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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: It’s Jordy’s whirl

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show yesterday opened with a discussion about the Penguins’ showing in free agency to this point, and video of that segment is right here:

Also on that front, Christian Ehrhoff was introduced to the Pittsburgh media, including our Josh Yohe.

Total loose cannon Steve Downie was signed, by Yohe.

And Brooks Orpik is interviewed by columnist Joe Starkey. Those who appreciate what No. 44 meant to the franchise for a decade-plus owe themselves to read this. Compelling material.

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

>> Gregory Polanco’s early triple and homer launch the Pirates to yet another victory that has them a season-high four games over .500. Travis Sawchik reports from PNC Park.

Charlie Morton had a solid quality start, and here are a couple Qs I had for him specifically about his four-seam command that sometimes nags:

Blogginess from the scene: Had another chance to kind of roam the locker room last night, with no column due until tomorrow’s editions, so part of my focus was on a play Jordy Mercer made up the middle late in the game. Bouncer, he collected it deep, whirled in a 360, then fired a throw to first. ‘No big deal,’ Mercer told me with a shrug. ‘It’s a play I do every day in practice.’ Not so fast, his partner Clint Barmes would correct later. ‘Not everyone does it with the spin. I have to keep my body facing first. I’ll find a way to face that way. Jordy likes to do the spin, and I’ve got to tell you, it isn’t easy at all. It’s to his credit, absolutely.’ … Jeff Locke told me he believes the Pirates’ starters are being allowed to run up higher pitch counts this season and is really, really happy about it. I don’t have numbers to support that, but it sounds right. Anyone got the data? … To say Starling Marte is starting to look and sound more comfortable in a major-league setting would be understatement. He claims that he’ll do group interviews without a translator only if I’m there — I’ve known him, basically, since childhood — but it isn’t the case. He’s done more than one, and he’s done just fine. More striking, last night, he rode out of the clubhouse on one of those segue devices, except this one had just one wheel. … Starting to hear about ‘The Polanco Effect’ on the Pirates. He’s great, but let’s not rewrite history: The team was 17-13 in the 30 games before his arrival and, in that span, ranked at or near the top of several offensive rankings. This didn’t come out of nowhere. Moreover, Polanco’s Pirates have faced the Reds, Rays, Cubs, Mets and Diamondbacks. … Everything Polanco generates comes from his passion for driving the ball the other way. Clint Hurdle loves it, and it’s easy to see why. ‘Keeps him on every pitch,’ the skipper was telling me a couple nights ago. Brought that up with Polanco last night, and here’s the video of that exchange:

Andrew McCutchen is National League player of the month.  Karen Price has the notebook.

Here’s Diamondbacks news from the Arizona Republic.

Here are official game highlights on

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

>> The Riverhounds won in Dayton on a couple goals by Mike Green, one of the few consistently bright spots in this otherwise lost season. Matt Grubba reports.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Riverhounds page.

Here are the official World Cup 2014 page and the U.S. Soccer page.

>> I’ll have columns Friday, Sunday and Monday, and I’m expecting all three to be on the Pirates. 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. Mizery says:

    Great win by the Pirates. The Starting rotation is really coming around. Great to see some consistency. I would love to see a sweep for the first time this season. Pirates really moving up the standings the hard way.

    World Cup was disappointing. USA looks about the same as they did 20 years ago. I really want to see them make that next step and it’s just not happening.

    Not to rehash what I already stated on the comment section of the article but not a fan of the Downie signing. I especially don’t like it when you throw in the rumors about his tie in to Avalanche goalie Varlamov’s arrest last fall. Might explain why Varlamov’s got off easy by the league and why Downie was traded a couple days later for Talbot. I wouldn’t care but I wouldn’t want that in my locker room. A lot of talk about it here in Denver a couple weeks after the fact.

    Have a Happy 4th of July everybody. Enjoy your families.

  2. DJ says:

    Orpik: “I think it was more that we let the pressure get to us. There were just so many expectations, both internally and externally. I think we stopped having fun, to be honest with you. We let the external pressure seep into the room. That’s the one thing I could put my finger on.”

    Brutally honest to the bitter end. Gotta love that.

    Best wishes, Brooks.

  3. Ghost says:

    That was a great quote from Barmes (about the whirling Mervish).

    …A tip of the cap to NMR for dealing with Slash aka Thundercrack/21, yesterday morning. Wish I could drop by myself, mornings. But NMR fought the good fight and got r done.

  4. bwsteel says:

    Bucs starters’ pitches per game is modestly higher than last year.

    2013: 89.8 pitches (fewest in MLB)
    2014: 92.5 (27th in ML)

  5. Ghost says:

    “USA looks about the same as they did 20 years ago… that next step… it’s just not happening.”

    I think you’re right, Mizery. For better or for worse, “The World’s Game” just doesn’t seem a match for baseball, football, and basketball in the hearts of America’s youth (and not so youthful).
    I found this a pretty accurate assessment:

  6. Thank you for that! Hope you don’t mind I bold-faced it to call attention.

  7. bwsteel says:

    Cool. No prob at all

  8. War_Horse says:

    Ace reporter Karen Price dug this wonderful gem out:

    ” Two ships passing

    Ernesto Frieri was at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago for his layover en route to Pittsburgh from Kansas City after being traded by the Angels for Jason Grilli on Friday when he saw a face he recognized in the bathroom.

    “It was still early for me, so I was like, ‘I need to throw some water on my face,’ ” Frieri said. “I go in there, and the first thing I see is this guy with curly hair, and he was washing his hands, and I was like, ‘Wait a minute, I know this guy!’ ”

    Sure enough, it was Grilli, stopping for his layover from Pittsburgh to Kansas City.

    “We both were laughing, and then after that we started talking,” Frieri said. “He said, ‘You know what? You’re going to a great ballpark, great teammates, great coaches. You’re going to love it over there. Great city. The people are amazing. You’re going to have fun.’

    “And I said, ‘You too, man. You’re going to a great team. You’re going to help, and you’re going to have a lot of chances to be in the playoffs.’ He seemed kind of sad, but we both understand this is business. This is baseball. One day you’re here; the next day you’re there. You just have to do your best wherever you go.” ”

    That should settle the accusation that Grilli was dissing the Pirates when he said he was happy to be with “a powerhouse team” in L.A.

  9. 21sthebest says:


  10. Thundercrack says:

    NMR’s nickname should be Slash. He loves the slash stats lines :-)

    And exactly what fight were we fighting …..and what did he get done?

  11. Mark says:

    Yeah, I don’t know why that bothered anybody. If your job transferred you, you would have to put a positive spin on it for your own sanity.

  12. Jandy says:


    What a wild coincidence.

  13. Jandy says:

    OK, clicked on Starkey’s article on Brooksie, and now I’m friggin upset.

    I was one of the voices calling for him to take a lesser role, feeling that he has lost his edge.

    I don’t want to see him in a Caps’ sweater…

  14. Jandy says:

    You guys can be worse than a dozen women. Yinz are brutal lol.

    He held his own against the two of you pretty well :)

  15. Roger says:

    I agree that it was more bout patriotism than love of soccer. What I don’t understand is how people are calling this a ‘successful’ World Cup showing. How is winning 25% of your games a success? How is showing that you clearly don’t have enough skill players to possess the ball impressive? Yeah, they made it out of the group but they made it after a LOSS and only bc of the result of another game.

  16. TJA says:

    Have a wonderful and happy 4th, Everyone! Let’s remember with all the craziness and madness that goes on at times, we still and always will live in the greatest nation on this earth! Enjoy your day!

  17. TJA says:

    Oh, yea, with this being the 4th of July…this allows me to begin looking at the baseball standings. My dad used to say…”too early to look in April, May and June. You can start on the 4th…”

  18. TJA says:

    Wow….what a cool story. Thanks, War Horse.

  19. Thundercrack says:

    Frieri told that story yesterday on the pregame show. Pretty funny stuff.

    But I swore that a day or two after the trade I read that they crossed paths getting a haircut in the Chicago airport.

    Lesson: don’t believe everything on twitter

  20. Nate83 says:

    How did Cutch win player of the month with his horrible UZR rating. Sorry, I had to say that before somebody else did :)

  21. Maz in Iowa says:

    I have to say something about the Brink transcript on the other paper(that shall remain nameless)…well the thing is…this blog is soooo full of much much much smarter peeps than any other people that sent in some of the lamest questions on Brink’s transcript.Honestly the questions that were submitted were really bad(it’s like they did no research).Plus Dejan is so much more informed than Brink that I find some answers on that transcript laughable…..(sorry I had to stop to laugh).I felt a little dumber for having read the transcript.Yinz are a pretty astute bunch on this blog and the same can be said for your fearless leader DK.

  22. Jandy says:

    Pot stirrer! :P

  23. Jandy says:

    We are Fam-a-lee!

  24. Naje says:

    What you and so many others don’t understand is the context of the World Cup. Over 200 nations and millions of athletes compete just for the opportunity to be one of 32 teams competing for the World Cup.

    The Group Stage, just three games, is like the regular season. If you advance, you make the playoffs. When you play four of the top 20 teams in the world, beating a strong Ghana team and drawing with Portugal, that gets you into the knockout rounds, or the playoffs.

    It’s all relative, but instead of a 162 game, long, tedious, boring, excessive regular baseball season…those three group games pack quite an intense wallop of competition for everyone involved.

    A 1-1-1 showing and advancing from the most difficult group in the World Cup is difficult; very difficult. The team got knocked out of the playoffs. One of 16 nations out of the 200 or so that compete for the World Cup is quite an accomplishment.

  25. John Lease says:

    Frieri’s ERA may be 0.00 as a Pirate, but guys are really hitting the ball hard off of him.

  26. Thundercrack says:

    ‘The team was 17-13 in the 30 games before his arrival’

    Very interesting stat provided by DK .

    Based upon all the chatter before Polanco’s arrival, you would have thought the Bucs were 10-20

  27. Me and all my sistahs and me! (or however that goes)

  28. Can’t say he hasn’t helped. 3 HR’s, one a game winner, 12 RBI, over .300 ave. (SSS) Plus, he can run, catch and throw.

  29. Jandy says:

    We are family
    I got all my sisters with me
    We are family
    Get up everybody and sing

    Everyone can see we’re together
    As we walk on by
    (FLY!) and we fly just like birds of a feather
    I won’t tell no lie
    (ALL!) all of the people around us they say
    Can they be that close
    Just let me state for the record
    We’re giving love in a family dose

    [Chorus:Repeat x2]

    Living life is fun and we’ve just begun
    To get our share of the world’s delights
    (HIGH!) high hopes we have for our future
    And our goal is in sight
    (WE!) no we don’t get depressed
    Here’s what we call our golden rule
    Have faith in you and the things you do
    You won’t go wrong
    This is our family Jewel

  30. Thundercrack says:

    JR House is managing a short season minor league team for the Diamondbacks. He just had to release a player for stealing

    ‘Hillsboro Hops manager J.R. House believes Placido sneaked into the clubhouse during a game to take the items, according to a story on’

  31. BillyBaduka says:


  32. Thundercrack says:

    Polanco is fast. But he hasn’t exactly impressed me with his base running. But I guess when you are that fast you can make up for not being smooth around the bases.

  33. Maz in Iowa says:

    No way.Wasn’t he one of the “Three Tenors” too? :) How the mighty have fallen.

  34. Maz in Iowa says:

    Hope he wasn’t stealing bases…..cause he might have missed a sign.*snicker*

  35. DJ says:

    Don’t be upset, Jandhi.

    Think about the 6 or 7 unimpeded net-front goals Hornqvist gets just against the Caps.

  36. bpn8pitt says:

    They say that stat is park adjusted, but I still dont understand how you could compare the LFs at Fenway and PNC to a guy playing in a more neutral LF somewhere else.

    Maybe Andrew can explain it better.

  37. Jandy says:


  38. DJ says:

    “Kool 16.75-a-Million” to Isles.

    Good restraint shown by GMJR. Patience.

  39. Jandy says:

    Yeah, he kinda tripped over his own two feet rounding second base when he got his triple lol

  40. Jandy says:

    Ahhh,..that makes me feel better lol.

    seriously tho, Brooksie went thru a lot of lean times with this team…it just is very weird.

  41. AL says:

    Brooksie was the Neil Walker of the Pens. Low key, did his job, loyal, never complained and only spoke when something needed to be said and said it honestly. Gotta love those kind of guys. Gonna miss him.
    Great article Joe.

  42. DJ says:

    No one has impressed with base running over last 1.5 months.

    And hard to run when Polanco’s holding his helmet on his head. Needs a chinstrap.

  43. DJ says:

    I hear ya.

    Hard to picture him in anything other than the black & mustard-looking gold.

  44. But those long strides where he covers a baseline in about 3 steps. You gotta love it.

    I think they scored that hit a double and an error last night. The guy misplayed the ball then stepped on it. Can’t give a triple on that.

  45. 21sthebest says:

    Apparently, wanting Pedro to be better is wrong.

    I actually thought NMR and I agreed more than we disagreed.

  46. NMR says:

    I’ll tell ya what I didn’t get done: any work.

  47. NMR says:

    As did I, 21.

  48. DJ says:

    Not to be outdone by Giroux, we decide to grab a little Flyer azz of our own.

    Not upset by it.

  49. Andy Mason says:

    Hey Ghost…..go to a Seattle Sounders or a Portland Timbers home game…and THEN you see that you are dead wrong.

  50. NMR says:

    Grilli needed an emergency conditioning session before making his grand entrance.

  51. Steve B. says:

    Not upset either until he has an episode (or 2, or 3) of idiocy that gave him the deserved reputation he has.

    I like the grit factor, but he better keep it clean and sportsmanlike or I’ll be the first one calling for his head.

  52. NMR says:

    Love hearing stories like that, TJA.

  53. Jandy says:

    I’ve made no secret that I don’t like that azzclown.

    That said, keep it clean, but nasty, and I’m fine with it.

  54. Jandy says:


  55. DJ says:

    Was thinking Alan Faneca given Brooks’ style of play and achievements.

    Seems that every championship team has one.

  56. DJ says:

    A short leash and tight collar.

    The kind with metal studs.

  57. Jandy says:

    The electric shock kind…

  58. tomf says:

    and it could be more of the same – at least initially

    at one time his fastball was almost unhittable – but more recently almost the opposite

    the velocity is there; but might take some time to regain earlier success

  59. Vette60 says:

    The Hops. Great mascot for all of us beer lovers out there.


  60. Steve B. says:

    Sounds like we’re getting into an area Giroux might find enticing.

  61. Jandy says:

    yikes!! lol

  62. tomf says:

    DK’s move to the Trib almost immediately raised the credibility and legitimacy of the Trib


    I’ve always liked Orpik, too. I think he saw the writing on the wall. Rutherford is putting his mark on the organization, and he’s not a part of that anymore. It was time to move on.

    Unfortunately, I think the contract he signed may be his swan song. Too much money for too many years, and he didn’t even get a NTC out of it.

  64. chethejet1 says:

    I don’t care if they brought back Bob “battleship” Kelly and Steve Durbano if it allows Crosby to play with being mugged. Pens need to get tougher on the back end as well. To many guys who lack any intimidation factor.

  65. chethejet1 says:

    sorry “without” being mugged

  66. statz61 says:

    Listening to the podcast yesterday I was thinking the same thing about Kulemin but it appears his agent duped the Islanders GM.

  67. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    haha…this is good

  68. AJS says:

    can’t believe I have to route for Steve Downie.

  69. Jim S. says:

    Love the new avi, Ghost!

  70. AJS says:

    I hear those Timbers games are amazing.

  71. Vette60 says:

    Hey All.

    Arrived safely in Pittburgh last night and listened to the Buccos on the way in. Man, those last few exits on the turnpike can really drag on.

    Nice win again for the Bucs. Hopefully will continue on with a sweep. Really like the top of the lineup.
    Any news on Cutch? Hurt his foot right in the 8th?

    Regarding Downie, not exactly thrilled about it, but well see if Tocchet can keep him in line. Best days were in Tampa.

    Good luck to Brooks. Will be strange to see him rockin the red.

    Take care all and have a safe and happy 4th!

    Randy in RVA.

  72. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, bwsteel. My impression is that it seems to be trending upwardly during the 40 game success streak. Early in the season, they could not get pitch counts up much because they were very frequently losing and the starting pitchers were not getting it done. Clint seems to be allowing Charlie, Cole, etc. go a little farther lately. But, that’s just my impression. I could be wrong.

  73. TK says:

    Pitches per Game Started:


    2013: 85.8 (100+ pitches in 1 of 20 starts)
    2014: 100.1 (100+ pitches in 10 of 17 starts)


    2013: 90.5 (100+ pitches in 6 of 30 starts)
    2014: 88.8 (100+ pitches in 3 of last 4 starts)


    2013: 81.2
    2014: 89.0 (most pitches in any start: 99)


    2013: 90.9 (100+ pitches in 2 of 19 starts)
    2014: 99.8 (100+ pitches in 7 of 13 starts)

  74. DJ says:

    Not one player stepped up in Jackets and Rangers series. Zero.

    Pathetic. Can’t have it.

  75. Jim S. says:

    I once had a similar experience in my work life. Another guy in my company and I switched positions, and during our relocation period we ran into each other 2x at the airport. He was coming to his new job from the city he still lived in, and I was going to my new job in the city he still lived in.

    Doesn’t seem as exciting as the Grilli/Frieri story, though. So, it’s understandable why Karen Price never wrote about it. :-)

  76. Jandy says:

    Glad you are home safe…enjoy the holiday!

  77. Jandy says:


  78. Jim S. says:

    Well said, TJA. Greatest. Nation. Ever. #NotEvenClose

  79. Jim S. says:

    I saw Grilli at O’Hare that day. One of the restaurants was low on food & drink. Grilli stopped in, said a few words, and magically the food never ran out. It was like a miracle.

  80. Jim S. says:

    Giraffes don’t look fast when they are running. But, they can get places quickly. :-)

  81. Jandy says:


  82. Jim S. says:

    I’m still a bit baffled by that story. Maybe I didn’t hear all of it. There has to be more to the Clode Giroux story.

    BTW, why do the French waste so many letters in their words?

  83. Vette60 says:

    Thanks Jandy – same to you!

  84. Jim S. says:

    Great work, TK. Thanks. I thought Clint was allowing Cole, Cumpton and Morton to go higher on pitch counts. I think he would allow Locke to go higher this year as well, but the guy has been having an annoying tendency lately to throw a lot of innings w/o a high pitch count. ;-)

  85. Leo Walter says:

    What route are you taking for Downie ?

  86. hockeymonster says:

    I think he has 2 or 3 more good seasons in him. Dont be upset jandy :here’s a tissue:

    Dont think extending him at last seasons cap number was ever an option so i’m happy for him that he got the contract he turned down last time he signed with us. He took less in his prime years to stay with us so i’ll forever be grateful for that.

    Its too bad we didn’t have enough foresight to sign nisky last off season to extension. But we didn’t exactly have a lot of cap space. And if shero knew that nisky would keep improving like he did than i’m sure scuderi wouldn’t have been signed.

    That said, Ehrhoff is better than both of them and signed for a lot less. So there. Take that brooksie and nisky :P

  87. Vette60 says:

    Just a quick note.

    Saw that Lou Zamoerini passed away at 97. US Olympian, WWII hero. Story told in the book Unbroken which is now being made into a movie.

    What an amazing man.


  88. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the tissues, Monster Mash lol.

    I know Brooksie would never get that kinda $$ here, I wish him well.

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good stuff.

  90. Jandy says:

    Smart azz LOL! :P

  91. DJ says:

    Ehrhoff is an upgrade. Smart to get him early, before the insanity began.

    No cap space = Letang’s contract.

  92. Thundercrack says:

    I am currently reading that book. So sorry to hear he’s passed away

  93. Jandy says:

    LOL just noticed…hilarious!

  94. Jason says:

    Are the Pens done? Is Gibbons an option at this point?

  95. Maz in Iowa says:

    Since the Yankees/Red Sox set a new precedent by opting to ignore spending limitations at the 2014-15 international signing period (at the cost of a future penalty) in order to sign many of the top-ranked prospects in this year’s class.I wonder what sort of penalty will MLB set?.It’s clear it has to be huge.Near as I can find the Yankees alone will be spending around $30 million while the cap was a little over $2 million.Sort of …”I will do whatever I want” to MLB and a total slap in the face to the commish!

  96. NMR says:

    The next change to the system will be instituting an International Draft.

  97. NMR says:

    Charlie was coming off Tommy John surgery and they were trying to extend Cole for the stretch run.

    Clint Hurdle most certainly was not the one setting pitch limits last year.

  98. Maz in Iowa says:

    I’m surprised there isn’t one already.

  99. Dom says:

    Weren’t they going to include international players in the rule 4 draft or was that a crazy dream I had?

  100. JohnnyC says:

    Martin + Bennett to Leafs for JVR and a pick (cause why not)

  101. Jim S. says:

    “Clint Hurdle most certainly was not the one setting pitch limits last year.”

    So, Managers are not involved in those decisions at all?

  102. NMR says:

    With a rookie $8m arm attempting to throw far more in a single year than any other time in his life and a guy that just had his elbow reconstructed?

    No. As he shouldn’t be.

  103. GAWTS2009 says:

    Jand, I would like to think he chose the caps and that crazy amount of money to screw them one last time.

  104. dennis g. says:

    The same way he won his Gold Glove. No matter what it says the award is for offense.

  105. John Lease says:

    This is why a like button is needed…

  106. GAWTS2009 says:

    I don’t see this anywhere; link please.

  107. Mizery says:

    Great find Ghost. I enjoyed reading it.

  108. Arriba Wilver says:

    Maybe NMR knows something I don’t, but I doubt the lines are as brightly drawn as he does. I’d be surprised if Clint didn’t have some input, and probably agreed with it for the reasons he mentioned.

    For example, he started taking Gomez out last year at 70-75 pitches because of the data that showed Gomez was ineffective after that. Neal didn’t call down and say “take him out.” I just get the impression it’s an interactive process, but could be wrong of course.

  109. hockeymonster says:

    Looking over whats left in UFA market and if we’re looking to solidify our defense with some experience i think Cory Sarich good be a good RH cap friendly pickup. Up front Vrbata was scooped up for way too much but Winnik is still there. Maybe his price is coming down to Goc’s 1.2m. But mainly was thinking Derek Roy could be a quality under the radar pick up for our top 6. With duper and BB being able to play either side Roy could bounce around top 9 and utilize his skill and instincts to fill Jussi’s role as complimentary player. He probably doesn’t want a pay cut from the 4M he made but it would probably behoove him to come here and put up numbers on a 1 year deal then get someone like Burke to overpay him next off season.

  110. JohnnyC says:

    I made it up.

  111. Roger says:

    Guys running around a field for 2 hours is as exciting as watching a marathon . It is a game that rewards mediocrity . What a great tie! U advance! I hope it doesn’t catch on in this country bc it’s a sport that encourages mediocrity and often times has no losers and if u do lose it’s normally just by 1 and everyone just feels so good bout themselves! Yay fun and effort and the sense of entitlement that comes with everyone getting a ribbon and a trophy! Forget being competitive and teaching ones that there are winners and losers and in life you have to be competitive to get ahead and have a better life . It is why I will never allow my daughter to play. She can play lacrosse , volleyball, track-field, and any other sport that I don’t care for bc at least they promote a competitive spirit and takes a drive to win. Not a ‘if we tie we advance !’ What a sissy mentality and thank god, Buddha, Allah, or whoever it is u choose to pray to that this World Cup crap is over . Good riddance

  112. ++++++++++++

    El Giraffe

  113. JohnnyC says:

    But it sounds pretty good, huh

  114. NMR says:

    Gomez was not either of the players I mentioned.

  115. Jim S. says:


    I said those teams, as well as a few others that now have crazy TV money were on the verge of doing a similar thing in the amateur MLB draft before changes were made. I was told that I was crazy.

    The Yankees are now so poorly run that the only way they can succeed is to have every advantage tilted in their favor.

  116. NMR says:

    Ha, once again, explain how the Yankees could’ve done this in the Draft?

    Simply impossible.

  117. GAWTS2009 says:

    No horrible trade. I was about to flip.
    Not cool at all Johnny. Atleast mention its a made up trade.

  118. Jim S. says:

    +++, Lucky.

  119. Milo Hamilton says:

    What’s the big deal ? I make stuff up all the time. ;)

  120. Jim S. says:

    Exactly. I only meant that, as Manager, he has to have some sort of input, at least in the planning process.

    Cole was 22, and Morton was coming off rehab from TJ surgery. So, it was natural that they were on pitch and/or innings limits. But, I don’t think Searage says to him, “I don’t care if you want him to pitch longer, Clint, he comes out now.”

  121. War_Horse says:


  122. LonelyLibertarian says:

    Ws just doing a little digging and came up with this…

    Fangraphs had an article in early June that rightfully pointed out…
    – at that point the Bucs offense was about as good as the 2013 version – ok – but nothing exceptional.
    – and the pitching was awful – last in the NL and 29th overall…

    So I took a look at the last 30 day splits for pitching and hitting…

    1. Bucs starters ranked 3rd behind the Nationals and Cubs [Reds=5, Cards=9, Brewers=14]
    2. Bucs relievers ranked 4th behind the Nats, Marlins, and Phils [Cubs=6, Cards=8, Reds=10, Brewers=14]
    3. Batters ranked 4th behind Brewers, Dodgers, and Reds [Cards=7, Cubs=12

    In summary, the Pirates “surge” is the result of solid hitting and pitching across the board.

    Fangraphs does not provide splits on team fielding stats – larger sample sizes are need for stability…

    But at present the leaders in the NL for team fielding are…

    1. Reds
    2. Cards

    For the rest of the Division…
    The Brewers are 5
    The Cubs are 10
    The Bucs are last at 15

    and I won’t annoy you with pointing out the specific defensive liabilities that have led to the last place – yes Pedro has contributed to this – but he has had a lot of help…

  123. Jim S. says:

    If there are no spending limits, with all of the players that are left to later rounds because of their stated desire to go to college, a team with a whole lot more money than other teams can draft a ton of those guys and simply make them huge $$ offers they can’t refuse.

  124. Darrell27 says:

    Really enjoyed bringing the family out to the ballpark last night on our family vacation. Come back home once a year and always make PNC a must do. Going to the Riverhounds tomorrow night to continue the theme of supporting Pittsburgh pro teams. Have a great 4th everyone, going to enjoy mine in the Burg…

  125. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t need Fangraphs to tell me they’re lousy defensively.

  126. War_Horse says:

    +++++ :-)

  127. bpn8pitt says:

    They have played some lousy teams lately…This seven game road trip before the break will tell a lot I think.

  128. GAWTS2009 says:


  129. Maz in Iowa says:

    No way am I going with a change the format of this blog!We went through that mess for at least 2 weeks and most of us refuse to even use facebook

  130. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    I love it! I’ve been saying he looks like a baby giraffe who hasn’t grown into his body yet.

    When he does…look out.

  131. Milo Hamilton says:

    And frankly, I don’t know how these UZR’s & the like can accurately measure an infielder’s range when half of the time the 2nd baseman can reach over & shake hands with the shortstop. How did we ever know Paul Blair was a great centerfielder without all this computer generated, new age mumbo jumbo ?

  132. Milo Hamilton says:

    And get off my lawn ! :)

  133. 21sthebest says:

    I’ve read it twice. One of my favorite books. And Laura Hillenbrand is amazing.

    I can’t wait for the movie. Angelina Jolie is producing it.

  134. Andrew says:

    You think US Soccer looks that same as 20 years ago, I really don’t know what to tell you.

  135. NMR says:

    And why would Searage be making that call?

    Look, obviously there wasn’t a MANDATORY cap. But within a conversation of “letting” starters pitch further into games this year I felt bringing up the fact that the two starters with the biggest increases in pitches were most certainly limited last year by powers higher than Clint Hurdle.

  136. 21sthebest says:

    I’m betting there won’t be one.

  137. Arriba Wilver says:

    It was an example to illustrate my point.

  138. Andrew says:

    What say mediocrity more than sports leagues that let over half their teams into the playoffs, when 9-7 wins you the division, heck 7-9 did it once, and 6-6 gets a bowl game.

  139. bpn8pitt says:

    Somewhere tomg is saying that on an Angels blog about Grilli. :)

  140. NMR says:

    Well for one, those players are in the vast minority overall. And two, the money the Yankees would be logically throwing at them isn’t anything another team couldn’t do, either. The freaking Pirates spent $5m on Josh Bell.

    Do you really think the Yankees would make half a dozen or more pre-draft deals well over $5m? And how long could that go on?

  141. Jandy says:


  142. Jandy says:

    LOL Spunkster!

  143. Sarcastic Sword says:

    DK – what circumstances led you to get to know Marte since childhood? How old was he when you met him for the first time?

  144. LonelyLibertarian says:

    And here I really tried to not annoy you Milo ;-)

  145. Jandy says:

    haha! Don’t hurt yourself ;)

  146. NMR says:

    “Also, the data includes whether a shift (a generic one, in the opinion of the “stringer” – the person recording the data) was on, and whether the shift likely affected the play at all. If it did – again, according to the “stringer”- then the play is ignored.”

  147. Jandy says:

    You tell ‘im Milo!!!!


  148. GAWTS2009 says:

    nah that’ll be next fridy after my shoulder surgery. Did you see my comment above about Brooksie? Hopefully it makes you laugh. Made me feel better about him leaving.

  149. Jandy says:

    Welcome home, Darrell :)

  150. Arriba Wilver says:

    I frankly haven’t seen anybody claim they have been even average defensively, with or without Fangraphs. It’s so clear they are worse than last year it hardly warrants any debate.

    Fighting windmills.

  151. NMR says:

    Google is your friend. ;)

  152. War_Horse says:

    After the home series with the Phillies, it’s four games in St. Louis followed by three in Cincy. Team morale couldn’t be higher.

  153. LonelyLibertarian says:

    Not sure – but this article has some background

    Suspect DK may have met him at the Dominican Baseball Academy as a teen…

  154. Jandy says:

    GAWT- this is Hap, right?

    Thanks, that’s a great way to look at it….
    nice pic in the Avi :)

  155. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Anyone who wants to know why the comment section of this blog is the best in Pittsburgh sports only needs to look at this one. Thoughtful, civil, troll-free discussion of a very broad variety of topics. Outstanding.

    Check’s in the mail, everyone.

  156. LonelyLibertarian says:

    “Fighting Windmills”

    Sounds like a good name for my next fantasy baseball team ;-)

  157. Jandy says:

    Your check is in the mail ;)

  158. Patrick(ri) says:

    The sports section, anyway.

  159. Jim S. says:

    They are in the vast minority of thousands of players. If that strategy could affect a few players per year for the Dodgers and Yankees, that is huge.

    They bring in something like $200 million more per season than the Pirates. So, yes, they could do that quite easily with enough players to have a huge impact if they chose correctly. They could adjust their MLB payroll to accommodate more draft spending, if necessary, and still spend a whole lot more than teams like the Pirates.

    Rich teams will exploit their financial advantage in every area.

  160. Jandy says:

    Monster Mash??

  161. Jandy says:

    Good luck with the surgery and yes I saw it,…thanks :)

  162. NMR says:

    But on that note, and in reference to DK’s Blog, one guy that I believe absolutely should stand out in that crowd of suck is Jordy Mercer.

    Guy has absolutely been better than last year. (And yes, FanGraphs agrees ;) )

  163. Arriba Wilver says:

    How are you doing in your fantasy league?

    Second question—did you pick Pedro?


  164. Jandy says:

    Starbucks for everyone!!!

  165. 21sthebest says:

    Seems like the defense has been better the past two weeks or so.

  166. GAWTS2009 says:

    Yes, Sorry I always forget which one I use haha. We are getting married in 3 months and a day!

  167. NMR says:

    “If that strategy could affect a few players per year for the Dodgers and Yankees, that is huge.”

    I just don’t think this is accurate, Jim.

    Think about the fail rate of prospects and compound that with the number of players this strategy could actually net.

    You’re talking about MAYBE one player per year. And upwards of $50m spent.

  168. Arriba Wilver says:


    And probably one of Neal’s most risk-free trades.

  169. Arriba Wilver says:


  170. Jandy says:

    WOW great news!! October 4th then>???

  171. GAWTS2009 says:

    Great point. Sports are about getting to the big game and producing. Doesn’t matter if a .500 record is what gets you there. Maybe one just has to play soccer to appreciate it’s complexity. I for one can’t get enough. But I can watch any sport but basketball.

  172. 21sthebest says:

    Anxious to see Polanco in this tougher stretch of games.

  173. TK says:

    “How did we ever know Paul Blair was a great centerfielder without all this computer generated, new age mumbo jumbo?”

    Because only the great (or very good) players had their names on bats and gloves when we entered a sporting goods store to buy them for little league (said the poster with a Paul Blair glove).

  174. Naterosboro says:

    You sir clearly have never supported a club. And you clearly have not watched the sport above the 8 year old level.

    I can tell you, not everyone gets a trophy. Not every competition is set up like the world cup.

    It’s Ok if you don’t understand something, and it’s even Ok to not like something. But to spout nonsense based on ignorance is wrong.

    Please make this your last post about soccer. Stick to LAX, volleyball, track & field, or the other sports you don’t care for.

  175. Jim S. says:

    Maybe. But, then why did they just spend so much on the International guys?

  176. LonelyLibertarian says:

    So I really should have left out the Fielding stuff – thought about it – but felt like I needed to offer a complete picture…

    Lost in the reaction to Fielding is something that I though was the really big point.

    I was impressed by the balanced performance over June/last 30 days…

    Before June 1 we would go through stages of….

    1. The bullpen is weak – it is not working the miracles it did last year
    2. The offensive is letting the pitching down – have to score more than 2 runs to win
    3. Need a front line starter – the lack of a front of rotation guy is killing the Bucs.

    At various times in April and May at least one of these was true.

    What we see in the July data is a very solid team – performing well in all three of these key areas.

    I worry about the Bucs being able to sustain this – they have not been a very good second half team the last three years – but we shall see…

    As others have noted – the coming 7 game swing through the Cards and Reds is going to provide some clues.

    Based on June the Bucs are going into that road trip in pretty good shape…
    1. The Reds seem to be struggling with the bullpen – Chapman has not been his invincible self [gave up 5 ER in June…} and the setup guys are not as good as the Bucs.
    2. The Cards staff – both starters and relievers are not doing very well right now – and the offense is middle of the pack.

    So 4-3 is not out of the question – and with a bit of luck one might dream of 5-2 – what needs to be avoided is 2-5…

  177. Jim S. says:


    Thanks for giving sports geeks like us the forum.

    BTW, I haven’t been here everyday. But, I have not seen your videos with the Cine-bobbles from deep in the bowels of Stately Kovacevic Manor in awhile. I promise I haven’t been avoiding them. Did you stop doing them?

  178. Naterosboro says:

    Thank you for this and your post above (about rewarding mediocrity in American Pro Sports; in fact in Euro leagues, if you’re that bad, YOU GET RELEGATED…what level of the minors would the Pirates be in right now if this was the case in the US?!).

    We’re scouring the globe for talent, not just pulling from the MLS (thank god Bruce Arena is no longer in charge). Klinsmann stressing that our top players need to be in the top Euro leagues and playing Champions League soccer. An influx of German-American dual citizen players. I’m loving all of it.

    We’re trending in the right direction, but these next 4 years are big. Have to at least make a QF run in Russia in 2018.

  179. LonelyLibertarian says:

    Wouldn’t and Imp and Iron be more appropriate :-)

  180. hockeymonster says:

    If only anyone actually ever read the blog than that would really be something…

  181. 21sthebest says:

    DK, this is just a lull between the Super 2 deadline and the trade deadline. :-)

  182. Jim S. says:

    That’s a fair point. When I originally said Clint has allowed them to go longer this year, I was not thinking he is making a unilateral decision. I agree with you 100% that he has to share in this decison with others, and I’m certain he takes the advice of the pitching and medical staffs.


    I saw Vrbata’s signing in Vancouver… and immediately thought of you, HM. Frankly, I’m a bit surprised Vancouver is handing out significant contracts on the free agent market, but I never suspected ownership was ready to commit to a rebuild. Nevertheless, new GM Jim Benning is taking a lot of heat locally.

    Cory Sarich isn’t a good fit. He’s a solid physical presence, but he’s not very mobile and he’s even less adept at moving the puck. At 35, injuries are starting to really catch up with him, too. He wouldn’t be a bad depth addition at the deadline for a playoff run, but I’d much rather see some of the Penguins young prospects get the ice time now.

    Roy is an interesting one. He’s a great team guy, tenacious forechecker, and he puts up good numbers, but he’s best when he’s used as a playmaking center. His numbers dropped last year and he was scratched from the lineup, but it appears to be more a problem with adjusting to Ken Hitchcock’s system and his linemates than it does with Roy’s decline. I guess it all depends on what happens with Brandon Sutter. If Sutter isn’t willing to move from his reported demands of $4M, I’d certainly look at alternatives like Derek Roy.

  184. NMR says:

    Well for one, because they’re incredibly reactionary. Years of farm system neglect, so of course they’re answer is throwing a bunch of money at 16 year old kids half a dozen years away from the big leagues as if that’s a solution.

    And two, because the system allows it. Free agency and drafts are completely different setups. They were able to go and sign over half of the top 10 prospects because no one else had a turn. That obviously would not happen in the draft.

  185. hockeymonster says:

    He’s probably asking for too much.

  186. Bizrow says:


  187. hockeymonster says:

    I wasn’t thinking about Roy as center. Just as top 9 winger. If sutter wants 4M or threatens hold out i would let him sweat. I think anything more than 5M for sutter and spaling becomes a cap buster. I think Sutter can negotiate more with us next off season. With Sarich, i wasnt thinking he could be a consistent top 4. But with maatta out he could help early in season before injuries start to take toll. Then from there we may actually need another RH shot for depth. Sarich for 1M and Roy for 1.5M could be a huge boost, especially for geno.

    And as much as i liked Vrbata that’s too much. I can see 3.5-4M but 5M is too much, even for 2 year deal. But he’ll play with the sedin’s so if he puts up 30 goals he’ll justify his contract.

  188. Jandy says:


  189. Patrick(ri) says:

    Pity the poor World Cup fans. Talk about a lull!

  190. NMR says:

    But your point wasn’t referencing mine.

    I specifically meant those two players.

  191. Thundercrack says:


  192. Jim S. says:

    Good points, as always.

    I still think there are guys who slip that would be enticed to sign by the deep pocket teams. But, maybe I am overstating it.

  193. NMR says:

    Good stuff, and keep it coming.

  194. GAWTS2009 says:

    Like both Roy as a pen always have pictured him as a winger for us.
    Vrbata, like the idea just not the money.

  195. GAWTS2009 says:

    For the record I was refering to Andrew point as a “great point”

  196. SeanAY says:

    Only because I haven’t checked in today.

  197. Jandy says:

    haha! Everybody DUCK!

  198. NMR says:

    Not at all, Jim!

    In fact, this was already happening. The Red Sox, for instance, not only drafted over-slot players long before the Pirates, they also outspent them.

    What the Pirates did was nothing new. Teams knew they could do it, and they did. But there’s just limited impact given the system of drafting. I just don’t believe it would’ve ever been logistically possible for any team to do what the Yankees did in the free agent market.

    But that of course is just my opinion, and yours very well may be valid.

  199. Andrew says:

    I think many don’t realize that in 1990 and 1994 many of the players in the US squad were employees of the National Federation because they didn’t have clubs to play for, Tony Meola, the goalkeeper of the 1994 squad, tried out for place kicker on the Jets after the 1994 World Cup.

    Progress is not linear and it is easy to in any sport to make the climb from abysmal to average, (qualifying for the World Cup) harder to go become and above average team (making it out of group stage), and the most difficult becoming an upper echelon team (making the last 8). Mexico has never made it past the round of 16, expect when they were the host nation.

    I don’t want to be overly critical of the casual fan, but if you only look at national team by win-draw-lose record every four years you’ll miss a lot. In 2009 Confederations Cup the US Team beat Spain, arguably one of the best national squads ever assemble, 2-0. And it was their full squad, not a C Team in a friendly. The 2016 Copa America should be another great event.

  200. Just got mine, but it says it can only be cashed in the US… :(

  201. NMR says:

    Ann Coulter, is that you?

  202. GAWTS2009 says:

    Weird mine says it can only be cashed in Canada???

  203. GAWTS2009 says:

    Wahooo! Can’t wait!

  204. Andrew says:

    I worry about this too especially with the starting pitching. The only above average offensive teams that the Pirates have faced in last 20 games were the Marlins and Rays (somehow they are above average on the year.) In small samples the quality of competitions matters, a good two starts by Worely and Cole not losing velocity might allay my concerns.

    On the bright side the Phil’s offense stinks and the Reds and Cardinals aren’t exactly The Big Red Machine.

  205. BillyBaduka says:

    Good line NMR.

  206. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s fine. It appeared in light of Jim’s question you were making a broader point.

  207. Jim S. says:

    To your point … Who are the really good teams this year? The Giants have come back to earth. The Dodgers are good, but just lately. Every time it looks like the Brewers are going to run away and hide, they slip for a week. Reds were on a great roll, then SD happened.

    The Nationals might be the best team in the NL now.

  208. GAWTS2009 says:

    Yep! 2 days after my parents aniversery and 2 days before her parents aniversery

  209. Jandy says:

    That’s cool! Good luck with all the planning :)

  210. JohninOshkos says:

    Happy Independence Day, all. Enjoyed the movie. Will Smith was great in it.

    Going to spend it at wife’s family farm which is just a hop, skip and a jump from the Field of Dreams in NE Iowa. Beer, burgers and fireworks!

    Maybe, I’ll blow up an old PC while it’s displaying the Fangraphs home page. That might fun. :)

    Just kidding. Have fun, be safe and enjoy the games.

    Go Joey Chestnut!

  211. I think Dejan is messing with all of us!

  212. JohnS says:

    Not sure that is true. My first glove was a Richie Zisk wilson.

  213. FlBucco says:

    Middle of the pack – move from 3 to 7 depending on who is hot

    No Pedro – but both Cutch and Marte

    Will have a shot at winning if I can trade steals for saves

  214. Jandy says:

    Winnipeg, right?

  215. Andrew says:

    In the NL offensively the Brewers, Dodgers, Rockies, and Marlins, have cobbled together a lineup, and Giants are pretty good, they just had two month stretch were they were the kings of sequencing that made them look better than they were.

    Overall I don’t think there are really any teams in the NL combining above average offense with above average pitching. Dodgers, Nationals, Cardinals, and Braves all have that potential just haven’t reached it. I still don’t think the Brewers are very good, but they built a big lead.

  216. Leo Walter says:

    Couldn’t pass that one up Jandy.

  217. hockeymonster says:

    At least you can read yours. Mine has some weird Cyrillic letters on it.

  218. Leo Walter says:

    Give the edge to the LA Kershaws

  219. Bizrow says:

    Mine’s not a check, its a bill ;-)

  220. Milo Hamilton says:

    I had a Tommy John glove. No wonder my elbow hurts.

  221. Leo Walter says:

    Dejan,somebody needs to clue in Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden on just why and how the Bucs have come back from the dead. I had to turn Duquette off this AM listening to him excoriate the organization ( the 1 millionth time ! ) for leaving Polanco down as long as they did,and how he has brought this team back to life. He badly needs to take a good look at the loney lib’s sets of stats.

  222. Andrew says:

    Good stuff, too your points.

    1)Bullpens are volatile, early in the year the Pirates kept handing close games over to the bullpen, Grilli to start the year entered a tie game and then his next eight appearances were in games with one run leads, even a bullpen performing well is going to lose some of those.

    2)Pirates offense is still underperforming its context independent numbers by 28 runs as of today, only the Rays are worse. Need to sequence those hits better.

    3)Pirates still need Cole to perform much better, need Morton to continue what he has done recently. Worely and Locke can be serviceable as long as the walks are down. Think there is room to upgrade here, ask me in month.

  223. Andrew says:

    Ha, don’t forget the $60 million dollar outfield.

  224. Thundercrack says:

    Bowden is worse.

  225. Jandy says:


  226. Jandy says:

    You too, Oshie, enjoy the fesitivities :)

  227. Good stuff just now on the From Forbes to Federal blog regarding our above discussion — with Jeff Locke — about starting pitcher counts being higher:

  228. 21sthebest says:

    I got cash too but it says, “In Dejan I Trust.”

  229. Bizrow says:


  230. pattonbb says:

    “THAT’S RIGHT! THAT’S RIGHT! That’s what you get! Look at you, ship all banged up! Who’s the man? Huh? Who’s the man? Wait till I get another plane! I’m-a line all your friends up right beside you!”

    Have a good 4th, John.

  231. Bizrow says:

    Any one heard anything on any LA signings by the PBC?

  232. TK says:

    Richie was considered a star here. A hitting star. Not so sure about fielding.

  233. NMR says:

    Let me guess a player they failed to mention: Josh Harrison?

  234. TK says:

    Your elbow problem could be caused by bending it too much, not because of the glove you wore.

  235. NMR says:

    What the?!?

  236. NMR says:

    Six guys signed to deals over $100k, but no “big money” signings. $1.2m of their $1.9m cap used.

    Ben Badler of Baseball America is your guy.

  237. Bizrow says:


  238. Bizrow says:

    An interesting word used is “immediate”

  239. BillyBaduka says:

    You too Osh. Sounds like a good time out there on the farm. Especially if you blow up the PC. I’m thinking if the scene in Office Space when they beat the h3ll out of the printer.

  240. Bizrow says:


  241. Baywatch says:

    Pumped! Just found out I’m off tonight, so I get to see my VANIMAL! Worley Birds UNITE!

  242. Jim S. says:

    Sometimes I get the feeling Bowden and Duquette are jealous that they are no longer GMs (and likely never will be again), while Huntington is having some success now. They occasionally throw him a bone, but usually it’s just rip, rip, rip all the moves the Bucs make. I’m guessing Neal never made it to their inner circle of GMs that are praised for everything they do.

  243. Jim S. says:

    Good for you, Bay! I’ll be watching as well. I’ve had so much to do that I’ve only caught a few innings the last couple of nights.

  244. Jim S. says:

    I think the Cardinals’ offense may struggle to score all year. Or, maybe that is just wishful thinking on my part.

    Not much power or speed in that lineup, and Craig has come back to earth. CF is a bit of a mess, offensively.

  245. Thundercrack says:

    I saw where we gave a 16 year old catcher $400K.

  246. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t get that same impression with Duquette. He may still wish he was a GM, but I certainly like his ‘delivery’ more than Bowden’s. It is much more less of the ‘know-it-all’ approach that JB seems to have.

    And since he’s worked for the Orioles he probably can relate to some of the things that NH faces. I got the impression that he likes NH

  247. Jim S. says:

    Didn’t Bob Prince or someone name him El Verdugo? The Executioner.

  248. Jim S. says:

    Chortling here, Milo.

  249. theplanisworking says:


    I saw you said hi the other day, and I responded with a drive-by ….. don’t know if you saw it or not. Didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you.

    I was in a hurry to cash the check Dejan sent me……….. before the funds were gone. ;)

    Actually, the dog almost made me late for work.
    Don’t tell him that, however ….

  250. NMR says:

    But Jim, the Cardinals hitters are so clut…hahahaha.

  251. Jim S. says:

    I saw it, plan. Have a great 4th, my friend! Take care!

  252. theplanisworking says:

    You also.

    Don’t do too much Pedro talk. ;)

  253. BillyBaduka says:

    There’s not much to it. He got drunk, crossed the line and the police locked him up for his own good.

    Essentially, he spent a night in the drunk tank.

  254. Jim S. says:

    Actually, you are right, TC. I shouldn’t have lumped Duquette in with Bowden on the jealousy comment.

    But, I have heard them both complain, along with Casey Stearn, that the Bucs need to be going for it hard every year. They all want the Pirates to trade every prospect away in the hope of getting a World Series win, and they talk as though they speak for 100% of Pirates fans when they say that. Personally, I like that the Bucs didn’t trade away Glasnow, Hansen and Polanco for Alex Rios last year as Bowden suggested they should.

    Bowden should relate to Huntington, too, though. He got his start with the Bucs, I think. And, he was mostly a GM with the Reds before he went to Washington. And, in those days, Washington was not a big spender. The last thing we need is a GM who trades away 3 top prospects for 2 or 3 years of an up and down OF like Alex Rios.

    I really like Todd Hollandsworth on the morning drive time on MLB Radio. I think he does a good job and has a realistic perspective of each team and what they are trying to accomplish.

  255. Jim S. says:

    My 15 year old daughter was just telling me last night that I’ve been too hard on El Toro. I believe the quote was, “He raked in June, dad. And, he has driven in exactly 14 runs each month so far. Cut him some slack.”

    I don’t even know if that is true, but I bought it.

  256. Baywatch says:


  257. Jim S. says:

    It’s funny. I thought Matheny and Company had cracked the code last year. Guess not.

  258. Maz in Iowa says:

    Vanimal Thursday!My favorite Thursday of the week.

  259. Bizrow says:

    Wonder when the club will put out a release on the signings? Not criticizing, just wondering

  260. Maz in Iowa says:

    Gregory Polanco RF
    Starling Marte LF
    Andrew McCutchen CF
    Neil Walker 2B
    Russell Martin C
    Ike Davis 1B
    Pedro Alvarez 3B
    Jordy Mercer SS
    (Vance Worley P)

  261. Thundercrack says:

    Discontinue her subscription to Fangraphs.

  262. Maz in Iowa says:

    BTW where is Groat?Someone trade him for a “blogger to be named later”?

  263. hockeymonster says:

    Sooo….what are we gonna do about this “pressure” thing I’ve been hearing about? Tone it down?

  264. Thundercrack says:

    Oh my Jim. Hollandsworth may be my least favorite person on that channel (behind Bowden).

    He may be knowledgeable but his delivery on the radio is the absolute worst.
    He is XM’s Kevin Orrie. Both can’t give a complete, direct, coherent sentence.

    My blood pressure still rises when I think about Bowden saying in May that we should sign Drew and Kendry Morales.

  265. Thundercrack says:

    My guess is that the signings are not 100% complete/official yet.

  266. Bizrow says:

    Yeah, it usually does take a while for the names/signings to come out.

  267. Leo Walter says:

    Oh, they mention Harrison. But it is always in the context of ” what a great story he is “. Never do they say he has been the largest factor, ( at least in my opinion ) in the surge, just ahead of GP and the amazing depth of the pitching.

  268. Leo Walter says:

    Duquette has been a very close second !

  269. kr70 says:

    +1 and it’s about time

  270. Leo Walter says:

    Thunder, that comment made me laugh out loud. I know I had to bite my hand every day to keep from dialing that #.

  271. FlBucco says:

    Pirate Prospects has some info and a “tracker”

  272. Cmat0829 says:

    Rockies? Worst team in the NL.

  273. Roger says:

    Every word she has spoken the last couple of weeks about soccer is true. Good for her for not falling for the narrative of everyone in the media that soccer is so awesome. It’s comical that in a world where it’s hard to get people to agree on things that a majority of the media can agree on 2 things: Michael Sam is a hero and soccer is awesome. It’s so pathetic that people can’t speak their true feelings without being labeled things.

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