Saturday, December 25, 2010

NFL week 16

After the Bucs' World Series sweep and another Steelers' playoff clinching, Christmas seems kind of superfluous this year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

NFL week 15

Steelers clinched yet another playoff berth in a meaningless game against the hapless Jets.

Only 68 more days until Spring Training.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday, December 06, 2010

NFL week 13

Flying Samoan warrior chop for the win. I'll never get over it. Ever. Again.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

NFL week 12

A most improbable Steelers win. I’ll never get over it. Ever.

Meanwhile, the Bucs have traded Zach Duke and one of the Indian reality show finalist kids for Adam LaRoche as we prepare for Manny Christmas.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

NFL week 11

Skippy, Zach Duke, and the last LaRoche cheer on from the sidelines as the Steelers destroy the hapless Raiders.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All in

New manager Clint Hurdle acknowledges the Bucs' deficiencies to the P-G, while also going "all in".

"I wanted to look them in the eyes and ask them, 'Are you in?' " he said. "And to a man they looked me in the eye and said 'We're in.' "

"Behind the scenes in the baseball office we've used that phrase a lot, 'all in,' " Huntington said. "And Clint came in during our meetings, he used that phrase, all in. A phrase is a phrase, but it means something to us."

To a man we look Clint Hurdle in the eye and say "We're in" and "Please not so much bunting."

NFL week 10

First place = victory.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

NFL week 9

Despite the distractions of all the Bucs' 2010 World Championship parades, the Steelers beat the hapless Bengals 27-21.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

NFL week 8

While the Pirates celebrate their imminent 2010 World Championship, the Steelers travel to New Orleans for a Halloween-themed Sunday Night Football.

I admit I was a little disappointed to go to the party and find all the men dressed as Steely McBeam. I had hopes of being the only one. I think it is this World Championship thing, it has me in an emotional frame of mind. Every sunrise is inspirational, and even the plastic flowers bring tears to my eyes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

McBeam removes himself from consideration

While the Pirates rest up enjoying their third round playoff bye, the 2011 managerial distractions continue: Steely McBeam has officially removed himself from consideration.

Carlos Tosca, Jeff Banister, Joey Porter and Tony Pena have yet to withdraw their candidacy, as the James Harrison player/manager scenario looks more and more likely.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

NFL Week 7: Steelers at Dolphins

One more big fine on James Harrison, and he'll retire to coach the Pirates with bench coach Steely McBeam.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

NFL week 6: Browns at Steelers

As the Pirates continue resting and perfecting their fastball velocity, the Steelers come off their bye to face the hapless, small-market Cleveland Browns.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Bucs clinch second round bye!

We raise our glasses to the magical 2010 Bucs, who, with the Yanks loss and Giants win, have excitingly clinched both a first and second round bye in the playoffs.

With JR now busy scouting the other teams, driving the pennant float through the Burgh, and planning the shifts and bunts for the World Series, the Bucs are expected to appoint an interim manager to start preparing the Dynasty for 2011. Early favorites include Phil Garner, Enrique Romo and Steely McBeam. Cast your vote in the comments.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

NFL Week 4: Ravens at Steelers

Should be a good one.

Game 162: Pirates at Marlins

Burres and Sanchez at 1.

Morton may have pitched himself into a playoff start. I look forward to watching JR manage the pitchers in the World Series.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Game 161.0: Pirates at Marlins

Charlie Morton gets his last bit of work before the playoffs, where he'll probably be needed most as a swingman from the bullpen. Sanabla pitches for Florida. Game at seven.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Game 160: Pirates at Marlins

As Paul Maholm basks in the clinching of his Cy Young award after Zach Duke graciously bowed out yesterday, Daniel McCutchen will attempt to clinch Rookie of the Year with his 18th victory.

Throw in Ronny Ballgame's wizardly tutelage, and you have magically exciting and meaningful Bucco baseball in October. Again.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Game 159.5: Pirates at Marlins

In the final and perhaps most important series of this magical 2010 season, Ronny Ballgame will work pro bono with the Bucs' pitchers to help determine who will make the postseason roster.

Coonington might want to consider retaining Ronny during the Bucs' first and second round playoff byes to help bunting instruction.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Game 159: Pirates at Cardinals

The Cardinals are still passed out at a red light, and now are officially eliminated from the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the clinchy Bucs have a few tough postseason roster decisions to make before they rest up and practice bunting during their first round playoff bye.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Game 158: Pirates at Cardinals

Bucs up 7-2 in the ninth. Hopefully the Bucs will not pick up any bad habits from the hapless Cardinals right before their clinched first-round playoff bye.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

NFL week 3: Steelers at Buccaneers

I will try to keep one eye on this football game. The other eye will be on the Bucs team that will end the season in the playoffs.

Game 156: Astros at Pirates

Maholm and his 106 mph fastball pitch to contact against the hapless out-of-contention Astros at 1:35.

To advance deep in the playoffs, the Bucs need more practice bunting runners from second to third, especially by good hitters with no outs. It would make a world of sense to get this practice today, even when there are no baserunners.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Game 155: Astros at Pirates

Norris and Duke at seven.

It might be wise to plan on using bullpen arms that won't be making the playoff roster. I won't be surprised if Duke makes an early exit then.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Game 154: Astros at Pirates

Ace McDonald vs. Brett Myers at seven.

With the Bucs having already clinched, these games serve primarily to sort through who will make the post-season roster.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Game 153: Cardinals at Pirates

Brian Burres vs. the hapless 1-7 Jeff Suppan at 12:35.

Eight games out of first and the Wild-Card , the Cardinals are sleeping at the wheel at the intersection and had errors on their roadside tests. And now with the BAC being over 0.08. What would be really high for a number that would get you really concerned? Two something? Three? One?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Game 152: Cardinals at Pirates

The uber-reliable Charlie Morton is up 6-1 in the fifth as the Bucs look to be cruising to another win.

The hapless Cardinals are passed out at a red light, hopelessly short of the Wild Card.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Game 151: Cardinals at Pirates

Maholm pistol-whips Westbrook as the Bucs clinch with yet another win.

The lowly Cardinals are passed out at a red light, haplessly short of the Playoffs.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Game 148: D'backs at Pirates

The lowly small-market Diamondbacks roll into town to get clinched.

Kennedy and Burres at seven.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Game 147: Pirates at Mets

Charlie Morton will match his 11-1, 0.95 ERA stuff against Mike Pelfrey and the Mets at seven.

Pirates are going to clinch something soon. It has to be that way.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Game 146: Pirates at Mets

A little more than two weeks to go, and the Pirates are competing graciously with the small-market Mets, who appear to be doing nothing more than playing out the string.

Maholm and Mejia at seven.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Game 143: Pirates at Reds

The Pirates go for the four-game sweep in another game with major playoff implications. Burris and Cueto will start.

NFL week 1: Atlanta at Pittsburgh

With playoff fever sweeping western Pennsylvania, it is not that surprising that hardly anyone remembers or cares there is a football game this afternoon.

Remember football? I didn't think so. Meaningful baseball is tough to eclipse. It just sucks up your whole mind and makes everything else kind of blurry.

Maybe this explains how the black and gold are the underdogs, in a home opener, against an out-of-conference dome-based club, that has never done anything to deserve this kind of respect. The Falcons are not the Saints.

My prediction: Steeler D scores a bunch of points and the Steelers roll, 24-10.

Pick 'em Pool

All are invited to join our pick 'em pool at Pigskin.com.

To get in the pool, poolname: "Honest Wagner Pick 'em Pool" and password: "51yardparker".

It will be hard to think about football with the Bucs in the playoffs, but the Bucs' winning streak can't possibly continue into November.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Game 141: Pirates at Reds

Bucs up 3-1 in the seventh. Maholm dealing. Game has serious playoff implications.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Game 139: Braves at Pirates

Lowe and Duke at seven.

The hottest team in the NL Central, the Pirates are peaking at just the right time.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Game 137: Braves at Pirates

Burres and Hanson at 1:30.

I'm sure the Braves are hoping to spoil the Pirates' playoff chances, and that makes me feel sorry for them.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Game 135: Nats at Pirates

Skyblast tonight to punctuate the epic winning streak. Soon we'll be able to determine if the path to the NLCS goes through the wild card (my preference; more exciting) or through winning the division outright.

Lanman and Maholm will start. Game on at seven. Get there early if you want to enjoy the suspense inherent to games in which the Pirates have not yet taken the lead.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Game 134: Nats at Pirates

Livan Hernandez, Zach Duke, a Pirate Fleecie, and victory for all strong-willed fans at seven.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Game 133: Pirates at Cubs

Pirates look for their third straight 14-run victory at two this afternoon.

Ace McDonald and Tom "No Doubt About It" Gorzelanny will start.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Game 132: Pirates at Cubs

Just rolled out of bed. It was a late night, celebrating the huge 14-2 win. The details are fuzzy. I remember there was a pet monkey cracking nuts. And the landlord's wife. But whatever. What a game.

That's gotta clinch something. Hopefully the Pirates celebrated more responsibly.

Tonight it is Karstens and Dempster at eight.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Game 131: Pirates at Cubs

Two months ago, no one would have expected this game to have playoff ramifications.

Maholm and Zambrano at eight. At eight-fifteen Ronny Cedeno will bunt with no outs, men on first and third, and the pitcher on deck.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Game 130: Pirates at Brewers

With the Pirates smoking hot, it's a great time to go to the ballpark and take in a game. And the road wins are the best. Nothing stirs the envy of opposing fans like your Pirates jersey and your pillbox cap.

Charlie Morton and Dave Bush at two.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Game 129: Pirates at Brewers

Duke and Capuano at seven.

It should be an exciting year to be a September call-up.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Game 128: Pirates at Brewers

Ace McDonald and Chris Narvesson at eight.

The hapless small-market Brewers, mired in another long losing streak, are luring fans to the ballpark with a post-game fireworks show.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Game 127: Cardinals at Pirates

McCutchen pistol-whips Westbrook at seven.

Bucs extend winning streak at nine.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Game 126: Cardinals at Pirates

Maholm beats Wainwright at seven.

In the future, once all known cheating factors can be corrected for in a standardized way, the Bucs win this game 20-0.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Game 124: Mets at Pirates

Duke wins over Santana starting at 1:35.

Honestly, I could care less what Ronny Ballgame puts into his body, as long as he goes about his business day in and day out, is a consummate professional, and plays the game in the right way. Rumors are that RBG could replace the increasingly unpopular JR for the playoff run in a strictly managerial/game-calling/sign-stealing role. The contract would continue into the Dynasty phase with Ronny as manager/backup catcher.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Game 123: Mets at Pirates

Ace McDonald and Niese at seven.

In other news, the 18-year winning streak continues.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Game 122: Mets at Pirates

Karstens wins over Pelfrey, starting at seven.

In other news, 16 year old Luis Heredia joins the Dynasty for 2.6 million.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Game 121: Marlins at Pirates

Maholm and Sanabia at seven.

JR should rest all the starters for the wild-card surge, rather than have them be further humiliated by Ronny Ballgame, who now wins games on the base paths.

The Marlins probably were a little nervous when Paulino tagged up on Ramirez’s short fly ball in foul territory, but right fielder Lastings Milledge’s throw was up the third base line.

“I was very close to pinch-running, but then after I saw that, it was a very good heads-up play by Paulino,” Rodriguez said. “It was the difference in the game. Perfect slide, great jump.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Game 120: Marlins at Pirates

Ohlendorf vs. Josh Johnson at seven.

With any other matchup, we could will Ross' second win no problem. But Ronny Ballgame is immune to our willing powers, and might have plans of his own.

Best pure stuff

John Manuel of Baseball America thinks the Bucs won on draft day.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Game 119: Marlins at Pirates

Duke and Nolasco at seven.

In the Major Leagues, it is uncommon for pitchers of one team to seek advice from catchers of the opposing team. Unless, of course, the opposing team's catcher goes by the name of Ronny Ballgame.

Dynasty

We raise our glass to the two latest Dynasty cornerstones, Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie, who both signed today.

These kids need nicknames. Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve? Allie Bumaye!?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Game 117: Pirates at Astros

Karstens wins over the hapless Happ. Victory begins at two.

It must be hard to be an Astros fan, never winning the World Series.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Game 115: Pirates at Astros

Ironhead Ohlendorf punches Myers and the lowly Astros at eight.

It is exciting to think that in 2042, the Bucs will be wearing the throwback unis of this 2010 World Championship team.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Game 114: Pirates at Padres

Duke and Garland at 6:35.

Even though everyone knows the Bucs will win this game, the players still have to go through the motions.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Game 113: Pirates at Padres

Ace McDonald and Kevin Correia at ten.

Looking ahead to possible World Series opponents for the Bucs: the once-hapless Orioles are suddenly the league's hottest team.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Game 112: Pirates at Padres

Playoffs. Pedro! Pale ales. Pittsburgh Pirates.

Karstens and LeBlanc Flag at ten.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Game 111: Rockies at Pirates

Pirates to continue the winning streak at 1:35. People starting to notice what we have long known, that this is a playoff run.

Rogers and Maholm the starters.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Game 110: Rockies at Pirates

Ironhead Ohlendorf headbutts De La Rosa at seven.

The Bucs will try to outBUNT the Rockies and keep their winning streak alive.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Game 109: Rockies at Pirates

Duke and Hammel at seven.

Should fisticuffs erupt, Chan Ho Park is ready to fight.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Game 108: Rockies at Pirates

The James McDonald Era starts at seven.

With Chan Ho joining the Bucs, the lowly, hapless Rockies should prepare to be drop-kicked.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Game 107: Reds at Pirates

Bucs win, 9-4 I think it was. Cutch, Clement, and Pedro all went yard.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Game 106: Reds at Pirates

Bucs up 6-0 in the second. Leake, the starter, is still in the game. Maholm started for the Pirates.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Game 105: Reds at Pirates

Pirates will try to keep this winning streak rolling tonight at seven.

Wood and Ohlendorf will start.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Game 104: Pirates at Cardinals

Duke and Wainwright starting shortly.

The Chris Snyder Era begins with Snyder calling the game from the bench.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Game 103: Pirates at Cardinals

McCutchen and Suppan at seven.

All a-glowing with the magic of the trade deadline, these Pirates can now get back to winning. They are a few games back of these Cardinals, and this is a great chance to make up some ground in the wild-card race.

July 31, 2010

With so many hapless and over-budget teams out of contention, the Pirates have a golden opportunity to add some good-looking players for greater depth on the playoff roster.

... Chris Snyder is the first big winner at the trade deadline.

... Other winners include Pedro Ciriaco, John Bowker, Joe Martinez, James McDonald, and Andrew Lambo.

... Octavio Dotel may be forced to retire with that 7.88 postseason ERA.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Game 102: Pirates at Cardinals

Karstens and Carpenter at eight-fifteen.

Pirates might be losing their grip on the current winning streak.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Game 101: Pirates at Rockies

Paul Maholm and the very, very good-looking third baseman who just showed up take on the big, strong, powerful man Ubaldo Jimenez at three-ten.

The hapless Rockies have lost eight in a row and are struggling terribly.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Game 100: Pirates at Rockies

Ohlendorf and Cook at eight-forty.

Because the bar has been raised so high, we've analyzed and over-analyzed what we've done. We may wind up being comparable to the '98 Yankees or the '86 Mets. I think there's a strong chance that will happen. But maybe that's not fair right now.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Game 99: Pirates at Rockies

Duke and De La Rosa at whatever time they start games in Colorado, wherever that is.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Off day

Here is your chance to stop thinking too much out there. Go someplace else and get that taken care of.

Winning streak resumes tomorrow in Colorado.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Game 98: Padres at Pirates

Lincoln and LeBlanc at one-thirty.

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Game 97: Padres at Pirates

Latos and Karstens at seven.

This winning streak that ends in April has had more texture and drama than I expected.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Game 96: Padres at Pirates

Maholm and Correia at seven.

I'd be entertained if all the Bucs, including JR, grew in dreadlocks and got huge tattoos. The tattoo parlor visit would make for a hilarious clip on the World Championship DVD.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Game 95: Brewers at Pirates

Ohlendorf and Gallardo at seven.

It's amazing to think that come next April, there could be an entire generation of young Bucco fans who have never experienced a loss. Without losses, would wins still have meaning?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Game 94: Brewers at Pirates

Duke and Wolf at seven.

With the Kratzalyst calling pitches and stealing signs and Pedro hitting multiple dingers per game, this winning streak could easily continue through next April.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Game 93: Brewers at Pirates

Lincoln and Bush. Four score and seven years ago, a thousand points of light.

I don't want to get anyone's hopes up, but it is easy to believe that this game might be the start of a winning streak that ends in October.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Game 92: Brewers at Pirates

Karstens and Capuano at seven.

Macha should worry less about his small-market hapless players getting plunked, and more about getting absolutely boat-raced by the white-hot Bucs on Kratzmas III. Prepare to untuck.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Game 91: Astros at Pirates

Maholm and Oswalt at 1:35.

To enhance drama for the 2010 World Champs DVD, JR might want to rest the Kratzalyst for at least the first few innings of Kratzmas II.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Game 90: Astros at Pirates

Ohlendorf and Bud (no relation to Chuck) Norris at seven.

When we're interviewed for the 2010 Bucs World Championship DVD, we should appear modest, as taking full credit for the trophy might not sit well with some of the players.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Game 89: Astros at Pirates

Wild-card magic begins tonight at seven with Duke and the Bucs, willed by the fan base, figuratively pistol-whipping Brett Myers and the hapless Astros.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rest

Historians will look back upon this rest as transformative when trying to explain how the 2010 Bucs charged back to win the pennant.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Game 88: Pirates at Brewers

Seventh day of Lincolnmas vs. Randy Wolf starting soon.

Bucs might want to rest today for an extended break.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Game 87: Pirates at Brewers

Karstens and Bush at seven.

I'd be entertained if All-Star Evan Meek pitched every single game from here on out.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Game 86: Pirates at Brewers

Maholm and Davis at eight.

After a surprisingly tough series at Houston, the Pirates can move on and continue their long winning streak in Milwaukee.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Game 84: Pirates at Astros

McCutchen and Moehler at eight.

Remember, the Bucs can't win EVERY day. And each loss will make the second-half comeback that much more remarkable.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Game 83: Pirates at Astros

Sixth day of Lincolnmas vs. Wandy Rodriguez at eight.

Obviously, the ascent to the wild-card begins with fifth place, but don't lose sight of the big picture, where these Bucs go all the way.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Off day

Everyone rest up for this crucial series with the hapless Astros. Fifth place could be on the line.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Game 82: Phillies at Pirates

Blanton and Karstens at one.

These two teams are looking pretty evenly matched. I'd say if the Pirates meet the Phillies in the playoffs, the series would go five or seven games.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Game 80: Phillies at Pirates

Moyer and Ohlendorf at seven.

Pirates are heating up. Playoff odds up 2000% in the last few days.

This would make a good song for the fireworks show.

Game 79: Phillies at Pirates

McCutchen and Hamels at seven.

Playoff teams usually win at least six games in July.

Cereal bowl night. All fans get a Pirate cereal bowl.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Game 78: Pirates at Cubs

Fifth day of Lincolnmas vs. Tom Gorzelanny at two.

If you add some ELO to the playoff odds, they show some life.

At the end of June the Pirates are at an inflection point. They need a lot of ELO. Perhaps the front office could add an ELO post-game concert this weekend. They would jazz up Saturday's Zambelli fireworks and subtly increase the playoff odds.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Game 77: Pirates at Cubs

Karstens and Lilly at eight.

Until the hapless Cubs are willing to dive at liners, Lilly will never win.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Game 76: Pirates at Cubs

Maholm and Wells at eight.

If the Cubs' infielders aren't willing to dive for Big Z, don't expect Wells to get much help tonight. Advantage Bucs.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Game 73: Lincolnmas IV

Lincoln and Sheets at ten.

Defensive shifts would be more entertaining and perhaps more effective if they occurred right before and during every pitch. For example, two seconds before each pitch every infielder sprints toward the plate. Hitters could not concentrate with that kind of distraction, especially if a strategically-chosen subset of Bucs either jumped into the air, or dove in a strategically-chosen direction.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Game 72: Pirates at Texas

Karstens and Feldmen at eight.

Maybe Maholm needs to rest up for the playoff run like Duke.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Game 70: Pirates at Rangers

The NL Central's hottest team take on the hapless, small-market Rangers at eight.

Ohlendorf and Hunter are the starting pitchers.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Game 69: Indians at Pirates

Masterson and Lincoln at one thirty.

Fueled by last night's win, the Pirates' playoff odds surge to 24 percent of a percent of a percent. This is exciting and magical.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Game 68: Indians at Pirates

Playoff odds now at nine percent of a percent of a percent.

This number should be getting bigger as the season progresses.

Huff and Karstens at seven.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Game 67: Indians at Pirates

Neil Walker cures the sick then hits dingers into the river. Show starts at seven.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Game 66: Pedromas II

Pedro cures the sick then hits dingers into the river. Show starts at seven.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Game 65: Pedromas!

Duke and Danks and the beginning of the Pedro Alvarez Era at seven.

Please join us at six along the banks of the Allegheny to collectively will Pedro to walk across the river during the pre-game show.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pedromas!

We are hardly ready.

I vote we go with Bones' plan, i.e., collectively will Pedro to make his PNC entrance and debut after walking across the river. In full gear, bat in hand.

Because there is no plan B.

Game 64: White Sox at Pirates

Brad Lincoln and Freddy Garcia at seven. Hopefully the Bucs will not pick up any bad habits from these hapless American League teams.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Off day

Pirates get the day off to travel home from Detroit for a six-game homestand against the hapless American League.

Hopefully the vuvuzelas will sweep into PNC to better express our will.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Game 63: Pirates at Tigers

Karstens and Galarraga at one. The Bucs should start planning entertaining stunts for Pedromas. I'd be entertained if fans lined the banks of the Allegheny, and willed Pedro to walk across. Of course if this only has a 37% chance of working, safety measures could be put in place.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Game 62: Pirates at Tigers

Maholm and Bonderman at seven. As the hapless Tigers continue to try to showcase Don "Mr. October" Kelly to the Bucs' brass, expect to see Kelly lead off or bat fourth, at either SS, 2B, RF, or most likely, 1B.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Game 61: Pirates at Tigers

Ohlendorf and Verlander at seven. Might be a good day for JR to rest most of the team for the wild-card race.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Game 59: Pirates at Nationals

Merry Lincolnmas! The huge national media swarm that has descended upon this series will finally get to see what they came for - phenom Brad Lincoln's debut against a last place hapless opponent. What better present for Lincolnmas than ... Tabatamas?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Game 58: Pirates at Nationals

Karstens and Strasburg at seven. Typical move from the last place hapless Nationals, trotting out some kid who has never thrown a single MLB pitch to face a fourth place team in playoff contention.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Draft

The MLB draft begins at seven. Bucs take quality-now high school RHP Jameson Taillon High school SS Manny Machado seems to be the likely pick. Prepare for Upside.

Game 57: Cubs at Pirates

Eveland and Silva at 12:35. Silva has been dominant of late, so JR might want to rest everyone today as we practice how to will new guy Eveland to victory.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Game 56: Giants at Pirates

Ohlendorf and Lincecum at 1:35. The long-haired kid has struggled with his command of late, and is ill-prepared for the crushing blow of Rowdy's iron will, which is capable of the most amazing things.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Game 55: Giants at Pirates

Wellemeyer and Maholm at seven.

Last night we had the Pirates up 4-0 and then what happened. Was our will enfeebled by strong drink?

Friday, June 04, 2010

Game 54: Giants at Pirates

Duke and Sanchez at seven in a battle of two third-place teams. The Bucs are undefeated since we learned how to literally will victory.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Off day

No game today. We will will ourselves through the playoffs obviously, but perhaps it would be more entertaining if we didn't will every game. For instance, the wild-card route might be more dramatic.

Also, we need to start thinking and talking about will-adjusted metrics. Some players' value will be artificially inflated by winning all the time.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Game 52: Cubs at Pirates

Ohlendorf and the hapless Randy Wells at 1:35.

The last time the Cubs and Bucs played, Ronnie James Dio died. We tremble to think how our losses could be greater.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Game 51: Pirates at Braves

Maholm and Kawakami at 1:35. With so much of the season left and so many Prospects on the way, it's too early to panic about being 8 games out of the wild-card.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Game 50: Pirates at Braves

Burres and Medlen at seven. Most of the Bucs are pacing themselves admirably, waiting to break out until more Prospects arrive.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Game 48: Pirates at Reds

Morton and Cueto at seven. If JR wants, the Bucs could probably rest another game, or until another Prospect arrives.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Game 47: Pirates at Reds

Ohlendorf and Arroyo at seven, as the waves of Prospects begin to wash ashore.

Rinku and Dinesh go to DC

Indian reality TV contest victors/Pirates pitchers Rinku and Dinesh are entertained by Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Ronaldinho. You can't blame these bandwagon Bucco fans for wanting to get in on the wild-card magic.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Game 46: Pirates at Reds

Maholm and Leake at seven in another game with major playoff implications. Advantage third place Bucs: Leake has done well so far, but the kid skipped the minors, so can't possibly know how to play the game the right way.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Game 45: Pirates at Reds

Burres takes on the Harangutan at seven. The once proud Reds are trying to end their hapless nine year streak of losing baseball. Although seemingly in the 2010 playoff mix with the Bucs, the Reds are unlikely to be playing meaningful baseball come October.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Game 44: Braves at Pirates

Duke and Medlen at 1:35. There are no scholarships in the NLCS - the Bucs need to win.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Game 43: Braves at Pirates

Morton and Lowe at seven. One can only imagine how hard it must be for Frodo McLouth to see his old team just a half game back of the Cubs, and right in the thick of the wild-card race. Especially given McLouth's hapless .208/.329/.350 effort, and the gaudy aggression, location, and xFIP of the guy he was traded for.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Game 42: Braves at Pirates

Ohlendorf and Hudson at seven. The Braves are a hapless 8-14 on the road, and since 1958 have only won one World Series. Until there's a MLB salary cap, the Bucs will always have to play lesser franchises. Hopefully this substandard 2010 Braves team is clean of infectious bad habits like taking off for third while the ball is still in the infield.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Game 41: Brewers at Pirates

Maholm and Narveson at seven, untucking at nine. The hapless Brewers have lost nine straight. Until Bud Selig figures out a way to enforce MLB team owners to actually try to win and not just stuff their pockets, gross mismatches will occur, and Benny Hill scenes like LaRoche's Matrix move will be routine.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Game 40: Brewers at Pirates

Burres and Wolf at seven. The hapless small-market Brewers are 15-24, have lost 8 in a row, and apparently are content at cashing the Yankees' and the Pirates' checks while not even trying to field a competitive team. Prepare to untuck.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Game 39: Pirates at Phillies

Duke and Halladay at seven. There's no reason JR and Neal need to tip their hand to a likely playoff opponent this early in the season. So it might make sense to save the best lineup and defensive shifts for October, and rest up one more day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Game 38: Pirates at Phillies

Morton and Kendrick at seven. Finally, the third-place Bucs get to play another contending team.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Game 37: Pirates at Cubs

Ohlendorf and Lilly at 2:20. The Bucs are the hottest team in the division and have sole possession of third place, while the hapless Cubs are only a game and a half from the cellar. As hard as it must be for Gorzo, Grabow, Nady, and Aram to witness such a dramatic reversal of fortunes, at least they can enjoy the playoff excitement vicariously late at night, when they put on their old Pirates gear.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Game 36: Pirates at Cubs

Maholm and Dempster at one. Bucs are in third place and looking down on the hapless Cubs. If you see a thirsty Iowan in a Spin Williams jersey at the game, consider buying him a beer.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Game 35: Pirates at Cubs

Burres and Gorzelanny at 2:20. The Bucs are only a half game back of the Cubs and their resting period has paid off big-time, as their odds to win the division are now over four times higher than the wild-card.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Off day

No meaningful Pirates baseball today, as the Bucs continue to conserve energy for the wild-card race, without having to go through the motions of pretending to play baseball. The hot start of this magical 2010 Bucs team has bought one, maybe two, more weeks where this resting period could continue before everyone gets back to clinching the wild-card berth.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Game 34: Reds at Pirates

Duke and Bailey at 12:35. While three consecutive May losses might seem completely meaningless now, don't underestimate JR's strategy of conserving energy for the big October wild-card push.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Game 33: Reds at Pirates

Morton and Cueto at seven. Despite dropping a game or two, the wild-card odds of this magical 2010 Bucs team have barely changed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Game 32: Reds at Pirates

Arroyo and Ohlendorf at seven. Ohlendorf must win if he wants to be considered for a rotation spot in the playoffs.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Game 31: Cardinals at Pirates

Maholm and Wainwright at 1:35. The Bucs now have better odds to win the division than to win the wild-card.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Game 30: Cardinals at Pirates

Karstens vs. some kid named Jaime Garcia at seven. Seems La Russa is passed out at the wheel, trusting a rookie in such a crucial game against a tough divisional opponent.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Game 29: Cardinals at Pirates

Duke and Carpenter at seven. The Bucs are in third place and need another win to keep their pennant dreams alive.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Game 28: Cubs at Pirates

Brian Burres and Randy Wells at seven. The clutchy Bucs are a major-league-best 10-1 in one and two run games and are just a half game back of the Cubs in the wild-card race.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Game 27: Cubs at Pirates

Morton and Lilly at seven. The Penguins are trying to steal the Bucs' playoff mojo.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Game 26: Cubs at Pirates

Maholm and Dempster at seven in what could be a preview of the NLCS Game 1. Finally, the Bucs get to play another contending team.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Off day

The Bucs rest today. Meaningful wild-card baseball resumes tomorrow, finally against a more worthy non-last-place team, the Cubs.

We've lost a lot of traffic here ever since the pay HW+ site launched, but we appreciate those who continue to value the completely free content here at HW-.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Game 25: Pirates at Dodgers

Karstens and Kuroda at four. If the hapless last-place Dodgers are going to be dissolved by Bud Selig, Coonington should save up for a Manny Christmas.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Game 24: Pirates at Dodgers

Duke and Monasterios at ten. No word yet on whether Bud Selig will investigate or possibly dissolve these last-place Dodgers for their flagrant failure to play competitive baseball this year.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Game 23: Pirates at Dodgers

Morton and Billingsley at ten. The Bucs are in third place, the hapless Dodgers in last. Morton needs to step it up if he wants to make the wild-card rotation.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Game 22: Pirates at Dodgers

Burres and Kershaw at ten. The hapless 8-13 Dodgers will try not to get absolutely boat-raced by the red-hot Bucs, who are just three games back in the wild-card race.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Game 21: Pirates at Brewers

Maholm and Narveson at 1:10 PM as the hapless 9-11 Brewers struggle to have a better record than the magical 2010 Bucs.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Game 20: Pirates at Brewers

Karstens and Wolf at eight. The hapless 9-10 Brewers keep trying to score 20 runs per game, but nearly always fail. Losers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Game 19: Pirates at Brewers

Duke and Gallardo at 8:10. Despite all the pistol-whippings and humiliation, the Bucs are just one game back of the Brewers in the wild-card race.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Game 18: Pirates at Astros

Charlie Morton will try to defend himself against Brett Myers at two. On the year, opponents are batting .434 off Morton. Bucs need a win to stay competitive in the wild-card race.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Game 17: Pirates at Astros

Chris Jakubauskas will probably pitch against Wandy Rodriguez tonight at 7 our time.

Wild-card race is getting pretty thick with a lot of teams bunched up around two games out.

Good time to activate Secret Weapon Jakubauskas.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Game 16: Pirates at Astros

Maholm vs. Oswalt at eight. Despite this recent 36-1 run sweep, the Bucs are still just 1.5 games out from the wild card.

NFL Draft

Steelers take Maurkice Pouncey with the 18th pick. How long until the Combine includes off-field challenges, like being surrounded by a bar full of thirsty underage kids? This Pouncey kid looks solid and ready to protect Dennis Dixon.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Game 15: Brewers at Pirates

McCutchen and Wolf at 12:35. The Bucs are just one game back in the wild card race. To still be playing meaningful baseball this late in April is both refreshing and remarkable.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Game 14: Brewers at Pirates

Duke and Gallardo at seven. Bucs are only 1.5 games back with less than 150 games to play. If Neal wants to acquire enough Veteranosity to make a run for the pennant, some kind of Moskos-for-Kenny-Rogers-or-David-Wells type trade might be worth the front office's consideration.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Game 13: Brewers at Pirates

Morton and Bush at seven. The delirium of this mid-April wild card race makes it hard to know who to trade.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Game 12: Reds at Pirates

Arroyo and Maholm at 1:35pm. Bucs are a game out of first and a half-game back for the wild card.

Forecast high around 50 with a chance of sun toward the end of the game.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Game 10: Reds at Pirates

Cy Young candidate Zach Duke vs. Leake at seven. Bucs need a win to stay in contention.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Game 8: Pirates at Giants

Maholm and Cain underway. Bucs up 2-0 in the third after the Iwamura jack.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Game 5: Pirates at D-backs

Duke and Haren starting soon. After only a two day exposure to ALD (Adam LaRoche Disease), the Bucs are starting to appear symptomatic.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Game 3: Dodgers at Pirates

Maholm and the undefeated Bucs vs. Billingsley at 12:35. Given the events that have transpired, it doesn't seem too early to start entertaining the notion of Jonezilla, 2010 NL MVP.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Monday, April 05, 2010

Friday, April 02, 2010

HW 2010 Readers' Poll

It's time. Please humor us in the comments with your predictions for:

1. How many wins?
2. Who gets traded first?
3. 2010 Whipping Boy?
4. How could the Bucs win 82 games?

Feel free to share any other predictions as well. I'll start.

1. A variety of other sources have predicted shades of suck ranging from 62 to 75 wins. Walking the earth, not tied down to any beer fort, I'm optimistic for a significant improvement over last year's effort: 67 wins.

2. Vazquez. Then Doumit, Dotel, Crosby and Church.

3. Tougher call than most years. LaRoche? Clement?

4. Milledge, Cutch, Jones, LaRoche, then Alvarez all go berserk. Ohlendorf gets the team hooked on some kind of secret PED made for farm animals? MLB surprisingly announces that the season will be extended to a 262 game format?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

the ZiPS

I held out as long as I could, hoping to prevent May burnout and disappointment. But now I am reading the ZiPS and starting to look at this team more critically.

They don't look good or likely to be good but the entertainment factor looks higher than in previous years.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Realignment

I read Tom Verducci's report about realignment talk with great interest. I had my own ideas about realignment not long ago.

Something has to be done. Baseball is broken as it is, and it's dying a slow death I think.

Realignment in tiers makes a lot of sense. I like the idea. I could see a league where teams move up and down levels based mainly on last year's win/loss records. The players are already doing it; the better ones graduate to the same few teams. Divisions could be more balanced at the start of the season to reflect the reality created by baseball's lack of a salary cap.

Baseball being what it is, it's quite possible that the playoff winner in the junior circuit could beat the playoff winner in the big-bucks circuit. For a game or two or even a best-of-seven series if, say, the junior circuit champion has a pair of ace starters. People would like that. If the old highly paid guys can't fend off the upstarts, they don't deserve the ring.

Realign the divisions based on geography and payroll, reduce the amount of interdivision and interleague play, and come September there will be a variety of teams with winning records. Young upstart teams and old highly-paid teams. There would be great interest in the playoffs. And no market would need to suffer through 20 consecutive years of losing seasons.

One more thing. For the love of God, get the Pirates out of sharing a division with Houston. There is nothing I hate more than all those games in Houston. It's friggin' stupid. Bismarck, North Dakota is closer to Pittsburgh than friggin' Houston.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Game on

Bryan Morris, Donnie Veal, Ronald Uviedo, Justin Thomas, Ramon Aguero, Jeff Sues and Anthony Claggett vs. the Hapless Manatees at noon.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Walking the earth

Last season I laid up supplies all winter, in preparation for the coming Pirates season. Opening day came and I was hunkered down in a beer fort of such size and solidity and swankitude, I thought I'd have some shelter through the All-Star break. At least. Alas.

New year new strategy. Why be a stationary target? Move around some more. Leaner and meaner and more nimble. Sleeping in the open air. Growing a huge bristly beard. Not washing my jeans and wool shirt. Why settle down and have so much invested in one place, I figure.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

How about that bullpen

Something about new guys in the bullpen. Oh yeah.

How about that bullpen? Turning things around, I say.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Long live the comments

Haloscan was terminated while we were napping in the twisted ruins of our Stiller fort. We scraped together the change and paid for the Echo upgrade. We are hopeful that comments will return soon.

My thanks to our two readers, who finally woke us and alerted us to the power outage.

Sunday, January 03, 2010