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You're forgetting about Hee-Seop Choi and Shin-Soo Choo, but he'd be the first (non-pitcher?) player to move from the KBO to MLB. Very nice to see a surprise in the Pirates' offseason.
3 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/december-2014/pirates-win-bidding-for-south-korean-shortstop-jung-ho-kang.html
I might have been *technically* right saying I'd take the field of reasons for a loss in that Bumgarner being dominant was probably a greater reason for losing than Volquez starting in place of Cole or Liriano...but I feel more like I was wrong and you were right.
Anyway, thanks for another season of hard work. I might not enjoy baseball season half as much if not for whygavs.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/nl-wild-card-game-giants-8-pirates-0.html
Hey look, Pat trying to talk himself into Edinson Volquez while Grant Brisbee tries to talk himself into Travis Ishikawa!
Volquez isn't an ace, but haven't there been enough Pirates pitchers being mostly successfully made over to lean on sinkers and curves to accentuate groundballs vs. strikeouts that we stop freaking out that the xFIPs don't correspond to the ERAs? I mean, if they did, probably every team would do the same thing and the Pirates wouldn't have an advantage. We only sort of understand what's going on, but after three years I feel pretty confident that there's a sustainable system happening.
I wish Cole or Liriano were starting tomorrow, but I don't think it's that huge of a drop-off between them and Volquez. Cole and Liriano are not aces. If I had to bet on reasons for a potential Pirates loss tomorrow, I'd take the field vs Volquez's performance.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/what-did-edinson-volquez-do-differently-in-2014-and-what-hasnt-changed.html
I've had a similar transformation, although I think my disdain for Bonds had almost nothing to do with steroids and everything to do with him not liking Pittsburgh and failing to carry the Pirates to a World Series while he was there.
As an adult though, I've come to love Bonds again and have found a way to explain away almost all of his flaws. Beyond being the best player in the history of the game, he's such an interesting cat. The Sports on Earth profile by Gwen Knapp this winter was really fascinating.
Given that I cycle the same Northern California roads that he does, I hope I run into him some afternoon and can thank him for the memories.
1 year ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/march-2014/a-few-thoughts-about-barry-bonds.html
@StyvesKlein @Mornacale Well, by that definition you could say Miguel Cabrera is a one-dimensional player. Which seems reductive.
Man, living in SF means I don't get to go to many Pirates games in person, but it sure makes games like this sweet. I hadn't even finished screaming about the inane Walker bunt when Barmes somehow crushed that HR.
Then I bombed some Giants fans on the jumbotron with my Buccos hat, then I got some whiskey down the street with my buds, and then I biked then five minutes to my apartment. Love it when the Buccos come to town.
There was a little kid a row in front of me with a Pirates hat, who his dad described as a frontrunning Pirates fan. (His little league team is the Pirates and he started rooting for them when he learned they were in first.) THERE ARE LITTLE KIDS WHO ARE FRONTRUNNING PIRATES FANS! THAT'S A THING THAT EXISTS!
1 year, 7 months ago on Game 127: Pirates 3 Giants 1
@wkkortas @Operation Shutdown 1997 me to my dad: "The Pirates have the #1 farm in baseball! 7 players in the top 100! Sure this season is a fluke, but soon they will be a machine!" It took me a good 10 years to trust the prospect industry again after that failure.
1 year, 8 months ago on 73 wins
Ah, I remember holding a physical copy of the Post-Gazette in 2004 and being startled by how similar the beginning of Perez's career was to Koufax's. What a cruel joke that was.
Or if you are the cynical type, it would not be inaccurate to say that the Pirates might be in extras yet again right now if not for Denorfia's error.
1 year, 8 months ago on Game 124: Pirates 3 Padres 1
Nights like these the slingbox is totally worth it.
1 year, 9 months ago on The best in the dark
Nice article, but you make the assumption that MLB/Bud Selig gives one iota about anything other than maximizing profit. Every decision baseball makes is motivated by money. Competitive balance only has value to the extent that the imbalance/arbitrary way of deciding a champion remains acceptable to fans.
The only goal for MLB is to keep profits growing, and making an argument based on the premise that they give a shit about anything else is giving them too much credit. It's a cynical operation.
2 years, 6 months ago on The wild card play-in will be exciting and fun and all kinds of wrong | October | 2012 Articles
I selfishly read this blog everyday without returning any sort of acknowledgement other than a few comments a year. So let me say this: WHYGAVS is one of the very few bright spots of being a fan of this godforsaken team. There's nobody who covers the Pirates that I enjoy reading more, and your analysis is nearly as good. (A friend and I were road-tripping to a Pirates game a couple months ago and agreed on these points, before he commented that it's a little depressing that a full-time PHD student still outperforms the people who do this as a full-time job, but that's another story.).
Thank you. Please don't stop writing.
2 years, 6 months ago on 20
4:05 start times: Welcome to life as a Pirates fan in the Pacific Time Zone.
2 years, 8 months ago on Taking the series | August 2012
Missing the second wildcard with 89 wins doesn't seem that crazy based on the runners-up win totals, does it? 89 wins would have left teams out of the second wild-card five out of 16 years, i.e. 1/3 in a fairly small sample size. Also, it seems very possible that average win totals for wild card teams will slightly increase since more teams are acting as buyers/making marginal improvements at the trade deadline.
On the other hand, "heartbreaking?" If they lose game 162 to a Braves team that clinches the second wildcard with 90 wins to their 89, then yes. That might be just a little tough to take.
2 years, 8 months ago on It could be awfully tough to make the playoffs in the National League this year | August 2012
Did you see the post-game interview with Marte? (I saw it on the mlb.tv feed, so you should be able to as well if you missed it). What kind of amazed me was that, while I would have been freaking out because of all the things you wrote about above, he seemed completely nonplussed, like it was just another home run and giving post-game TV interviews was old hat. Pretty impressive composure...
2 years, 8 months ago on Game 98: Pirates 5 Astros 3 | July 2012
@JMC420 I forgot that the home/road thing was a thing. As far as his first two weeks affecting his trade value...I find it hard to believe that GMs would put any stock at all in to how a prospect performs in that short of a time span. I just don't see how it would be meaningful at all.
2 years, 9 months ago on It's well past time to bring Starling Marte up | July 2012
In any case, I'm not all that surprised given the established conservative timetable the front office always (understandably) has, whether it's promoting guys from AAA or cutting deadweight in the form of veteran scrapheap signings that didn't work out.
Maybe they think they can land Upton without giving up Marte and would prefer not to bring up Marte this soon in a pennant race. (This assumes as well that he wouldn't supplant Presley in LF). It does seem like a scenario with a lot of "maybes," and all to prevent the seemingly fairly mild inconvenience of being called up for two weeks only to be sent back down to AAA.
Another nice cherry on this magical first half is that, if Appel doesn't sign, the subsequent hand-wringing from Smizikistan and similar places won't last nearly as long as it would if the Pirates were dragging below .500.
2 years, 9 months ago on Take your Mark Appel news with a grain of salt for now | July 2012
Let me paraphrase that: MLB Trade Rumors says the Pirates could be a "tool to leverage a larger contract from another team" for Edwin Jackson.
3 years, 3 months ago on Wednesday links! | December 2011
I honestly don't mean to sound snarky at all, but since this kind of data loss thing seems to happen to you somewhat frequently, why don't you compose your posts in Word (or even gmail, since that has an autosave function) and copy and paste when you're through? Thanks for all the great work this season, Pat.
3 years, 6 months ago on Quick links | September 2011
@LauderdaleBuccosFan Well, he didn't say anything publicly (or, as far as I've seen reported, anything privately), except for the statement made by his agent: “This decision for Carlos is about the select group of teams where he feels he has a great chance to win,” agent Scott Boras told ESPN. “That’s what this thing is about.” Doesn't sound like he said anything beyond "trade me to a contender."
As for next year, who knows? But the Giants have money, gaping holes in the outfield, and Beltran is now squarely in his mid-30s, so he meets Brian Sabean's free agent minimum age requirements. Sounds like a pretty likely spot for him to land. Having given up Wheeler for him already, they probably should make a big push.
3 years, 8 months ago on Nothing is automatic | July 2011
All this Beltran sour grapes is tiresome. Exactly why is he a prima donna? 31.5 WAR for 119 million dollars? I'm not sure what 1 win was worth in the previous seasons, but if it was anything close to the 5 million it's at now he ended up with surplus value. Also, if you were Beltran, why would you want to come to Pittsburgh? Let's see, I can go to SF, where I have a pretty good chance to win a World Series, and where I could very possibly end up staying with a long-term contract. Or I could go to Pittsburgh, where I very well might miss the playoffs, and where I will definitely not be resigned. Is there even a choice to be made there?
2.33 seasons of Pence vs. 4.33 seasons of Tabata and the other prospects we'd have to give up? No thanks...
3 years, 9 months ago on Hunter Pence, Josh Willingham, and the questions Neal Huntington must ask himself at this trade deadline | July 2011