Saturday, July 01, 2006

Game 82: Tigers at Pirates

Bonderman vs. Gorzelanny, 7:05 PM EST. Tough assignment for Gorzelanny, facing phenom Bonderman, MLB's best team, and Leyland and his ex-Buc coaching juggernaut of Van Slyke, Lamont, and McClendon. Gorzelanny has been given Ollie's stall for at least the next couple weeks. Brushing all of yesterday's vomit aside, I'm excited to see Gorzelanny's 2006 debut.

Game 81: Tigers at Pirates

Missed it, and am damn glad of that. I've been out of town the last few days, but heard about the Big Win last night. So getting back into town and checking the internet, I foolishly raised my expectations, thinking "maybe the embarrassment is over ... how bad could today's game have been?" Quickly I was red-faced with shame again, reading the game summary:

Worse still for the Pirates: Chris Shelton homered against the club that gave him away in the Rule 5 draft three years ago ... The Pirates inexplicably left Shelton unprotected in a draft in which they drew laughter from baseball executives at the 2003 winter meetings by having five of the first six players drafted.
and then came the boxscore with both of Tracy's stepsons, Mike Edwards (!) and Jose Hernandez starting. WTF? Back spasms and elbow bruise, or advanced stage infection? Or performance art?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I know we don't do the Penguins, but...

Former Pitt and Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino confirmed that he has joined New York businessman Andy Murstein's quest to keep the Penguins in town. In addition, Dallas Mavericks owner and Pittsburgh native Mark Cuban joined in with the group as well. Cuban stated, "I'm just a minority investor and then we'll go from there. It's not an active role, it's not the Mavericks".

Holmes already leads NFL in snags - yeah!

Well, already the Steelers are getting off to a great season. Big Ben crashes his top of the line crotch rocket and newcomer Santonio Holmes just tacked on another charge to his rap sheet. Holmes, the Steelers first-round draft pick was arrested twice in a span of 25 days. In his latest incident Holmes is facing charges of domestic violence and assault against the mother of one of his three children.

Ken Herock operates a counseling service for college players about how to conduct themselves in interviews for the NFL draft. After his experience working with Holmes, Herock stated "Add it up -- no money, poor family background, three kids already -- something's going to happen."

Bucs Win!

Finally. The worst stretch of Pirates baseball of our lives has mercifully ended. Posting might be light the next couple days as I attempt to clean up all of this vomit.

Game 80: White Sox at Pirates

Contreras vs. Duke, 12:35 PM EST. Still on the schneid. Only 10 more losses needed to catch the 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenies record of 23 consecutive losses.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Game 79: White Sox at Pirates

Freddy Garcia vs. Paul Maholm, 7:05 PM EST. Only 11 more losses needed to catch the 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenies record of 23 consecutive losses.

Ollie

Moved to the pen? Maybe this is temporary and a sign that one or more of our now 4 LHP relievers will be dealt. But if not, why not send Ollie to AAA to work on consistent mechanics? Speaking of which, Smizik delivers the following nonsensical Tracy quote:

"Are there times when his mechanics are way off? Yes, they are. But when he pitches well that's not the case. You can't say it's entirely mechanics. If it's entirely mechanics, he couldn't give some of the performances we've seen."
Couldn't his mechanics be entirely off on his bad days, but not on his good days? Has Ollie had bad starts when mechanically sound? Or good starts when mechanically erratic?

Shakeup

Ollie to bullpen. RV designated for assignment. Best of luck, Ryan. Jonah Bayliss brought up from Indy. Welcome aboard, Jonah. Grab a mop. Gorzelanny likely to start on Saturday. The RV and Gorzelanny moves are long overdue. I was expecting to see Strickland before Jonah. Maybe we can sell Strickland for some ca$h to finance a nice relaxing Nutting ski trip?

Dave Littlefield, Worst G.M.

Congratulations, DL! You've finally won something! (Dodger Math's Worst G.M. competition). Feel free to resign now.

Finder on mutiny

Chuck Finder spreads the love for angry Pirates fans and bloggers. "In fact, there are almost as many such raging Pirates portals (24 unofficially) as Pirates victories this season (26) ... Perhaps, as the Irate Fans ringleaders stated in their humble beginning, the mutiny begins online." Nyarrgh!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Game 78: White Sox at Pirates

Buehrle vs. Snell, 7:05 PM EST. First game of ten against the 3 best teams in baseball. One more loss would lower the Bucs into a tie with the Royals for a MLB-worst .333 winning percentage. If Lloyd was still here, he would have went berserk a long time ago (link is to Rubber Arm's post and video of minor league manager's tantrum, which is well worth watching if you haven't seen). DK notes that "If the Pirates lose tonight, they will match the franchise's modern-day record of 12 losses in a row, set in 1939."

Infected with Tracyball

New Cubs/Dodgers/Hurricanes blog Thunder Matt's Saloon features a piece from rogue Dodgers correspondent on why Jim Tracy is a loser. Turns out we're all infected with the Tracyball virus. "Unfortunately there is no cure, but the good news is that Tracyball is not terminal. Your team will survive. Eventually, like your body vomiting, your team will decide to expel Tracy and his staff."

Deadspin on Ben

Deadspin has gotten around to making fun of Big Ben, joking that "he showed up to the office covered in a green mask, Michael Jackson’s child/Elephant Man style." Weird analogy, but commenter RRP (who I assure you is not our beloved Rowdy) runs with it, quipping "I can't wait to see Big Ben dangle the rather diminuitive Santonio Holmes over his hotel balcony, much to the shock of the public below."

Monday, June 26, 2006

McClatchy and DL, Expert Losers

Meanwhile, the "extremely disappointed" McClatchy drags DL, Tracy, and the players under the bus with him: "There's accountability that will go everywhere, and I will be at the top of that list. But I think that accountability goes through to not just the general manager or manager but also the players."

DL, as usual, sticks to his usual vague meaningless bullshit: "We're always looking at situations," he said. "Certainly, where there are subpar performances, that's something we're going to look at." Certainly we're going to look at subpar performance situations? Uh, yeah. We will. Thanks to you, dipshit.

Bob Nutting, Greedy Loser

The shitstorm generated from the record-setting losing heads towards Bob Nutting:

Smizik tries to ask Bob Nutting two questions: (1) "What is the status of Kevin McClatchy, whose contract as CEO of the team is believed to expire at the end of the season?" and (2) "Is there any truth to the reports ownership is taking excessive profits out of the team at the expense of the product on the field?" but Bob eventually returns a vague meaningless bullshit email saying "Kevin's contract is a non-issue." We all know the answer to Smizik's second question.

Perrotto politely calls Bob Nutting out on his moral obligation to be more available to answer questions about how the Bucs do business.

Cranmer speaks

In today's PG perspective ex-Allegheny County commissioner and "Plan B" planner Bob Cranmer expresses his outrage and embarassment that "the majority owner appears to be more focused on sliding down a snow-covered mountain rather than a Pittsburgh Pirate sliding into home plate." Like everyone else, he wants to know "what's the additional profit actually being used for?"

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Game 77: Pirates at Dodgers

Wells vs. Penny, starting now. Showcase full of rotting garbage today. DK notes: "If Kip Wells and the Pirates lose the series finale this afternoon, the 11-game streak would be the first since 1955."

Bend over, Pirates fans, it's time for another "game".

Sunday notebook

DK delivers DL quotes in his Sunday notebook.

"Obviously, I was disappointed with our play in Kansas City, as everybody was. But, before that, we had a nice trip where we were 4-3 and played some very good games against St. Louis and Minnesota. There's no doubt that you can't accept losing, whether they're close ones or not. But we were in very good games. And to go from that period to having three poorly played games in K.C. ... that's what happens."
You can't accept losing, but that's what happens. Way to make sense, Dave.

Later DL declines to throw Ollie under the bus:

"I would say it's important to keep in mind that he's 24 years old and that he's very talented," Littlefield said. "We're obviously aware of his inconsistencies the past couple years, and those are things we have to keep working to address. We've got to use our skills as teachers and coaches to figure out what we can do to help him."
The teachers and coaches DL has hired have managed to get a NL-worst WHIP of 1.57 out of a above average pitching staff that shouldn't suck this bad. Dave should reserve talking about "using skills" in the first person to discussions about issuing meaningless, contradictory, glib doublespeak or being the Worst G.M. in baseball.

Pittsburgh's Hustler

Wilbur has written an excellent piece for Irate Fans about Kevin McClatchy being a cheat and a fraud. I've long wanted more investigation into the ownership's finances. I hope this issue gets dragged out during the All-Star game media hype in Pittsburgh, ultimately leading to criminal charges, civil charges (punitive damages that they're giving me?), a Senate investigation, and MLB wresting control of the Bucs from the McNuttings to restore competitive balance. (Link via Billy and Charlie.)