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 Post subject: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:44 pm 
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Slow day here at the office and I generally view Opening Day as a holiday so I don't feel bad feeling distracted.

If I were to discover a magic lamp and a Honus Wagner genie granted me 5 wishes for the upcoming year, these are what they would be (in no particular order):

1. Tom Gorzellany finds himself.
The 2009 Bucs aren't going to win games by outslugging the other team. Any success will be largely dictated by the efficiency of the starters. My biggest disappointment this Spring was Gorzo's poor results. I'm really hoping that the visit to Indy will be brief and that Gorzo comes back with the ability to consistently throw strikes while keeping the ball low and hitters off balance.

2. That I could not be more wrong about Andy LaRoche.
Spring results nothwithstanding, I have a sick feeling that Andy LaRoche is going to be a giant bust. I just don't think that the Dodgers would have given up so easily on him had they not had some very serious concerns about his ability to be a productive player on their roster. I'm really hoping that LaRoche Jr. proves me to be terribly and horribly WRONG. I'll gladly put on a bib and eat giant crow on this one.

3. That Nyjer Morgan is demoted by 5/1.
I want Morgan to play well enough in April that the Bucs are in the .500 range but not well enough for the Bucs' brass to think that he should get more time. I also want McCutcheon to tear up AAA in April so that, as of May 1, the OF is McLouth in LF; McCutcheon in CF and Moss in RF (see below). Not rooting for Morgan to fail miserably . . . just not well enough to justify running him out there everyday. Part and parcel with this wish is Tabata tearing up AA and being promoted to Indy on May 1 as well.

4. Brandon Moss "breaks out."
Not asking for Albert Pujols or Manny Ramirez (though I wouldn't complain). Hoping for 2008 McLouth-like or 2008 Nady-like production. If so, it will go a long way to curing some of the offensive woes seen after the Bay/Nady trades.

5. Adam LaRoche and Freddy Sanchez find their "summer stroke" in April.
Adam and Freddy were two giant black holes in an otherwise productive lineup early last year. Having their bats going right away instead of a prolonged "warm up" period will also go a long way to providing some much needed offense on what appears to be a team that will not be scoring a ton of runs. Personally, I think part of Adam's problem is mental but a bigger problem is that his particular hitting approach requires finding a delicate sense of timing and I'm far from convinced that he will be able to do anything to change that - no matter where he is playing or who is serving as his hitting coach.

Two wishes that fell just short of making the list: (1) Figuring out a way to convince Bucfan that major league hitters actually have a two stirke approach to hitting which involves swing adjustments and (2) Figuring out a way to convince others that the pitcher/catcher relationship has an impact on the pitcher's productivity (I was reminded of this over the weekend when both Dan Plesac and Mitch Williams commented (the Bucco version of 30 teams/30 days) that they both pitched better when a pitcher believed that the catcher had done his homework; met with the coaches; had a solid good game plan and had a sound strategy for calling particular pitches in a particular situation). ;) But . . . those are "personal" battle and I'd rather just have the Bucs play good baseball this summer. :)

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:05 pm 
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My 5:

1 - McCutchen becomes a legitimate leadoff hitter. This keeps Nate in the three hole and will provide more scoring opportunities.

2 - Andy LaRoche goes 280/360/480. Baby steps.

3 - Snell gets back to where he was two years ago

4 - Hansen and/or Veal (I'll take one but wouldn't mind both) become soild pitchers

5 - Another successful amateur draft


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:24 pm 
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My 5:

1. Moss has break out year.
2. Andy LaRoche has a big league year.
3. McCutchen becomes the lead off man.
4.Duke keeps the ball down and so returns to better pitcher.
5.Snell keeps his head on straight and improves his productivity.

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2011 Will Be Our Year -- well make that 2012 (just saying) So it looks like 2013 now - how long must this go on!
THIS IS IT-- NO MORE STREAK!!! *** Finally*** Time to win it in 2014


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:29 pm 
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My 5:

1. McLouth does not decline
2. Doumit does not decline
3. Maholm does not decline
4. Capps does not decline
5. Grabow does not decline

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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:39 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Two wishes that fell just short of making the list: (1) Figuring out a way to convince Bucfan that major league hitters actually have a two stirke approach to hitting which involves swing adjustments ...

Why would you care? I believe that this idea of having a "magic" two strike swing is ludicrous. Just ludicrous. ("Okay, I am down 0-2, but I have been saving my best swing for just this situation. I don't know why the hell I did not use it before I fell behind 0-2, but that is another story.")

And amazingly enough, this idea that major league hitters adjust their swing on 2-strike counts should result, if true, in the hitters stopping this strategy since they hit much, much, MUCH worse with 2 strikes than when they do not have 2 strikes.

Stats for the 2006 season are typical. They show the following hitting data when batters have 2 strikes:

All Counts with 2 strikes - 2006 for Major League Baseball
BA OBP SLG K-Rate BB-Rate BABIP
.194 .264 .300 36.2% 8.0% .322

A .564 OPS and a K-rate of more than 36%. That productivity is simply horrible.

2008 was no better. "To put that in some context, consider that the AL as a whole is hitting .195 while striking out 35.4 percent of the time with two strikes."

http://www.minnpost.com/aarongleeman/20 ... wo_strikes

Whatever the hell you think hitters are doing, they should stop it ...

So let me repeat, for the umpteenth time, that hitters have their swing. Most expand the strike zone with two strikes, yielding some ugly swings, but their swing is their swing.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:53 pm 
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I join BUCFAN, J. in concurrence.

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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:56 pm 
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CAN'T YOU PEOPLE AGREE TO DISAGREE ON THIS POINT? Enough already .

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2011 Will Be Our Year -- well make that 2012 (just saying) So it looks like 2013 now - how long must this go on!
THIS IS IT-- NO MORE STREAK!!! *** Finally*** Time to win it in 2014


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:09 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Two wishes that fell just short of making the list: ... and (2) Figuring out a way to convince others that the pitcher/catcher relationship has an impact on the pitcher's productivity

You can start by actually looking at the results of such a dynamic and then using said results to determine which catchers are consistently better than others at improving pitcher productivity. That would be helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Substitute2 wrote:
CAN'T YOU PEOPLE AGREE TO DISAGREE ON THIS POINT? Enough already .


Apparently Bucfan and Willton didn't get the tongue-in-cheek aspect to the end of my post. I thought that the use of the "winking" smiley and the "smiling" smiley conveyed the point but apparently I was wrong. I'm off to the medicine cabinet to take some more of my crazy pills . . . .

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:33 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Substitute2 wrote:
CAN'T YOU PEOPLE AGREE TO DISAGREE ON THIS POINT? Enough already .


Apparently Bucfan and Willton didn't get the tongue-in-cheek aspect to the end of my post. I thought that the use of the "winking" smiley and the "smiling" smiley conveyed the point but apparently I was wrong. I'm off to the medicine cabinet to take some more of my crazy pills . . . .


I got it. Perhaps the wrong people are taking the pills?????


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:50 pm 
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I got it, too. Though I'm not surprised that Wilton takes these things seriously, I am a bit surprised Bucfan didn't get it.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:35 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
I got it, too. Though I'm not surprised that Wilton takes these things seriously, I am a bit surprised Bucfan didn't get it.

ZM


I ignored several comments on this topic over the past few months, some of which were offered in jest and others seriously. At some point, continuing to post what No. 9 did is designed to get a response. Claiming that it was posted "in jest" would not allow Alex Keaton to post the same thought time and again, would it?


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:38 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Substitute2 wrote:
CAN'T YOU PEOPLE AGREE TO DISAGREE ON THIS POINT? Enough already .


Apparently Bucfan and Willton didn't get the tongue-in-cheek aspect to the end of my post. I thought that the use of the "winking" smiley and the "smiling" smiley conveyed the point but apparently I was wrong. I'm off to the medicine cabinet to take some more of my crazy pills . . . .

As Bucfan said, whether your post was tongue-in-cheek or not, the repetitive nature of it is begging for a response. If you're not trying to create a stir, then I don't understand why you keep bringing up our disagreements.

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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:51 pm 
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Sheesh, the repetative nature IS what makes it funny.

ZM

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Someone tell Votto... rbis are good


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:37 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
Sheesh, the repetative nature IS what makes it funny.

ZM


Exactly!!! Which is why I laughed pretty hard when BBF wrote this the other day:

Craig Wilson debate? How about this same friggin debate from last year about Laroche?

6 pages, started on May 7th...

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=56

I know there was at least one other thread around the same time, but I don't have the patience to search for it.

I can't wait for the Pirates to trade Laroche just so we don't have to keep having the same argument every year. Then we can throw him in the pile of history, along with Craig, productive outs, shortened swings, the relevance of the catcher to the pitching game, the value of RBI's.......


As Letterman has been know to say "its a joke people!" I know that BBF was making a joke and, even given my tag line and participation in each of those . . . um . . . discussions, I know that he was poking fun not at me or somehow challenging me, he was making light of the discussions. Given that this post was just days ago, I figured that my post would be taken in the intended light. My bad . . . or, since this is a baseball board . . . . my error. Just call me Andy.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:22 pm 
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1. Gorzo figures it out and comes back strong.

2. Andy LaRoche breaks the curse of his last name.

3. Pedro Alvarez hits 80 homers from A ball to AAA ball.

4. Adam LaRoche gets traded at the deadline.

5. Brandon Moss hits .300


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:50 pm 
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J_C_Steel's Five Beautiful Bucco Wishes

5. Either Andy LaRoche or Brandon Moss become a solid major league hitter.

4. Ian Snell develops into a consistent, top-of-the-rotation starter (ERA around 3.00).

3. Ryan Doumit stays healthy and becomes a star catcher.

2. All of the Pirates' top prospects (Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutcheon, Jose Tabata, Brad Lincoln and Bryan Morris) stay healthy, develop and show signs of becoming star players.

1. Somehow, some way, the Pirates eek out 82 wins on the year.

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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:51 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
2. That I could not be more wrong about Andy LaRoche.
Spring results nothwithstanding, I have a sick feeling that Andy LaRoche is going to be a giant bust. I just don't think that the Dodgers would have given up so easily on him had they not had some very serious concerns about his ability to be a productive player on their roster. I'm really hoping that LaRoche Jr. proves me to be terribly and horribly WRONG. I'll gladly put on a bib and eat giant crow on this one.

You think that the Dodgers gave up on LaRoche easily? That was Manny Ramirez they got in return for him. When you have a shot at acquiring Manny Ramirez in the midst of a tight pennant race, you give until it hurts.

Think back to the Pirates acquisition of Zane Smith. Do you think that they gave up on Moises Alou because he was included him in that deal? No chance. They had correctly decided that they needed another pitcher, and they had a shot at going all the way, so they winced and made the deal. It didn't work out as well as they hoped, but it was the right thing to do. I think that the Dodger's thinking was the same last year, and Zane Smith was no Manny Ramirez. Here's hoping that LaRoche IS a Moises Alou. I think his bat will be just fine, but I do worry about his glove at third.

Quote:
4. Brandon Moss "breaks out."
Not asking for Albert Pujols or Manny Ramirez (though I wouldn't complain). Hoping for 2008 McLouth-like or 2008 Nady-like production. If so, it will go a long way to curing some of the offensive woes seen after the Bay/Nady trades.

I think that Moss will end up being a Nady-type guy. Probably good enough to platoon for a winning team, but you don't really want him anywhere near the middle of the lineup on an every day basis. Here's hoping he makes me look bad.

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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:21 pm 
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1. Pirates have a draft at least as good as last year's draft, if not better.

2. Jack Wilson gets traded for something decent.

3. Jim Negrych is moved back to 2nd and starts pounding the ball again.

4. Andy LaRoche becomes an on-base machine.

5. Snell returns to his 2007 form.

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 Post subject: Re: 5 Wishes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:22 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
I think that Moss will end up being a Nady-type guy. Probably good enough to platoon for a winning team, but you don't really want him anywhere near the middle of the lineup on an every day basis. Here's hoping he makes me look bad.

I suspect that the Pirates agree with this opinion on Moss. They are hitting him 7th against right-handed pitching, and will platoon him with Monroe. They are not looking at him as a 3-4-5 hitter.


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