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Yeah, I'll just be happy to get out of April at .500. The Pirates spent so much time digging themselves out of their early season hole last year that really any start that keeps them above .500 through May would have to be considered a big improvement on last year.
8 hours, 50 minutes ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2015/game-19-pirates-8-diamondbacks-0.html
@Naum I think Cutch is hurt. Has been since the spring but whatever it is he either thinks he can work through it or has a really high pain threshold. He just hasn't really seemed like himself all season.
Pedro isn't a great 1B but pretty much the entire infield are lousy fielders. The shifts just cover it up. Mercer and Jhay are decent - average at best - while Walker is a total statue and Cervelli is....not Russell Martin. So in the end I don't think the Pirates care much about defense as a whole.
The Melancon thing seems like the team whistling through the graveyard. I can't think of a single consistently effective shut down closer with an 89 mph fastball. Thing is - unlike say Grilli or Capps - Melancon is smart enough to get by with mediocre stuff against crappy hitters. But like Pat says, when he's in there in important games against good teams, it's gonna be scary.
2 days, 7 hours ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2015/game-17-pirates-4-diamondbacks-1.html
Not panicking at all but I guess what depresses me about this start is we had leads in 2 of the 3 (and tied in the opener) only to blow it in the late innings. Remember last year when were all like "Man, if this team hadn't blown all those game they had a lead in they'd be..." I feel like its deja vu all over again.
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2015/game-3-reds-3-pirates-2.html
Yeah, at least Martin isn't a Cub. Seeing him 20x a year especially on that team would be excruciating. At least now he can go home to Canada and get paid while the Jays chronically underachieve as usual.
5 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/november-2014/russell-martin-signs-with-blue-jays-braves-trade-jason-heyward-to-cardinals-for-shelby-miller.html
Obviously in hindsight if you go down, you want to go down with your stud on the mound but it's hard to play What If? with so many variables. Yeah, Cole would've done a better job but the Pirates still looked totally helpless at the plate. I can't help but think Cole starting would've only made the final score something like 2-0 instead of the laugher we got.
Anyway point is the Pirates played meaningful baseball, didn't sacrifice the future to do so, and still appear strong going forward. That's all any of us could reasonably ask. And while this season was certainly frustrating, it's hard to call it anything but a success.
Thanks for another year of doing what you do, Pat. As a longtime reader dating back to the epic 120 post game threads during the dark end days of the Littlefield era, it's nice to still be able to post in October.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/nl-wild-card-game-giants-8-pirates-0.html
Yeah, I've seen enough of Hughes and Wilson in leverage situations. Give me more Bobby LaFromboise!!
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/september-2014/game-146-pirates-4-phillies-1.html
It's funny, I had almost the exact same feelings as you after the game. As the noted poet Meatloaf once said, 2 out of 3 ain't bad but, man, if the Pirates could only finish off 1/3 of the sweeps they set up - especially against division foes - they'd be in a heckuva better position. When the story of the Bucs' 2014 is written, I have a feeling the first two words nearly everyone will write is "if only...."
8 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/august-2014/catching-up-on-monday-sundays-loss-and-polancos-demotion.html
Every time I see Pedro at 1st, I think of Brad Pitt telling StarLord that playing 1st base isn't that hard
8 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/august-2014/clint-hurdle-throws-up-hands-in-frustration-starts-pedro-alvarez-at-first-base.html
While I'll always appreciate a Louis CK reference, the intro pic really should be of a fork. As in stick on in the Pirates 'cause they're done. I'm sure they'll hang in the WC race but when your two best (only) relievers blow games back-to-back, this really isn't your year.
8 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/august-2014/game-124-nationals-6-pirates-5.html
The roster management has been atrocious this year but really it's not like keeping Walker (or Cutch) off the DL prevented them from bringing up anybody worth giving ABs to. The system may be loaded at the lower levels but AAA is a frozen wasteland at this point. Of course, it would help if our bullpen quit throwing gasoline on the fire by turning close games into laughers. Not to worry, though, 'cause Huntington will claim another worthless journeyman middle infielder off waivers any day now while we continue to trot out the same lousy pitchers who continue to sabotage our efforts to make the playoffs. This season has been extremely frustrating.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/august-2014/an-afternoon-finale-in-detroit.html
Oh ye of little faith....
8 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/august-2014/another-short-handed-night.html
Just get us a reliever, NH, that's all I ask. I realize the yinzer brigade wants to package Alvarez, Taillon, Glasnow, and Bell for Lester "to win now!" but I understand and support why you don't do insane things like that. However, I am pretty tired of biting my nails to the quick every time a starter leaves after 5 innings because I KNOW the bullpen cannot cover the two innings we have to get to Watson/MM. So, no hard feeling on passing on Lester/Lackey/Price, but if you could scrounge us up one good solid RP that'd be swell. Thanxbye!
9 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/july-2014/passan-jon-lester-has-been-traded-to-someone.html
If the Bucs are willing to part with an elite prospect like Bell, I dunno why they just don't bite the bullet and go after David Price. Sure the Rays would want at least one other elite prospect - probably Glasnow - but I'd rather lose a little more and get back a guy who'll be here all of next year than part with A+ assets for a 2 month rental.
9 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/yahoo-pirates-are-dark-horse-to-acquire-jon-lester.html
My Cutch story is sort of a poor man's version of yours. My parents retired down to Tampa in 2007 and during my first visit down for Spring Training in 2008 I finally got to see this fabled prospect who everybody hoped would lead us out of the darkness and into the promised land. Man was I crushed when he turned out to be this tiny little dude who was fast but not much more. Of course he didn't make the team - he was just there to get his feet wet - but to see him play now, I feel so dumb for ever doubting him.
I still have pictures I took that year on a flash drive. So if anybody's interested, presented for the sake of posterity, leading off and playing center field, number.....74????????? http://tinypic.com/r/6ntst3/8
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/july-2014/leading-off-and-playing-center-field-for-the-national-league.html
I think this loss has broken me. I'm at the point now where I'll watch games until the starting pitcher leaves and then I'm going to turn it off because I don't think I can take one more bullpen meltdown. This has gotten beyond ridiculous.
As for Watson, I love reading Twitter if only because Pirate fans might be worse armchair coaches than Stiller fans. This past week it was all "Watson is the best! Watson should be allowed to pitch 2 innings every day! Hurdle is in idiot!" then last night it's "Watson can't get anybody out. Why didn't he get yanked after he gave up three hits? Hurdle is an idiot!" I love baseball but I think managing with the level of second guessing involved has to make it the worst job ever.
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/july-2014/game-93-reds-6-pirates-5.html
J-Hay! He's officially become a more talented/less insane version of Nyjer Morgan.
10 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/game-80-pirates-3-mets-2.html
Dear Bob, Frank, and Neal: please sign Gregory Polanco to a long term deal at your earliest possible convenience. I understand wanting a good bargain but every game you wait his price goes up. This kid is going to be an absolute monster and I wish to enjoy watching him do his damage whilst wearing a Pirate uniform. Also, get rid of that useless bum Jason Grilli...but first sign Polanco. Kthanx.
/Closers save games, Polanco saves seasons
10 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/game-79-pirates-5-mets-2.html
Speaking of odd pitch sequences, I couldn't understand what the heck was going on in that McGehee AB. Melancon already bounced the first curve they tried - that pitch hasn't worked for him much at all this year to begin with. Then after wasting a pitch inside for some reason to go Ball Three, Martin - or whoever calls pitches from the dugout, I'm not sure how they work it - calls for another curve. Why would you throw that pitch in that situation? If you walk him, at least do it throwing a pitch that has a remote chance of being swung at.
Thank goodness for Polanco. I used to silently mock the fans acting like bringing him up would cure all the team's ills but now I'm convinced. Gregory Polanco is here to save us all.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/game-67-pirates-8-marlins-6.html
Ah, starting to feel like old times around here...
If last season was actually a fever dream brought on by an overdose of fried pickle chips and Mr. Pibb, please don't tell me. I prefer to live in my beautiful fantasy world...
1 year ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/game-24-cardinals-1-pirates-0.html
I thought winning game #82 last season would be
the pinnacle of surreal fan experiences but hearing Greg Brown talk about Daniel Bryan and explain the
YES Movement on a Pirates telecast is truly bizarre.
My worlds are colliding, man...
1 year ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/game-16-pirates-11-brewers-2.html
Popcorn Boy was (deservedly) the most screen-grabbed moment of the game but the look on Molina's face after Pedro stole second was an all-time classic. He's like, "How can he be safe? I'm a Cardinal, dammit!"
1 year ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/game-4-pirates-12-cardinals-2.html
I lived through Sid Bream and The Slide. I not only watched the game from start to finish, I had World Series tickets in my hand when THAT happened. Yes, the last two games have been disappointing. But comparatively speaking, last night was a very bad paper cut compared to the utter agony that was Game Seven.
The Pirates aren't going to lose their best players to free agency this off-season.This isn't the culmination of 3 years of chronic underachieving. If anything, they overachieved. And the future is bright. Yesterday was disappointing, no doubt, but I see it as the beginning of the story, not the end.
1 year, 6 months ago on NLDS Game 5: Cardinals 6 Pirates 1 (and so much more)
I kind of hope they use Cole similar to how the Rays used Price back during his rookie season (as your go-to reliever in key relief situations). I have no idea if Cole is calibrated to that sort of usage but it would give a much-needed boost to the bullpen. As I look at things, I assume the Pirates go with a 3 man rotation at least in the LDS with AJ & Chuck on Thurs/Fri and then bringing back Liriano on Sunday so unless Cole pulls a Bob Walk (92 NLCS Reference for you old timers!) at some point, they gotta get him some work in somewhere.
1 year, 6 months ago on Wild card game roster updates
While certainly not ideal, not sure I agree about the idea of a Wild Card game in Cincy being "terrifying." Not to be a negative nelly but if they play in Cincy, then the Pirates finished 3rd. If you finish third, I'd consider them lucky to even be getting a playoff game. Not replacing the Jolly Roger with a Vogelsong (reference for us WHYGAVS old timers!) by a long shot but I'm happy the Pirates are back. Everything else is gravy.
1 year, 7 months ago on Game 159: Cubs 4 Pirates 2
It's nights like this that I flashback to October 1992 and for a second - a very very brief split second - wonder why I ever wanted to go through this again. Another loss like this and I'm starting a blog titled, "Where Have You Gone, Dave Littlefield?"
1 year, 7 months ago on (Hopefully not) the last home series
And it also seems right the guy who made the final putout was the Pittsburgh Kid...wearing Andy Van Slyke's old number.
1 year, 7 months ago on Game 143: Pirates 1 Rangers 0
I actually liked Presley, too. I would've preferred he be the lefty
in the platoon with Tabata in RF rather than Travis Snider, who is
absolutely useless. That said, I'm good with this trade because I don't
see Presley as anything that's irreplaceable. Polanco will be here
sometime next season and in the meantime the Bucs can sign somebody over
the winter and I wouldn't even give up on Tabata, who I still think has
the most upside of the "fourth OFers" if he could only stay motivated
1 year, 7 months ago on Pirates acquire Justin Morneau from Twins in exchange for Alex Presley
@wkkortas I don't consider Herrera a top tier prospect. When I made that comment, I was more referring to the yinzers calling into talk radio demanding we swap Taillon or Polanco for Alex Rios. I have no problem trading middling prospects for help in a pennant race.
Of course, I reserve the right to Monday morning quarterback this trade if the PTBNL turns out to be someone I like (or Herrera becomes the next Robbie Cano).
1 year, 8 months ago on Pirates trade for Marlon Byrd and John Buck
@mwr505 @wkkortas It's Neal Huntington's version of the rope-a-dope. He's been so slow to address the team's obvious need for a bat that I'm sure the Reds figured he was content to stand pat for the rest of the season rather than part with any of his precious prospects. Clearly the Reds don't have a GM as deviously clever as we have here in the 'Burgh!
I was really hoping Wandy would come back because both Locke and Cole seem to be at the end of their ropes. With a visit to Dr. Andrews (the four worst words in baseball) looming, it looks like he's done for the year. Cumpton had that great spot start against the Cards and Gomez has pitched well all year but I'm not sure I feel comfortable throwing either one into the rotation on a regular basis.
I know Huntington seems loathe to pull the trigger on a trade but I'd feel a lot better if he looked into the Angels about Jason Vargas or even, *shudder*, Houston about Eric Bedard. At this point, I trust either of them to give us 7-8 mediocre starts more than I trust Locke.
1 year, 8 months ago on Game 127: Pirates 10 Giants 5
Clutch hits by Pedro and Cutch, an unexpected homer by Tabata, a solid bounce back by Cole after terrible fourth inning, Garret Jones Crazy Hot Wife revealing he loves junk food, and some douchebag dropping his Primanti sandwich all over the warning track... This game had something for everybody!
1 year, 8 months ago on Game 121: Pirates 6 Diamondbacks 2
@nickjuneau24 Exactly my thoughts (except with less math). People always bring up Zane Smith being a "key" to the Pirates making the playoffs but to me that's a strawman. Alas MLBTradeRumors didn't exist back then so I have no idea who else was on the market but those 90s Pirates were so good, how could we know they wouldn't have accomplished the same amount with a different/cheaper deadline acquisition?
The lesson I think/hope Pirate fans would have learned from that fiasco is nothing is a sure thing. You're far better off planning for the long term than the short. Instead of going all in for one shot, it's better to maintain a strong farm and ensure you're competitive for as many years as possible because the odds of winning it all in one particular year just are never that great.
Or in simpler terms, the A's and Rays never trade away future All-Stars in the name of going "ALL IN." Neither should the Pirates.
1 year, 9 months ago on At the break
@wkkortas The trading of Moises Alou still haunts me to this day. Trading a potential solid every day player or two to help you "win now" is fine but trading a potential superstar/All-Star is the surest road to utter ruin.
See, Spring Training isn't a complete waste of time after all!
2 years ago on Game 17: Pirates 3 Braves 1
The only positive about that quick half inning is it limited the amount of BS from NH we were subjected to. The Bucs should hire Ray Shero when this assclown is fired after the season.
2 years ago on Here goes something
Guess the Bucs don't have a book on Rizzo yet. Yeesh.
The Bucs are like a bitchy ex-girlfriend. It's not enough that they break your heart, they gotta kick you in the balls on the way out the door.
2 years, 7 months ago on Game 155: Reds 1 Pirates 0
@wkkortas I just didn't feel like typing out a real long comment. Wandy and Gaby are token moves, those aren't "over the top" moves. Trading for CC Sabathia is an over the top move. Not saying this was the year to go all in but if it was, he didn't do what he needed to do in that regard.
As for organizational depth, they didn't have any starting pitching to take over when JMac turned into JSuck and Jeff Karstens got hurt. Locke and MacPherson are just Duke and Gorzo redux. When Kevin Correia is your best option, that's on the GM. They didn't have any effective relievers in AAA so when Lincoln was traded and the other guys (like Resop and Watson) began to falter, the bullpen fell apart. The failure of Tabata and Presley meant they had to trade perhaps their best bargaining chip (Lincoln) for a corner OF, who has contributed very little.
I could go on but I don't feel like rehashing this depressing season. You like NH, I get it. I think he's made a ton of mistakes. Way more than the Pirates could afford. I've mentioned many times that I follow the Rays since my folks live in Tampa. Andrew Friedman (Rays GM) has the same plan as NH and operates under the exact same constraints but he's implemented the plan about a billion times better than NH has. I think the problem with a lot of the pro-NH people are they confuse the fact he has a GREAT PLAN with implementing that great plan.
NH wins on the former but has failed pretty badly in the latter.
2 years, 7 months ago on Neal Huntington and his staff get a vote of confidence
@wkkortas Lack of organizational depth and failure to add pieces that would put a contender over the top fall directly on the GM.
@wkkortas You're picking and choosing the exceptions and trying to claim it's the rule. 99 times out of 100, the player goes for the money. Yes there are cases here and there where a guy takes less to play for a contender or whatever but they are few and far between.
Believe what you wish but if you think the Pirates finishing .500 means they'll suddenly start getting a higher class of free agent than the Kevin Corrieas or Erik Bedards then you're just setting yourself up for disappointment.
I'm not really much of a NH fan but (insanity of the past month and a half aside) I do like Hurdle and I guess you can't keep one without the other. So I can't really quibble with bringing him back for another year. I still think NH has no idea how to effectively shift from rebuilding mode to contender mode but I guess he deserves one more year to figure it out.
Although I'm not sure what we're going to learn next year. The pitching staff looks to be a mess heading into 2013 and if the offense drops off even a tick, I can see this team not even being in the hunt. In which case the rallying cry will be "Wait until Cole and Taillon are both here in 2014 & 2015. That's when the Pirates will finally be contenders!" And we'll be having this discussion all over again.
Wash, rinse, repeat. Waiting 'til next year for a year that never actually comes.
@MattGajtka Free agents go where the money is. End of story. All this "Nobody will come here because we stink" stuff is, frankly, bullshit. Milwaukee had a really good team that made the playoffs a few years back and even though they made a very competitive offer to CC Sabathia, he still signed with the Yankees because they offered him even bigger money. The Rays are one of the best franchises in baseball and they do the same dumpster diving we do. The bottom line on free agents is you only get what you're willing to pay for. Period.
Watching ESPN this morning as they beat last night's MNF game to a fine pulp and notice the Pirates have finally been dropped from the NL Wild Card ticker. Not gonna lie, I shed a tear.
2 years, 7 months ago on The Pirates and Mets bring their sad seasons to a close together
Fire them all.
2 years, 7 months ago on A few words about the Kyle Stark stuff
Being a Pirate fan is nothing but Melon Collie and Infinite Sadness.
2 years, 7 months ago on The end is the beginning is the end
Six years ago it was "The club that will turn the corner will feature Andrew McCutchen." Then it was "The club that will turn the corner will feature Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen." Now Marte is here. And then in 2013 it'll be "wait for Cole and Taillon to both get here."
No offense to anybody but I'm tired of this "Wait 'til next year" mentality. I think what Pat is saying with this post (and what I've been saying for awhile now) is WHEN WILL IT BE NEXT YEAR?
You can't wait 'til next year forever. What if this is Cutch's career year? What if this is Pedro's? Then what? Wait for Hansen and Josh Bell? It's a shell game. Plus I hope Cole and Taillon are awesome but do you realize how astronomical the odds are against them BOTH turning out to be Verlanders is? I would think by now after the Kris Bensons and Duke/Gorzo/Snell "rotations of the future" and "we got Tim Alderson for broken down Freddy Sanchez!" disasters that we'd all realize that nothing is a sure thing.
Look, I'm sorry for repeating what I've written before but this season has really depressed me. Not because of the swoon but because I'm REALLY REALLY scared that we're going to look back on 2012 three or four years from now and realize that was our last best chance to win. And we didn't take advantage of it.
2 years, 7 months ago on It's alright, Ma (I'm only sighing) | August 2012
Welp, you can only dance through the raindrops for so long before you get drenched.
2 years, 7 months ago on The Pirate Playoff Improbabilty Tour continues | August 2012
Headline should read "Mother Nature bails out Pirates." Cubs are making Correia look like Verlander, swinging at everything. They couldn't make it more obvious that they have zero interest in playing this game.
2 years, 7 months ago on Mother Nature attempts to save the Pirates from themselves | August 2012
People bitch about Barmajas (see what I did there) or point to the inconsistency of Cutch & Pedro when placing blame for this tailspin but I think JMac going in the tank is the biggest by far. It hasn't been posted here but he's been demoted to the pen for probably the rest of the season. What's disturbing is reading into Hurdle/NH's reasoning, they're saying it's all mental. Mental? Great, just what we need, another Ian Snell/Ollie Perez.
2 years, 7 months ago on Game 14something: Cubs 11 Pirates 9 | August 2012