Saturday, June 25, 2005

Game 73: Pirates at Cardinals

Closing in on the half-season mark of 81 games, the Bucs start Mark Redman against Chris Carpenter.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Game 71: Pirates at Cardinals

The first of four in St. Louis. The last time they played the Cardinals, they went in playing well, played OK, and got swept. Now they go in playing somewhat crappy. Eight o'clock, Dave Williams and Matt Morris.

Many stories today about McClendon arguing or not arguing with umpires. I wonder if he's starting to crack or if there's just nothing better to report.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Game 70: Nats at Pirates

Day game. Noon-thirty I think. The Nationals will send someone out there, maybe Patterson, maybe not. Josh Fogg will start for the Pirates. He's due for a good start.

Them lazy umps

From the Post-Gazette's Q & A by Dejan Kovacevic:

Be very certain that the Pirates were shown no respect whatsoever by the crews at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park last week.

Longtime readers know I am not one to write much about officiating. When I do, it is usually to dismiss such complaints. But what happened in New York and Boston, especially in New York, stuck out to the point that it raised some obvious questions. It would take a conspiratorial mind-set rivaling Oliver Stone's to imagine that umpires are favoring either New York or Boston, but I think there is abundant evidence that teams that are seen as being in contention get calls over those who are not.

These umpires, specifically, were so very clearly operating with a mindset that was influenced either by the large and vocal crowds in those stadiums or the reputations of the participating teams. There almost is no other way to explain missing the call at first on Wednesday or the possibly worse call at second on Friday.

Either is a poor excuse.

Even then, all of that was topped by the remarkably unprofessional behavior of umpire Tony Randazzo in New York. After blowing the call, he stood by first base and stared into the Pirates' dugout, then motioned with his hand for McClendon to shoo away. Then, the next night, after he allegedly was distraught by his error, he followed an unrelated argument with McClendon (this one had to with the Randy Johnson thing . . .) by turning toward the Pirates' dugout and making a safe call.

That is beyond belief.

And people wonder why we get so upset when the off-season publications lazily repeat the story that the Pirates are losers doomed to be losing forever. If you think it doesn't have an effect on the playing field, look no further.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Game 69: Nats at Pirates

Seven o'clock. Ryan Drese, formerly of Cleveland fame, and Oliver Perez.

Yet another must-win game for our Bucs.

Bad luck

Is the theme of this week's Stats Geek.

More bravery should solve the problem.

Buyers and sellers

Guess what -- the Astros will be buyers this July.

I think the GMs are gaming the whole buying / selling talk. Everyone trading will posture as a "buyer." That's good PR I suppose. When I say I think the Bucs should buy, I mean I think they should deal prospects for what they want. That they should relieve some team of its best hitter and send enough shiny kids to please that team's local media. A roster only has so much room for young players slumping in and out of strict platoon situations.

FWIW, the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are high on Kip Wells. Kip may be the exception to what I just said. He'll fetch more in trade than Zach Duke or Ian Snell, I'm pretty sure, and I'd just as soon see what one of those guys can do.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Game 68: Nats at Pirates

Home sweet home. Seven o'clock, Andre the Giant vs. Mark Redman.

True grit

From Dejan Kovacevic's notebook:

From Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy: "The Pirates seem to get no help from the umpires -- like rookie Greg Kite trying to draw a charge from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- but they've played with pride and grit."

Jack Wilson, from John Perrotto's recap:

"Everyone will look at us going 1-5 on this road trip and say we were overmatched, but that's not accurate" said shortstop Jack Wilson, who had two of the Pirates' four hits.

"We should have won the middle game in New York. We were right in each of the first two games here. We showed we can play with these teams but it's disappointing we didn't win a few more games."

In other news, more Doumit please.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Apple don't fall far from the tree

The New York Daily News looks at the twenty-five big leaguers who are sons of big-leaguers.

I'd like to take this moment to thank my father, who taught me blogging back in the 1970s. Without him I'd never be where I'm at today. Happy Father's Day. All hail the fathers.

Arroyo: Bucs clubhouse too strict

John Perrotto reports. I didn't realize Bronson was related to Kordell.

Game 67: Pirates at Red Sox

Two o'clock, Wells and Clement.

Happy Father's Day, too.

Castillo, Ward

Lots of tidbits in the Sunday notebook from Dejan Kovacevic.

Fans on tour

All hail all you guys who went to New York and Boston. Gene Collier has a report.