Saturday, June 17, 2006

Game 69: Twins at Pirates

Curious ring to the title of this post. I can't uh put my finger on it.

Boof and Maholm at seven. Bucs are 26-42, sixteen games under .500. For perspective, look at what's written about another team that just went seven games under .500.

Non-stop Ray Charles iPod marathon at the Rowdy estate this afternoon.

Mike Holmgren

This guy still has a job?

Undeveloped brains

The PG tries to explain it away with clinical psychology, but they are too kind to those people who post to the Bengals' internet forums.

How many papers, around the country, so participate in the trash-talking among fans?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Game 68: Twins at Pirates

Francisco Liriano vs. Ian Snell at 7:05 PM EST. Liriano, a 22 year old LHP, has been damn good so far this year. In 51.1 IP, he's given up 42 hits and has 16 BBs to 56 Ks for a 1.13 WHIP. Like the Pirates, the Twins like to lose on the road (21-10 at home, 10-24 on the road). Damaso Marte has a history of bad blood with the Twins, immortalized with Batgirl's classic Lego reenactment.

In game 1 of the Aramis-Shelton showdown, the Cubs lost to the Tigers 5-3. This means a win tonight would bring the Bucs into a tie with the Cubs for fifth place.


If you need something Pirates-related to read today and haven't read it already, Pat at WHYGAVS has written a nice novella about Kip Wells and how his 04-05 stinkage was likely clot-related. When Kip comes back, I'd plug him right back into the rotation, and send Santos into the pen to help RV with mop duties. With Gorzelanny on fire, it'd be nice to trade a starter or two (and Burnitz, Randa, Casey, both Hernandezes, and Torres) for a young 1B soon. Azibuck reports on Gorzelanny's latest domination and Josh Sharpless' Barbie suitcase at Bucs Dugout.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ben Speaks

Sounds like Big Ben's brain is working better than before:

"In the past few days, I have gained a new perspective on life ... I am sorry for any anxiety and concern my actions have caused others, specifically my family, the Steelers organization, my teammates and our fans.

I recognize that I have a responsibility to safeguard my health in the off-season so I can continue to lead our team effectively. I never meant any harm to others nor to break any laws. I was confident in my ability to ride a motorcycle and simply believed such an accident would not happen to me. If I ever ride again, it certainly will be with a helmet.

I want to assure everyone I am committed to a complete and timely recovery. I look forward to being at training camp in Latrobe and to winning football games this season."

Get well, Ben. We'll be pulling for you, even if you now look like this guy.

Game 67: Cardinals at Pirates

Mulder vs. Santos. Bucs leading 2-1 after one. Randa hitting 5th, Craig 6th. No Freddy. Bautista led off the first with a jack. CW drove Jack in with an RBI single. In the first, Mulder and Santos threw 29 and 28 pitches, respectively. Looks to be a wild one. Bucs are just one game back.


The Pirates are fourteen games under .500 at 26-40. They have about no momentum in the standings, either, winning five of the last ten. The Cubs and Marlins are only one game ahead of them in the wild-card standings. (In the NL wild-card standings, the Pirates are in last place.) Cincinnati, led by Bronson Arroyo and Adam Dunn, has the wild-card lead with a 37-29 record.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Game 66: Cardinals at Pirates

Ponson vs. Duke, in progress. Bucs trail 5-3 after three. Duke is getting hit hard and has given up 8 hits so far. Craig batting fifth. Randa and Burnitz on the bench where they belong.

the Q & A

Link here. Any comments?

I have been thinking about the CBA and the possibility of a work stoppage. Anyone have any informed predictions to make? Will the veteran players once again sell the rookies down the river?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Game 65: Cardinals at Pirates

First the Padres without Jake Peavy. Then the Giants without Barry Bonds. Now the Pirates play the Cardinals without Albert Pujols. They're on a roll. Chris Carpenter, Oliver Perez, and nice weather for baseball at seven.

Perrotto: Sign Casey

John Perrotto argues the team should sign Casey.

I agree. Handled properly, he's a 900 OPS guy. I wrote a dissertation on this subject over the winter.

It's true he could fall off the cliff, but any player could. Old players suddenly lose all their skills more frequently than young players, but this also happens to *cough cough Oliver Perez* young players. Some fear that a player will turn into a pumpkin cannot overwhelm more rational projections of future performance.

So long as the Pirates are prepared to give Sean Casey lots of time off, they will get good production from him at the plate.

Jeromy the Tiger?

Tom Gage of the Detroit News reports that Newsday reports that the Tigers might be willing to accept Jeromy Burnitz:

Newsday reported that the Tigers might take a run at acquiring outfielder Jeromy Burnitz from the Pirates, citing two reasons: because the Tigers are looking for a left-handed hitter with power and because Burnitz "usually gets traded this time of year."

Please please please let it happen.

The team has sunk so low. After the predictable better play, they remain several weeks of non-stop winning below .500. Now is the time to trade everyone.

I would not only trade the vets. I would also trade some of the young guys. Littlefield should do whatever he can to secure better players. We do not need to dump salary; we need to acquire talent.

Ben's facial surgery successful

The PG reports good news for Ben from the Mercy facial surgeons:

Speaking for the medical team Dr. Daniel Pituch, chief of Mercy's division of oral and maxillofacial surgery, said that Roethlisberger's brain, spine, chest and abdomen appeared to be without serious injury and, at this time, there were no other confirmed injuries from the accident. The procedure took about seven hours and all the facial fractures were successfully repaired, he said.
and neurosurgeon Dr. Jack Wilberger, chairman of neurosurgery at Allegheny General Hospital:
The best-case scenario is for Mr. Roethlisberger to leave the hospital in several days, continue his recovery at home, and be able to play football this fall, Dr. Wilberger said.

But the progress he makes in the first 24 hours will determine if other injuries, initially undetected, could cause more significant health problems for the Steelers quarterback, he said.

Ben's not out of the woods yet, but these initial reports are quite favorable.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Big Ben in motorcycle accident

Uh oh. No details yet on the severity, but Roethlisberger was injured in a motorcycle accident.

An eyewitness said she saw a motorcycle headed outbound on Second Avenue as a car was coming inbound. The car, a Chrysler New Yorker, made a left turn toward the bridge in front of the cyclist. The motorcycle hit the car and the operator flew into the windshield and then hit the ground.

The witness said she went to the aid of the motorcyclist and asked his name. He said it was "Ben" and tried to get up, but she told him to stay still.

The victim was bleeding heavily from a head injury, and blood pooled on the pavement.

No word yet on whether he was wearing a helmet, but Ben usually chooses not to.

UPDATE (5:30 PM EST): No helmet. Broken jaw, broken nose, chipped tooth, 9 inch head laceration. Hopefully no brain damage. Jerry Micco at the PG answered questions including: "Is there any truth to the rumors that Ben seriously injured both knees?" Micco: "Nothing I've heard all day from folks says knees were involved."

Rowdy: Ed Bouchette says Ben's 2006 season may not be in jeopardy.

Vote for Bay

On Friday, the suddenly non-genteel Rowdy crapped all over my Vote Bay post with this shockingly brutal polemic:

"No Pirate deserves to go to the All-Star game... Whether or not Jason Bay is an All-Star is a bunch of horseshit. It's a worthless consolation prize, and it's disgraceful how the club must find such ways to market itself in the absence of winning."
As usual, I don't think Rowdy was necessarily serious. And I wholeheartedly agree with his main point, that the front office is disgraceful. Especially after reading about the Pirates' pro-Bay PR blitz. I don't give a rat's ass about the All-Star game. I won't be there, won't watch it, and haven't watched one since Dave Parker threw out Jim Rice at third and Brian Downing at home. Since every team is required to have at least one All-Star, it's a given that Bay will be there. Bay has less than half the votes of likely starters Andruw, Beltran, and Junior, so it's also almost a given that he won't start. All that being said, I'm still pro-Bay and still pro-Vote-for-Bay. Bay's 1.065 OPS is 2nd in the NL to Pujols. Being pro-Bay should not equate with being pro-DL or pro-McNuttings. Bay deserves respect as the best OF in the NL and more All-Star votes. If not that, Bay at least deserves the undying support and man-love of Pirates fans everywhere. To vote for Bay (25 times) look in the upper right here.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Game 64: Pirates at Giants

Paul Maholm faces off against Jason Schmidt starting now. Jack is 1 for 13 lifetime vs. Schmidt, which is why I'd guess he's taking the day off. The Rake is playing short and Bautista third. Burnitz gets the start despite his .626 career OPS vs. Schmidt.

Perotto has three rumors: Atlanta and ChiSox want Torres, Lincoln will sign soon, and "...St. Louis seems like a more likely destination for Wilson if the Pirates would take rookie reliever Adam Wainwright in a deal instead of rookie starter Anthony Reyes."

Rowdy reads the standings, and he adds these comments: The Pirates are 24-39, fifteen games under .500 and twelve and a half games out from the wild card. They are tied with the Marlins for last place in those standings. They've won five of their last ten, but only 38.1% of all games. The road record has "improved" to 7-25 with recent wins.