Friday, July 31, 2009

Sean Burnett Can Suck It

First off tonights starting line-up is as follows: Cutch-CF, Milledge-LF, Jones-RF, Doumit-C, Young-2B, Pearce-1B, LaRoche-3B, Cedeno-SS, Ohlendorf-P

Should be interesting with a very new line-up.

I will put up a link later but Sean Burnett called the Pirates the laughingstock of baseball. Great. Hey Sean how are the Nats 10 wins? Good one.

EDIT: Here is the link for the Burnett story.

Burnett also went on to say this to DK over at the PG before the game about Nyger Morgan: "He's just unbelievable right now. Like Pujols. He even led off with a home run the other day." I am sorry Sean you should really not talk anymore. Don't ever compare those two ever again.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

If You Think I Am Crazy

Here is a great, wait let me rephrase that, amazing article from Joe DeFazio...Enjoy...If you want to look back at my posts about the trades you can see that I am pretty much on the money with this. Here is the link to the post but I have copied in here for your viewing pleasure.

Breaking Down Pirates Trades An In-Depth Look
By Tony DeFazio

In two seasons, Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington has dismantled a group that averaged 67.25 wins per year over the past four seasons. In doing so, he's brought to Pittsburgh the biggest influx of legitimate talent the franchise has seen in two decades. He's completely transformed the entire organization, from top to bottom. Huntington did not create 16 years of losing; he inherited it. And, for the first time in 20 seasons (since Syd Thrift), a Pirates’ GM has crafted a plan and is executing it.

So what’s the plan? Acquire talent, create competition for jobs, while also acquiring pieces to deal in the future, so he can keep the cycle alive. The movement of players, both through the system and through the majors to other clubs, doesn’t stop. You deal players for pieces that will
eventually become replacements – that’s the blueprint to win in markets such as Pittsburgh.

There have been two main facets to Huntington’s talent acquisition – middle outfield and starting pitching.

He has loaded up on outfield talent, specifically middle-outfield talent – which is one of the
few positions that teams routinely overpay for at the major league level. The other is starting pitching.

The Pirates had Nate McLouth, who had two fantastic months last year, and Nyjer Morgan, who was doing the same this year, in the fold. They had Andrew McCutchen in the wings. Huntington went out and acquired Jose Tabata last season – giving the Pirates four centerfielders in the organization. McLouth and Morgan are now gone, but in their place are Lastings Milledge and Gorkys Hernandez – so he’s still given himself pieces with which to deal.

Moving on to the pitching component, when Huntington took this organization over, the minor leagues was completely bereft of pitching talent in the minors. Completely bereft. The only possible bright spot was Brad Lincoln, but he was coming off Tommy John surgery. In less than
two years, he has changed that.

Charlie Morton, Ross Ohlendorf and Jeff Karstens are already getting major league hitters out. Daniel McCutcheon and Tim Alderson are both projected major league starters, with Alderson
projected to be a top of the rotation guy. He has littered single-A with pitching prospects, and they may be close to the point where they have enough pitching talent to start to move some of those pieces as well.

When Huntington arrived, the only legitimate prospects in the entire organization were Andrew McCutchen, Brad Lincoln and Neil Walker. Obviously, then, the minor leagues needed a complete overhaul. Of the 15 players acquired in Huntington’s nine trades who are not yet in the major leagues, seven are immediately among the Pirates top dozen prospects. Two others, first-round picks Pedro Alvarez and Tony Sanchez, are also among that group. While that shows that Huntington and staff have drafted and traded well, it sheds even more light on just how bad
things were before they arrived.

The third piece of talent acquisition (trades and draft being the first two) is free agency. Signing
big-time free agents simply can’t happen, so the Pirates have to make wise choices when adding pieces this way. Rather than sign “names” like Derek Bell or Tony Armas, Jr., Huntington's staff has scoured the majors for players like Garrett Jones, a 28-year-old five-year veteran of triple-A currently hitting .323 with 10 home runs in 24 games with the Pirates.

Now on to the

The Pirates have 7 players currently in the majors who were acquired in the trades: 4 at AAA, 3 at AA, 8 at A and 1 not currently playing. While the Pirates have indeed loaded up on prospects, they have also filled out their major league roster with good—albeit young and very inexperienced—talent.

The opponents in the trades have a combined 8 players in the majors, 1 at triple-A, and 2 who don’t play baseball.

All told, Pittsburgh gave up 11 and got 23 players in return. Here’s trade-by-trade breakdown of who went where and for whom, and how each of the players have performed.

The Pirates received:

Bryan Morris is considered a promising starting pitching prospect for the Pirates, but he is currently experiencing major struggles at the high A level, with a 2-5 record and a 5.70 ERA in 9 starts for Lynchburg.

Craig Hanson is possibly shelved for the season with neck spasms. The 25-year-old flame throwing right-hander is still battling control problems and his future is somewhat questionable. Next year is likely do-or-die for Hanson.

BRANDON MOSS platoons in right and left field and is batting .250 with 5 HR and 27 RBI in 248 AB. He has 44 strikeouts (once every five at bats). Moss, 25-years-old, is tied for second in the National League in outfield assists.

ANDY LaROCHE was one of the top prospects the National League in 2007, but he struggled at the plate in two brief stints with the Dodgers. He came to Pittsburgh last season and really struggled, hitting .152 as the team’s everyday third baseman over the final 50 or so games. He’s having a solid, if unspectacular, season so far – hitting .256 with 4 HR and 37 RBI. He’s 26.

In exchange for:
JASON BAY is currently hitting .254 with 20 homers and 74 RBI for the Red Sox. Bay more than adequately replaced Manny Ramirez last season and quickly became a fan-favorite in Boston. After getting off to a tremendous start in 2009, Bay is hitting just .168 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 36 strikeouts over the past month.

The Pirates got one player who appears that he might be solid (LaRoche), another who looks like a fourth outfielder at best (Moss), a reliever who has yet to show much (Hanson) and a starter who has really struggled (Morris). Yet it’s hard to properly evaluate this one just yet, especially with Bay in such a swoon lately.

The Pirates received:

Jose Tabata is a middle outfielder and was the key figure in the Nady/Marte trade last season, considered one of the top prospects in the Yankees system. After battling injury at the outset of this season, Tabata is hitting .306 with 2 HR and 25 RBI in 222 AB in AA. Not yet 21, Tabata has been hot lately, posting a .436 average over the last dozen games.

Daniel McCutcheon is being brought along slowly in AAA. A potential fourth or fifth starter in the majors, he is having a good season at Indianapolis. McCutcheon is 9-6 in with a 4.03 ERA in 18 starts this season.

JEFF KARSTENS is pitching out of the bullpen and has appeared in 26 games, with 10 starts, compiling a 3-4 record with a 4.40 ERA. He has allowed just 3 earned runs over his last 15 2/3 IP (1.72 ERA).

ROSS OHLENDORF has been very solid as the Pirates fourth starter, and is 8-8 in 20 starts with a 4.51 ERA.

In exchange for:

XAVIER NADY played 7 games for the Yankees before his season ended due to what could be a
career-threatening injury.

DAMASO MARTE also allowed 9 earned runs in 5 innings over 7 games. He’s no longer pitching.

The Pirates have two solid major league pitchers, one a starter, and two high-end minor leaguers who are having success. The Yankees have nothing.

The Pirates received:

Jeff Locke was the “throw in” in the trade. A potential starter, Locke is struggling at single-A Lynchburg with a 1-4 record and a 5.31 ERA in 10 starts since joining the club. He is coming off his best performance of the season, a 6-inning, 1-hit outing.

Gorkys Hernandez is another top prospect brimming with potential. Considered the “fastest player in baseball” by Baseball Prospectus, the 22-year-old is hitting.257 with AA Altoona. He has been fabulous defensively, but inconsistent with the bat so far this season.

CHARLIE MORTON was considered a top prospect for the Braves, but he struggled in his first opportunity in their rotation. Just 25, Morton has not struggled in Pittsburgh. The righty is 2-3 with a 3.72 ERA in eight starts with the Pirates. Two of his past five outings have been scoreless affairs.

In exchange for:
NATE McLOUTH is hitting.259 with 15 HR and 52 RBI combined with Atlanta and Pittsburgh. His numbers are similar with each club when broken down to production per at bat. He does have 65 strike outs, a very high average of 1 for every 5 AB. A Gold Glove centerfielder last year, McLouth stormed out of the gate in 2008, hitting .312 for the Pirates in the first two months of the ‘08 season. His quick start caused some to dramatically overrate his production –
prior to those two months, McLouth was a .249 career hitter; since June 1, 2008, he has hit .258.

The Pirates parlayed McLouth’s tremendous April and May of ’08 to get a quality major league starter and reload his OF position at AA with Hernandez. So the Pirates have a major league starting pitcher, a very promising minor league middle outfielder and a struggling single-A starter. The Braves have a solid centerfielder, but nothing more.

The Pirates received:

Eric Fryer, a 23-year old outfielder/catcher. He was batting .250 with 2 HR, 11 doubles and 24 RBI for high Class A Tampa, playing mostly LF. He was assigned to high class A Lynchburg, where he’s struggled, hitting just .219 in 21 games.

Casey Erickson, 23, was 3-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 21 appearances, 3 starts, for low class A Charleston. As a reliever, his ERA was 1.10, with 33 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings.He was assigned to low-class A West Virginia, where he is 3-1 with a 0.92 ERA in 20 innings.

In exchange for:
ERIC HINSKE, 32, is a power hitting reserve outfielder who was batting .255 in 156 AB in Pittsburgh. In just 6 games with the Yankees, he is 6-18 with 4 homers.

Hinske has been hot in NY, but the Pirates are certainly not a worse team without him. This
trade made virtually no impact, and if Erickson ever wears the black and gold,
ratchet it up one letter grade.

The Pirates received:

Lastings Milledge is just 24 and already with his third major league team. Tagged as the game’s best prospect early in his career with the Mets, Milledge rubbed many veterans the wrong way with his demeanor. The Nationals gave up two first-round picks for him and despite a solid season in 2008 (his ‘08 numbers were identical to Nyjer Morgan’s, with the exception of Milledge’s power numbers, which are much higher), his first full year in the bigs, the organization tired of his attitude. He broke his hand and played in just seven games with the Nats this season before the trade. Since joining the Pirates AAA squad at Indianapolis,
Milledge was named International League Player of the Week and is batting .336
with 6 RBI in 16 games.

JOEL HANRAHAN is a veteran reliever who began the season as the Nationals’ closer and soon pitched his way out of the role. He’s 1-3 with an insanely high 6.70 ERA this season. Hanrahan has not allowed an earned run in his last 6 2/3 innings with the Pirates. He has a 3.00 ERA with 10 K and 3 BB in 10 IP since coming to Pittsburgh.

In exchange for:
NYJER MORGAN is having a breakout season with 31 stolen bases and a .304 average. The
speedy outfielder is lighting it up in Washington, hitting .389 in 90 AB with the Nats, with 13 stolen bases in 14 attempts.

SEAN BURNETT is also a veteran reliever who was having an excellent season in the Pirates bullpen before the trade. Burnett was 1-2 with an ERA in the low-3’s with Pittsburgh, and has been flat-out stellar with Washington. Burnett has allowed only one earned run in a Nationals’ uniform, with only 4 hits surrendered in 10.1 innings pitched.

We can’t rate this one just yet. Is Nyjer Morgan really going to hit .300? That would shock a lot of people, but he’s doing it so far. Is Joel Hanrahan as bad as he was with Washington earlier this season or as good as he’s been with Pittsburgh so far? Probably neither, so it all depends on
that Milledge eventually brings to the table.

The Pirates receive:

· Argenis Diaz, a 22-year old shortstop who hit .253 for class AA Portland, with 14 doubles, one
triple, no HR and 24 RBI in 76 games. His career average is .273. His defensive potential is rated as excellent, although he occasionally struggles with the routine play and has committed 23 errors this season. He was assigned to AAA with Pittsburgh and has played 5 games, hitting .273 with 1 error.

· Hunter Strickland, 20, is right-handed, 6-foot-5, and posted a 5-4 record and a 3.35 ERA in
single-A Greenville, with 51 K and just 13 BB in 83 IP. He tossed six innings of no-hit ball earlier this week in his first start with the Pirates’ organization.

In exchange for:
· ADAM LaROCHE was hitting .247 with 12 homers and 41 RBI at the time of the trade. He bat was solid but it wasn’t a middle-of-the-lineup bat, as former GM David Littlefield had hoped. He’s got a homer and 3 RBI, to go with a .347 average, in 4 games with the BoSox. See LaRoche’s comparison to Nate McLouth below.

The Pirates got two bodies for a player two months away from free agency who had zero chance to re-sign with Pittsburgh. David Littlefield’s mistake was very capably cleaned up by Huntington.

The Pirates received:

RONNY CEDENO is a weak-hitting, solid-fielding 26-year old shortstop who can play second and third base as well. He is a career .239 hitter but is in the midst of an 0-26 slump. He had a solid season for the Cubs last year, hitting .267. Jeff Clement is a 25-year old power-hitting first base prospect who is cleaning up in triple-A this season. The third-overall pick in 2005, Clement was hitting .288 with 33 doubles (2nd in the PCL), 3 triples, 14 HR, 68 RBI (6th in the PCL) and 65 runs scored while also producing a .505 slugging percentage in 92 games this year with triple-A Tacoma. In parts of two seasons with the Mariners, he hit .237 (52-for-219) with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 26 RBI and 21 runs scored in 75 games. He will begin at triple-A.

Aaron Pribanic, 22, went 7-6 with a 3.21 ERA (87.0ip/31er) while surrendering just 1 HR in 17 single-A starts. He’ll start at low-A.

Brett Lorin, 22, went 5-4 with a 2.44 ERA, 87 K and just 25 BB in 16 single-A starts. He’ll start at low-A.

Nathan Adcock, 21, went 5-7 with a 5.29 ERA in 21 games (19 GS) at single-A High Desert of the California League. He went 5-3 with a 3.70 ERA (82.2ip/34er) in 14 starts before the All-Star Game and was charged with three earned runs or fewer in 10 of his 19 starting assignments. He’ll begin at high A Lynchburg.

In exchange for:
JACK WILSON is a 31-year old .269 career hitter with very good defensive skills. Entering this season, Wilson had missed an average of 40 games per year the last three seasons.

IAN SNELL is a 27-year old starting pitcher whose career got off to a good start for the Pirates, as he went a combined 23-23 in 2006-07 with a 4.23 ERA over that two-season span. Since then, Snell is 9-20 with a 5.40 ERA. Snell asked to be sent down to AAA this season because the
pressure was too much in the major leagues. He was dominating at the triple-A level since his demotion.

Probably the best deal Huntington had made at the time he pulled the trigger. Pirates lose a solid shortstop who had just turned down a generous contract extension and was about to leave in free agency. Ian Snell asked to be demoted to AAA – enough said. For those two, the Pirates get a solid major league shortstop in Cedeno (who is really the fifth player in this deal), a first baseman who will most likely be the starter in the big leagues next season if not sooner, and three young, high-end prospects who already have had success in the pro’s.

FREDDY SANCHEZ to San Francisco
The Pirates receive:

Tim Alderson was the Giants 1st pick in the 2007 draft out of high school. He’s 20-years old and is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in his first 5 starts at AA. He was 6-1 with a 3.43 ERA at single-A before getting called up earlier this month. He’s 6-6, 215 pounds with excellent control (66 K, 17 BB this season; 124 K and 34 BB last season.

In exchange for:
FREDDY SANCHEZ a very good hitter, a legitimate All-Star and a former batting champion. Sanchez won't hit .345 again, but you can mark him down for .300 every season and expect him to be among the best second basemen in the NL for the next 2-3 seasons.

Despite his struggles at the plate last season and his recent slump, Sanchez is a legitimate talent who can help a contending ball club; better than McLouth, Wilson, Morgan, et al and comparable to Bay. However, when David Littlefield signed Sanchez to a deal that would pay a slap-hitting
middle infielder $8.1 million, it assured his departure from Pittsburgh. Tim Alderson is a prospect right there with Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen. The rate of return here, especially when you consider that by not pulling the trigger on a trade, Freddy would leave for practically nothing, makes this a huge win.

For me, personally, it became very hard to care about an organization that gave impression they were fine with 67-95 every year. To me, that was "giving up."

The ship had not been safe for voyage for years, but they tried to keep it afloat by sticking chewing gum in the holes. Signings like Pat Meares, Darryle Ward, Jeromy Burnitz, Sean Casey,
etc., to try to build around a “core” of Craig and Jack Wilson, Kris Benson, even Jason Bay – was an absolute lack of effort. Sure, Bay has helped the Red Sox and Freddy Sanchez will likely help the Giants… but when these guys were the core of the Pirates, let’s face it, the team was flat-out terrible. They didn’t break up the Chicago Bulls – they broke up a 67-95 team.

Bad decisions like paying slap-hitting middle infielders $8 million and drafting low-injury-risk/signable guys instead of Matt Wieters and Tim Lincecum - that made me think the upper management simply didn't care.Now, however, I look at what’s happening and finally I'm seeing indications that someone actually wants things to change.Instead of drafting a power-hitting first baseman in the first-round, but moving him to pitcher so they can pay him less, the Pirates
have the guts to stare down Scott Boras so they can draft and sign a kid who is currently lighting up AA in his first pro season. That excites me.

Taking a shortstop who in two months will walk away as a free agent, and finding a way to get a major leaguer infielder, a power-hitting AAA first baseman and three young, single-A pitchers for him? That's encouraging.

Moving a .250-hitting centerfielder with decent pop for a good major league starter and a top prospect—a trade made possible because the minors were stocked with several players remarkably similar to said CF—that's how markets like Pittsburgh have to win.That's why I'm not kidding when I say that, after a decade of being pushed away at every turn by the organization and not even being able to muster enough interest to care, these trades have won me back as a fan.

There a certain pro team a few miles uptown who tore it all down a few years ago as well. They had a pretty good spring.

What a great article. Comments anyone?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Good Deal

Let's not kid ourselves here, you knew Freddy was gone.

We got a very solid pitching prospect in return. He has been nothing but money in the Giants system. If he continues to progress he could be a #1. Let's hope. This club needs an ace.

Its a good deal. No question. Freddy is good, the future is way more important.

Go Bucs

Wilson, Snell, Gone.

The Pirates this morning traded away the longest tenured Pirate and the most trouble as of recent to the Seattle Mariners. Shortstop Jack Wilson and pitcher Ian Snell were traded to Seattle for Jeff Clement, Ronny Cedeno, Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin, and Nathan Adcock.

Here is the PBC Blog on the PG where DK will be keeping you updated. Make sure you keep checking there. There are a lot of updates he will have throughout the day which I will not have.

Pat over at WHYGAVS also has his take on the trade. Good reads with some good links.

Overall it is very tough to see how the Pirates will work out on this trade. This is a two for five trade which helps the farm system and most of the players we are getting back are in the early 20's. It remains to be seen how they will go through the system and help the Pirates in the future.

Clement will be the key in the trade. He has put up big numbers in the minor leagues.

It is hard to say you are surprised with the deal, Wilson will not be here for youth push we have had and Ian Snell has all but said he wanted out. Might as well get somethign for them while you can. Wilson turned down the Pirates extension so it was pretty clear that he had to go. If two or three of these players will be able to make a difference this is a clear win for the Pirates. I think the trade needed to be done. Freddy is probably next to go and please do not be surprised when he does.

I have said a million times before that Jack Wilson is one of the best defensive shortstops in the major leagues and hitting .270ish made him a very nice shortstop for the Pirates, and now Seattle. He will definatly be missed, especially how the PA announcer says his name when he comes to bat and "Jumpin Jack Flash" will not have the same meaning when I hear it.

More later.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fifteen Times

In a post I made back in June I chronicled what it was like to face Tim Lincecum as an opponent. If you do not believe me then here is the post. Lincecum gave up two runs last night but this game was not really as close as the 4-2 loss the Pirates gave. For memory purposes here is the game recap and here is the box score.

You will notice that Lincecum had an amazing game. He struck out 15 Buccos last night, which if you watched any part of the game it seemed as if the Pirates didn't want to bat, and threw a complete game in only 115 pitches. Very efficient game by Lincecum.

The Pirates only had four hits with no player having more than on. A few glaring things that I noted from last night games is that in the bottom of the eighth inning Jon Grabow was horrible. I almost turned the game off after he walked the third straight Giant with two outs. Grabow gets a taylor made double play ball after a lead off batter reached and then proceeded to to walk the next three batters and maybe threw two strikes, one of which was questionable at best. Also Steve Pearce's at bat in the ninth might have been just as ugly. Nothing like going out walking a fastball right down then middle, then watch a hanging curve ball then swing at a ball that bounced before home plate. It's not like this was a six run game. A single and the Pirates were one swing of the bat away from tying the game.

Not that the Pirates really deserved to win last night, but what a terrible, and I must underline terrible, call in the early innigns against the Pirates. Garrett Jones has a ball hit off his glove, he then kicks it before it hits the ground and Delwyn Young makes a bare hand catch to end the inning. Or so you thought. The umpires rule that the ball hits the ground. It never came close. The worst part? Not that it cost the Pirates a run and could have cost them the game. That is bad. But what if this win means the Giants win the wild card by one game over, lets say, the Mets. Is it fair that a terrible call might keep a team out of the playoffs? Hell no. Do I want the Mets to make the playoffs? No. Is this call a big deal? Yea.

On a positive note, yes there is one, Jack Wilson continues to play top notch defensive baseball. Wilson made a web gem in the first inning and he made it look easy. Nothing like flipping through the channels and seeing Web Gems coem on Baseball tonight at 10:30 and Jack Wilson already being on them (witht the game starting at 10:10).

Sunday, July 26, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours

What a bad couple of nights for the Pirates. First they just run by the Dbacks last night then they just came out flat again today. The back end of the rotation could not hold the fort for the Pirates as they fell 12 games under .500.

No need to show you the box score or the game recaps for the past couple of days because I do not want to make the real Pirate fans relive the horror that was.

The Pirates are going to struggle, I understand that, but that does not mean that it shouldn't be frustrating to watch games like this. I have no idea how you can knock Dan Harren around and then just get worked by Doug Davis and my next door neighbor. What a bad couple of games.

Well the Pirates will stay on the west coast and face the San Francisco Giants. They will face Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. Now, I don't know if that is good or bad. The Pirates seem to do well against the NL's best and struggle against your average pony league pitcher. I guess we will see. I hope this does not start a free fall for the Pirates though.

Not really too much more to talk about. Garrett Jones is still a beast.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Around The Horn 7-24-09

Well the Pirates took a tough loss last night to Arizona by the score of 11-4. The Pirates were actually up on the D-backs 4-1 before giving up the 10 unanswered runs. Charlie Morton was rolling through the first four innings but imploded in the fifth and the pen could not recover. Here is the game recap and here is the box score. First pitch for tonights game is 9:40 PM.

Ryan Doumit went deep for the Pirates and drove in two runs. Hopefully this is Doumit finally coming out of the mini slump that he was in coming back from the broken hand. I mean you really couldn't expect him to come back and tear the cover off the ball right off of missing 70 some odd games right? Garrett Jones also continued his hot streak going 3 for 4 and raising his batting average to .338 and driving in two runs himself. Steve Pearce has been called up for Adam LaRoche and got two hits last night. This might be one of his final chances to impress. He has been less than steller in his time on the big league roster and it will be very interesting to see how he responds when he knows he is going to get regular at bats and not just pinch hitting and spot start. That will be something I will be keeping my eye on as the rest of the season plays out.
I will be curious to see how fast Lastings Milledge stays at AAA. If Pearce struggles they could move Garrett Jones to first base and bring Milledge up. If Milledge can perform at a decent level the Morgan deal with be a steal for the Pirates.

Miguel Sano has been "partially cleared" in his hearing. The hearing found that Sano was who he said he was but it has not been proven if he is 16 or 17. You can follow this with DK over at the PG or with Pat over at WHYGAVS. Or you can come here and check out what I have to think. The most interesting part of the story is that the hearing was open to have any team there that was interested and the Pirates were the only team to show. Also his agent said that Sano will sign with the team that throws him the most money. Great.

BTSC brings us an article from the Trib today that says that Alan Faneca wants to go into the Hall of Fame as a Pittsburgh Steeler. I honestly do not see any way that Faneca could go into the hall as anything but a Steeler. I mean come on, unless he wins a few Super Bowls with the Jets he really has no other option. It was nice to hear him come out and say he has no ill will towrds the Steelers. After the uproar he made while he was here I am thinking he finally realized the business aspect of it. The Rooneys always treat their players well and they know when is when.

This might be the only time I talk about Big Ben and his accuser. This is pretty lame if you ask me. If you are raped go to the hospital. Call the police. Do something, anything. A year later? What? Are you kidding me? I mean its a civil suit. I do not see this being a problem. Lets start to get ready to defend our Super Bowl and win number seven.

Training camp is right around the corner. You can feel it in the air. Here We Go Steelers.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Walk It Off

Another walk off win for the Bucs, this time off the bat of Brandon Moss.

Garrett Jones again went deep. How many times am I gonna say I wish he was 25?

Great offensive same today with the Bucs hitting five hommers. Don't get used to it. Goo win though.

Adam LaRoche, Gone

Adam LaRoche was dealt today to the Boston Redsox. It is not confirmed yet who was a part of the deal but you can imagine that it is nothing substantial. Rumors are that it is a single A pitcher as part of the deal. Who knows what it will be. I have not been able to read much about it but no word on who was called up.

DK over at the PG says that LaRoche is still in the clubhouse during the game so that is pretty interesting note.

The deal had to be done. Bottom line. More on this later.

Lets go Bucs.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Solid win

Solid win by the Pirates last night. Jones continues to be a monster at the plate. Why can't he be 25? Damn.

Hopefully the Bucs can continue to play well againt the Brew-Crew tonight. Karstens should drop kick Kendall in the mouth. How big of a tool was he being last night?

Well I will be hit or miss with my posts over the next couple of weeks since I will be moving for a new job. I will still be around. Don't worry. Just a lot more phone updates now and less links. Sorry. Deal with it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Great Day For Bringin It Home

Tough One At PNC

Tough loss for the Bucs today.

Zach Duke was dealin for most of the ball game but faltered in the 6th to take the loss. Matt Cain showed why he is one of the best in the NL by holding the Pirates to one run in his outing.

Taking two from the Giants is a nice start to the second half of the season.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mr. Jones

Garret Jones went bombs away twice last night as the Pirates won a game in extra innings 2-1 over the San Francisco Giants. The Pirates were able to beat (although it will not reflect on his record) Tim Lincecum. Here is the recap. Here is the box.

Pretty solid game all around. Outside of the home run by Jones in the first inning Lincecum was solid all day going seven innings, but not to be outdone was Paul Maholm who went eight innings giving up one run, which was not earned. Jones and Sanchez each pieced together a few hits and the pen did a nice job of holding the fort for Jones to become the 14th player to place a home run ball into the river.
If Jones was three years younger we would have something to talk about. Not that Jones isn't playing amazing, but he is 28 years old. A stop gap for Tabata, Milledge, Sano, or some other prospect we still have. What a gammer though.

Most people will say this was a boring game to watch, but they are wrong. Sure watching 7-6 or 11-9 baseball games is fun for all the scoring, but if you love baseball, like I do, then watching a 2-1 pitchers duel is truely a spectical. Great game no matter what you DH loving American League fans will say.

Also nothing is more underrated than a celebration after a walk off home run. Having all of your teammates at home plate waiting for you to touch is awesome. Sure the Pirates are 11 games under still and have no shot at the playoffs, but it didn't matter. Pure emotion there. Gotta love it. Also the pie in the face is a nice touch after a two home run night.

More good news as prized shortstop Miguel Sano has passed the MLB inspection of age. Sano is 16 years old and is said to be the real deal. The Pirates are right there with some other teams to sign him and I have read where he would like to sign with Pittsburgh. Even if he does not play shortstop he can help the Pirates if he is as good as advertised. This will be very interesting to follow.

The Pirates also have asked Freddy and Jack to take pay cuts to keep them and extend their contracts. Not sure how I really feel about all of that. I am a big believer that if you are going to rebuild then you have to blow it all up, not just pieces. But the Pirates do not really have an plan for either shortstop or second base so would keeping them for two or three more years be bad? We can always trade them and they are probably the best double play combo in MLB right now. Who knows. I really have to think about this one. One thing is for sure, if they trade Jack and Bixler is the option The Pensblog might have to get a picture with me=stunned. Mainly because Bixler is about as useful on this team as my eight year old nephew.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hitler Gives Up On Ottawa

This is a huge find by The Pensblog...Nothing to do with Pittsburgh sports, but it is very funny...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Wrong Team

Slow day. Who remembers this quote?

“When I compared the two teams, I felt like I would have a little better of a chance to win the cup in Detroit” - Marion Hossa

Suck it.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pens Schedule, All Star Game and Nothing Else

Pretty bad day for sports all around. All Star break so not much going on the baseball front, but the NHL schedule was just released. The Penguins will open up the final season at the Mellon Arena against the New York Rangers on October 2nd. Here is where you can find the schedule.

Taking a quick glace at the schedule you will notice that the Penguins play a good bit of back to back games (14 to be exact) and that they play a lot of road trips. Six road trips account for 25 of their games. A closer looks sees that the Penguins will play the Red Wings in a home and home series again this year. That should be a good one. It also shows that Anaheim, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Phoenix will all visit the Igloo and it will give us a chance to thank Marion Hossa.

The Penguins also signed Ben Lovejoy and Tim Wallace to the roster today. Solid move. Lovejoy will definatly be needed this year and Wallace has NHL experience that will probably be vital to another Cup run. Way to go Ray.

Well, the All Star game was last night and it was actually a very good game. I was able to find the game on an internet site and watch a pretty good streaming video of the entire game. If you are interested here is the game recap and here is the box score.

Neither of our Buccos got into the game. With the winner of this game getting home field advantage we can assume that nobody wants a Pirate in the game to "mess it up" for the teams that might actually make the final showdown. The National League was pretty solid all game. After falling behind 2-0 they came back strong and put a three spot up in the bottom of the second. That was directly result of the bottom of their lineup. I do not know if you recall but I did proclaim that the bottom of the NL lineup would be the reason they won (they didn't win but I did say they would be a factor).

The one gripe I have about the game this year was in the eighth inning when Ryan Howard was brought on to pinch hit for Padres pitcher Heath Bell. There were runner on first and third (eventually second and third with a stolen base by Orlando Hudson) and two out with the NL down by one. Now if there is only a runner on first I can see Howard coming into the game. Homerun hitter, two outs, need a big gap shot. But with a runner on third and eventually a runner on second also why the hell was he at the plate. He saw zero strikes and yet managed to strike out. I know this might sound homerish, and hell it might even be, but Freddy Sanchez has a ton better chance of putting the ball in play than Ryan Howard. Howard has struck out 103 times in his 331 at bats this season. That works out to 31% of his at bats where he does not even put the ball in play. Freddy has struck out more than half of that and is hitting 50 point higher than Howard. A single scores two, and possibly wins the game. K-Rod comes on and shuts the door. Terrible decision.

Great articles on the ESPN blogs also about Big Ben as he relates to Eli Manning. ESPN AFC North blogger James Walker and ESPN NFC East blogger Matt Mosley. Here is Walker's initial take, and here is Mosley's rebut to Walker. This one is a KO in the second round for Walker. Nice job. Make sure you read that. Really good information about Ben.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All-Star Wednesday

Well tonight is the MLB All-Star Game which is being played in Busch Staduim in St. Louis, Missouri. Should be a pretty good contest.

We will see our very own Freddy Sanchez and Zach Duke get to hopefully participate and contribute to the cause here in the mid-summer classic. If you ask me I think the N.L. will break the streak and bring home the victory this year. I am going to call it a 6-4 win. But then again, what do I really know?

Here are your starters for tonight's game:

I like the look of the N.L. line-up a little bit better than the A.L. line-up and I think if they can get an early lead the National League might be able to take this one. The top four hitters for both teams are just brutal for anyone to look at. I see a little advantage going into the bottom of the order with the National League though. Raul Ibanez is having a great season which cancels out with ex-Bucco Jason Bay but I feel that the combo of David Wright/Shane Victorinio will out play the likes of Josh Hamilton (DL for a lot of the year) and Michael Young (more home runs but less RBI than Victorino). We will see how this turns out. It will probably come down the the benches, who knows maybe onto Freddy Sanchez in the late innings.

Very interesting note here to look at for what America thinks will happen. Look at the Sports Nation Poll that I have brought out from

Most of the states stay pretty true to their teams but states such as California, which has two teams from each league, pulls for the NL while New York, which has one from each, goes for the AL. Overall the American League took about 59% of the vote, as they also took the world vote. It is very interesting to see how a lot of the middle east took the NL while most of the west, and the east coach took the AL. 12 states took the NL and the AL (35 states) had most of the rest with three states having a dead heat. Does America know something? Probably not. Hopefully the NL can pull out of their slump and take the victory tonight.

Oh and by the way, playing for home field advantage is stupid. If you are going to make it mean that then don't force every team to have an all star and don't let the fans vote. If it is for home field then the starters should play the entire game.

Rock And Roll Baby

Well it has been a pretty slow past week or so. My fantasy baseball team has fallen to third place in my league and is 2.5 games back. I have to get back into first. Yes, that is what it has come to.

Surfing the net I found this little gem on the Tribune Review site. Great article. It talks about how music relates to our sports teams. You know a couple of the good ones. Such as when the screen goes black at Heinz Field:

Or when you hear this at Mellon Arena:

Make sure you take a read at the article. Pretty good if you ask me. More stuff to come later tonight.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours

What can be said about the Pirates loss last night to the Phillies? A lot can be said actually. Why is Matt Capps allowed to throw 33 pitches and give up five runs on six hits to blow another save and give the Phillies the win. The Pirates scored seven runs last night. Let me repeat that, SEVEN runs last night. A night in which Phillie stud Cole Hamels took the mound. You can't waste that. Inexcusable. As bad as the Pirate bats have been of late your bullpen can not waste a night when your team has eight extra base hits and has five two-out RBI.

What else is there to talk about. When Matt Capps wasn't throwing balls he was throwing pitches down the middle and saying to the batters "how far can you hit it?" Well Matt Stairs and Ryan Howard answered his question. What a terrible, horrible end to a ball game that should have been a win for the Pirates.

How about not only wasting a great offensive performance but wasting what might be the top play of the week by Jack Wilson. What a shortstop. Making the play in short center field then the no look throw to double off Rollins at first base. Jack Wilson is showing why he is one of the top five shortstops in the league right now. Although he is only hitting .270 he is still the one I want on defense during crunch time.

McCutchen, Jones, Doumit, and Andy LaRoche each picked up multiple hits for the Buccos last night. Jones hit another home run for the Pirates early in the game to give them a 1-0 lead and raised his batting average to .316. He has shown a lot of promise with the Bucs and although he is just a stop gap he is filling in nicely.

For those that want to look and relive this disaster here is the game recap and here is the box score. Puke.

To catch up from the game two nights ago the Pirates dropped another contest to the Phillies by the score of 3-2. Zach Duke went the complete game, and took the loss. You can say all you want but if its not one thing with this team it is another. Zach Duke throws a gem and you can't get any offense and then you get eight extra base hits and seven runs and you can't hold a five run lead in the ninth. I know this team isn't built to win this year, or next year for that matter, but that does not make it any less frustrating.

Speaking of Zach Duke we must say that he is well deserving of the All Star game nomination that he got. Duke was named to the N.L. roster today taking the place of injured pitcher Matt Cain of the Giants. Check out this stat that the PG busts out in the article today:
Duke, selected for the first time, is 8-8 with a 3.29 ERA. The Pirates
scored just seven runs in those eight losses, and Duke has two complete-game
losses, tied for most in Major League Baseball.

I mean that stat says it all...

Pirates are on today at 1:35. Who knows what will happen today.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pens Close To Signing McKee

Per the PG, the Penguins are now close to signing former Blue's defenseman Jay McKee.

McKee is a big, 6'4 203 pound defensemen who was a former first round pick of the Buffalo Sabers back in 1995. Not seeing the Blues much really takes away from going in depth with what I think he brings to the team, but he seems to be a very good signing for the Pens, especially since the Blues have to pick up two-thirds of his $4 million salary this coming season.

The Penguins are looking to sign McKee to a one year deal.

McKee has never scored more than 17 points in his NHL career, but that is ok since he isn't being brought in to score. He is coming in to play a defensive role and block shots.

Pat Morris, McKee's agent had this to say in the PG also: "When the Penguins come calling, it catches your attention," Morris said of the recently crowned Stanley Cup champions. "I think there are things he does well that the Penguins like. He can be a shutdown guy."

When people start saying stuff like that you know the organization is top notch. That is why players want to come to Pittsburgh and why players regret not staying when they leave.

Here is the Penguins preseason schedule:

Friday, Sept. 18, Toronto at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 21, Pittsburgh at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 22, Pittsburgh at Toronto, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 24, Pittsburgh at Columbus, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 25, Columbus at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 27, Pittsburgh at Detroit, 5:00 p.m.

Interesting that the Penguins are playing the Wings. Really? Did this need to be done? I wonder how many fans are going to show up for that one. The Penguins should just pull up every WBS Baby Pen to play in that game and put a note up in the Joe that says "we are too good to play against you." Interesting preseason though.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Trading Freddy Soon?

Sorry for lack of posts. As I am in the middle of switching jobs and not having cable is killing my Pirate updates.

Here is the last game the Pirates played. They lost 5-0 to Houston. Here is the recap. Here is the box.

Wandy Rodriguez went all nine innings for the complete game shut out. Charlie Morton took the loss for the Pirates after giving up five runs and ten hits through four innings of play. Not a big surprise when you throw 84 pitches and only 49 of them goes for strikes. Not a good outting at all after a few solid start. We will have to see how he bounces back next start.

Remember a few days ago when we talked about the streak hitting of the Bucs? Well, I do. And it is true again. The Pirates strung together five hits, and no player had more than one. That will not win you games. Bad hitting again by the Pirates.

On the flip side every Astros starter not on the bump last night got atleast a hit. The Astros 1-4 hitters each had two hits. That is how you win games. When your seven and eight batters are getting on and your top of the lineup guys produce you will win. It also helps when you don't strike out 11 times, like the Pirates did. Bad game to what is turning into a bad stretch.

Well it looks as if Freddy Sanchez might be on the move, sooner than later. The PG is reporting that Freddy could be delt at any time and the two teams that look to have a leg up are the Rockies and Giants, two teams fighting for the wild card spot.

Lets get this out of the way now. It is not a terrible thing to trade Freddy Sanchez. Yes, he is the teams best hitter. Yes, he is the lone All-Star rep for the Pirates. Yes, he is a great double play partner for Jack Wilson. But he is 31, not going to be part of the future, and his stock is as high as it gets.

When you rebuild a franchise you have to blow it up completely and start from brand new. That is what the Pirates are doing now. It hurts to lose good, quality players like this but think about this, is Freddy going to be around and in the same shape in 2011-2012 when all the talent is at the major league level? No, not at his age. It sucks, but it has to be done.

If your roof needs replaced do you just get 75% of it done and leave the bad 25%? I wouldn't think so. So why is this different? What on earth would you keep Freddy then trade him next year at a portion of the value. They are trading him at the high end when he is finally healthy.

Hell I wouldn't even mind if the Pirates picked up some of his contract either. Its not about money, its about winning. I will say this till I am blue in the face if I have to, .500 is not the goal. Winning is. It sucks, but it needs done. Give this new management a chance, they deserve it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Offense Is Not Always The Key, Or Maybe It Is

Well from watching the Pirates over the past couple of weeks it has been increasingly painful to watch them hit. In the past ten games they have gone 3-7 in their last ten games. They are winning some games here and there, but they are winning them by having good innings. There is a huge difference in winning games where you score in four or five innings than winnings games where you score 90% of your runs in one inning. Don't get me wrong, a win is a win, no matter how it comes, but you are not going to be a winning team just with big innings every night.

That is where talent comes in. The Pirates are young, playing without their top hitter, and they just don't have the talent to score in multiple innings. This is a young team that is learning. It will come. But when you are averaging about six and a half hits per game and only about three runs over the past ten games you are not going to win much. Especially when after your big innings you let the opponent score right after. Talk about a momentum killer.

The Bucs are now 3-36 when they are out hit this year. This means that it is so important for the Pirates to string hits together. If they don't, they lose.

Overall a win is a win and you can't knock the Pirates for that. The top of the Bucs lineup really got the job done tonight. Cutch, Jumpin Jack, and Garret Jones all had two hits (which equals six of the Pirates seven hits) while Wilson had three RBI. Those are the only three starters to have hits tonight. Delwyn Young had the pinch hit for the Pirates.

Paul did what he had to do tonight to get the win. Another quality start which gives the Pirates their 47th quality start of the season which ranks 6th in all of the majors. Not bad for a staff that has really been up and down this year. When you can go atleast six innings and only give up three you are going to have a chance to win. Solid stat. Capps came in and got the save. He actually looked really good. Came in, threw strikes and challenged hitters. That is what a closer does.

The Pirates are 38-46, not too great, but not terrible. Hey, at least we are not the Mets. What a disaster.

Here is the recap. Here is the box.

Not Real Good At The Whole Weather Thing

Pen's DVD came out today and needless to say I actually watched it in the office today and let me tell you it was amazing. Well done by the NHL.

If you watch one thing tonight you have to watch this. TK and Tanger are on KDKA doing the weather. This is very very funny and had me doubled over watching it. Stick to hockey boys.
Props to Seth over at Empty Netters for picking this up.
Mad Max had a torn labrum that he needed repaired that he played through some of the season with. What a trooper. Nothing like scoring two goals in game seven of the Cup Finals with only one shoulder. At least he was able to lift the Cup. That is why they are hockey players, they do things like this that most sports can't. If you were not on the inside you probably couldn't even tell he was hurt. What a human.
Mike Hampton owns the Pirates. Simple as that. Game Recap here. Box here.
As I am typing this post tonights game is already in progress. Eh, who cares. It is my blog so I can do what I want.
Robby Diaz had two hits. The Pirates had four total. That will not win you games. I will try and get a game recap in after the end of the night. If not I will try and get something together.

Monday, July 6, 2009

What A Weekend

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

I am tired from the festivities over the weekend so this will be short.

Pensburgh goes over some free agent d-men the Pens could get now.

"He couldn't be stopped. He had it in his head that he was going to dominate, and that's exactly what he did." - Billy Guerin on Geno in the clip from the Stanley Cup DVD that will come out tomorrow. Here is the vid:

If you don't get goosebumps/almost go into tears watching this then you have no soul.

If you don't know about Yinz Luv 'Da Guins then you need to check out their YouTube site here. Just watched their last installment and you have to see it.

What a feeling. I was there. wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

The Pirates lost yesterday. Ross wasn't that good.

Pirates travel to Houstin tonight. They should win atleast two of three there.

That is all I got. Hope everyone takes today as a recovery day.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Steve McNair 1973-2009

I would just like to take a post to say that it is a great loss for Steve McNair to be taken from the world at such a young age. All our prayers are with the McNair family and although you were a part of the Ravens and Titans you were a true football player and person.

Here is some quick notes on Steve McNair's career:

Steve McNair was drafted third overall by the Houston Oilers in 1995 and last played for the Ravens in 2007. Here's a look at the quarterback's 13-year NFL career:
• Honored as three-time Pro Bowler
• Shared league's MVP award with Peyton Manning in 2003
• Led Tennessee to Super Bowl XXXIV, the only such appearance in franchise history, where the Titans lost to the Rams 23-16
• Joined Fran Tarkenton and Steve Young as the only players to pass for 30,000 yards and rush for 3,500 yards


Tim Lincecum Runs Your Life

The Pirates dropped their contest to the Marlins last night by the score of 5-3. Here is the recap. Here is the box score.

As I discussed in yesterdays post this game should have been a day game so more people would watch/listen to it. I was not able to catch the game because of festivities so I can only go from the box score. Zach Duke went six innings yielding four runs, all of which were earned. Looking at the box score the Pirates actually played a pretty good game. Delwyn Young, Andy LaRoche, and Robinzon Diaz all had two hits while the pitching staff held the Marlins to hitting 0-8 with runners in scoring position.

The problem last night was getting behind early in the game. This Pirates team is not going to score a ton of runs every night so it is important to keep the game tied as long as possible and score when you can. The Pirates got behind 3-0 and just didn’t have enough.

Another positive sign was Garrett Jones went deep again for his second home run for the Pirates in the seventh inning. Andy LaRoche also has been solid still as I think we might have finally found the answer at third base until Pedro Alverez figures out how not to strike out almost every at bat.

On a side note, I know this is a Pittsburgh blog but this respect has to be paid. Tim Lincecum is just straight dealing right now and might be the best player in baseball outside of Albert Pujols.

Lincecum continued his scoreless streak to 23 innings last night in a 9-0 victory over Houston last night. Lincecum pitched in his 75th start and this is the 14th time that he has allowed no earned runs. What a beast. What would it take to get him in Pittsburgh? For real. Lincecum is now 9-2 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.23. When you throw 107 pitches and 73 of them are strikes then you have a great chance to win. Letting your defense play is how to win. There is so much more you can say about Lincecum and you might be watching the Cy Young winner right now.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th

First off, Happy 4th of July everyone. It is great to be living in a country such as the USA.

The Bucs won a wierd game last night, 7-4 over Florida. Couple of rain delays in the ballgame. Here is the recap. Here is the box score.

Charlie Morton picks up his first win as a Pirate with a nice performance. Struck out four in a good outing. It was interesting after a 45 minute rain delay he came back into action when normally a team would go to the pen for relief. He did a nice job of getting outs and not getting into too much trouble.

The pitching staff as a whole held the Marlins 1-4 hitters to go a combined 0-14 last night while their sixth hitter, Dan Uggla went 0-4 with three strikeouts.

Not too much brewin today. Zach Duke will pitch for the Bucs at 6:10 against the Marlins. He has probably been the best the Pirates have had all season so hopefully he can get the Pirates another win in Florida.

Speaking of, why the hell are they playing at 6:10? It's the fourth of July. The game should be at 1:10. No questions. A lot of games are at 4:00, which is even better than a night game. Come on.

Be safe everyone.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Tenk Signs With The Penguins

The Penguins made another signing today, Ruslan Fedotenko signed a one year, $1.8 million dollar deal to stay with the Stanley Cup Champions. Fedotenko made $2.5 million last year so this was a slash in his pay cut and will help in signing another d-man and possibly a backup goalie. Nice signing by Shero. Anyone who doesn't think he knows what he is doing needs to actually start watching hockey and paying attention to what is going on.

Tenk was great in the playoffs and has really seemed to gel with Geno so this was kind of a signing that I kinda knew was coming. When Scuds signed with LA it was almost juts a matter of time before we got the news. I was, however, not expecting him to take the pay cut. I guess Pittsburgh is a pretty sweet place afterall.

The Penguins have roughly $3 million left to sign a free agent, most like a defenseman. Not real sure if there is going to be a trade or if the Penguins are going to just pick up someone and keep this statue quo.

So far the Penguins have brought back 18 players from last years Cup winners. Those players are:

Crobsy, Malkin, Staal, Kunitz, Guerin, Fedotenko, Dupuis, Cooke, Talbot, Godard, Kennedy, Adams, Gonchar, Orpik, Eaton, Goligoski, LeTang, and Fluery.

The newbies are Mike Rupp and a soon to be named sixth defenseman.

What is the phrase that some people like to use? Oh yea, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

In Shero We Trust.

Also it must be noted that you should be on Twitter. Most of the hockey world is Twittering right now about all the news and it is actually a great place to get info.

Have a great 4th everyone. Be safe.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


The Pirates and Mets took the field for their one game series from a rain delay from previous season. Starting pitching was the problem today, not just for the Pirates, but also for the Mets as the Bucs lost 9-8 in 10. The recap is here. The box score is here.

Mets starter Tim Redding went 2.1 innings giving up five runs on six hits while Bucs starter Paul Maholm went 4.1 giving up 11 hits and six runs. Not quite star numbers. Francisco Rodriguez blew his third save of the season when he gave up a two run homer to Adam LaRoche up two in the ninth. His Mets teammates picked him up and got a run in the tenth to get the victory.

As I said before it is hard to analyze a game without actually being able to watch it but Adam LaRoche went 2-5 with his bomb in the ninth finally getting that “clutch hit” that Pirates bandwagon fans always bitch about. Call-up Garrett Jones had a great day going 3-5 and falling a single away from the cycle. He was one of the pieces the Pirates got from the Yankees for Eric Hinske yesterday. He went 0-4 against the Cubs yesterday and had a monster day today. Should be interesting to see how he pans out. He is a 28 year old rookie that is 6-4 245. Big dude. Little old, but we’ll see if he can have some production. Diaz also had three hits for the Bucs. Every starter for the Mets had atleast a hit with four of them having two or more hits.

I feel that I have to do a little more on the Nyger Morgan trade. It is a good trade. People have to take personalities away from the equation. If I just told you we traded a 29 year old outfielder that is hitting .275 with 18 stolen bases and has been caught 10 times and an OPS of .707 you would say good. Nyger is a great dude, but having a good smile does not win baseball games. Get that through your heads. Laughing and telling good jokes does not raise your batting average. It’s the truth. Come on people, have an idea and an open mind about why the Pirates did this trade.

Well there has been a lot going on in the NHL free agency front and not a lot going on for the Penguins. Here is the TSN free agent tracker. Great job by TSN to put this all together. Most recent and most notable is the signing of Rob Scuderi to LA for four years and $13.6 mil per. It was noted by Rob Rossi earlier in the day that the Penguins could only go a little above $2 mil for a five year deal for Scuds but he decided to go elsewhere. I love Scuds and respect his decision. Good Luck Scuds.

Our homie Marion Hossa signed a 12 year - $62.8 million deal. What a joke. The contract is very front loaded which I believe has something like $58 mil of that going to Hossa in the first eight years. Good for him. Although he didn’t let this tidbit go by: “I’m sure if there was no salary cap I’m sure I would still be in Detroit.” Marion forgot to add to the end of that that he didn’t want to be in Chicago. No kidding Marion and if there were no cap then AO would be making $89 mil per year and still not winning a cup.

Hal Gil went to Montreal. Pens didn’t want to give him a second year. No problem with that.

Marion Gaborik signed a five year deal with the Rangers for $7.5 mil a year. Really? $7.5? Sid and Geno make $8.7 annually, you think Gaborik is worth that much? Well it is New York. Screw ‘em.

The Pens signed Mike Rupp to a two year deal. Gritty left winger that does not score much and can mix it up a little bit. There have been rumors of the Pens moving Dupuis/Godard and the signing of Rupp might put some truth to that. That would open up cap room to sign Tenk and possibily a few d-men and a back up goalie.

In Ray We Trust.

Oh yea, you can follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Christmas In July

It is officially Christmas in July at noon today. wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

NHL Free Agency starts.

Hossa tells Detroit no on a 10 year deal worth about $4 mil a year. Sucks. Good thing you won the cup though. Wait a minute...

Gomez got traded with his outragious contract to the Habs.

Probably a slow free agency period for the Pens but they have to lock someone up right?

Hossa, Havlet, Gabornik...where do they go?