Saturday, September 23, 2006

Game 155: Pirates at Padres

Duke vs. Peavy at 10 EDT.

Dump Truck to play

Najeh will help Parker carry the load on Sunday, Gerry Dulac reports. Santonio's foot is feeling better, so we likely won't see Willie Reid just yet.

Happy stuff

Dejan deals with "happy stuff" and more in today's Q+A. I've been nervous about the recent talk about Luis Gonzalez, who I think would be a disaster of Burnitzian proportions. So I briefly got excited over this part:

"I have gotten no indication that the Pirates' plans have changed in the slightest from their stated intent to pursue a left-handed power bat who is young and under their control for several years (ambitious as it sounds) and a right-handed starter."
Then I remembered that DL is a bold-faced liar and to date has never enacted any kind of "plan".


BBTF presents a fascinating analysis of Ollie's mechanics (link via WHYGAVS). It seems unlikely, but what if the 2007 NL All-Star team included Schmidt, Chris Young, Arroyo, and Ollie?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Game 154: Pirates at Padres

Gorzelanny vs. Chris Young at 10 EDT. The Padres lead the West by a half game. Trevor Hoffman is one save away from Lee Smith's career record. So far in Philly tonight, Cabrera is 2-for-2 and up to .342.

The Rake

Unlike Rowdy, I give a rat's ass about the batting title: I want to see Freddy win. Sure, BA is a misleading stat, and yes, individual accomplishments in no way atone for the overall misery that the 2006 Bucs and their 30-60 start have inflicted upon their fan base. My biggest worry about Freddy winning is that DL and the Nuttings will use the crown to distract attention away from their larger failures and instead successfully further their evil and greedy mission to extort money out of hapless Pirate fans. All that said, I'm pulling for the Rake, who now sits at .347 in the catbird seat.

Willie Reid

Willie Reid could be returning punts and kickoffs on Sunday, Ed Bouchette reports in his Daily Question. Santonio's foot is hurting. I was thoroughly unimpressed with Holmes and Colclough on Monday night and want to see what Reid can do.

Game 153: Pirates at Dodgers

Bucs trail 3-2 in the top of the 8th but have runners on the corners with one out. The Rake is 2-for-4.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Ballad of X

Two drunk Mets fans have composed a moving folk song about Xavier Nady containing all kinds of details about the X-Man that you might not know (link via Deadspin).


Yar. The 35-27 has been fun, too.

Winter ball

Dejan Kovacevic reports some guys are going, others maybe not.

Also, Tracy will rig the rotation so Snell gets two more chances to set the single-season home runs-allowed record.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Game 152: Pirates at Dodgers

The season continues to wind down with the team out there on the west coast. There is only one more homestand, and I wonder if we won't see some more 50-degree temps for some of those games. Since this road trip may be their last chance to play spoiler, with Cincinnati and Houston falling away, that final homestand may be extra March-like. So here's to the Pirates keeping it real while they play a few more meaningful games.

Chacon and Maddux at ten.

Motivation more important than ability

Scientific American. Add that to the nurture vs. nature debate. Nurture wins! Do the Pirates need to "try harder" (or "try better")? Or do they need to be different people? Far too many people give the players a free pass. I mock the notion that they are getting 110% out of their God-limited abilities, that they are being all they can be. That's horseshit. The sycophancy displayed toward this collection of Losers disgusts me when sober. I don't give a rat's ass about a batting title in a season that started 30-60. Nothing atones for that. As much as I want to like the current Pirates, and as much as I have enjoyed the games of the last few days, they will have to win 32 of 60 at the start of season before I believe they've attained the dazzling heights of mediocrity. If it wasn't for beer, we wouldn't even be having this conversation about whether or not to expect the team to be mediocre in 2007.

FWIW, once upon a time, Bones and I were decent chess players. And I was the master of the Latvian Gambit. Hi-ya! Take that! Bones was powerless against 2. ... f5!!

2007: Bucs play .500?

Another fantastic win. All this winning vs. first place teams is intoxicating. Are the Bucs turning the corner? The Stats Geek thinks the Bucs aren't far from .500: "Many in the blogosphere think the Pirates are still pretty far from even a .500 team. I disagree." Maybe he's referring to the takes of Charlie and Pat on the second half stats. What are the odds that the 2007 Pirates break .500? More importantly, do the '07 or '08 Pirates stand a reasonable chance of contending?

True shame

One thing I'm more ashamed of than the Bucs' 14 year losing streak is that some idiot repeatedly objects in mostly all-CAPS to the overrepresentation of Negro League Buc statues at PNC and that these moronic racist screeds end up in the Stats Geek's chat. Is it really that no other questions are asked or is the PG choosing to publish this crap? Shouldn't the PG stop propagating this hateful garbage?


Ben's temperature Monday night was 100.4, not 104 as ESPN reported. I don't know if that makes me feel better or worse about the loss.

One thing that makes me feel better is watching John Henderson's pregame routine (link via Mondesi's House). Imagine what Ian Snell could do if the Bucs hired this guy to similarly inspire Ian before starts.

R.I.P. Syd Thrift

Pour some of whatever you're drinking out for the late great Syd Thrift. I'll remember Syd for the Tony Pena for Slick, Spanky, and Dunne trade, and for hiring Leyland. Syd never got the chance to GM the early '90s Buc teams that he resurrected/built with this trade, the trade for Drabek, etc, as Syd was let go after the 88 season. In the three years (86-88) that Thrift GMed, the Bucs went 64-98, 80-82, and 85-75, for a career Bucs GM mark of 229-255 (.473). (DL is now at 378-494 or .433). Thanks for the memories and rest in peace, Syd.

All hail POLABEAR34!

For going 12-4 ATS and the Week 2 HW Free Pick 'Em Pool victory. I treaded water with an 8-8 while Rowdy tanked with the 4-12. Still plenty of time to get in the pool.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Game 151: Pirates at Dodgers

Snell and Kuo, ten o'clock.

... one pitch, one home run allowed for Snell. He's now up to 29 allowed on the year ... the most since John Candelaria allowed 29 in 230 innings in his 20-win season back in the 1970s. On his career, Snell has pitched about 230 innings and allowed 36 home runs.

Monday, September 18, 2006

How about them Pirates?

Er, didja hear the Pirates swept the Mets this past weekend?

Not much to say about that football game. The Steelers are looking up at the Bengals and the Ravens, and they host a banged-up and always-whiny Cincinnati team next Sunday at one.

NFL week 2: Steelers at Jaguars

Keep an eye on Simmons/Faneca vs. Stroud/Henderson, as Gary Dulac explains.