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 Post subject: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:11 pm 
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Just sayin . . . I heard in a post-game interview with Flash that the team is 4 games over .500 with Jack in the lineup. As long as the pitching staff continues to post quality starts, why is it not reasonable to speculate that an 82 win season is possible? If Doumit returns like his old self, there are not additional significant injuries, and the team does not engage in a summer fire sale of AdLaRoche, Freddy and Jack, it seems that the team should be legitimately competitive.

Look -- we've lost more than our share of close games. We've blown out a bunch of teams, and very rarely been blown out. With quality pitching (Snell, notwithstanding), improving youngsters (Moss, Morgan and AnLaroche are impressing me, and the backup catchers are holding their own), the improbable is possible.

Or am I just being irrational in the glow of the comeback against the Mets?


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 Post subject: Re: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:27 pm 
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Just to be blunt, they have been way too inconsistent for me to have any hopes of a winning record right now. A lot of that inconsistency lies on the offense. I have overall been fairly satisfied with the pitching (minus Snell), or maybe anything is a glitter of hope after last season. The offensive inconsistency starts from the guys that are supposed to be producing runs ... Ad. LaRoche and McLouth are struggling right now. LaRoche simply has to get out of this slump soon before the team gets buried to close to ten games under .500. McLouth hasn't been the same since coming off of that minor injury (save the game he led off and had 2 hits and a HR). Doumit's return is always a nice thought, even though it has been hard to not be satisfied with the rookie tandem thus far ...


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 Post subject: Re: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:35 pm 
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That is true Shark, but consider this. They are maddeningly inconsistant now mostly because A LaRoche is being early-season A LaRoche, and Doumit is out.

They still hover in shouting distance of .500.

The arguement can be made that they will not be nearly so inconsistant once A LaRoche hits June 15th, Doumit is back, McClouth (anticipatorily) gets his patience and stroke back, McCutch joins the fray in one way or another.

Lets also say that Jackson is a better option in the pen than what we've seen so far in long relief. That Capps rounds into form and Grabow becomes Grabow again. Not so far fetched those three.

Now, you have an interesting team down the stretch, especially with LaRoche doing his best late-season Ruth impression.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:07 pm 
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I'm not giving up on .500. You never know. Certainly they are capable of playing better than what they have so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:33 pm 
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The answer lies in our record WITHOUT Jack in the line-up, because that is going to be the case after the trade deadline.

I think this group, left intact could flirt with .500, which is encouraging in one sense because you can start to see some of the pieces starting to take shape. What will be disheartening is how bad we are going to be in August and September because of the upheaval to the line-up.


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 Post subject: Re: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:40 pm 
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Jack, or Jumpin Jack Flash will be here for the duration. The Pirates will not trade him. Who would his replacement be, b/c they are not going to bring up anyone next year long term.


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 Post subject: Re: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:55 pm 
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If they trade Jack, they must get a major-league-ready ss in return. Lord knows neither Bix nor Vasquez can man the position effectively. But because of his middling offense, the likelihood of getting fair value (including that necessary ss component)seems low, so I'd be surprised if he gets moved (giving propsective credit to NH for nixing low-ball offers).

When we have Jack and Freddy up the middle, that is an above-average to excellent keystone, which is critical to the success of our "pitch-to-contact" starters. So Jack's value is probably higher to the Bucs than to most other teams.

That leads me to believe that we will keep him for a while -- and I, for one, would be happy with that result.


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 Post subject: Re: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:32 pm 
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I don't think there is any chance of a .500 season. We are behind where we were last year at this point by a couple games.


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 Post subject: Re: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:50 pm 
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NYC-Buc wrote:
If they trade Jack, they must get a major-league-ready ss in return. Lord knows neither Bix nor Vasquez can man the position effectively. But because of his middling offense, the likelihood of getting fair value (including that necessary ss component)seems low, so I'd be surprised if he gets moved (giving propsective credit to NH for nixing low-ball offers).

When we have Jack and Freddy up the middle, that is an above-average to excellent keystone, which is critical to the success of our "pitch-to-contact" starters. So Jack's value is probably higher to the Bucs than to most other teams.

That leads me to believe that we will keep him for a while -- and I, for one, would be happy with that result.

There is no need to get a major-league-ready SS in return for Jack. Insisting that the Pirates get such a player will severely limit whatever the Pirates could get in return. It's the same faulty logic of DL in making sure he get a major-league-ready player in return for every player he traded: it limits the scope and hence the potential value of what could be had in return. The Pirates should be seeking the best possible player or series of players in return for Jack, not just the best possible shortstop.

If the Pirates trade Jack and have to play Bixler in his stead for the rest of the season, so be it. This team is not going to win a pennant this year, and the difference between Bixler manning the keystone for August and September and someone else doing so is not going to have a practical effect on the season's outcome. If the team needs a new shortstop next year, such a player can be found during the offseason.

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 Post subject: Re: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:00 pm 
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Willton wrote:
NYC-Buc wrote:
If they trade Jack, they must get a major-league-ready ss in return. Lord knows neither Bix nor Vasquez can man the position effectively. But because of his middling offense, the likelihood of getting fair value (including that necessary ss component)seems low, so I'd be surprised if he gets moved (giving propsective credit to NH for nixing low-ball offers).

When we have Jack and Freddy up the middle, that is an above-average to excellent keystone, which is critical to the success of our "pitch-to-contact" starters. So Jack's value is probably higher to the Bucs than to most other teams.

That leads me to believe that we will keep him for a while -- and I, for one, would be happy with that result.

There is no need to get a major-league-ready SS in return for Jack. Insisting that the Pirates get such a player will severely limit whatever the Pirates could get in return. It's the same faulty logic of DL in making sure he get a major-league-ready player in return for every player he traded: it limits the scope and hence the potential value of what could be had in return. The Pirates should be seeking the best possible player or series of players in return for Jack, not just the best possible shortstop.

If the Pirates trade Jack and have to play Bixler in his stead for the rest of the season, so be it. This team is not going to win a pennant this year, and the difference between Bixler manning the keystone for August and September and someone else doing so is not going to have a practical effect on the season's outcome. If the team needs a new shortstop next year, such a player can be found during the offseason.


I'm sort of in the middle on both your points...If you're going to trade Jack there needs to be someone capable of playing SS everyday, atleast defensively, but you cant trade Jack for a Major League ready SS. If a team had a Major League ready SS they'd be playing him, because chances are he's got a higher ceiling than Jack.

I think if Jack were to be traded Cruz could be a reliable person to field the position and with Vazquez as the backup, I'd be alright with that until next season...by then Friday might be ready for Pittsburgh...

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 Post subject: Re: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:38 am 
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ZelieMike wrote:
That is true Shark, but consider this. They are maddeningly inconsistant now mostly because A LaRoche is being early-season A LaRoche, and Doumit is out.

They still hover in shouting distance of .500.

The arguement can be made that they will not be nearly so inconsistant once A LaRoche hits June 15th, Doumit is back, McClouth (anticipatorily) gets his patience and stroke back, McCutch joins the fray in one way or another.

Lets also say that Jackson is a better option in the pen than what we've seen so far in long relief. That Capps rounds into form and Grabow becomes Grabow again. Not so far fetched those three.

Now, you have an interesting team down the stretch, especially with LaRoche doing his best late-season Ruth impression.

ZM

I wouldn't count too much on Doumit being Doumit when he comes back. It's not uncommon for guys with wrist injuries to take a full year to get their power back.

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 Post subject: Re: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:58 am 
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Not his history. Doumit's history is one who comes off the DL smoking.

Not that a wrist injury can't change that.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:32 am 
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I expect Jack and Freddy to be here next year. Our trade pieces this July are LaRoche and Grabow.


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 Post subject: Re: Winning Record?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:15 pm 
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Normally I don't throw around the usual cliche sayings like "this is truly a telling series for this team", but coming off the unexpected (at least to me) sweep of a good Mets team, facing some of their rotation at that, and of course the end fueled by the trade, they have pulled 3 games under .500. I am very interested to see how this carries over facing a last place Astros team, though of course not by much. It seems as if every time they attempt to close the back, they wind up burying themselves further ...

Or should we just assume we will see THIS Mike Hampton tonight once again?

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