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 Post subject: Off-Day Musings, Part IV
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:48 pm 
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Following my three classic (and lightly read) "Off-Day Musings" threads (posted on May 20, June 24, and June 27), the UPPMB's most precious member, J_C_Steel, returns for a fourth time today. Unfortunately, due to a rather busy day here at the office, this one has to be a bit truncated. Regardless, I'll do my best...

For those unfamiliar with the format, here are links to Parts I, II, and III of my Off-Day Musings:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10940

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11168

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11200

* So, if you're like me (and I'm sure you are), you now expect the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates to run the table, finish 132-30, sweep the playoffs, win the World Series, pass comprehensive immigration reform, solve climate change, and fix my upstairs bathroom before the end of the year. Anything less and I will demand Neal Huntington's severed head on a silver platter.

* I perused some of the votes in the thread about the Pirates' first-half MVP. A few folks here voted for Pedro. I love El Toro's power, folks, but come on. Sure, he had a phenomenal Saturday night. I was there! I saw him make two sparkling plays with the glove and then hit one that, when he struck it, I was sure was headed to the river on the fly. It was probably the most impressive home run I've ever seen in person. What did Pedro do for an encore? He went 0-6 Sunday, committed an error, and grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 13th inning. Long story slightly longer -- Pedro Alvarez is still maddeningly inconsistent. Until he can even out his game a bit, he won't be the team's MVP.

* Who is the Pirates' first-half MVP? I'm going with Cutch. He hasn't been as insanely hot as was in June and July 2012, but he has an OPS of .822, he's getting on base at a .360 clip, and he's playing great defense. His oWAR is 3.1 and his dWAR is 0.9, giving him a WAR of 4.0 on the year (tops on the team). He's actually on pace to eclipse his 2012 WAR of 7.0. It's been more understated, and he hasn't hit for as much power, but he's been better in the field, better on the basebaths, and still lethal with the stick. He's my choice.

* 51-30. First place. Best record in baseball. 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates at the halfway point of the season. Boom.

* I think of five songs (of varying genres) when I think of the Pirates' first half:

First, because we just don't stop believin'...



Second, because we're halfway there...



Third, because, hate it or love it, the underdog's on top...



Fourth, because we're on fire...



Fifth, because this is a true Pirate uprising...



* I loved attending my first game of the year Saturday night, and I can attest that Francisco Liriano can throw a baseball... and he can't hit or run the bases at all. Good thing he does that first thing well. Anyway, while I was there, I paid homage to The Great One:

Image

* I got to see my grandparents in Pittsburgh this weekend. They're 93 and 92 years old, respectively, and they've been married for 69 years. They're an inspiration to me and my family. My grandfather Buck still plays golf and it was amazing to watch him help my three-year-old son, his great-grandson, Jack hold a golf club and chip a few balls in the backyard. Those will be great memories. Cherish the time you have with the older members of your family. They have great stories and they won't be there forever.

* well, I hope everyone has an awesome Monday... now I gotta get back to work.


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 Post subject: Re: Off-Day Musings, Part IV
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:56 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
the UPPMB's most precious member, J_C_Steel, returns for a fourth time today.


With this quote, how I now picture J_C_ in person...
Image

Good stuff once again. I dig the homage to Mr. Clemente!

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 Post subject: Re: Off-Day Musings, Part IV
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:24 pm 
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With all due respect to Cutch winning the WAR battle, I give Martin the first half MVP. HIs contributions go beyond his WAR, because of how well the pitchers are doing.

Honorable mention to Cutch, Locke, Melancon, and Grilli.


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 Post subject: Re: Off-Day Musings, Part IV
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:00 pm 
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This is a really tough question to answer, and that is a very good thing, IMO.

Here's why - if 1 or 2 players are "carrying" the team, than a slump or injury kills the team.

If the team has 7 or 10 guys competing for MVP, then it is a better team.

My team MVP is Martin. Watching him catch the ball so quietly, and control the opposition's running game, and hit well, and do everything asked of him for such a tough position leads me to give him the nod over McCutchen, Marte, Alvarez, Burnett, Grilli, Melancon, Locke and Liriano.


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 Post subject: Re: Off-Day Musings, Part IV
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:01 pm 
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Oops ... wrong thread. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Off-Day Musings, Part IV
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:49 pm 
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Pedro has been pretty consistent recently outside of that one example. Cutch went 0-6 in the 2-1 loss to Cincy.

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 Post subject: Re: Off-Day Musings, Part IV
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:04 pm 
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Great writeup, I always enjoy your musings. With the first 81 out of the way all I do is find myself musing. I guess it's like daydreaming over the first half.

My first half MVP. Russell Martin. He leads the best overall staff in the league, controls the opponents running game throwing out over 50% of would be base stealers and hos bat has been better than advertised. Yes sirrrr.


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 Post subject: Re: Off-Day Musings, Part IV
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:50 pm 
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Words can hardly express the awesomeness of that Clemente statue picture.

It's also tough to think of a rockin', non-cliche song which 'perfectly' captures the Bucs season so far.

Although all the ones you posted certainly hit the mark in their own right(s)! :D

EDIT:

Thinking on it a second, and as a biased Desert/Acid Rock fan, the lyrics to the always kickin' QotSA hit applies:


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 Post subject: Re: Off-Day Musings, Part IV
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:25 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J5PYzkzDQI

walk by the foo fighters makes me think of the pirates struggling for 20 years and then finally figuring out how to win


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 Post subject: Re: Off-Day Musings, Part IV
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:20 am 
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SUPERCHARGED APE wrote:
Pedro has been pretty consistent recently outside of that one example. Cutch went 0-6 in the 2-1 loss to Cincy.


Pedro's cooling continued last night, APE. I'm hoping he can get back on track against soft-tossing lefty John Lannan tonight...


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 Post subject: Re: Off-Day Musings, Part IV
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:52 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
SUPERCHARGED APE wrote:
Pedro has been pretty consistent recently outside of that one example. Cutch went 0-6 in the 2-1 loss to Cincy.


Pedro's cooling continued last night, APE. I'm hoping he can get back on track against soft-tossing lefty John Lannan tonight...


I'd be happy if he got on base at a .500 clip like last night.

Just saying, the 0-6 game that was used to prove inconsistency broke up a 12 game hitting streak.

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 Post subject: Re: Off-Day Musings, Part IV
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:21 pm 
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TAKE THAT JC! TAKE IT AND LIKE IT! CAPS LOCK!

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