Thursday, May 13, 2004
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Drove home last night and caught some of the game (the 5-3, 6-5, 8-6 part) as we pulled into the area. Lanny of KDKA was going on about Craig Wilson not getting the big hit with runners in scoring position. During the losing streak Mac went on a couple times about we didn't get the big hit when we needed it, etc. etc. It's friggin' demoralizing to play every game like the Bucs can't win if they don't bat .800 with RISP. Wilson had two strikes and it was looking dark and darkest before dawn dark again etc. etc. etc. Bucs will never win another game etc. etc. etc. That kind of dark. And Wilson crushed the next pitch for a three-run homer.
When reporters asked Coach Cowher about the Steelers' struggles in the red zone, he said that he thought those problems would straighten themselves out so long as the Steelers kept getting into the red zone.
The Bucs should take the same attitude. The runs will take care of themselves if the Pirates worry more about getting into scoring position and less about getting an RBI every time they bat with a RISP.
No more posts from me until Monday next week as I'm back out the door. Scoop's gonna put Honestwags on his back and carry us Craig Wilson-style.
Chris Kahrl's right about Bobby Hill.
Put Hill in the same category as Hee Choi: he was an uberprospect before Dusty Baker got a hold of him. He's also thriving under Mac's play-for-play platoon system. He's made the most of limited time, so he's earned all the PT the Bucs can find for him.
Paul Meyer notes today that J.J. Davis would have to stay on a big-league roster if claimed off waivers. That makes it less certain he'll be claimed if he's waived. If he can't make a push for more playing time in Pittsburgh, where half the starting spots are pretty wide open, where else could he go? Still, that won't stop a team that needs help yesterday from making the claim and giving him a chance. Odds are he would get claimed, and odds are he'd get waived again, and odds are he'd bounce around and not do much of anything for anyone.
Hearing Ward at 1B last night as I swung home surprised me a bit; I imagined Mateo would be up to replace Mondesi. On second thought, it makes a lot of sense. It tells us that the Bucs would like to find more PT for Craig Wilson in the OF. Rivera had a chance for a 1B job. Now Ward gets it. Odds are he won't set the world on fire and he can be returned to Nashville when Simon's ready.
So who needs Mondy? With Simon coming off the DL, the OF logjam, and Mateo poised in AAA, there are other options. What hurts is the vanishing option of trade booty for basketcase.
I've been thinking a lot about ways the Bucs can manufacture a few wins here and there. This idea is admittedly out-of-the-box, but why don't MLB teams hire goons like in the NHL? Picture this: Bucs sign Ty-Domi-type-expendable-thug (I keep picturing Jason Gildon). In first inning of crucial NL Central match-up, leadoff hitter Gildon leans into a Rocket heater then rushes the mound. (Or Rocket angrily and unexplainedly scoops up piece of Gildon's broken bat and murderously chucks it at Gildon) Gildon rolls on the Rocket's ankle, then in the ensuing melee manages to strain Bags' back and spike Biggio. Before the MLB fines+suspension land, in the next series Gildon rolls on Kerry's ankle. The Pirates apologize, fire Gildon, pay fines, and rake in increased ticket sales and win an extra 6 games down the stretch, taking the NL Central by half a game.
Monday, May 10, 2004
`I won't play another game this season. I can't concentrate well enough to play baseball. I don't want to become a distraction for the team. This is the best for the Pirates, for myself and my family...I've played 20 straight years of baseball all year round. I deserve a rest even if it's only a few months. Today I took my children to school for the first time in my life. It was an amazing feeling.'
Have fun with the family, Mondy. Good luck supporting them in a few years when you're out of work and begging Carlos Rivera for that watch you bought him.
Meanwhile, back on Earth: Wells vs. Elarton tomorrow - favorable matchup to stop the bleeding.
Sunday, May 09, 2004
Anyway Mondy said he has a lot of experience with being disrespected and that his counsel was needed too badly to be in pittsburgh with his teammates. He would not divulge the name of his ephebe, nor how he came by his michigan state trucker's cap.
RV rebounded nicely from the first inning Green jack: 'I threw the pitch I wanted to against Green,' Vogelsong said . 'I wanted to go inside on him and he still got to it. It's one of those things where you just tip your hat to him...I felt I learned a lot about myself tonight on the mound. I think I grew up a lot tonight. The rest of the night I was just trying to locate my pitches, trying to keep the ball down.' After the jack, RV two-hit the Dodgers for 6 innings and left with the game tied. Nice work RV.
In other good news: Mac finally acknowledged that Craig has earned the right to play everday. And the 20 inning scoreless streak at PNC is over, thanks to Tike's first jack of the year.
Of the loss Mac said:'This hurts. Certainly we had some opportunities to push that go-ahead run across and couldn't get it done.' I don't know if I'd call Nunez and Tike vs. the Beast (73 for last 73) 'opportunities' but the pain is real: The Dodgers have pistol-whipped us at PNC, taking 12 of 14.
Fogg vs. Odalis Perez today, could be a tater-fest.