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Ike looks more like a young Alec Guinness than Guinness did,, though I think Guinness may have taken fewer pitches.

2 days, 14 hours ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/august-2014/game-133-pirates-3-cardinals-1.html

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To sum up:  relief pitchers are fungible, games like this are not.

4 days, 14 hours ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/august-2014/game-131-cardinals-3-pirates-2.html

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Just in!  Pirates steal Dave Giusti from the Cards for Carl Taylor!

Sorry.  I had the B-R transactions page from 1969 open.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/july-2014/lets-try-this-again-trade-deadline-open-thread.html

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I believe the original title of a certain well-known Stephen Vincent Benet short story was "The Devil and Ray Searage".

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/july-2014/game-105-pirates-5-giants-0.html

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Well, if the Pirates are going to get to 90 wins, they're gonna have to dance with who brung 'em, because I don't see a lot of help on the trade market; if the possibility of Weekend at Morneau's, Part II is the best option, there's just no there there.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/july-2014/the-2014-pittsburgh-pirates-first-half-not-good-or-bad-but-enough-of-both-to-be-maddening.html

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I'm not sure the Pirates need Suzuki to back up Russell Martin.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://bloguin.com/theoutsidecorner

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The leading scorer for the legendary 2003-04 club?  Dick Tarnstrom.  The leading scoring forward? The ever-happy-to-be-here Aleksey Morozov.  That 2003-04 attendance figures show the exact number of masochists living in the 'Burgh at that time.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://thepensblog.com/

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If nothing else, the Pirates at least figured out how not to screw up the bullpen usage in high-leverage situations--just don't have them.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/july-2014/game-91-cardinals-5-pirates-2.html

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Anytime Frieri's HR/FB rate wants to start regressing to the norm would be nice.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/july-2014/game-90-cardinals-5-pirates-4.html

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Michael Martinez isn't the poor man's Josh Harrsion as much as he  is the wretched homeless person's Josh Harrison.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/clint-barmes-to-the-disabled-list-with-groin-injury-michael-martinez-to-take-his-spot.html

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That homerun...I remember flat-out ridiculous, and it looked just like that.

1 month, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/july-2014/game-84-pirates-5-diamondbacks-1.html

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Given Harrison, Locke, and Worley's performance to this point of the season, I'm guessing NH took out a second mortgage on his eternal soul.

1 month, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/game-83-pirates-3-diamondbacks-2.html

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It was nice to see Worley embracing the Ray Miller mantra by working fast, throwing strikes, and changing speeds...and thank God it was him matched up against Dice-K instead of Volquez; a game with those two on the mound might last longer than the Mezozoic Era.

2 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/game-79-pirates-5-mets-2.html

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@steve_010 National League pitchers hit .123 last year, and with pitchers not hitting in the minors, it's not going to get any better.  As far as the so-called "strategy" involved with having the pitcher bat ...well, strategy involves choices, and if you have someone in the nine-hole who can't do anything with the bat, you have almost no choices at all.  The DH is a good thing, and it's time for the NL to get on board.

2 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/game-78-rays-5-pirates-1.html

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As an aside, I was listening to the Rays feed of the game on radio last night, and not only are the Tampa radio crew both unknowledgeable and unfunny, I have never heard anyone dog their own player like these guys did to Yunel Escobar.  Single up the middle? Time to talk about how poor his range has been this year.  Marte gets a hustle double?  Y'know, Escobar could have had the tag down faster.  Yunel hits a hard single that only a nice play from Cutch keeps from being a double?  Gee, it's nice to Escobar running hard out of the box, and isn't great how Andrew McCutchen plays hard all the time?  I was waiting for them to implicate Escobar in the JFK assassination. Look, I hate blatant homers as much as the next guy, but I've never heard anything like the way they constantly mofo-ed Escobar in my life.

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/game-76-pirates-8-rays-1.html

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Jason Grilli, closin' like Greg Norman.

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/game-72-pirates-4-reds-3.html

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At some point, the Pirates have to realize that "closer" is not the same thing as having a Cloak of Invincibility; if Grilli's not getting the job done--and he isn't--it's time to try other options.

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/game-70-reds-6-pirates-5.html

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Can't we do an SEC thing and schedule the Cubs 50 or 60 times a season?

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/game-66-pirates-4-cubs-0.html

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While a 28th-round draft pick isn't likely to make The Show, let alone provide a lot of long term value, you're still crapping a draft pick away for 15 minutes of publicity.  That's not what good organizations do.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://hallofverygood.com/2014-articles/just-call-him-johnny-baseball.html

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Drafting for need is an NFL strategy; I'm a bit leery of this pick.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/pirates-go-way-off-map-select-arizona-high-school-shortstop-cole-tucker-with-24th-pick.html

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It is still awfully difficult to watch Volquez' starts--even last night he was really grinding, and if he didn't have some stretches where he was locatng his breaking ball very nicely, it might have gotten ugly.  His fastball command is still spotty at best.

3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/game-46-pirates-3-nationals-1.html

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@mwr505 Maybe he's reading Treinen's mind--Harrisburg's no great shakes, but anywhere is better than Syracuse.

3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/edinson-volquez-tries-to-stay-in-the-rotation-against-the-nationals.html

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@TomBrenholts1 As opposed to the Mets, who turfed the reasonbly useful Kyle Farnsworth two days before his contract became fully guaranteed so they could save 750K.  God, what a Mickey Mouse organization.

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/the-return-of-wandy-rodriguez.html

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When you get to the point where you're only chucking that fastball up there at 87 or so...well, it's tough to have separation between your "hard stuff" and your off-speed pitches, and if big-league hitters can time your stuff, it ain't gonna be pretty.  If I was Pedro Allvarez, I'd be decked out like Marc-Andre Fleury, just in case.

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/the-return-of-wandy-rodriguez.html

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I'm singing "Always look on the bright side of life" in my very best Eric Idle voice.

4 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/game-27-orioles-5-pirates-1-game-28-orioles-6-pirates-5.html

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Well...heck, yeah.  There's obvioulsy something wrong with being a contender and starting the season with the right corner of the diamond featuring The Two Travises and Jose Tabata, Fourth Outfileder For Hire, but the Bucs problems to this point can't be summed up in the phrase "Whither Polanco?"

4 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/slow-starts-gregory-polanco-and-everything-else.html

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I think a big part of the issue is that the Mets approach to hitting--they literally want their guys to hit it deep counts, and there are a lot of their guys--Ike chief among them--who just lost and unable to ever pull the trigger.  Sandy Alderson pulled a classic sell-low on this one (maybe he's calling Garth Snow and asking for trade tips) and NH took his lunch money.

4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/some-thoughts-on-the-ike-daviszack-thornton-trade.html

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If anyone ever asks anyone else the question, "Why do you love baseball?", they should simply direct them to this post.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/cadaco-all-star-baseball-my-grandfather-and-me.html

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It's a win in the bank; when opportunity knocks (i.e., when the team in the other dugout is the Cubs) you have to answer.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/game-7-pirates-7-cubs-6.html

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In just shy of 2000PAs, Gaby Sanchez has all of five successful sacrifice hits.  Just sayin'.

4 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/game-3-cubs-3-pirates-2-2.html

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I think this deal ends up being a steal for the Bucs.

5 months, 1 week ago on Heyman: Pirates agree to extension with Starling Marte

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Years ago, Bill James wrote that one of the hallmarks of a bad organization was the refusal to try the unknown or unproven, preferring known meidiocrity to uncertainty.  If that doesn't descriobe the decision to start a season with Travis Ishakawa as the long half of a platoon, I don't know what does.

5 months, 1 week ago on Pirates appear dangerously close to giving regular season at-bats on Travis Ishikawa

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Spot on, Pat; Polanco fits the profile of a guy who is going to settle in somewhere in the Marte-to-Cutch spectrum, but there's no guarantee that he's going to pull a Cutch and play at an All-Star level from day one.  I would also argue that the Pirates status as a contender is a reason not to start him in Pittsburgh; if you're playing for the Astros, a rookie can struggle in April and it just doesn't matter, becuase you're going to finish 40 games out anyway.  If Polanco started the season slow, then you get into the situation where you're tempted to yo-yo him between the minors and PNC, and that's not often helpful in advancing a players development.  Again, I agree with you--let's see where Polanco is come the middle of June.

5 months, 3 weeks ago on Gregory Polanco and Big League readiness

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I'm still skeptical, but I watched a whole lotta Glavine while he was pitching with the Mets, and one of the chief reasons he was able to survive pitching to just one spot and one spot only is that he got every borderline call from the umpires.

6 months ago on Monday Morning Required Reading: Harry Pavlidis and Dan Brooks on Pitch Framing

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Frankly, I'd take Chris Dickerson over either snider or Decker, and it's not like I'm particularly big on Dickerson.

6 months ago on A few things to look out for during spring training

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If it's a swap of Morel for D'Arnaud, that's fine with me.  Morel's a big guy with a bad back, but at least he has a theoretical role with the Pirates as a right-handed hitting backup to Alvarez with an OK glove and a little peo--after all, if you're looking to get Gaby Sanchez reps at third, you may have a need there.  D'Arnaud, on the other hand, really has no role on the big club--outside of pinch-running, he doesn't do anything well enough that you'd want to put him in the game to do it.

6 months ago on Pirates claim Brent Morel, designate Chase d'Arnaud for assignment

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Anyone--and I mean anyone--would be more welcome on figure skatinig than NBC's prime time group:  Hammond's make up looks like it was done by a funeral director, Hamilton is always in full-on scream mode, and Bozic combines the muted tones of a '70s FM deejay with a flow of weepy references to art and heart that would put any middle-school female poet to shame.  They're simply brutal.

6 months, 1 week ago on The highs and lows of NBC's first week of Olympic coverage

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Well, you can't blame Boras for pimping for his clients, and I suppose if you're a big market team in full-on win now mode his arguments make at least some sense (and please note that the Pirates don't exactly fit those criteria--I'n mot advocating a Morales signing here.)  It's not Boras job to be consistent; it's his job to be shameless in trying to fool just one more GM.

6 months, 1 week ago on Scott Boras really wants the Pirates to sign Kendrys Morales (and other odds and ends)

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@DopplerDon You know, in Philly, AJ qualifies as one of the kids.

6 months, 2 weeks ago on AJ Burnett signs with the Phillies

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It's not like AJ owes the organization anything--he took the bump every fifth day for two years and more than gave the Pirates their money's worth.  If the Phils think he's worth $16 mil that's fine, and more power to AJ; as Pat says, that's a big chunk of change for one 37-year old pitcher, and, given the fact that it looks like the Pirates are gonna need some financial flexibility at the deadline, it's a risk they can't likely afford.

6 months, 2 weeks ago on AJ Burnett signs with the Phillies

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Justin Smoak is the poor man's Garrett Jones.  Thanks, but no thanks.

6 months, 2 weeks ago on Report: Pirates interested in Kendrys Morales

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I would pretty much agree with your assessment here--the Pirates have a lot of options for the rotation which are at least plausible, while the current options in right (although I suspect the Pirates may already have the date for Polanco's debut circled on the calendar) and first base suggest that a repeat of a Byrd/Morneau type of duet will be on tap for the stretch run.

7 months ago on There's plenty of interest in AJ Burnett

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I wonder if people are viewing Taillon as they looked at Cole before he came up last year, i.e., "Gee, shouldn't a guy like this have some dominant numbers?"  With his build and his arsenal, I find the notion that his ceiling is a mid-rotation strater to be a bit ridiculous.

7 months ago on Keith Law has seven Pirates in his Top 100 prospects

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I know it was a crowded ballot, but Rock Raines and Jeff Bagwell both look to have lost about 25-30 votes each; how does a voter explain that?

7 months, 3 weeks ago on And Your Cooperstown Class of 2014 is...

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More than I would have paid, but it's not a disaster.  At some point, the Pirates are going to need a bench player who hit at least a little bit.

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Pirates bring Clint Barmes back for $2 million

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I agree with what you've said here, but then it's pretty much the exact same thing I said about Liriano last year.

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Ken Rosenthal reports Pirates sign Edinson Volquez for $5 million

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Frankly, I think 2.5 mil is a lot for Barmes.   I know Tim at PP used the Brendan Ryan contract as a comparable one for Barmes, but Ryan is the safety net for a 40--plus year old with bad pins--let's face it, Ryan is probably going to end up with 350-400 PAs at the minimum.  Barmes is going to get half of that, maybe.  The Pirates could sign someone like Paul Janish to do the late inning glove/once a week starter for a hell of a let less than 2.5 million.

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Winter meeting rumors: Logan Morrison and Clint Barmes

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Frankly, I don't think Barmes should be back at anything less than a significant discount--if his role is late inning glove/Charlie Morton's personal shortstop, you can find someone in the Paul Janish mode to do that for a lot less than what Barmes will likely be asking.

I share your unease about Byrd; yes, that was a hell of a year, but he's also a guy in his late 30s who was all but out of baseball last winter and had a big year when he could smell the money.  If someone wants to go 2 years/20 mil with Byrd, I would thank him for his contributions and wish him well.

9 months, 4 weeks ago on Free agency, Wandy Rodriguez, and other things

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"Whaddya mean the Cardinals are a lousy defensive team?  Look at that fielding percentage!!!"

10 months ago on No Gold Gloves for the Pirates (and a minor rant about defense)

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