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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Pirates 6, Phillies 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (46-41) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (37-50)

Time: 1:35 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, Radio: Root Sports, KDKA-FM (93.7)

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page and our Bucco Blog. Rob Biertempfel, Travis Sawchik and I are on the scene for the Trib.

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:

    Lead off

  2. DJ says:

    Hope we hang 6 or 7 on AJ, we sweep and AJ fades to a distant memory.

    Bored of the feel-good AJ homecoming story. Maybe it’s just me.

  3. Jim S. says:

    Good day for that elusive 1st Buccos sweep, as well as the Fish making it to 2/3 from the Cards and the Reds taking 2/3 from the Brewers.

    That would put us in 2nd place, 4.5 behind Milwaukee, .5 ahead of St Louis, and 1.5 ahead of Cincinnati.

    Two weeks ago, the Bucs were on the verge of being buried by Milwaukee, but the boys have pitched and bashed their way back in the divisional race.

    Anyone want to make a guess at their Pick to Click offensively for the Bucs today? I’m feeling Pedro or Neil.

  4. Bizrow says:

    • Welcome, Lunatics! If you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post:
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    Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbiana, Green, Hilliard, Toledo, Louisville, Columbus, Perrysburg, Pickerington, Youngstown, Cleveland, Olmsted Township, Liberty Township, Warren, Oregon, Wintersville, Austintown, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base*, New Philadelphia, Powell, Canton, Salem, New Albany, Bloomingdale, Powell, Howland, Grafton, Northwood, Middletown, Dayton, Cambridge, Martins Ferry, Akron
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    The Philippines
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    Tennessee – Smithville, Nashville
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    492 confirmed locations represented in the blog, and a couple of strange places
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    29 countries
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    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s of any species, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    • 7/6/2014 10:55 AM

  5. Thundercrack says:

    Well…today I would not pick JHay. :-)

  6. Maz in Iowa says:

    No Marte

  7. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ll be there today. Plan on giving AJ a rousing ovation for what he did when he was here, and then hope we hang 6 or 7 on him.

  8. Maz in Iowa says:

    Pretty good line up for a Sunday

  9. Jim S. says:

    As it should be, AW.

    Thanks for two great years, AJ. Now, we’re going to need to beat you today.

  10. Lad 9 says:

    Let’s go Bucs!

    A.J. Burnett (R)

    1. Ben Revere (L) CF
    2. Cesar Hernandez (S) 2B
    3. Jimmy Rollins (S) SS
    4. Marlon Byrd (R) RF
    5. John Mayberry Jr. (R) 1B
    6. Cody Asche (L) 3B
    7. Domonic Brown (L) LF
    8. Cameron Rupp (R) C
    9. A.J. Burnett (R) P

    Jeff Locke (L)

    1. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
    2. Josh Harrison (R) LF
    3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
    4. Neil Walker (S) 2B
    5. Russell Martin (R) C
    6. Ike Davis (L) 1B
    7. Pedro Alvarez (L) 3B
    8. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
    9. Jeff Locke (L) P

    Gametime Forecast: 79°F • Mostly Cloudy • 0% PoP

  11. Thundercrack says:

    I noticed that too. After those 3 strikeouts yesterday, this doesn’t really surprise me.

  12. Thundercrack says:


    AW, what will your reaction be if he throws one under Cutch’s chin? :-)

  13. Thundercrack says:

    The other day we talked about Marlon Byrd’s relationship with some of the media here. Read the note that was in yesterday’s Saturday notes. (it is under a nice story about him and the notes he found in his hotel)

  14. Jim S. says:

    Looks like Brandon McCarthy to the Yankees. They are definitely very much in it at .500.

    That’s a pretty weak division.

  15. Thundercrack says:

    Their record may say their in it…but that team isn’t very good. I would say they’re not in it.

  16. Maz in Iowa says:

    The Yankees traded Vidal Nuno to Arizona for Brandon McCarthy.

  17. Maz in Iowa says:

    Rats too slow again

  18. Radio wave says:

    Interesting . I have been wondering how fans will greet him. I am still mad that he didn’t retire, but he was great here.

  19. Sarcastic Sword says:

    He pitched well…not a fan of his drama queen routine on a few occassions that showed up Hurdle and was no less of a petulant child whwn Cole got gm 5 start vs Cards…I wasnt sad to see him go.

  20. Radio wave says:

    Amazing a guy with a 2-10 record has market value.

  21. Maz in Iowa says:

    He must have consulted Brett Favre. :)

  22. Maz in Iowa says:

    Like Jose de Leon?

  23. Jim S. says:

    Locke can shut that lineup down.

  24. Maz in Iowa says:

    Jose was 2-19.He played for many years after that

  25. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Get ready….We’re starting to see who wants to win and who doesn’t really care very much.

  26. Sarcastic Sword says:

    McCarthy’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors for weeks and I dont get it..ERA over 5 and 131 hits allowed in 109 innings..thats god 15 HR’s allowed….I heard a caller to DK’s radio show a few weeks saying McCarthy was a darling of advanced metrics – what are they? If a guy is getting pounded all over the park, how can he look like a guy worth acquiring when the eye test says he sucks…..its not like he has a bad record with a low ERA indicating low run support.

  27. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    He has indeed been a darling of the advanced metrics crowd.

  28. cherokee23 says:

    +++. Maybe he was over the top sometimes but I think he helped this team greatly with his passion and competitiveness. On a related note, Martin seems to be stepping up in the passion/ competitive factor this season. Seems noticeably more of a leader of this team this season

  29. Jim S. says:

    They didn’t get much for him, and the DBacks apparently had to add $$ to the deal.

  30. The Gunner says:

    I agree, give AJ his due for 2012 & 2013 & then proceed to annihilate him.

    It’s time strap it on the Phils & continue to apply heat on the Drunkards from Milwaukee.

  31. cherokee23 says:

    About him defending his teammate after the game and basically shutting down the interview?

  32. Jim S. says:

    Now we know. Barnes is out 4-6 weeks.

  33. Jim S. says:

    * Barmes

  34. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Michael Martinez…(shaking my head)….So much for that great farm system we keep hearing about.

  35. The Gunner says:

    Geez Jim, that’s awful. I really like Barmes in his 2014 role. What is the problem?

  36. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think trades or non trades over the next two months are an indicator of that at all.

  37. Jim S. says:

    You mean the one that produced Polanco, Marte, Cutch, Walker, Alvarez, Harrison, Mercer, Cole, Locke, Wilson, Hughes, Watson, Morton, etc?

    Or, the one that traded for or signed Melancon, Martin & Volquez, & scooped up Worley before other teams?

    Yeah, if only they had a clue.

  38. Baywatch says:

    39th commenter? WAY on down the depth chart today, I am! Morning, All! Should be interesting. Honestly, given our approaches at the plate lately … does Burnett stand a chance?

  39. Jim S. says:

    Travis is reporting a groin sprain sustained making a throw in ore-game BP yesterday, Gunner.

  40. Thundercrack says:

    Viva la Regime!!

  41. Thundercrack says:

    We need to have an all-star caliber backup at every position waiting in the minors.

  42. Baywatch says:

    Bummer about Barmey! Guy’s really valuable out there in the field, late innings.

  43. 21sthebest says:

    That must be one heckuva groin sprain.

  44. bradthedad says:

    Jim, you’re wasting your breath. Futile.

  45. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Nobody said anything about an “all-star’… But if Michael Martinez is the best an organization has to offer as a middle INF (in this kind of situation) it’s flat out baloney.
    To think otherwise is ludicrous.

  46. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I’m sure all the other teams have really good, MLB-proven players waiting at AAA for just such opportunities.

  47. Andrew says:

    AL East is fairly mediocre, I don’t think the Orioles are very good either and Encarnacion had to be helped off the field yesterday after injury his knee.

  48. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’m sure that IS the case.
    But not all of them hear how great their farm system is 24/7.

  49. Andrew says:

    Hey you made the 40 man roster.

  50. Jim S. says:

    Travis called it a grade 3 adductor strain.

  51. Sarcastic Sword says:

    NH has done good things no doubt but dont forget the return for Jason Bay and these FA gems…Overbay Diaz Snyder Iwamura…

    Have spent $131M in total on free agents last five seasons….and a -4.6 WAR to show for it…

    Theres good and bad by NH…but some people never mention the bad.

  52. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Why isnt that an indicator?

  53. Jim S. says:

    You’re right, I guess, Brad.

    I was as frustrated as anyone about the 20 years. But, the 20 years is over. This year could actually be year #2 of good things. Things aren’t perfect, but I think we are at least in a decent place with a now competent organization, overall. Just my opinion, but the problem with continuing to be angry about the past is you might end up not fully enjoying good things in the present.

  54. Jim S. says:

    There’s good and bad by every GM. No one gets everything right in evaluating the abilities of human beings going forward. That perfect GM doesn’t exist, and never has.

  55. The Gunner says:

    Thanks Jim. I saw the Bucs picked up Dean Anna from the scrap heap. I saw him playing SS for the Yankees early this year.

    Is he a prospect or just another Drew Sutton type?

  56. bradthedad says:


  57. Lad 9 says:

    Ouch. I feel that just from the description. (Shudder)

  58. 21sthebest says:

    If Harrison hadn’t been playing so well, I bet Marte starts.

  59. John Lease says:

    Joe L. Brown was pretty close to perfect. He did trade for that scumsucker from Philadelphia, but no one is perfect.

  60. Patrick(ri) says:

    Older folks have more empathy for this kind of injuriy, which we can accomplish picking up the morning paper.

  61. John Lease says:

    I’d like to see D’Arnaud get another shot. He could field, at least, and be a pinch runner.

  62. John Lease says:

    Barmes is one of us.

  63. 21sthebest says:

    Lots of teams that were in the hunt did nothing the past couple of deadlines.

    I don’t think it’s an indicator because I don’t think teams make moves just to make moves. Teams might want to make trades but might not see anything they like or don’t like the acquisition cost. Or maybe teams like what they already have in place.

    I feel like the build up to the trade deadline has become kind of overblow the last few years. I don’t think it’s mandatory that a team make a trade to theoretically improve itself on paper.

  64. Thundercrack says:

    If you like your team and want to go with your current 25 orfeel that the trade offers aren’t good one why does that make you a team that doesn’t care very much?

  65. Jim S. says:

    I read that also, Gunner. I really don’t know much about him. I did read that some publication was high on him and called him very underrated last year, for whatever that’s worth. I didn’t even know he was a SS.

  66. Andrew says:

    There are better ways to evaluate pitchers than assessing pitchers by the defense behind them and the rate at which fly balls become home runs.

  67. Patrick(ri) says:

    ++. Wonder if Jordy is reconsidering channeling his throwing moves?

  68. Sarcastic Sword says:

    So why do some people refuse to acknowledge the bad?

  69. Patrick(ri) says:

    Reply to John L.

  70. Andrew says:

    That is a complete tear of the muscle, or the musculotendinous junction, ouch.

  71. Jim S. says:

    I haven’t followed how he has performed this year, but is he any worse than Michael Martinez?

  72. Jim S. says:

    You’ll have to ask those people you are referring to. I can’t think of one person on DK’s blog this winter that didn’t criticize the team at some point over the AJ/Volquez saga. That’s just one example of many.

  73. bpn8pitt says:

    Stinks about Barmes. His stick has never been great, but the glove has been solid. Options behind him seem to be the same offensively, but nowhere near the range or reliability in the field. Hope they can hold it down.

  74. Jim S. says:

    +++, TC.

  75. Jim S. says:

    I think JHay will indeed get chances at SS.

  76. bpn8pitt says:

    Like too see AJ get a nice ovation but Locke give 6 or 7 strong.

  77. Jim S. says:

    The Yankees cared so much over the past several years that they had nothing to offer the Cubs for Samardzija. I guess sometimes you can just care too much. ;-)

  78. Andrew says:

    Iwamura was a trade. When you get big deals right, Liriano, and correct previous mistakes, Martin for Barajas, those one year deals for a non-competitive teams are forgotten. There is no long-term risk in one year deals, a reason why the QO to Burnett should have been made.

  79. Jim S. says:

    +++, 26.2

  80. bpn8pitt says:

    Not a true SS. Offensive liability.

    About what’s a AAA, which I think was Daqs point earlier.

  81. bpn8pitt says:

    Good call, Travis on McCarthy getting dealt. Wrong team of course, but similar years of control coming back.

  82. DJ says:

    Speaking of guys you like to see do well. Jaren Hughes on pre-game.

    Certainly has had his ups and downs but he’s got it going right now and great to see.

    Upbeat, respectful, always insightful, rarely trite — love listening to him speak. Future in broadcasting but hope it’s a few years out. Keep it going Lurch.

  83. 21sthebest says:


  84. DJ says:

    . . .”Jared”*

  85. 21sthebest says:


  86. Reading says:

    Just a bit upstairs.

  87. Andrew says:

    That’s on Ike Davis.

  88. Jim S. says:

    Have you ever seen how easily a guy like Todd Frazier makes that play? It really doesn’t need to be an adventure.

  89. Patrick(ri) says:

    Looks like another sweep game.

  90. Lad 9 says:

    Not a good start on D for El Toro. He will need to do some serious bashing to make up for those gems.

  91. Thundercrack says:

    Fangraphs is telling me not to worry about Pedro….just to keep waiting for his hot streak.

  92. Patrick(ri) says:

    Very nice show of appreciation!

  93. Florida Steeler says:

    For you stats guys–is Pedro the worst fielding third baseman in baseball?

  94. bpn8pitt says:


  95. Jim S. says:

    It doesn’t get any more routine than that grounder to 3b. There’s way too much going on with the whole “glove tap, taking 2 seconds to set his feet and then unleashing an unnecessarily hard throw” going on.

  96. 21sthebest says:

    Cincy up 2-0 bottom 2nd. Braun not in the lineup.

  97. Lad 9 says:

    Nice for Root to stay with it though the break.

  98. RB says:

    I love this comment so, so, so much. +++++++++

  99. Andrew says:

    Actually Asche is rated the poorest on the year, Alvarez is 29/31 of fielders who have played 300 innings there.

    Alvarez’s errors are rated as costing the most runs of any fielder in the league, most times the numbers tell you what you already know.

  100. Karen22 says:

    WOW! More two-out clutch from the Bucs! I am impressed!

    Missed the AJ welcome…how was he received?

  101. Florida Steeler says:

    Say it again–first base is a deep, dark hole on this team with Davis and Gaby.

  102. 21sthebest says:


  103. Brandie says:

    Back from the land of freaks. Bummed about Clint B. I missed some great action over the last week. Good to be back!!!

  104. KING says:

    Ringing double by Martin!!! Pirates lead 2-1 that quick. Scores Cutch & Walker. Good start by Pirates after Pedro throwing error. Ponders whether if Hurdle can stomach any more of these bad Alvarez throws.

    Don’t know what happens with Alvarez. Things going from bad to worse. Maybe a change of scenery the best for all concerned. KING

  105. 21sthebest says:

    Locke’s changeup is just sick.

  106. Lad 9 says:

    BRANDIEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! Welcome back.

  107. Patrick(ri) says:

    Ha! Locke walked AJ just make him run!

  108. Karen22 says:

    Is it me or is posting order screwed up on this thread?

  109. Brandie says:



  110. Brandie says:


  111. Lad 9 says:

    It is really screwed up.

  112. Karen22 says:

    Way to go, Josh!! :)

  113. Brandie says:

    Good guys up 3-1. Who stepped up to spur the team on to wins in my absence?

  114. Karen22 says:

    Where ya been, Ms. Animal??

  115. Brandie says:

    Hello Temptress!!

  116. KING says:

    J-Hay triple & scores on Walker’s shallow Sacrifice Fly. Pirates 3 Phillies 1. I think it is official J-Hay more than a utility player. KING

  117. Andrew says:

    Yeah there is a bunch of posts anchored to bottom of the page.

  118. Brandie says:

    Camping at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garretsville Ohio. SeanAY knows the place. Went to find the hippies!!!

  119. tomf says:

    but yet a number on this blog speculate a Hurdle – Alvarez ‘rift’ may be responsible when Alvarez sits – and not Alvarez performance/production

  120. DJ says:

    What’s up with the posting order?

    Noticed it earlier with Jim S but thought it might be a time zone thing.

  121. Andrew says:

    Some bad swings by Pirates’ hitters on that knuckle curve, Alvarez had a nice one, just right at someone.

  122. dennis g. says:

    Yeah? He also traded local boy Bob Purkey for Don Gross; and local boy Groat for Don Cardwell and Julio Gotay, saying that he could not win a pennant with Groat at shortsop, which of course was true after he traded him, but St. Louis could and did win a World Series.

    No one is right all the time.

  123. dennis g. says:

    Who is the Philadelphia scumsucker?

  124. dennis g. says:

    Then I was not here. I had no problem with the Volquez signing and was very supportive of the decision to not make a qualifying offer to A.J.

  125. Patrick(ri) says:

    Was that fan wearing one of the new pitcher hats?

  126. War_Horse says:


  127. War_Horse says:

    Pedro’s problem is not “fielding.” It’s THROWING.

  128. War_Horse says:

    Standing ovation. He tipped his cap to the crowd more than once. Nice moment or two.

  129. dennis g. says:

    Tim Neverett distinguished himself again today by discussing Batman trivia instead of broadcasting the actual game, telling the world that “Ralph” Gorshin had played the Riddler on TV and then being congratulated by Bob Walk on the breadth of his Batman knowledge. Of course it was Frank Gorshin who grew up in the East End and graduated from Peabody High School, which might have been interesting to Pittsburghers but which went unmentioned. Later after numerous corrections poured in over Twitter, Nevertt made the correction. Was he humbled by the event? No, he immediately went back to discussing who played the Penguin on Batman.

  130. Florida Steeler says:

    This home plate umpire has been very good and consistent. Anyone know who he is??

  131. dennis g. says:

    In seven minor league seasons he hit .280, but in over 160 games in AAA he hit over .300. That does not sound too bad.

  132. Eric Bowser says:

    3.08 ERA for Jeff Locke…. young man is dealing, great turnaround by the lefty.

  133. Patrick(ri) says:

    Bottom 8th & the right guys are up to add on. Or you could go for a hot dog . . .

  134. Andrew says:

    That is what a bad fielding 3B looks like.

  135. War_Horse says:

    Milwaukee loses 4-2 in Cincinnati.

  136. Tom P. says:

    St. Louis is losing 1-0 to the Marlins, and the Cardinals starter only went 4.2 IP. Of course, with Wainwright pitching tomorrow, maybe that does not mean much.

  137. Patrick(ri) says:

    With benefit of hindsight, I do!

  138. pattonbb says:

    Fan interference

  139. pattonbb says:

    That was supposed to read…fan interference plays drive me nuts.

  140. Eric Bowser says:

    Yo morons, STOP leaning over the fence at PNC Park.

    The team is going to lose a game because of this, if this keeps up.

    Pirates need to throw the fans out as it keeps happening, almost daily.

  141. Andrew says:

    How dumb do you have to be to reach over the wall? I’m not even close to qualifying for AARP but, I don’t understand how grown men can act so idiotically around the chance to grab a souvenir.

  142. War_Horse says:

    MLB must have an unpaid intern keeping the Standings. Already given a 4-2 win to the Bucs today.

  143. chethejet1 says:

    Phils have a giant payroll and I just have no idea how long they can continue to pay these guys big money. They are two years behind the cubs with any shot of rebuilding. AJ pitched OK but not worth that kind of coin. Sorry have zero interest in him. He is not that far above what they are trucking out now. Not sure what the Phils have in the system, but they need a total rebuild.

  144. Patrick(ri) says:

    In my younger days, a gambler told me to never bet against a streak. Of course he might have taken 6-2 odds.

  145. Lad 9 says:

    Raise it for the sweep! I LOVE beating Philly in anything! Bring on the Redbirds.

  146. War_Horse says:

    A good manager like Hurdle does not allow himself the luxury of “having rifts” with his players. Hurdle is way too smart to let a “rift” interfere with his baseball judgement. He sat Pedro in the 9th inning today in favor of Harrison’s more cinsistent defence.

  147. The Bucs just got their first season series sweep off the woebegone Phillies although Clint Barnes is now on the 15 day DL with a left groin pull. Craig Locke beat AJ although Marlon Byrd homered in the 7th to get the Phil’s within 1 but then, the lousy Phillies bullpen let the game get away, and now, it looks like the Pirates might well be a half game in front of the Cardinals at day’s end since they’re losing to Miami in the 8th but good.

  148. War_Horse says:

    Interesting postgame comment from Martin. He said he had caught A.J. often enough to have a good idea where and what he was going to get pitched today. Martin said he expected A.J. to throw any fastballs to him outside. So, when he got up to bat and drove in two runs with a double off the wall in the 1st inning, sure enough, it was an outside fastball that A.J. had thrown.

  149. The Bucs have recalled infielder Michael Hernandez from Indianapolis to replace Barnes so it must be pretty bad.

  150. KING says:

    Great Pirates homestand. Bucs take care of business 8-2 & sweep Phillies 6-2. Great performances Cutch J-Hay & Company.

    Received assistance from our friends the Reds who outlasted the Brewers 4-2. Only 4.5 games out now. 47-41 strong record over 1st half. Key numbers for Pirates 50 Home wins 41 Road wins. 91 should be enough. KING

  151. And the Bucs face a 4 game road stand vs. the Cardinals starting Monday, begining with Charlie Morton vs. Wainwright, so hopefully, the force will remain with the Pirates this coming week.

  152. Jim S says:

    Plenty of contributions today.

    * JHay with a nice triple and hustle on the 3b error in the 9th.

    * Cutch with his almost daily greatness again.

    * Russ with a huge 2-run double to get us going.

    * Oh, and the biggest contributor of all, with another “Locke down” performance, is Jeff Locke. He out pitched his buddy, AJ.

    Great way to finish an 8-2 homestand and head out for an important 7 game roadie. We should be in sole possession of 2nd place shortly, and within 4.5 of Milwaukee. Go Bucs!

  153. theplanisworking says:

    Great time for the first sweep of the year, Jim!

    Just received a note from a friend of mine at the game.
    She, along with her 14 year old son, were waiting for the players to come out and maybe sign some autographs on the way out of the stadium. He got his phone case signed by a player, and he talked to him for about 5 minutes, because he has some concussion issues from being hit by a baseball in Little League. I thought that was very nice of that player.

    The player? AJ Burnett.
    This just happened a few minutes ago.

  154. Jim S. says:

    The late movement is a thing of beauty right now.

  155. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Way to go Buccos on a 8-2 homestand and a sweep of the Phillies.

    The Phils are a prime example of what we don’t want the Pirates to become: wasted, high dollar contracts on over-the-hill players.

    It’ll be a shame if Chase Utley is the starting 2b of the All-Star game.

    His time has come and gone along with many, many others.

  156. Jim S. says:

    If they keep building parks where fans can reach over into the action, fans will keep reaching over into the action.

  157. Jim S. says:

    Cool story, plan. Thanks for sharing. Good for you, AJ. It’s not easy to put aside a tough loss and realize there are more important things in the world – like a kid idolizing ball players and wanting an autograph. Glad he did that. Very classy.

    Methinks AJ would love to come back at the deadline. But, he’s a #3 now, and we don’t need him at the moment.

  158. Jim S. says:

    I think this team is starting to feel good about itself. And, they have rediscovered their 2014 success formula of getting ahead and staying ahead.

  159. Florida Steeler says:

    Hope you don’t think Neil Walker deserves to start over Utley?? He is still the best second baseman in the NL.

  160. And now, there are trade rumors implying that the Pirates are interested in reacquiring AJ from the Phillies. We shall all see if that comes to pass.

  161. Chuck H says:

    Pedro will not have a hot streak until he’s traded to another team.

  162. Chuck H says:

    Just the worst throwing 3rd baseman.

  163. Sarcastic Sword says:

    I think Burnett has a player option for 2015 at $17M…if that is accurate,there is no way he becomes a Bucco

  164. And after the Cardinals, the Bucs have three vs. Cincinnati in Cincinnati, so they’ll have some pretty good tests coming up in the days just prior to the All Star break.

  165. Chuck H says:

    I predict that the Bucs will win 3 out of 4 in St. Louis, giving us a stronghold on 2nd place.

  166. Jim S says:

    Phils will need to eat a significant portion of his contract to deal him to any team, because no one is stupid enough to take on all of that contract for a “decent” pitcher who is pushing 40. Well, the Phils, of course, were stupid enough to sign him to that deal. But, their GM is in a special category of “stupid.”

    The Pirates have no need for him right now. Once Liriano gets healthy, we already have too many starting pitchers.

  167. The Gunner says:

    There is no way AJ will be traded to the Bucs. His contract is way too convoluted for the BMTIB’s tastes.

    And really, they don’t need the sideshow he brings either.

  168. The Gunner says:

    100% agreement with you, Jim. The Bucs don’t need AJ or his circus.

  169. Arriba Wilver says:


  170. Andrew says:

    Fair point.

  171. Arriba Wilver says:


  172. Andrew says:

    Just looked this up, Burnett has a signing bonus with these payment dates; $7.5M signing bonus ($1M on 12/15/14, $2.75M on 1/15/15, $3.75M on 6/30/15). I assume the Philies would pay that.

    Then there is a $15M mutual option ($1M buyout) or $7.5M player option.

    I think the Pirates could use another starting pitcher, not sure Burnett is that guy.

  173. Flbucco says:

    Just back home – great game – great to be there to see the AJ tribute by the Bucs – very classy act

    Followed by the ovation – which AJ clearly did not expect. Class act 2.

    I was worried when he got Polanco on that back foot chase pitch we loved the last two years and then JHay goes after eye high heat – old JHay retuned for an at bat…

    Then Cutch beats out an infield single that was all him – full speed out of the box…

    Looked like he got AJ agitated – something we all remember from the last two years – but not so fondly…

    I was praying that Martin would somehow go to the plate – wanted to see that duel and it happened and Martin won!

    Locke was awesome – and AJ was a very good AJ – just not good enough.

    Small moment that will make all the Pedro bashers cringe…

    On Sundays the Pirates do a very cool thing – before the Pirates take the field the announce little kid “starters for each position who get to run out on the field to take their position – each of them has a baseball – they get to high five the Parrot and appear on the big screen – very cute and the fans love it..

    Once they are all in place the pirates take the field – the players are all great with their kids – sign their ball,- Shake hands – high fives and such – but in most cases the kids are headed off the field pretty quickly…

    Today I look over to third base and there is Pedro – leaning over a talking to his “co-third baseman” they are obviously engaged and it went on for a minute or two. Finally Pedro gives the little girl (I think it was a girl – very far away) a bit of a hug and a pat on the back and starts taking his war ups – by then he has missed a round or two…

    I know he will never use it as an excuse – but I will always be convinced that bad throw in the first does not happen if he did not spend the extra seconds with the little kid.

    Came home and ordered an Alvarez jersey – will be my Pirate jersey of choice going forward!

  174. John Lease says:

    Former Kentucky Senator, and baseball HOFer Jim Bunning. That bum did NOTHING while a Pirate, suddenly remembered how to pitch as soon as he left town. Gave up a ton for him too, Don Money among others.

  175. John Lease says:

    These 4 in St. Lous and 3 in Cincy are absolutely crucial. Must at least split with the Cards, but I’d like 3 outta 4, and 2 out of 3 in Cincy would give the Pirates tons of momentum into the break. The only team I fear is the Cardinals, because they are better run than ANY other team in the Central.

    Can’t count on LaRussa screwing them up anymore. I still think the Brewers will fade, and hope this recent stretch is the beginning of the ends for that obnoxious team.

  176. LonelyLibertarian says:

    I am not sure what they do with an extra starter…
    I know Locke has an option left – and Frankie is coming back so he might have to go down..

    But if you saw what I saw today that would be a big mistake IMHO.

    He pitched a GREAT game – not a good game – a GREAT one.
    1 Walk – the Locke of 2013 – even the All Star Locke was good for 3-4 walks a start and lots of deep counts.
    Hurdle said on the post game he threw FOUR curve balls – FOUR! I will go back and look but I think the curve was his 2nd pitch last year – this year it’s the change up – which is making a lot of good hitters look silly.

    Maybe the Cole to closer idea isn’t as insane as I thought – at least short term…

  177. iTony Watson and Andrew McCutchen are now on the All Star Team for the NL. And now, we’ll find out who’s on among the reserves.

  178. Lad 9 says:

    JAY HAY AN ALL STAR!!!!!! Woo hoo. Congrats Josh. Awesome!

  179. Josh Harrison has chosen for the All Star team as a reserve player. Congratulations to all three Pirates players!

  180. 21sthebest says:

    I’ve been saying all along Andrew that I find it hard to believe the Pirates are interested in AJ and there’s no way they want that player option which can go higher based on games started this year.

  181. Matt Hoffman says:

    I believe it could be much worse, but it our weak spot in my opinion. I wouldn’t mindseeing Hague given one more shot (he hit another home run in Indy today).

  182. Nate83 says:

    Congrats to JHay on making the all star team. Well deserved and great story.

  183. Matt Hoffman says:

    I agree with you onLocke, LL. I would keep Cole in the rotation, he will be fine. I would trade Liriano for an infield or catcher prospect (we could get a good one at that). I think with our rotation now, Liriano is indisposable. Just my opinion.

  184. Arriba Wilver says:


  185. Stuart says:

    Who is Craig Locke ghost boy?

  186. The Gunner says:


    Great news about J-Hay! Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy!

  187. Jim S says:

    JHay is there!!

  188. Leo Walter says:

    +++++ Thunder

  189. The Gunner says:

    I figured you meant Jim Bunning – to say he stunk it up for the Pirates is quite the understatement.

  190. Leo Walter says:

    Jim, that person makes me SMH. Anything he can find to complain about.

  191. Leo Walter says:

    Who is the mystery “Snyder” that was signed as a Free Agent ?

  192. Jim S says:

    I like your confidence, Chuck. Sign me up!

  193. Leo Walter says:

    Yes, d’Arnaud is worse or he would be there.

  194. Leo Walter says:

    dennis, you mean Tim Neverright ? He has to be one of the worst play by play guys in MLB.

  195. Matt Hoffman says:

    JHay reminds me of one of my all time favorites-Rex Hudler. I grew up watching Hudler give 100% every game!

  196. Jim S says:

    Still? This is a nice rebound year for Utley, but he hasn’t been able to stay on the field for a few years now.

  197. dennis g. says:

    You mean he IS “disposable?” Since you would trade him. Right? Indisposable, which I (and spellcheck) did not know was a word means you cannot do without him.

  198. Jim S says:

    I’d be fine with a 4-3 road trip here. If we can split with the Cards, I think that would be very acceptable. I just think it will be hard to beat Wainwright tomorrow in his home park. After that, I see the Bucs taking the last 2/3 of that series, followed by finally settling the score a bit with the Reds by taking 2/3 in the Queen City.

    If we can do that, we go into the break at 51-44 – with the best record in MLB since the horrendous 10-18 start.

    A 4-3 road trip might also be good enough to also gain a little more ground on Milwaukee.

  199. Thundercrack says:

    Those crowd shots from Root are bad enough. Nevrett feels he has to add commentary to them. Ugh.

  200. KING says:

    Congrats on J-Hay All Star Selection. Truly deserving! Also Cutch & Watson. Thought those are the 3 that would make it. Great Pirates year 47-41 & Pirates take 3 of 4 vs. Cards. KING

  201. Andrew says:

    Burnett rumors seem to be, team has weakness, bad team has rental or near rental player to fill that weakness, but that isn’t really enough for a story so you need a connection, which Burnett and the Pirate certainly have.

    I don’t think the Pirates should want anything to do with Burnett, agree with the above points on Locke he really has something with the change up, only threw two curves today. If I have to pick a starter to go its Volquez his numbers aren’t good and he is inconsistent. Next 7 games with tell us a lot.

  202. Andrew says:

    Looking at those pitching match ups I’d be happy with 2-2, I see two games clear advantage Cardinals and then Worely v Martinez and Volquez v Miller, I can’t even garner a guess at those two.

  203. Bizrow says:

    Fair choices so far with the PBC??

    I think so

    PRNW’s appendectomy, messed him up for this season

  204. War_Horse says:

    No one is indisposable. Indispensible? Yes.

  205. JohninOshkosh says:

    Proud of you Western Pennsylvanians today. Very classy how AJ was honored with your cheers.

  206. LonelyLibertarian says:

    It would seem that they are set up perfectly for going with a a six man rotation – and using the starter[s] on their off day[s] as emergency pieces in the bullpen – think they got close to doing this in 2012 – but AJ balked at the idea – perhaps Travis or DK have more info…

  207. LonelyLibertarian says:

    I don’t know that there was ever any “petulant child” actually – just a whole lot of people thinking AJ might have been one. Who on the Bucs do you like SS? I like guys who compete and want to win – AJ was that every time out – not perfect – but he cared and he never quit on himself or his team mates. Today was my first game this year – would not have missed it – came out perfect for me – Bucs win – Locke was awesome and AJ did a great job keeping the game close – a class act IMHO.

  208. Jim S says:

    We usually knock Lance Lynn around pretty well, don’t we?

  209. Baywatch says:

    +++ Yee-Ha! I’m tellin’ ya, Jim. This kid has really, really inspired me with his big heart!

  210. Bizrow says:

    ++++ Proud of you JO

    Proud of most of the whole dam blog

  211. Ed says:

    I’m happy for Cutch. Four straight and possibly a repeat MVP performance. What more can you say?

    I’m really happy for Watson. Absolutely well deserved for him.

    J-Hay getting in? This has got to be the feel-good Pittsburgh sports story of the summer!

    Excellent work on the story and the side blog story Dejan.

  212. Jim S says:

    He is something special, Bay. Gave this team a shot in the arm exactly when they needed it.

  213. Ed says:

    I was there today. A smattering of boos but mostly cheers. A nice moment and you could tell he took it in.

  214. Karen22 says:

    Nelson’s Ledges??!! An old childhood stomping ground of mine! I’m from Cleveland…used to go hiking around there with friends in my youth. Matter of fact, almost fell off a cliff there…obviously, I’ve lived to tell about it and hang around with loonies.

  215. Matt Hoffman says:

    Yes I meant disposable, thank you. Lol

  216. Norm says:

    Springfield IL

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