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I made a comment somewhere lately that Josh Harrison will get some lower level (10th place, etc) NLMVP votes at the end of the season and it drew some criticism. His incredible play as a fill-in utiiity regular since May has got to be noticed by voters around the country. The Bucs would be below .500 without him this season.
3 weeks, 4 days ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/august-2014/game-113-pirates-7-marlins-3.html
I've seen worse calls (and I'm a Pirate fan) and the slide into Nix at 2B was not really way off the basepath as the article above implies. Still, the left arm/hand high up in the air blocking the throw to 1B sure was well placed and well timed. At least it should have been reviewed. Hurdle can protest all he wants but all the MLB office might say is, "Yes, we may have gotten that one wrong. Sorry."
4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://bloguin.com/theoutsidecorner
Correction to your list of awful teams the Pirates faced the past 2 1/2 weeks should end with "Phillies" not Marlins.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/game-88-pirates-6-phillies-2.html
Correction: The ugly 10-2 loss to D'Backs was Thursday night. Friday night we started thumping the aged Phillies.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/july-2014/some-catching-up-on-saturday.html
I'm not sure I understand the first sentence in the above piece...."The Pirates weren't initially interested in Charlie Morton because they thought he'd be one of the best ground ball pitchers in the Major leagues."
Why would any team not be interested in acquiring a pitcher with that talent? I don't understand....?
2 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/charlie-morton-tries-to-put-it-all-together-against-the-diamondbacks.html
@wkkortas That sounds sort of interesting. It's bad year down there and Joe Maddon, who I love to watch manage, must be at the end of his rope with this group. And, perhaps the voices up in the radio booth are know some things about Escobar that they've decided not to paint over in their broadcasts?
2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/game-76-pirates-8-rays-1.html
It's funny how I thought the Rockies would contend for a WC this year when they were 22-14 on May 7th. They have since gone 12-28 and have a stretch of tough games straight ahead. They are horrible. I won't be surprised if Walt Weiss isn't replaced at some point. He looks lost in his dugout.
@NateBundy Instant replay has some flaws but nothing like the safe/out calls that are occurring at home plate with the new rules for protecting the catcher. It's a mess and most folks in MLB know it needs to be fixed and quickly. Get it done during the AS Break or some important games down the stretch will be flawed and this season will be remembered most for these messes at home plate. Joe Torre, I'm talking to you!
2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/sunday-morning-vance-worley-instant-replay-and-brandon-cumpton.html
@PirateNation22 Agreed. It's his throwing errors that are damaging the club more than his normal offensive production of slumps and starts. I don't know what's between Pedro's ears to have any idea what he might become longterm as an MLBer but he really needs to improve his overall game a great deal before I'd get too excited about his possibility of ever leading a team consistently. Given how I expect the Pirates will not be making him a serious longterm offer in a few years (or sooner if he's traded) Pedro will be another organization's overpaid problem.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/the-power-and-patience-of-pedro-alvarez.html
I'm no big fan of ESPN and the way they attempt to manage sports coverage but it's easy for PBS to go full bore into the NFL and look like heroes. If PBS depended upon the NFL for a nice chunk of their daily coverage I'm not so certain they'd be acting so all high and mighty. Otherwise, why don't they do some real reporting about our corrupt government/WH Admin. Oh can't go there.... I see....
3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://awfulannouncing.com/2014/john-skipper-fires-back-at-pbs-and-their-whining.html
All Goodell had to say to ESPN execs was, "How bad do you want to televise a decent schedule of games in the coming years? Oh, you think you deserve to televise a playoff game, do you?"
3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://awfulannouncing.com/2014/league-of-denial-producer-espn-abandoned-us.html
Where have I been? When did Harrisburg grab a AAA franchise?!
3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/edinson-volquez-tries-to-stay-in-the-rotation-against-the-nationals.html
@LastingsMilledgeville For much of last season the Pirates were pretty bad scoring runs in many different situations. They couldn't score from 3rd on groundouts very often, they went weeks without a sacfly, their hitting with risp was near the bottom of the NL. It was somewhat of a miracle that they won 94 games - they basically did it with outstanding pitching, especially the bullpen. I'm not sure about 2 out hitting but I'll say it was not all that great.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/whats-going-on-with-the-bullpen.html
Approx half the games so far this year are 1 run games, wins or losses. When you play so many close games there simply is no wiggle room for less than a stellar outing. Last year was similar - but last year the Bucs pen was phenomenal much of the season. This year, not quite so much - especially by the closer.
The box score shows Wandy pitched 5.0 innings, gave up 2 solo HRs. Does he earn another start? Would another MLB club that needs a starting pitcher take a flyer on him in a trade? Just unload him if they'll pick up some of his rest of year salary?
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/game-40-brewers-4-pirates-3.html
Dear God, Let Wandy pitch 6 decent innings and allow this to make other MLB clubs in need of starting pitchers to become interested in acquiring him. Then, allow the Bucs FO to basically give Wandy away for basically nothing. Amen.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/the-return-of-wandy-rodriguez.html
I'm hoping Wandy looks good enough that the Pirates can trade him to the NYY or another contending club short on starting pitchers but with some cash to pay for part of Wandy's contract.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/game-39-pirates-4-brewers-1.html
@LastingsMilledgeville He was HBP from Cole in middle of game but I did not see the game so I don't know the seriousness of the HBP. There was no brawl, that's for sure...
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/game-38-brewers-5-pirates-2-2.html
If they lose Wednesday and still start Wandy on Thursday, Hurdle and the FO must have a death wish. On the other hand, trade Wandy to the NYYs for a bag of balls if they'll pick up some of his salary. They need arms and even tho' Wandy doesn't have 2 healthy ones they might think he does if he doesn't blow a gasket on Thursday.
Cole is the horse for the Buccos rotation - pretty impressive given that he's still one month shy of a full year in MLB.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/game-34-pirates-4-giants-3.html
Sorry for looking ahead but I see where Ryan Braun will be eligible to come off the DL on May 12, just in time for the Bucs next 3 game sojourn to Miller Park. Last season it would have fallen where we would have missed him - this year the luck isn't falling our way near as much.
4 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/
@wkkortas I can whistle that tune fairly well but I'll leave the singing to you. Perhaps I'll run into Tuscaloosa Buc near a graveyard and I'll know him because he'll be whistling too.
4 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/game-27-orioles-5-pirates-1-game-28-orioles-6-pirates-5.html
These 2 games were the antithesis of all those magical interleague moments that occurred in 2013. Beating Detroit 1-0 twice and taking 3 of 4 in that series with the Tigers, sweeping out in Anaheim thanks to a great comeback on Sunday, etc. This 2014 club is Godawful about now. I'm not certain about the business with their new approaches while at bat but they appear to be only getting worse and more predictable. And what's with Chris Stewart? He's horrible with the catcher's mitt in addition to being an anemic hitter. Cumpton looked good but don't expect him to go deep into a game yet. The bullpen is giving up HRs like singles. Last year they barely gave up any. This is weird!
This is a sad deal. I don't know what to lay at the feet of Hurdle on this terrible regression but if it doesn't turn around the FO is going to hate having him around the next 3 years because they'll never fire him due to money concerns.
It's made much easier by saying I guess N Walker should have thrown a more accurate toss over to first. Easy out, inning over...
4 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/game-26-cardinals-7-pirates-0.html
I can't see how the Front Office can keep Polanco at Indy (AAA) for much longer IF the Prates continue to play so poorly.
4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/sports-illustrated-gregory-polanco-is-the-next-big-thing.html
I had no idea Cumpton had 5 starts in 2013 for the Bucs. In that case, he should not be rattled and might accept the opportunity to highly succeed. God knows, the team could sure use a lift right now!
4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/brandon-cumpton-makes-his-2014-debut-as-the-pirates-try-to-salvage-something-from-this-awful-homestand.html
All your points here are great ones - and I'd even venture to say that the little Metsies are not (right now) that bad of a ballclub. The Bucs (and their fans) need to turn their minds off from last year and get to playing for a 2014 post-season berth soon or it just won't happen.
I loved what you say about Cole. He went out today and pitched like a #1 who saw the magnitude in today's game. In retrospect, Hurdle would have been wise to have let him have a shot of starting (and possibly finishing) the 9th inning. This business with seemingly having to turn the game over to your closer in every closely held lead in the final inning gets mighty stale to me.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/game-19-brewers-3-pirates-2.html
What about Tabata's possible concussion?
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/game-15-reds-4-pirates-0.html
I'm sorry you and your family obviously lost a great man. Your baseball games in the basement remind me of similar times I had with a wonderful uncle who was handicapped with cerebral palsy but absolutely loved baseball. We wore out two Stratomatic games in the mid to late '60s. Thanks for your memories helping me remember my own. Your grandfather will be speaking with Bob Feller often in the coming years.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/cadaco-all-star-baseball-my-grandfather-and-me.html
No mention here about possibly seeing Stolmy P as a spot starter as we get deeper into the season. I thought that was a certain possibility from some comment made as the team broke from ST. Am I off base on this idea?
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/jameson-taillon-tommy-john-surgery-and-the-pirates-pitching-depth.html
Yes, it's only one day but I am so relieved. Edinson can do the job as a 5th starter (or better!) given his first two appearances. The Taillon news is a setback but not one to get all hangdog about. MLB pitchers can come back from TJ surgery now better than ever if it all heals and the pitcher does his part in rehab. I'm all the more excited about '14 now that we saw Volquez today at PNC and AJ at Wrigley!
4 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/game-6-pirates-2-cardinals-1.html
Why does it seem that Bucco batters aren't putting good wood on the ball - a slow start or a harbinger of things to come? If like last year offense was such a problem at times, especially early on, with so many Ks for out too. Winning 1 run games is fun and exciting but it's also just more pressure put onto the pitching arms, especially the bullpen.
5 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/game-3-cubs-3-pirates-2-2.html
103.8% capacity too! If they could have stuffed another 167 warm bodies into PNC they could have hit 40K. There must have been some more space, maybe in the women's restrooms, to get another 167 folks some standing room! Haha. Beat 'em Bucs!
5 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/march-2014/game-1-pirates-1-cubs-0.html
I'm not a Barry Bonds fan (I too, haven't forgiven him for his weak throw when Sid Bream scored) but I respect the Pirates for asking him to attend and kudos for Barry to take them up on the offer.
5 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/march-2014/a-few-thoughts-about-barry-bonds.html
Wow, now that's a work-up on Edinson Volquez! Only joking, but Is this part of a Masters thesis? As a Bucco fan, I've got to hope that Ray Searage and his compadres can refine Edinson's stuff and approach into what would be expected from a respectable #3 or #4 starter for 2014.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Can the Pirates fix Edinson Volquez?
I'm guessing it's not quite the Uncle Charlie that AJ could break off numerous times per appearance. Well, that means Edinson has something to strive for...
7 months, 1 week ago on Frank Coonelly tells Jerry Crasnick the Pirates have 'turned the page' on AJ Burnett
How/why can someone tout much about WAR (unless I'm missing something...)? Jason Grilli and Brandon Cumpton are both 0.8 positive WAR. Isn't this rating with regard to last season or does this somehow predict careers going forward?
10 months, 1 week ago on There and back again: What do the Pirates need to do this winter?
I rarely consider Game #5, 1972 as "The Bob Moose Game'. Rather, I nearly always remember the opposite field HR blast that Johnny Bench hit off of Dave Guisti to lead off that 9th inning. Once that happened the rest of that half inning deteriorated so quickly that by the time Moose unleashed the wild pitch I considered the contest to be over.
For me, that was the worst sports loss I have experienced and I'm 61. Something about having our hands wringing the necks of those hated Redlegs and then it all disappearing in almost an instant. It was personally devasting. And then Clemente's death less than 3 months later just added to the despair. No matter how tonight goes, I see all of these games vs StL as gravy. Just playing such meaningful games in October in such a competitive manner is enough for me after all of these too many years of wandering around in the wilderness cellar of MLB. That's not to say I won't be pulling extra hard tonight for Hurdle and his '13 men. Beat 'em Bucs!
10 months, 4 weeks ago on The end is the beginning is the end
@wkkortas @Eephus Shoplifted might be a bit strong but I agree the Bucs skated around disaster in Game #3. Why I don't accept the "shoplifting" term so much in this instance is Matheny might be accused of leaving the merchandise out on the street corner rather than in his store. When he brought in reliever Martinez to start bottom of 8th against the heart of our order it was ours for the taking. Plus, with Craig out and Adams starting Matheny has virtually nothing of substance coming off of his bench that scares me.
Glad you mentioned Grilli's high sliders in the 9th. It was fortunate that they were almost too high to get a good swing on one or more of them when you're expecting hard Grilli stuff down around the knees.
11 months ago on NLDS Game 3: Pirates 5 Cardinals 3
@RichardUnderwood @mwr505 Well, if it was off by 6", wasn't it 6" on all four sides off the zone because there were high pitches called strikes and then similar high pitches called balls. There were low pitches called strikes and low ones deemed to be balls. The corners were even more problematic and it didn't matter on which side of the plate the ball was thrown or which side of the plate the batter stood. It was a real mess in my opinion, especially for a post-season game and that was the crew chief, Jerry Lane. He's supposed to be the most senior veteran ump who will get it right more often than most. Sheesh!
Liriano needs some rest. His stuff is not what it was. Plus, the HP umpire was incredibly inconsistent today - on both sides. That was awful to watch his strike zone move around like a moving target. Anyway, I hope Francisco can get an extra day of rest or two plus the five between today and his next start...And, no I'm not talking about him getting to rest the remainder of the offseason until early April, 2014!
Great, great game. Don't know what Cutch was thinking there in the bottom of the 8th but it was wonderful to see that lineup pick him up and score 2 after the base-running blunder.
The nice thing about playing these Cardinals is their bench is pretty unimpressive. Matheny doesn't have many offensive weapons coming off his bench and it looks like he's not getting the ball to the correct relievers either. Why did he go with Martinez in the 8th? Thanks, Mike. You really helped us when the game looked like it had turned.
@JeffreyMccartney Jeffrey...Thanks. I've got you by 21 years (there's that # again!) and my most glorious day in childhood was Oct. 13, 1960 as an 8yr old. A depressing day was the first time I walked into Three Rivers Stadium in the late summer of 1970. Yes, it was bright, shiny and new but where was all the character that was Forbes Field? Now, we have much of that character back plus a great deal of amenities that a fan at Forbes never would have dreamed of. Just getting that damn doughnut hole of a stadium imploded was such a great thing for my disposition. Anyhow, Beat 'em Bucs!
11 months ago on NLDS Game 2: Pirates 7 Cardinals 1
@bwzimmerman How about The Black PNC...?
11 months ago on NLDS Game 3 Preview: Francisco Liriano vs. Joe Kelly
The Black Sea works for me too. Or, The Black PNC....
Beat 'em Bucs.... I think we've got Cards fans worried.....Isn't it freakin' great!!!
@JeffreyMccartney @LastingsMilledgeville First of all, the abomination that was Three Rivers Stadium did not seat 60K. As I recall capacity was a shade above 50K for baseball. The economy in W.PA in the early 1990s was not the greatest and the stadium experience at gorgeous PNC vs how it was at the dreary doughnut hole of Three Rivers is like comparing a glorious Christmas morning to a depressingly gray day when you might have buried one of your parents. And, you reference Atlanta playoff tix sales in 1992....The Braves were just beginning to be competitive after being a doormat to mediocre team much of the two decades previous. Their fanbase was building rapidly in the early 1990s. Check the playoff tix sales for Atlanta in recent years and even this year. Yes, the capacity at Turner Field is quite a bit more than PNC but the Braves do not now regularly sell out their post-season playoff games. The Pirates were not the beloved franchise in the early 1990s that they are now. The bad years of drugs and poor play in the early to mid-80s was still tarnishing the Pirate brand and, to be honest, there were not many players on those Pirate teams managed by Leyland that were friendly, outgoing fan favorites - at least compared to the Pirates of 2013. Yes, it's wonderful that the crowd at PNC seems to be a bit younger than those that sat in the seats at Three Rivers. But, possibly the ages are very similar - it's just that this year's team makes everyone look and feel younger when they happily back a winner in maybe the loveliest MLB ballpark in all the land.
@LastingsMilledgeville This is standard procedure stuff for StL fans and that's fine. They've been to the WS more often lately than the Buccos have had a sniff at .500 ball. I'd just as soon have them Cards fans laid back and asleep at the wheel as the big Bucco Cole Train runs right thru them if there is a game #5.
@JeffreyMccartney Perhaps "Joey, Joey, Joey..." might get under his skin even more?
@wkkortas Dick Stockton hasn't called a game well in decades.....He's still banking on his 1975 Game #6 WS call when Fisk hit the 12th inning homer.
What am I missing? The column above says the Cards aren't going to use Michael Wacha or Shelby Miller in this series....That seems preposterous but okay by me. Wacha is a nasty young hurler who would most likely throw a shutout against our Pirates if he's on his game. I don't get that one...
11 months ago on NLDS Game 2 Preview: Don't Panic (Gerrit Cole vs. Lance Lynn)
Where are the comments?
Well put, Pat. No one performed all that well today. I'll give it up to Gomez for hanging tough in a lousy situation and Pedro did hit a bomb but it's only one game - as is the one on Friday. Go get 'em, Cole!
11 months ago on NLDS Game 1: Cardinals 9 Pirates 1
@AndreMarc To heck with 1990. The real sad post-season loss to the damn Cincy Redflegs was Game #5 (clinching game) in 1972 when the Bucs blew a 1 run lead in the bottom of the ninth on a Johnny Bench solo blast off of Guisti. Later that inning Bob Moose's wildpitch brought home the winning run. Those two teams were evenly matched and all their games were tight. The other sad note to that game, Roberto Clemente walked off of an mlb field as a proud Pirate for the very last time.
11 months ago on NL Wild Card: Pirates 6 Reds 2