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As little location as Axeford showed last season when I ( we ) saw him for both the Brewers and Cardinals,every time he would let that 98 MPH fastball go I would think " what could be done to straighten this guy out ? ". Those lights out 4 seam fastballs aren't anything to sneeze at !

9 months ago on Non-tender deadline: Remaining Pirates get offers, plus interesting non-tenders

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Well said Pat. There were times this past season I almost came out of my seat with some of Hurdle's moves,but watching the other Managers it was easy to see a lot of the other guy's errors also.

9 months, 2 weeks ago on Clint Hurdle is the NL Manager of the Year

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@wkkortas :Plus 1 ,I would agree with you on both points.

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

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Great work Pat. My words of consolation ? The Cardinals have to face Kershaw and Greinke with out Wainwright. All because of the Bucs.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on Thank yous and programming notes

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I have been a Pirate fan since I was 7 years old,and that was 63 years ago. I don't think that in all that time,and through all of their good and bad seasons,I have had more excitement and satisfaction than I have from this particular team. 

10 months, 3 weeks ago on NLDS Game 5 Preview: Gerrit Cole vs. Adam Wainwright with an NLCS berth on the line

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I would read all the less than enthusiastic comments about Cole while he was working his way up the ladder. Then I watched him pitch 4 games at AA and a few innings in ST this past March and wonder just who these people were watching. There would always be a couple of innings or series of batters where I would be telling myself," OMG,this guy is going to be the real deal ! " And then I would read some comments in a blog or in BBA that almost contradicted what I had seen.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on On Gerrit Cole

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@JeffreyMccartney : should have added " after this season is over ". Umpiring is bad enough with out that Godawful " Pitch Trax " and bad camera angle they have that makes the calls look even worse than they are.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on NLDS Game 4: Cardinals 2 Pirates 1

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If I never have to watch another game on TBS,it will be to damned soon ! The play by play is terrible,and the color man just as bad. And that " Pitch Trax " ? What a disgrace.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on NLDS Game 4: Cardinals 2 Pirates 1

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mwr : you mean you would rather face Matinez than Rosenthal ( sarcasm font ) ??? " Thanks  Mike " doesn't even come close to expressing my gratitude ! And to Richard U :By the I have watched every playoff game on TBS,and their Pitch Trax is no more than 6 " close to to reality. The Root Sports effect is much more accurate,and their camera directly behind the pitcher/catcher line makes it a lot easier to see the true strike zone in my opinion.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on NLDS Game 3: Pirates 5 Cardinals 3

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@mwr505 @JeffreyMccartney : I was thinking it would probably be " Jo - ey Jo - ey " myself. Either will work real well,young guys like that aren't used to a hockey crowd introduction.

10 months, 4 weeks ago on NLDS Game 2: Pirates 7 Cardinals 1

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Never been to a Pen's Stanley Cup Finals game ? Same atmosphere the way I have seen and heard it. The only point I would find problems with Pat is when you say that the Reds barely seemed to threaten Liriano. That foul ball of Frazier's that missed the foul pole by a couple of feet with two on looked pretty threatening to me ! Outside of that,I thought Liriano was tremendous.

11 months ago on NL Wild Card: Pirates 6 Reds 2

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I hope a lot of folks consider that last paragraph Pat. I am usually more interested in the Minor League aspect of baseball,but this team had me hooked to the TV after ( and sometimes during  ) the Curve's games !

11 months ago on Game 162: Pirates 4 Reds 2

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@LastingsMilledgeville : and I thought Steve Blass babbled on ! These guys lowered the bar to ground level.

11 months ago on Two to go

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Nobody will ever convince me that neither the home plate or third base umpire didn't know that Votto's checked swing didn't stop in time. The problem with calls like that and CB Buckner's out call against Christian Yellich of the Marlins the othe day are how much effect they can have on a single Wild Card game.

11 months ago on Game 160: Pirates 4 Reds 1

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As I said on another thread here yesterday,when it is SO obvious that the guy just doesn't have any command of either his slider or fastball,just get him out of there ! I can't remember any episode over the course of this season that annoyed me as much as that non-move did Wednesday.

11 months, 1 week ago on A few thoughts for the last off-day

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CC : it's only terrifying if you would really like to see your favorite team advance in October's tourney. Just ask the Braves how terrifying it can be !

11 months, 1 week ago on Game 159: Cubs 4 Pirates 2

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Plus 1 MWR. What Hurdle and Searage were seeing I have no clue,as it was as plain as the nose on their face as to what was going to happen when they left Liriano in. My question right away was : why are you leaving him in ??? And I no more than got it out of my mouth when McDonald crushed that pitch.

11 months, 1 week ago on Game 159: Cubs 4 Pirates 2

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@wkkortas : but ,the question is : who makes the most questionable pitching moves ? Baker or Hurdle ? Most of the time,late is NOT better than never !

11 months, 1 week ago on Francisco Liriano guns for sweep of Cubs

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DGL : you beat me to the punch with that comment. I also remember another comment or two as recently as August that as much as said that Cole would never be anything more than a middle to back end starter. Uh huh .....

11 months, 1 week ago on That Gerrit Cole is so hot right now

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Good statement Pat. I have been watching the Curve since 1999,and it was pretty obvious to me that Bonifay's plans were being damaged by injuries and lack of money. Littlefield's orginization was a complete mess,and it was obvious just by the personnell at the AA level. The first seasons you could really see that there was a plan in operation were the 2nd half of ' 09 and of course,2010.Even though a number of those players are no longer in the orginization,it was obvious to me that someone actually knew how to plan for the future. No body was any happier than I was,and I really feel they will be even stronger in the next few years.

11 months, 1 week ago on Game 157: Pirates 2 Cubs 1

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I would have loved to have seen the reaction if they would have decided to start anyone else but Cumpton rather than Locke. My God,they were crucified for the Sunday start they gave Johnson against the Cardinal last series,and the same thing happened to him that happened to Locke yesterday. Also Pat,there was absolutely no time to get anyone ready before that double by Bruce and the HR by Frazier. I knew when Iassogna squeezed the inside corner on Locke with both Votto and the bottom of the zone against Phillips that there was going to be nothing good coming out of the next ABs.....and I was right.

11 months, 1 week ago on With wild card lead on the line, Jeff Locke starts the last regular season game at PNC Park

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Great,and 100 more years to you also.After the way the Bucs had performed through most of the ' 50's,and the way the hated NYYs had absolutely demolished them in 3 games , are you kidding me ?  I raced home from my High School class for the last two innings on TV,and couldn't believe it when Maz hit that HR. Watching that game several times now,I really wonder how they did it. The Yankees were absolutely LOADED,and personnel wise there were only about 4 Pirate regulars who might have made their roster.

11 months, 1 week ago on Game 154: Reds 6 Pirates 5

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Best of luck with your illness. I also learned late in the Spring that I have a heart condition that proceedures haven't helped,and an operation isn't worth the gamble at my age. So,as a Pirate fan since the Ralph Kiner days,last night's loss,as irritating as it was,has a whole different meaning to me. And,as you might have noticed during tonight's win,professional players look at those things with an entirely different perspective than most fans do. Almost all have learned how to have a very short memory.

11 months, 1 week ago on Game 154: Reds 6 Pirates 5

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Like I said in an earlier thread here today, if you want to be devastated,step right up. It's a good thing that the players don't have some " fan's " mentality.

11 months, 1 week ago on Game 155: Pirates 4 Reds 2

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Kind of peculiar ? Thats putting it mildly. ESPN : The All NBA All The Time Channel ? Why would they ever stack the deck that way ?

11 months, 1 week ago on Penguins ranked top NHL franchise in ESPN the Magazine fan survey

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@TomBrenholts @lee1943  " We " expect to win those games " Tom ? What were " we  " to do Tom ? Go in and cut that ball off that Mercer botched ? Grab the carom off Pedro's glove ? Bring in Wilson or Johnson to pitch to Votto ? And am I " accepting it " ?  By that I suppose you mean the 82 wins ? I am accepting it,because " we " have no choice but to accept what happens. Was I disappointed in last night's game ? Certainly ! But when you have been watching Major and Minor League baseball as long as I have you learn that there is nothing you can do about it ! Nothing. I am really happy that the Pirates are pulling out of a 20 year death spiral,and though disappointed in games like last nights,I at least know that in the coming seasons they will be right in the middle of the battle,and with as good or better a chance than most teams to get to the WS. As a fan,that is the best I can do.

11 months, 1 week ago on Game 154: Reds 6 Pirates 5

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@mwr505 @MRH1 " .....may have gotten away with bad managing for the first 151 games," ?????? Are you serious man ? If you are,please explain to me those 88 wins I am looking at ! Are you going to try and say the Ws are all on the players,and the Losses all on the Manager and staff ? If so,you need to seriously sit down and watch a lot more MLB than you have,you are WAY behind the learning curve.

11 months, 1 week ago on Game 154: Reds 6 Pirates 5

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Dave Shoenfeld's prediction for the Bucs in March :

THE PICK3rd Place
  • 82 wins if ... Andrew McCutchen gets off to another great start (.362 first-half BA), 2B Neil Walker keeps up his .770 OPS of the past three years and C Russell Martin, who has gunned down an MLB-high 216 runners since '06, sparks the D.

  • 72 wins if ... Jason Grilli (five saves in 10 years) can't replace closer Joel Hanrahan, new arm Francisco Liriano has more injury trouble and the bats sputter around McCutchen.

  • Unpredictability score -- 0.57: Pedro Alvarez and Starling Marte are tricky to predict, but vets Wandy Rodriguez, Clint Barmes and Garrett Jones are all too familiar. For two decades, the Pirates have been nothing but predictable. Time for something new: Their farm system is stacked.
Anywhere from 72 to 82 wins. And some here want to be " devastated " by last night's game ? 

11 months, 1 week ago on Game 154: Reds 6 Pirates 5

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@dgrassi12 @whygavs : if you want to be " devastated ",step right up ! There are much more important things in life,and in baseball,to be devastated about than that one game. After 20 years of meaningless games almost every season,I am happy that the Pirates have reached a point where they are competitive. And,the future is much more promising than most of you on here seem to be aware. Even if they don't recover from that one last night,the Pirates will be back,and not just next season,but for quite a few after that. 

11 months, 1 week ago on Game 154: Reds 6 Pirates 5

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Pat,however/whatever happens in the next week or two,remember this ; what you saw in Cole is going to happen again next season,perhaps with a little less speed on the 4seamer. As someone who has seen both Taillon and Nick Kingham quite a bit in AA,I think that barring injury, the sky is the limit with the Bucs in the next few seasons,Cole is just the tip of the iceberg.

11 months, 2 weeks ago on Game 153: Pirates 10 Padres 1

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You are kidding about the Reds,right ? That team takes one look at a Cardinal uniform and they wet the bed. Their starters besides Cueto and Latos are shaky at best,and whoknows what will come out of that bullpen : see last night for an example. As for the D-Backs,they react the same way when looking at the Dodgers. Next up ?

1 year ago on Game 130: Giants 4 Pirates 0 (a late recap)

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Actually,thinking about Jeff pitching against any one right now but Akron or Erie makes me nervous ! wk : I am with you. Surely the Reds management is smarter than that ? Either that or Craig's dinger last night told them something like it told me. The Cardinals own those guys no matter what !

1 year ago on Waivers claims and other links

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jrg : you are correct. I had Brubeck confused with Frank Brooks after all these years. But,I could say the same thing as you about that deal also ! " Just proof that Littlefield was the worst GM in baseball......in his day ".Thanks for correcting me.

1 year ago on 76 wins

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I saw Matt Bruback pitch for the Curve sometime after that trade and....wow ! As bad as the prospect situation was at that time ,he still was terrible.

1 year ago on 76 wins

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The decision to send Lambo down and keep an extra pitcher ( I am looking at Brian Morris ) really paid off,didn't    it ?

1 year ago on Game 122: Diamondbacks 4 Pirates 2

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Pat,I take all that I said earlier back ! I am now officially in line behind you. Wow ! This was ugly...

1 year ago on Jeff Locke and Trevor Cahill take the mound

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Pat,this isn't meant to be a ringing endorsement of Locke,but I have a lot less confidence in AJ. His first 3 to 4 innings are fine,then it gets REALLY ugly. The other night,only Adam's single could be considered anything less than s solid hit.

1 year ago on Jeff Locke and Trevor Cahill take the mound

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One thing for sure : after reading a couple of comments here and in the local papers,seats on the bandwagon should be easier to come up with today. Also, the Pitts police better keep their eyes on the bridges. Could be people lining up to jump !

1 year ago on The biggest series (part two)

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I just saw these comments today,and all I am going to say to you mwr,about that particular 1959 game is that I was frustrated with the offense in that game because,nobody could get on base ! TRhat was just as frustrating to me in my teens as you are today with the RISP situation.And,I have news for you : power hitters NEVER,and I mean NEVER will completely change their approach in a situation like that. That is NOT what they are being paid to do.The only one in recent history that I can think of who might was Bonds.

1 year ago on Game 112: Pirates 4 Marlins 3

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The reason it seems more vexing or inept for you now mwr is because you are watching almost every game and it seems more " real " to you. You are probably a lot more emotionally invested in the games today than you were then. I remember sitting and listening to the Harvey Haddix game in 1959,and looking back on that game,how would you have liked to have been watching the heighth of a frustrating offense ? whygavs has a very valid point for you too.

1 year ago on Game 112: Pirates 4 Marlins 3

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That sounds crazy Steve...till I thought about it for a while and realized that would have been REALL interesting !

1 year ago on Game 112: Pirates 4 Marlins 3

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Like you mwr,I was extremely frustrated wiith that 8th inning last night,but I called it with 2 balls on McCutchen.But,in all fairness ,I heard exactly the same complaints about Stargell in the mid to late '60's  from many of my friends. The best answer I would have for you is that you will see in the next 2 years if that light bulb stays on.

1 year ago on Game 112: Pirates 4 Marlins 3

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@diehard @lee1943 : try looking at Alex Dickerson's stats for even 1 minute. He has been criticized for getting off to slowstarts,but it took him exactly 2 months to figure out AA level pitching,while it took Lambo 1300 ABs at that level. And I am not " dude ".

1 year ago on Let's talk about Andrew Lambo

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" I am skeptical about his ability to help much in Pittsburgh " If that isn't an opinion,what would you call it  ? Is it hard to understand ? Does it look like it is written in Farsi ? I don't know what else to tell you,except maybe a few classes in reading comprehension might help you out.

1 year ago on Let's talk about Andrew Lambo

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Diehard : I hope you aren't talking to me,If you are,let me ask you  this : have you ever even seen the man play one game in the Minors ? If not,you ought to keep your opinion of me to yourself. I have been watching him play AA ball since he came into the Pirates orginization,and have a pretty good idea of wht he might do as a MLB rookie in the middle of a Divisional pennant race. 

1 year ago on Let's talk about Andrew Lambo

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As someone who watched and pulled for Lambo his entire time in Altoona, I am skeptical about his ability to help much in Pittsburgh. It took him over 1200 AA ABs to really come around offensively,and his defense would be pretty sketchy in RF at PNC. Putting him in the middle of a pennant race with no ML experience would appear to me to be a real desperation move.

1 year ago on Let's talk about Andrew Lambo

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Pat,comparing Olt to Pedro is a little bit of an injustice to Pedro,wouldn't you think ? I watched Pedro when he was in AA,though he had some inclination to strike out,I can't remember him hitting anywhere near .215 for any length of time in MiLB. At that,I had seen a number of comments about Olt saying that many scouts had though " his ship has sailed " well before that deal went down.

1 year, 1 month ago on Warning: It looks like a seller's market

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Love the earlier comments ! But seriously,I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Stolmy Pimental isn't involved in any deal that goes down. They are kind of hamstrung by him being out of options next year,and neither do they have the investment in him that they do in the other obvious pitching prospects in the orginization. Not to mention the fact that he has a lot lower ceiling than any of the top three or four " homegrown " pitching prospects. Feel free to disagree please.

1 year, 1 month ago on Alex Rios, Alen Hanson, and the trade deadline

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@whygavs @NateRose This would be a disastor of a deal. Sure, you close a hole in RF for a couple of years with a guy with tremendous ceiling. But,yyou create at least 3 holes in the year 2015. What is the point ? To scare the Cards in 2013 ? Because Stanton is NOT going to put this team over the top as constructed right now.

1 year, 2 months ago on The Pirates, Giancarlo Stanton, and trading prospects

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I really didn't count myself,but I find it hard to believe he threw 79 or 80 fastballs. On the other hand,Bartolo Colon is 10 and two and throws primarily a two seam fastball and thats it !

1 year, 2 months ago on Game 74: Pirates 4 Angels 2

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