupon today!!

  242. Lebron also “shrunk and froze mentally” the year his TEAM made the Finals in Cleveland.

    That’s twice in 4 Finals appearances. Will this year be 3 times in 5 Finals?

  243. Jim S. says:

    Or, that he’s just not as sharp as Cutch. :-)

  244. Jim S. says:

    I’ve wondered that also, 21. Maybe he has just happened to get injured every 2nd year.

  245. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was thinking maybe Polanco would mentor Marte.

  246. Nate83 says:

    What??? Shrunk and froze on the team that won like 12 games the year after he left and was completely outmatched by the Spurs that year. Being dominated while going 5 on 1 against the other team is not shrinking or mentally freezing. It was the worse team ever to make the NBA finals.

  247. Jim S. says:

    Gregory Polanco is healthy. Taillon just had TJ surgery. Polanco is a higher rated prospect.

  248. Sweet Jimmie!

    I envy you for the possible Mariners side trip.

    You can copy my notes for the meeting you skip out on!

  249. Andrew says:

    That is pretty much the definition of the gamblers fallacy.

  250. You be smart, Wide Receiver Nate, just like we!

  251. Nate83 says:

    Oops, which nate were you talking to Jim. I guess you got a response from both of us. I agree 100% with the other Nate’s response. He is under a microscope more then any other athlete ever besides maybe Tiger Woods. The man can do no right. He could win 6 titles and still people will say they bought those titles even though the overall teams he was on didn’t even come close to approaching Jordan’s teams.

  252. Andrew says:

    It is not exactly true that 2013 was injury free, Liriano and Morton didn’t pitch for much of first two months and, Burnett went on the DL with a calf strain, Grilli was lost for month, and Wandy Rodrieguez only pitched about 60 innings.

    Last year the Pirates had two good runs with Locke and Gomez outperforming there strikeout and walk numbers, the just really have not had that this year.

    I agree about need to find some external pitching for the next season, I could see a moves liked 2012 to bring in guys with multiple years of control.

  253. Jim S. says:

    I thought Gaby was Marte’s interpreter, Arriba. I didn’t know Martin did that also.

  254. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Groat.

  255. The Gunner says:

    That was almost 2 years ago when Russ signed with the Bucs, NMR. People change over time & maybe Russ is going thru that – it’s human nature. But this is all speculation for sure.

    Personally, I’d like to see the BMTIB sign him up for a couple more years. But, I am not naive enough to believe it will become reality due to you know what.

  256. bpn8pitt says:

    I love you Groat.

    For me, somebody in the Twins organization with a lot more baseball IQ than me decided in March…

    Kevin Corriea > Vance Worley

    And Minnesota has the third worst pitching in all of baseball. So, do tell, if he is serviceable, why did the Twins let him go?

  257. Jim S. says:

    I liked the move also. But, pretty soon we might have several Vance Worleys in the rotation. One is ok, 3 not so much.

  258. 21sthebest says:

    You’re sure it wasn’t the hosts that said that TC?

  259. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Martin do it after games on occasion.

  260. Jim S. says:

    Gotta say, bpn, I am not a Correia fan and never have been. He’s given up 95 hits in 72 innings this year, and has a whopping 38 K’s. I don’t know why they gave up Worley to keep him, if that is what they did. I guess because maybe Worley was totally screwed up, mechanically, and needed some intense instruction for a few weeks. He seems to be somewhat back on track now.

    Correia mixes giving up a lot of hits with giving up a lot of HR and not striking many guys out. That’s a pretty deadly cocktail. He’s a survivor, though. I’ll give him that.

  261. Jim S. says:

    Russ Martin, JOAT. :-)

  262. Arriba Wilver says:

    I could be misremembering.

  263. Maz in Iowa says:

    Pirates might not see Francisco Liriano (oblique) until late July.

  264. Tom P. says:

    Earlier comments from today are stuck in moderation. This is a test to see if I fixed my problem.

  265. Jim S. says:

    Nate 83:

    Yeah, I was responding to Nate R’s specific post to me about LeBron’s motivation last night.

    Nate R:

    I think you hit the nail on the head. The part of the game that I missed was obviously when LeBron excelled, as he scored 14 of the first 20 points for Miami. After that, he only had 8 more points. And, he only took 14 shots all night. There was a point in that game where Miami had the lead down to 7 in the 2nd half, and LeBron was not doing much offensively, when I expected him to. He was just not very involved, and I thought he should have been. So, I took that as maybe a lack of motivation brought on by good defense against him. But, I wasn’t implying that he lacks motivation on an ongoing basis.

  266. bpn8pitt says:

    Jim, I realize, obviously that it wasnt just between, Worley and Corriea. That probably a lot of factors came into play.

    For me, doesnt make a whole lot of sense for a pitching starved organization like the Twins to let a guy go, who can still get ML hitters out. So I have my doubts.

    And like you said, having Cumpton Volquez and possibly Sadler/Worley in the rotation at the same time is not what NH had envisioned in Bradenton back in March.

  267. Jim S. says:

    It might come to that, Arriba.

  268. 21sthebest says:

    Naterosboro, I agree with your post except that I think people feel that Lebron did Cleveland wrong because he said this a couple of months before leaving for the Heat:

    “I got a goal, and it’s a huge goal, and that’s to bring an NBA championship here to Cleveland, and I won’t stop until I get it.”

  269. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree with you, Scap, but only to a point. His legacy certainly was enhanced after his death, and for a lot of his career he was not “beloved” by all the fan base. But that had begun to change in his last few years. By time of the 1971 WS his popularity was pretty widespread in Pittsburgh. But I’m a baseball fan who always loved watching him play, so I may not have the right perspective.

  270. NMR says:

    bpn, Dejan made the same exact argument two winters ago, except the pitcher in question was Francisco Liriano.

    The problem with an argument that appeals to authority is that sometimes the authority makes mistakes, too.

  271. Jandy says:

    My hubby commented on that last night when he finally got home from work.
    “Somebody put the kid’s da*n mitt on right!!!”

  272. Lot of “Needing To Defend” going on here about Lebron, an athlete who already has lost more NBA Finals than Jordan did. And may be on his way to a 3rd Finals loss.

    In case you aren’t able to recall, Jordan and Pippen were All-Stars, but played with a lot of small name, one dimensional players.

    Surely you are not suggesting that Dwayne Wade is worse than BJ Armstrong or Steve Kerr.
    Surely you are not suggesting that Chris Bosh is worse than Will Perdue or Horace Grant.

    Bulls played as a team, with a superstar focus. Heat have 3 superstars playing 1-on-1.

    Wade may be a “shell”, but he was the best Heat player on the floor last night.

  273. Maz in Iowa says:

    70% chance of rain.Ughh!

  274. Tom P. says:

    OK. Problem fixed. (If anybody cares, I got a new computer, and I forgot to add the period after Tom P in my screen name). So here is a summary of my comments:

    Re: Roberto’s 3,000 hit, I was there at seven years old. Family friends took my brother and I to the game. I’m sure I did not appreciate the significance at the time.

    Re: pitching woes. I have heard it said in hockey that goaltending is 75% of the game if you have it, and 100% of the game if you don’t. I think the Pirates are about to find out if the same applies to pitching in baseball.

    Re: the Spurs’ win. I did not see the game, but to shoot 76% in the first half (with a 24 second clock and people trying to guard you) is impressive.

  275. 21sthebest says:

    He was outspoken scapper. Maybe that’s why he’s arguably more popular in death. Not to mention that he died trying to perform what I think is an incredible act of humanitarianism.

    But he was outspoken because of racial inequalities. During spring training, he wasn’t allowed to stay in a hotel for 7 years so he lived with a black family. He couldn’t eat at certain restaurants with his teammates so he stayed on the team bus. He wasn’t allowed to participate in the Pirates golf outing at a country club. But he was a hypochondriac and egotistical.

    If he played today, I think he’d be more popular as a player than he was in the 60’s.

  276. Mr. Librarian,

    Clemente’s last hit was in fact September 30. However it was not the last game of the season.

    Pirates played 3 more home games, against Mets and Cards. Clemente chose not to play in those games, resting for the Cincinnati Reds.

    Dang Crap Dave Guisti!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  277. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ted Williams last game at Fenway Park—Attendance 10,454. And they KNEW it was his last game there. ;-)

  278. Did anyone else hear Neal Huntington on DVE this morning?

    After his normal “we would have liked to have Polanco work on more things at AAA” spiel, he was questioned what exactly Gregory still had to work on at AAA.

    Huntington responded (after a pause) that the AAA pitchers had quit pitching to him, preferring to pitch around him. He wanted this “test of patience” to be a lesson learned.

    What an outstanding reason to leave a kid batting .357 in AAA and leading league in ribbies . . . . . the pitchers aren’t pitching to him anymore. Must have wanted Polanco to learn how to trot to 1st Base better after free pass.

  279. Arriba Wilver says:

    Moose’s Wild Pitch.

  280. The home run Guisti gave up to Johnny Bench to right field, tying the score after the Pirates led in the 9th, was worse!!

    Dang Crap Dave Guisti!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  281. Jim S. says:

    I hope you have a scorecard or a ticket stub from that Clemente 3,000 game, Tom.

  282. Jim S. says:

    I agree, bpn. I said that earlier. One Vance Worley, you can live with. 3 of them is not a recipe for success.

  283. Naterosboro says:

    @ 21sthebest

    I’ve learned to not put TOO MUCH stock into what these athlete’s say. Robin van Persie said he wanted to win titles with Arsenal, and that it wouldn’t feel like he earned it if he didn’t. By next season, he was criticising the direction of the club and was sold to Manchester United. You’d like to take these athletes at face value, but half the time they’re just saying the “right things” or “what fans want to hear”.

    @ Groat

    Dennis Rodman was a small name, one dimensional role player? Tony Kukoc? Steve Kerr a small name? Horace Grant a small name, and 1 dimensional? I’m sure I’m leaving names out (here’s a list I found of all MJ’s teammates on the 6 championships:, but I think you’re short changing players on those Bull Teams. Is Chris “Birdman” Anderson anywhere near the player Luc Longley was? Simple one word answer, no. Shane Battier? Mario Chalmers? Norris Cole? Does “Championship caliber” come to mind when thinking of those names (other than the fact they’ve won with the Heat before)? And don’t get me started on the roster of stiffs (save Big Z (altho 1 dimensional which is scary for a 7footer) and Delonte West) LeBron had in Cleveland. That team went from 60 wins with LeBron (and #1 overall seed in playoffs) to barely being able to win 20 (that’s about a 40WAR ;-) )

    If the Heat win (before the series I thought Spurs in 6 or 7), LeBron James will be the main reason.

  284. Naterosboro says:

    Or see if he can have the same plate discipline when guys are pitching around him and not chase when he gets frustrated at a lack of pitches to hit.

    Andrew McCutchen has had to deal with it this year. And if Gregory’s career takes a similar path, he’ll have to deal with it at this level as well.

  285. For, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a fielding starved organization like the Twins to sign a guy without Spring Training like Kendrys Morales.

    Twins have plenty of candidates to fill DH, rotating Willingham, Mauer, Pinto. How good is a guy who hasn’t swung a bat in anger since September going to be for a sub-.500 team? Even at only $7.6 million, that was confusing to me.

    Only $7.6 million for 3 1/2 months . . . . try saying that with Pirates as signers. Can’t do it, can you?!

  286. 21sthebest says:

    NateR, I agree with you. I don’t put much stock in what athletes say either. But I don’t think that’s the issue here. He brought on the feeling that he did Cleveland wrong by making that comment. He made it sound like he wouldn’t leave, IMO.

  287. Jim S. says:

    Glad I’m not the only one who does that.

  288. I hope Gregory will have to deal with that, but it will be 3 years down the road. If he has to deal with pitchers pitching around him this year batting in front of McCutch, HALLELUJAH!!!!!! Pirates are going to the World Series!!!!

    A lesson for 3 seasons down the road can be better learned/taught in 3 seasons!!!
    That’s a poor excuse for a poor excuse!

  289. Tom P. says:

    No such luck.

  290. Tom P. says:

    But there does not seem to be a lot of rain to the west. Maybe it will just be a passing shower.

  291. Arriba Wilver says:

    You, me and Andy Petite. ;-)

  292. Dom says:

    Two great pieces of news to dish out:

    Congrats to Clint Hurdle. He will be going to Minnesota to partake in the All Star Game.

    Secondly, a MUCH bigger congratulations goes to everyone on this blog! Because of all your hits, this blog is now the first item that appears when you search for “Dejan” in Google. We have overtaken DK’s twitter as the most popular website that contains the name Dejan. Because of this, if you type in Dejan in google and click “I’m feeling lucky” this blog will appear again in lieu of his twitter page.

  293. Arriba Wilver says:

    “I’m feeling lucky?”

    What are we talking about again?

  294. I did talk about marriages earlier.

  295. Jim S. says:

    Good grief. I like the job NH has done. But, if that’s the case, there will never be an end to the lessons that can be learned. And, he should never be promoted. We are all learning every single day of our lives.

  296. Dom says:

    We’re talking about being the top Dejan site on the web!

  297. Jim S. says:

    I do recall that when Clemens used the word “misremembered” about Pettitte, everyone thought it wasn’t actually a word. But, it was.

  298. Dom says:

    This is a bigger deal than, getting a promotion, winning the lottery, having kids, and winning a presidential term all combined!

  299. NMR says:

    Come on, Jim.

  300. Arriba Wilver says:

    DK likes Daft Punk?

  301. Dom says:

    I dont know who that is…

  302. Jim S. says:

    But, there was no concert or fireworks afterward.

  303. Arriba Wilver says:

    No wonder you felt old about the 10 year anniversary of Napoleon Dynamite. 2014 Grammy winners.


  304. Jim S. says:

    The Cubs will be looking for Glasnow + others (maybe Kingham) for Suh-Marge-uh. No way would I trade him to a team in our division. Those guys may not pan out, but the Bucs are too far from competing for a WS this year.

  305. Arriba Wilver says:

    It is now. :-)

  306. Interesting factoid to consider:

    ——If Pirates release Jose Tabata when Neil Walker returns:
    ——they will be responsible for approximately $2 million for rest of 2014, $4 million for 2015, $4 1/2 million for 2016, and $ 3/4 million for 3 buyout years (@ $250,000 per year).

    ——That’s $11.25 million cost to release Tabata outright.

    Interesting that the numbers to bring up Gregory Polanco fell between $10-15 million 4 seasons down the road. Just about same amount. BMTIB chose to keep Polanco in Minors because of Super Two.

    Ergo, Jose Tabata may be traded, but looking at the numbers above, he will NOT be released by BMTIB.

  307. Dom says:

    I believe I was getting caught up on DK’s podcast that night?

  308. Jim S. says:

    I’m leaning that way also, DD.

  309. Jim S. says:

    It seems pretty lame to say they were keeping him down to learn to deal with the frustration of being pitched around. That seems pretty contrived to me, NMR.

  310. ++++++++++++++++++++++

  311. Jim S. says:

    I think:

    a) Tabby has trade value, and they would not have to put much, if any, $$ into the deal to make it happen;
    b) Tabby will remain on the team as an extra OF because he has value in his role as someone who can hit fairly well vs. RHP or LHP and he has been a good PH this year;
    c) Lunch Box got a stay of execution, courtesy of PRNW.
    d) Lunch Box will resurface with another team once the Bucs release him.

    I do not think Snider will have much sustained success as a MLB player, but I think he’ll kick around for a couple more years. I actually hope he does well wherever he goes because he does seem like a good guy. In any event, if he can milk a few more years out of this, he might not have to join the rat race like the rest of us. He’s made just under $3 million in his MLB career, plus he was a 1st rd (#14) pick.

  312. david s says:

    the “pressure” to perform would be on polanco regardless of the circumstance, just as it was on cole a year ago, and on marte two years ago. just as it was on alvarez years before, and on walker and cutch before that and even on barry bonds decades ago.

    it comes with the territory.

    if the nh et al believed polanco wasn’t ready for the bigs, they could have called up someone else. it wasn’t as if polanco was the only name on the indy roster. and it the pirates were the “tight-fisted regime” you so often call them, then that’s exactly what they would have done to ensure that polanco doesn’t reach super-two status (there’s no magic date). beyond that, i’ve never heard anyone ever accuse the pirates of being over anxious when it comes to bringing up prospects. if anything, the accusation has been the pirates are too conservative.

    i’m no expert. i had never seen polanco play before last night. i have no idea whether the guy is ready. perhaps you’re right. maybe he isn’t. baseball isn’t an exact science and even the best minds in the game. let alone the pirates’ front office, make mistakes. but declaring that he is or isn’t after one game doesn’t make sense. the only way to know for sure whether gregory polanco is ready for the bigs is to let him play. same as it was for cole, marte, alvarez, walker, cutch and bonds.

    and every other player who’s made the transition from the minors to the majors.

  313. Maz in Iowa says:

    Gerrit Cole-P
    Wed, 11 Jun 2014 02:47:00 PM
    Pirates Gerrit Cole (shoulder) threw long toss and hard-throwing from 60 feet on flat ground Wednesday.

  314. Nate83 says:

    Groat, Nate R. summed it up pretty good above. I’ll just say in my opinion Lebron has gotten his teams to 5 NBA Finals with far inferior talent level around him then most NBA Finals teams usually have. Wade destroyed his body over the first 8 years of his career and although still a very good player not close to what Pippen was in his prime. Put him on the Rockets or Clippers next year and they walk right through the playoffs to the parade.

  315. JRay3 says:

    Liriano on 15 day DL, Stolmy Pimental activated from his rehab assignment.

  316. JRay3 says:

    My guess would be Vance Worley to be recalled when Pirates need a starter with Saddler being optioned back to Indy at that point.

  317. Maz in Iowa says:

    Stolmy Pimentel-P
    Wed, 11 Jun 2014 03:09:00 PM
    Pirates recall RHP Stolmy Pimentel from his rehab assignment

  318. Maz in Iowa says:

    Pirates will likely stretch out Stolmy

  319. Nate83 says:

    Very weird signing Groat. I fully expected the Rangers to be his landing spot. Maybe even the Mariners taking him back or a desperate KC team. A sub .500 team that doesn’t seem to have anywhere enough to compete with other teams talent wise should not be making that move.

  320. Nate83 says:

    Yes, that’s a bad reply on his part. He could have simply said offensively he was obviously there and just had small things to work on but he needed to continue to improve on defense in right field. The kid only struck out 1 time in his last 49 at bats. Plate discipline not the problem.

    Unless of course he followed it up by saying in his final 20 games he swung at twice as many balls outside the strike zone but you wouldn’t leave that part out would you Groat?

  321. JRay3 says:

    Come Sunday the Pirates will be forced to use their 8th different starting pitcher of the season.

    Last year, hard to believe that 12 different pitchers made starts for the Bucs- Cumpton, Liriano, Cole, Morton, Burnett, Gomez, Locke, Rodriguez, McDonald, Johnson, Irwin, and Sanchez.

    Just underscores the need to have adequate pitching depth. The Pirates are going to be putting that to the test the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately most of the depth left in the minors is in the lower levels.

    Ability to weather this storm dictates the faint hopes of the ’14 season it would appear.

  322. Nate83 says:

    Come on “Daft Punk is playing at my house”. The band is so popular other bands sing about them.

  323. BillyBaduka says:

    If one lives in Pgh, do yourself a favor and got to Coffee Tree Roasters. Original is in Squirrel Hill but there are others.

    They roast their own and no roast will be more than 2 weeks old. Fantastic coffee. Best I’ve had outside Maui and Hawaii (the Big Island).

  324. The Gunner says:


    I figured Papa would not be as lights out as he was last year or as bad as he has been this year. I figured somewhere in between. I am familiar with his past performance pattern but, I thought 2014 would be different.

  325. bpn8pitt says:

    Good stuff, sir. Thanks.

    I do believe around the deadline, regardless of the situation, they get some kind of pitcher back. The value though, probably isnt much. Like Ive kept saying today, interested what NH does. They are in a tough spot.

  326. Like you said, Gregory struck out only once in his last 49 ABs.

    No reason to leave anything out. I was dumbstruck he said what he said.

  327. Jandy says:

    :covers eyes:

  328. Nate83 says:

    Nor should he be released. He is a very valuable reasonable paid 4th outfielder. Over the last 2 years in just under 500 plate appearances he has batted .288 with a .340 on base percentage. So I don’t know why this hypothetical is being used since it isn’t even remotely possible they release him.

  329. Jandy says:

    mis•re•mem•ber (ˌmɪs rɪˈmɛm bər)

    v.t., v.i.
    1. to remember incorrectly.

    2. to fail to remember; forget.


    Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

  330. Nate83 says:

    Is Jeff Karstans available???

  331. Maz in Iowa says:

    Josh Harrison 2B
    Gregory Polanco RF
    Andrew McCutchen CF
    Ike Davis 1B
    Russell Martin C
    Pedro Alvarez 3B
    Starling Marte LF
    Jordy Mercer SS
    (Brandon Cumpton P)

  332. Nate83 says:

    Sorry Groat I just read your post again and noticed your last comment acknowledged he wouldn’t be released.

  333. JD says:

    How is 24,000 on a Friday night a “large crowd”?

  334. The Gunner says:

    I was one of Tabby’s biggest critics in the past but, he has turned things around. I am fine with him being the 4th OFer.

    Snider is probably on thin ice despite his recent PHing success.

  335. The Gunner says:

    I wonder if Jeff Karstens can still pitch, if so, he might be an option.

  336. No prob.

    Just noticed this was a topic of discussion——who goes, Tabata or Snider——in last 10 days.

    Some like Milo thought Snider should stay because of pinch hitting and only lefty on bench. Others liked Tabata because he can play any outfield position.

    I think numbers above indicate Tabata is deleted as option to go if no one wants to trade for him. $$$ seems to guide many roster decisions for BMTIB.

  337. Nate83 says:

    I was half joking but as recently as this spring training he was still using the Pirates facilities to work out and build his strength back up. I heard he was goint to throw for some teams but never heard if anything came out of it. Probably hard to impress anybody when you never really had much speed on you fastball in the first place. It seems like teams are willing to take a chance on a guy that still touches 91-94. He owes us 2 million worth of piching. Maybe he will play for free.

  338. Arriba Wilver says:

    Before Clemens used it the last recorded time was 1897.

  339. Arriba Wilver says:

    Rutherford to be on Madden’s show at 5:15.

    Isn’t that DK’s slot?


  340. bpn8pitt says:

    Go the distance…

  341. Arriba Wilver says:

    He more than paid for himself. You forget who he was playing for.

  342. Arriba Wilver says:

    Contrary to what some believe, I don’t think Neal is comfortable lying.

  343. Arriba Wilver says:

    Frank on the other hand . . .

  344. NMR says:

    Of course it was.

    You know exactly why he was being kept down, Jim.

    Is it really even worth commenting on at this point?

  345. Arriba Wilver says:

    It was in 1972 at Three Rivers. Different time, JD. And they were up by 10.5 games with 5 games to go. Very different time.

  346. If his lips are moving . . . . .

  347. Dom says:

    Are you in the sun?

  348. Jim S. says:

    Only because it gets more and more ridiculous every time they talk about it.

  349. Sisyphus says:

    You’ve been saying that anyone who does this, or anyone who does that is crazy as long as I’ve been posting about baseball. If they don’t agree with your puzzling Nutting hatred, they’re crazy, enablers, whatever. If you think that the Pirates should have outbid the Phillies for Byrd, I’d say that maybe you’re the crazy one. To even bring up Morneau’s name, well, I’m sorry. He sucked last year, he sucked the year before, he’s sucked ever since his concussion. Got of to a great April this year, and he’s sucked ever since. Signing Morneau for anything over the major league minimum would have been a disaster. As for bringing AJ back, I would have tendered him, but I never would have given a cent more, or anything more than a single year. As it stands right now, his ERA is worse than Volquez’s. I understand that he’s gamely trying to pitch through a lot of pain. I also that you’ve got to take a huge injury risk into account when you sign a 37 year old. I would go so far as to say that his decline was predictable, but I would say that it isn’t remotely surprising.

  350. Sisyphus says:

    He played third. I said that he was pretty good at third. It’s the only position that he plays well defensively.

  351. Sisyphus says:

    He has 31 one games at short in the major leagues, and I’ve seen most of them. My eyes and almost 50 years of watching baseball tell me that he’s a bad shortstop. I understand that your eyes can fool you sometimes, but his fielding stats at short tell the same story. He lacks the necessary range for the position and his arm isn’t strong enough. That’s not to say that he should never, ever make another appearance at short, just that it is unwise to use him there as anything more than a rarely used backup.

    You don’t have to take my word for it. Look at how Pirate shortstops have performed over the last few years, and look at how rarely they put Harrison out there. I know he’s bad, Hurdle knows he’s bad, Huntington knows he’s bad. The Cubs knew he’d be bad at short when they had them, so they didn’t even give him a single game there in the minors.

    Major league teams do not refuse to play potential shortstops at shortstop. They start them out at shortstop and keep them there until it’s very clear that they can’t cut it. Josh Harrison is no shortstop, never has been, and never will be.

  352. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    My concerns are not how much Gregory Polanco may or may not be ready.
    Although…..I believe there is more pressure on him to perform immediately than there was McCutchen, Alvarez and Marte.

    My concerns are as to why a FO would sit and do next to nothing in an off-season, and send out a team that didn’t quite match up with the one in the playoffs in October.
    That…Would be where the phrase “tight fisted” would come into play.

  353. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Let’s get a few things straight….I’ve never used the word “enabler.”
    I’ve also never used the word “hate” when it comes to Nutting.
    That’s a word that you (and some chosen others) love to play off of to describe anyone that puts up a fight against the Regime.

    I DID NOT require the Pirates to resign Byrd, Morneau or Burnett.
    What I did think was pure logic was replacing them with players of similar stature.
    THAT has not been done.

    As I’ve told others….You handle it the way you want, and I’ll handle it the way I want.
    I’m a life time Pirate fan (as I’m sure you are).
    Just because I don’t agree with the lies and cheapness I have witnessed through the years, doesn’t make me lesser of a person.
    We simply have a difference of opinion how things have been run since the name Nutting was attached to ownership in ’96.
    Again….Feel free to handle it your way….As will I.

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