Saturday, April 21, 2007

Game 16: Pirates at Dodgers

Three feet under, the Pirates send Ian Snell to battle Brad Moneypenny.

Gorgeous day

This would be a good weekend to get married.

Pure fantasy

The Nuttings don't like the Forbes report.

I was inclined to believe that the owners were not profiting excessively. Then I found out what they pay Bud Selig. And of course the owners do not think that is excessive. So it's clear that my idea of excessive is different than that of other people.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Game 15: Pirates at Dodgers

This is one of those west coast games that starts after the nightly departure of the early risers, the children, and the heavy drinkers.

Beautiful day today. I'll expect I'll just read about tonight's game in tomorrow's paper. It will be Tony Armas and Randy Wolf.

To keep hope alive, the Pirates must win, I think, at least one of these games in LA. They do not want to dick around out there and come home five games under .500.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Six and eight

The Pirates are 2-2 on this road trip. That is OK. Six and eight is not good but not horrible. Six games under .500 would be horrible. They gave away a game or two early and have not really won any games they deserved to lose. It's not a lucky 6-8.

The back half of the rotation looks awful. The front half looks hall of fame. Snell and Gorzo will not finish with numbers just like they have now. Duke and Maholm and Armas are not so awful.

Twenty-one days or eighteen or nineteen games are the smallest significant sample sizes, in my long-held opinion. With the freaky weather and unusual amount of time off early, I might extend that for assessing the start of the season for individual hitters. Right now I say don't even look at batting averages, strikeout-to-walk ratios, etc. for the hitters--wait until after game twenty or twenty-one. And then it's a bad spell if the numbers stink, and it's not necessarily evidence that someone has to go to AAA or that someone is a bust. Two consecutive twenty-day periods of full-time play and Noonie numbers, and then I am with the people calling for some kind of change.

Overall, I am not disappointed by the start of the season. They are only two games under, two and a half out of first, and they have yet to win a game at home. Things don't look great, and some of these losses have been demoralizing to watch, but on the whole there is still a lot of opportunity for this team. It is April 19 and there is play left in this season.

And that makes this season, already, twice as good as last year's.

Game 14: Pirates at Brewers

Duke vs. Suppan. Bucs trail 4-1 in the third after Duke got roughed up for 4 earnies in the first.

Why Brewers outspend Bucs

Dejan Kovacevic analyzes the payroll discrepancy between the Brewers and Bucs. Of the $20,000,000 difference, 9 and 5 million can be attributed to increased revenue the Brewers receive from ticket sales and parking, respectively. That leaves only 1 Burnitz (6 million dollars) for Nutting and McClatchy to stuff in their pockets. Despite the ownership group's secrecy in their financial dealings, they share at least that they're comfortable:

Neither principal owner Bob Nutting nor McClatchy will talk about how their operations compare to those of other teams, including the Brewers. But McClatchy did say, "I'm very comfortable with where our payroll is."

Romo and Rooker

From Pittsburgh Lumber Co., Randy's 9th and 10th installments of the Downfall-of-the-Fam-A-Lee series continue the inquiry into whether bad trades that built the 1979 team doomed the 1980s teams. Part 9 focuses on Enrique Romo and, towards the end, provides a likely explanation for Romo's mysterious disappearance. Part 10 focuses on Jim Rooker, one of the heroes from 1979 WS Game 5.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Game 13: Pirates at Brewers

For the first half of the long streak of losing seasons, the Pirates owned the Brewers. No matter how bad the Pirates were, they could still beat up on the Brewers. That's how I remember it. Don't correct me if I'm wrong.

Then everything went to hell and now the Brewers are good.

It stirs up powerful contradictory feelings. On one hand, they are the Brewers and I respect that. And for a long time I liked playing the Brewers; playing them was a holiday from the torturous monotony of losing series after series.

On the other hand, I hate the f'n Brewers and their wealth of outfielders and prospects and Ben Sheets and their Bill Hall.

I forget who's pitching tonight, but I believe it is a battle of back halves of rotations. Paul Maholm and . . . (looking it up) Claudio Vargas. Starting soon.

Go Trail Blazers

Deadspin explains why we should be rooting against the Warriors tonight.

The little things

Brian O'Neill explains why base hits are good.

One game out

And tied with Houston, a team that obviously recovered from their home-opening series. Houston will play Cincinnati as the Pirates play Milwaukee.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Game 12: Pirates at Cardinals

Getaway day. Gorzelanny and Wainwright at one.

Five wins, six losses

The NL Central is knotted up. The teams on top play each other tonight (Reds and Brewers). And the Pirates get another crack at the team immediately above them.

Another strange thing--looks like the Pirates are not the only team who have not played so well at home. Hopefully the sage fumigation Mr. Nutting scheduled for this week will have the stadium in a friendly mood when the Pirates return.