Archive for the ‘Pirates’ Category

Trade Deadline Moves

July 31, 2010

I like the moves the Pirates made today.  First of all, they got rid of Ryan Church.  Moving both he and Bobby Crosby (along with Carrasco who is more significant) when they were sitting on the bench not doing anything and getting a very useful catcher in return was a deft move.  Snyder’s offensive numbers are off his career average but he is coming off of injury and he’s very good defensively.  Catcher has been a position of liability for the Pirates this year as Ryan Doumit, when healthy, hits .250 and might be the worst defensive catcher I’ve ever seen.  The Pirates got a starting pitcher for Octavio Dotel who I was not anxious to get rid of but probably wasn’t going to still be here the next time the Pirates are good.  And in Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek the Pirates have other guys that can close.  We even got a AA player for Javier Lopez from the Giants.  We shall see how the moves play out, but I like them.  During the pregame this evening Bob Walk was talking about Doumit playing right field when he comes off the DL.  God I hope not.  Tabata is on an 11 game hitting streak and Milledge is hitting great with runners in scoring position and is rounding into form now that Russell finally wised up and started playing him every day the last few weeks.  As far as I’m concerned Doumit can be the reserve outfielder and 3rd catcher behind Snyder and Kratz.  If his power was more frequent he would need to be in the lineup.  But it isn’t.  If he hit .300 instead of .250 it would be different.  He doesn’t.  If he wasn’t so injury prone it would be different.  But he is.  And he’s a defensive liability.

I am less upbeat about the moves the Indians made.  One prospect for Westbrook, a solid starting pitcher?  Cash or the vaunted PTBNL for Kerns?  They weren’t going to get a ton for Kerry Wood of course, but they didn’t get much a couple days ago for Peralta either.  These trades feel more like dumping their veterans than actually getting value.  I hope I’m wrong, but its what it looks like to me.

Which lineup would you fear more, the Yankees are the rest of AL All-Stars.  Of course, good pitching could still shut that down in October, but adding Berkman and even Kerns to that lineup that already existed . . . wow.  I am a bit surprised that Adam Dunn didn’t go anywhere; the Nationals have to know they won’t have him back in 2011, right?  Red Sox and Mets didn’t make any big moves because they know they’re out-gunned this year either way?  Should be a fun last 2 months of the season.

Pirates Up/Downgrade Starting Rotation

June 1, 2010

Acquiring Dana Eveland from the Toronto Blue Jays for a minor league reliever.  I’ll leave the detailed analysis up to Dan Hopper at Elvis Has Left: http://elvishasleft.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/pirates-acquire-dana-eveland-filling-glaring-need-for-bad-soft-tossing-lefty-starter/

Pirates Making a Mistake

March 29, 2010

Not hardly an eye-grabbing headline I realize.  But it seems that manager John Russell has caught Tony LaRussa over-think things disease and plans to bat the pitcher 8th:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10088/1046523-100.stm

Without even commenting on the notion that the Pirates lineup is stacked with talent I would simply like to suggest that since a time Abner Doubleday still walked the Earth managers have traditionally batted their weakest hitter last in the order for a very simple reason.  Last comes up to hit least.  If you want more runners on ahead of McCutcheon, bat him 3rd not 2nd.  When you bat the pitcher 8th he’s that much closer to the meat of your lineup killing rallies.  When you bat the pitcher 8th he will have to get pinch hit for more quickly.  God intended for pitchers to bat 9th, and Russell is over-thinking things here.

Of course, if it actually works after 17 seasons of futility the man will be hailed as a hero.

Could Super Mario Save a 2nd Pittsburgh Franchise

January 30, 2010

Though no one is willing to confirm it, and Bob Nutting is flat denying it, Mario Lemieux and Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle apparently made an offer to buy into the Pirates:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10030/1032299-63.stm

Maybe Lemieux, if not an owner, could at least be brought into some sort of consulting role with the Pirates.  He could teach them how to win, or at the very least how to make the appearance of trying to win.

Mazeroski Statue To Go Up Outside PNC Park

January 29, 2010

As part of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ commemoration of the 50th anniversary of winning the 1960 World Series, the most famous moment of that season, and one of the most indelible moments in baseball history, will be immortalized in bronze:

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100129&content_id=7996830&vkey=news_pit&fext=.jsp&c_id=pit

I am glad that they went with the rounding 3rd base pose, and not a more routine defensive pose.  This is what Maz is known for and why he gets a statute, after all.  Now let’s just hope they are still playing baseball on October 13th this season (for a change) so the moment can be commemorated in style!

Open Letter From Frank Coonelly

November 2, 2009

To Pirates Fans:

Dear Pirates Fan,

As we begin the 2010 offseason, I would like to take this opportunity to let you know how grateful we are that you, our fans, continued to show your passion through some very difficult decisions to accelerate the overhaul of the organization during the 2009 season. Like you, we are extremely disappointed with the performance of our Major League Club this past season. But, for the reasons set out here and illustrated in The Pirates Blueprint, we are just as encouraged about direction of the organization and its future.

While the post-August timeframe receives the most attention from the media, our performance all season was unacceptable. As a result, we needed to take further bold steps to turn the organization around as quickly as possible. While the trades executed as we approached the trade deadline left the Major League Club shorthanded in some areas, these trades make us a much stronger organization for many years to come. As difficult as it has been to go through these growing pains this season, doing nothing to reverse the cycle of losing was simply not an acceptable option.

As we have said from the beginning, we are not interested in being just an average Major League Club. Our unwillingness to accept mediocrity has caused you additional aggravation over the short term. We regret that this was necessary but you deserve much more than a mediocre team. In the fine tradition of this city, you deserve a team that competes for championships. The bold steps taken this year, I hope, have demonstrated that our only interest is in giving you that type of team again. After supporting this great franchise through far too many lean years, you deserve nothing less.

The blueprint for our return to winning baseball was drafted two years ago, and it details the significant progress that has been made in building that winning organization. We all knew that it would not be easy to completely overhaul our system but the necessary groundwork has now been laid. We have worked very hard over the last two years to rebuild this proud franchise by focusing our energy and resources on the following core priorities:

* Extremely aggressive drafts to acquire as much high-level talent as possible by investing more resources in the draft than nearly any other team over the past two years and securing top draft classes as a result.
* Increased focus in our international operations to ensure we are in the best position to find talent in every part of the world where baseball is played by doubling the number of our international scouts, covering countries that had previously been ignored, tripling our international signing budget and building one of the very best Latin American training complexes in the Dominican Republic.
* Aggressively adding talent at all levels of our system by trading veteran players who were approaching free agency for multiple young players over whom we have multiple years of control. Although we traded players who were popular, we know that what you really want is a winning team. We are very excited that several players seized an opportunity to demonstrate that they can be important parts of a winning team. The fact that other players have not seized that opportunity will play a role in our off-season decision-making.
* Rebuilding our player development systems, including the way we instruct, train and mold our prospects. It is a cohesive approach at all levels that will allow our farm system to become the engine that constantly feeds our success. The fruits of this two-year effort were evident throughout the minor league system this year, but perhaps most apparent in Lynchburg where the Hillcats won the Carolina League championship based on a spectacular first-half fueled by Pedro Alvarez, Jordy Mercer and others and stellar pitching in the playoffs by five 21- and 22-year old starters (Rudy Owens, Bryan Morris, Jeff Locke, Justin Wilson and Nate Adcock).
* Significant investment in our core operations which has greatly improved our scouting and development systems, as well as our baseball facilities and top-of-the-industry analytical systems.

The investment of money, time and energy in these priority areas over the past two seasons has made us a much stronger organization. The talent we now have throughout the entire system means that exciting players will arrive in Pittsburgh beginning in 2010 to join the group of young, talented players that includes Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, Ross Ohlendorf, Zach Duke, Paul Maholm, Lastings Milledge, Ryan Doumit and others.

I cannot emphasize enough the appreciation we have for your continued support of the Pittsburgh Pirates. We understand that we have tested your patience but hope you understand that we have done so in order to make the blueprint for success in Pittsburgh a reality and to do so as quickly as possible. I also hope that, after reviewing the attached progress report, you will share our confidence that your patience will soon be rewarded.

Sincerely,
signature
Frank Coonelly
President, Pittsburgh Pirates

Thinking of Going to a Pirates Game Opposite the G-20

September 21, 2009

The Pirates are quoting Kevin Bacon in Animal House: Remain calm. All is well:

PIRATES PARKING AND TRAFFIC INFO FOR HOME GAMES ON SEPT. 24 & 25 DURING G-20 SUMMIT

Fans coming to the North Shore to watch the Pirates host the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, September 24 at 12:35 p.m. and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, September 25 at 7:05 p.m. should see only minimal impact on traffic and parking patterns due to the G-20 Summit across the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh.

* All streets and avenues on the North Shore will remain open, as well as the main traffic arteries of the Parkway East, Parkway North, the Fort Duquesne Bridge and Fort Pitt Bridge, allowing fans to have normal access to and from PNC Park.
* Like with all weekday afternoon games at PNC Park, all parking lots and garages on the North Shore will be opened for fans, while closed to commuter traffic.
* The Roberto Clemente Bridge will be closed for vehicular traffic, but opened for pedestrians. It will be closed to fans who are driving to and from the games who otherwise do not have a reason go into downtown Pittsburgh during the G-20 Summit. The Clemente Bridge remains one of three designated entry points into downtown for all permitted vehicles meeting certain requirements (more info at pirates.com). The sidewalks will be open for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
* The Port Authority will be providing bus and t-service into the downtown area. Fans can consult the Port Authority website, portauthority.org/g20, for information regarding public transportation routes and limitations, as well as complete traffic and parking information during the G-20 Summit.

As if Pittsburgh commuters won’t have it rough enough as it is, the North Shore lots won’t even be an option Thursday.

Elvis Has Left

September 19, 2009

A must read for Pittsburgh sports fans, or sports fans in general:

http://elvishasleft.wordpress.com/

Witty, a bit acerbic, insightful, and usually on the money. Buckeyenewshawk gives it 4 stars.

Pirates Make History

September 7, 2009

Today’s 4-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park was their 82nd of the 2009 season, thus clinching their 17th consecutive losing season. Over the course of history there have been plenty of perennially sucky teams in the 4 major American professional sports leagues. But none have achieved the consistent degree of suck that the post Barry Bonds Pittsburgh Pirates have. Argh!

Jay Mariotti Ridiculed

August 9, 2009

Its easy to do of course, but if you enjoy such activities, I recommend reading this column:

http://elvishasleft.wordpress.com/2009/08/03/just-when-you-thought-the-pirates-columns-couldnt-get-worse-jay-mariotti-joins-the-fray/#more-978

Snap!