Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Steroids are Kid's Stuff

Deadspin gets to the Pirates in their Four Tiny Tidbits MLB preview series. Although I didn't learn something about the Bucs that I didn't already know like they promised, it's worth checking out just to see the classic Steve Blass and Bob Robertson picture from Game 7 of the 1971 World Series. This image as a poster is worthy of the drinking room wall. I'd rather look at that than, say, this (no offense, Zach, but don't quit your day job). Anyway, I wonder about Deadspin's closing sentence - coincidence, a subtle HW shout-out, or are they biting our style?

Keisel and Clark

Ed Bouchette reports on some of the recent roster moves made by the Steelers. I find it interesting that Clark will step into the defense and right away be calling the signals. In other Bouchette-delivered news, Hartings traded some now for some later. And the Steelers re-signed Tuman.

Pirates and Twins

Victor Santos will bring his curvy junk this afternoon. says gameday audio; not sure if it will also be on ye olde-fashioned radio.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fun with the lineup toy

Stats Geek talks lineup.

If I had a free moment, I'd enter Bay, Redman, Lawton, Ward, Castillo, Wilson, Wigginton, and Santiago -- and see if the toy does not suggest Tike Redman for the third spot.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Yankees and Pirates

Another baseball game! It will take a few weeks before it's not strange to have a game on almost every day.

Just turned on the webcast ... the split-squad Pirates team leads the Yankess 9-1. The rest of the team plays the Tigers.

Extra! extra!

If you are a newsboy you have googled "knight-ridder mcclatchy" by now. What does it mean for the Pirates? They may not win any more games for it, I joke, but perhaps they'll get better national coverage?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

We down with OBP

Rob Rossi writes about OBP, with quotes from Dick Tracy and Mickey Manto.

Man up

Chris Duffy to Curt Schilling.

Roller coasters and resin-bag tricks

Zach Duke.

This Zach Duke journal is really good. First there is this:

There are some strange things that pop into your head when you are on the mound. For no reason, really -- that's the weird part. You name it, I've thought of it: Fishing, roller coasters -- I've thought about all kinds of stuff. I've though about Six Flags in Arlington, Texas. The Judge Roy Scream coaster -- I was, like, 'Why am I thinking about this?' It's just something that pops into my head for no reason. You have to remind yourself to get back to the task at hand.

Then, there is this:

One thing to do on the mound is to play with the resin bag... and it takes years of practice to get it right. The trick with the bounce is having a lifetime of practice. There's definitely an art form to it, tough. Some people can do some strange things with the resin bag; I can't. I'm pretty simple. I'm just trying to get the sweat of my hand.

What I mean is: I'm not really worried about impressing people with my resin bag skills. Even if I had them, which I don't, it's not in my nature to show off.

Some guys, though, they can do so many things, they're sick. Not me. Again, it's all about keeping my hand dry. I'd rub it in the dirt if I had to. In fact, I have. The resin bag just looks cooler, but dirt works pretty well.

Now that he has brought it to my attention, I will definitely be watching when he starts. For resin bag tricks.

He can take his time with the resin bag tricks. It may take years. I can wait.

Devil Rays 7, Pirates 0

After four and a half, the Pirates are getting thumped by Tampa Bay. Jason Bay started. So did Zach Duke. He continues to have trouble with his location. Bob Walk wondered aloud, at one point, if he wasn't having especial trouble with his breaking stuff.

The D'Rays have a real good-looking third baseman starting today, Tyler Something, Willingham, I think, that would fit right into Bones's plans if we could somehow acquire him . . .

Mike Gonzalez

When team officials discuss the best material on the Pirates' staff these days, it is Gonzalez they cite, not Oliver Perez. He has a three-pitch repertoire that leans hard on a 96-mph fastball, and his delivery is deceptive enough to help him conceal it.

That from Dejan Kovacevic's mini-epic on all things Gonzo.

All hail Mike Gonzalez!

Barry Bonds

Ron Cook has this essay.

I read the Sports Illustrated article tonight, and I have a number of now-disconnected comments to make about it. One thing I will say: this is, from the perspective of both SI and the authors, mainly about selling books. They aren't out to get Bonds, and they aren't out to save or reclaim the "purity" of baseball, whatever the dustjacket trumpets. They want to sell lots and lots of copies of this book, just as SI mainly wants to sell lots and lots of copies of this article.

The authors have told the tale as best they can with that in mind. Sports Illustrated has layed it out as best they can with that in mind. They push all the buttons as they go.

Duffy HBP

Dejan Kovacevic describes the shot to the head Chris Duffy took Saturday. The fact that explains Schilling's comment is, according the WEEI broadcasters, Duffy did not flinch or move as the pitch came in. They wondered if he even saw the pitch coming, and they speculated about glare.

Is Duffy one of those players that will take his HBP? It's not the brightest way to fluff your OBP. That said, Schilling lost focus and pitched tired the rest of the inning, and the Duffy's pinch-runner came around to score the first run in a big inning.