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Menudo

Am I Dreaming Or Are The Pittsburgh Pirates In First Place ?

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It has been a LONG time since I've been this excited about the Pirates. I LOVE baseball, and I've stood by and followed the Pirates through all 19 years of their below .500 streak. It has been often sad, usually painful and always frustrating. Last year, the Pirates provided some fun until late April, but, then had an epic collapse. That is NOT going to happen with this team this year. I'm not saying that they are going to win the division, or even win the playoffs, though I think they have a chance at both, but, they aren't going to collapse. They will definitely finish above .500 and will be in contention down to the wire. The new ownership and management started this process a few years ago by spending lots of money in the draft. Also, the high picks have actually begun to progress well, and some surprises have shown up as well. Not only are the Pirates now in contention, but, they have the 11th ranked farm system according to Baseball America. They are loaded with pitching talent in the farm system, and have Starling Marte putting up numbers that will bring him to the Pirates soon. He is reported to be a McCutchen clone at this point in his career. If he is even 75% of McCutchen, this could turn into a beautiful thing.

 

Speaking of Andrew McCutchen.....WOW !!! He is my favorite Pirate to watch....ever, and that includes Barry Bonds. (I was too young to see Clemente, and only remember Stargell in his late years). The guys on baseball tonight all agreed that at this point, he is the MVP in the National League. He was good last year, but, he has now developed into an absolute superstar. There is nothing that he doesn't do well. He hits for average, he hits for power, he is one of the fastest players in baseball, he tracks down everything in CF and has a great arm. He is the definition of an MVP, as the Pirates would have 15-20 less wins without him. He was there only offense in April & May, where the Pirates offense was dismal, and the pitching carried them. In June, they scored the most runs in baseball. :shocking: Pedro Alvarez is finally getting it and living up to his high expectations. His power potential is through the roof, but, he is now coming up with big hits in clutch situations. Garrett Jones has been phenomenal lately, adding pop to the middle of the lineup that was desperately needed. Neil Walker is a solid 2nd baseman as well.

 

A.J. Burnett has been a phenomenal signing. He has not only pitched very well, but, he has brought leadership to a talented young group of arms. James McDonald always had the talent, but, he has now learned how to pitch, and is among the most successful starters in the NL. He got robbed from the All Star Game. The bullpen has been the best in baseball, and that has played a hugh part in their success.

 

Now, I want to see them add a SP, SS & 1B/RF at the break, but, I don't want to see them get rid of any of their top rated guys (Cole, Tallion, Marte) to do it. That would put them out of the Hamels/Greinke area. I would like to see if they can get Garza without giving up any of those three, and then pick up an inexpensive improvement at SS (won't take much as Barmes is terrible), I like Jed Lowrie from the Astros as a possiblility there. Then, possibly get someone in the Josh Willingham talent area for RF/1B.

 

As you can tell, I'm so excited watching this. I can't remember enjoying any sports season this much, and that includes the Steelers & Pens. Perhaps it's because the Pirates are such underdogs and are succeeding at a heavy disadvantage financially. I'm loving every minute of this season, and hope it continues !!!!

 

P.S. If the Pirates fall apart after this message, blame me for the jinx.

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It has been a LONG time since I've been this excited about the Pirates. I LOVE baseball, and I've stood by and followed the Pirates through all 19 years of their below .500 streak. It has been often sad, usually painful and always frustrating. Last year, the Pirates provided some fun until late April, but, then had an epic collapse. That is NOT going to happen with this team this year. I'm not saying that they are going to win the division, or even win the playoffs, though I think they have a chance at both, but, they aren't going to collapse. They will definitely finish above .500 and will be in contention down to the wire. The new ownership and management started this process a few years ago by spending lots of money in the draft. Also, the high picks have actually begun to progress well, and some surprises have shown up as well. Not only are the Pirates now in contention, but, they have the 11th ranked farm system according to Baseball America. They are loaded with pitching talent in the farm system, and have Starling Marte putting up numbers that will bring him to the Pirates soon. He is reported to be a McCutchen clone at this point in his career. If he is even 75% of McCutchen, this could turn into a beautiful thing.

 

Speaking of Andrew McCutchen.....WOW !!! He is my favorite Pirate to watch....ever, and that includes Barry Bonds. (I was too young to see Clemente, and only remember Stargell in his late years). The guys on baseball tonight all agreed that at this point, he is the MVP in the National League. He was good last year, but, he has now developed into an absolute superstar. There is nothing that he doesn't do well. He hits for average, he hits for power, he is one of the fastest players in baseball, he tracks down everything in CF and has a great arm. He is the definition of an MVP, as the Pirates would have 15-20 less wins without him. He was there only offense in April & May, where the Pirates offense was dismal, and the pitching carried them. In June, they scored the most runs in baseball. :shocking: Pedro Alvarez is finally getting it and living up to his high expectations. His power potential is through the roof, but, he is now coming up with big hits in clutch situations. Garrett Jones has been phenomenal lately, adding pop to the middle of the lineup that was desperately needed. Neil Walker is a solid 2nd baseman as well.

 

A.J. Burnett has been a phenomenal signing. He has not only pitched very well, but, he has brought leadership to a talented young group of arms. James McDonald always had the talent, but, he has now learned how to pitch, and is among the most successful starters in the NL. He got robbed from the All Star Game. The bullpen has been the best in baseball, and that has played a hugh part in their success.

 

Now, I want to see them add a SP, SS & 1B/RF at the break, but, I don't want to see them get rid of any of their top rated guys (Cole, Tallion, Marte) to do it. That would put them out of the Hamels/Greinke area. I would like to see if they can get Garza without giving up any of those three, and then pick up an inexpensive improvement at SS (won't take much as Barmes is terrible), I like Jed Lowrie from the Astros as a possiblility there. Then, possibly get someone in the Josh Willingham talent area for RF/1B.

 

As you can tell, I'm so excited watching this. I can't remember enjoying any sports season this much, and that includes the Steelers & Pens. Perhaps it's because the Pirates are such underdogs and are succeeding at a heavy disadvantage financially. I'm loving every minute of this season, and hope it continues !!!!

 

P.S. If the Pirates fall apart after this message, blame me for the jinx.

 

 

Don't give up yet on Megehee(sp) or Garret Jones. We may not 1st base or RF yet. Now shortstop is another story. Forget about Lowrie. I am hearing the asking price is too high. It's been fun so far. I agree they won't collapse like last year. They do need someone to step up as a third SP. Karstens needs to get healthy(I think he is still hurting), or maybe get someone to eat some innings. Enjoy the ride. It's been a long time. By the way, the most fun Pirate to watch in the 70s was Dave Parker. He was incredible. He was a big man that could run, hit, and had a great arm. I still hold him as my favorite of all time.

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Don't give up yet on Megehee(sp) or Garret Jones. We may not 1st base or RF yet. Now shortstop is another story. Forget about Lowrie. I am hearing the asking price is too high. It's been fun so far. I agree they won't collapse like last year. They do need someone to step up as a third SP. Karstens needs to get healthy(I think he is still hurting), or maybe get someone to eat some innings. Enjoy the ride. It's been a long time. By the way, the most fun Pirate to watch in the 70s was Dave Parker. He was incredible. He was a big man that could run, hit, and had a great arm. I still hold him as my favorite of all time.

 

 

I read the same thing about the asking price for Lowrie. Not sure what the Astros are smoking there. He is a gritty player, but, he isn't going to bring a top notch prospect. As for Jones/McGehee, I agree, there isn't much to not like lately, as they are both raking. I'm fine with keeping them at 1B if we add a RF. I'd like to see a lineup that looks something like this:

 

1) Marte (LF)

2) Walker (2B)

3) Cutch (CF)

4) Alvarez (3B) - I know it is working with him 6th, but, he eventually needs to be here.

5) Jones/McGehee (1B)

6) New RF with some pop acquired in trade - would love Willingham

7) New SS acquired in trade - still think Lowrie would be perfect if price comes down

8) Barajas/McKenry

 

Agree 100 percent about adding a top 3 rotation arm to go with JMac & AJ. It would really hold value if they make the playoffs.

 

I just hope the fun continues. :tup:

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Rooting for you Menudo. The Royals are so close to getting there...they just need their minor league pitching to catch up to the bats. Probably start seeing them really progress next year.

 

The central is so bad right now that a week ago the Royals were 5.5 games out of first.

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The Royals are so close to getting there

 

:rofl:

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The Giants just won 2 Super Bowls but for some reason following the Pirates is more fun. I don't know if it is because they play every night or if it is because they've sucked for so long but this is a blast.

 

I want a SP first (Garza, Dempster or Saunders) and then a SS (Lowrie or maybe Scutoro).

 

I'm ok with a lineup of:

 

 

1) Marte (LF)

2) Walker (2B)

3) Cutch (CF)

4) McGehee (1B)

5) Jones (RF)

6) Alvarez (3B)

7) New SS

8) Barajas/Fort

 

P.S. I was gonna post but I didn't want to jinx them. Now it's on you.

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2nd best record in the NL, and 4th best record in MLB at the all-star break. I know I'm dreaming, but, I'm enjoying it, so, don't pinch me.

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The Royals have a RF (Jeff Francouer, best defensive RF in baseball, decent pop from the plate (he was hitting well in the 1st half, but they were right at people; last years' numbers are representative of what you should expect), and who is a good lockerroom guy too) they'd trade, along with a closer (who was 21 for 24 save opportunities in the 1st half of the season) if you need one, for a SP.

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I love that you jinxed your Pirates Mark! Now the Reds are in first! Whoohooo. :razz:

 

 

:highfive:

 

we will see what happens without Votto for a few weeks

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I'm heading to the Saturday and Sunday games this weekend with my Wife, Son, Nephew, Mom, Sister & Brother-In-Law. I had to go to Stubhub to get tickets, which is GREAT !!!! For so many years, Pirates tickets were easily picked up at the ticket window. Hell, you could choose where you wanted to sit. Now, they are selling out games. I can't wait to see my son (5) & my nephew (6) together at the game. They both love the Pirates and especially Andrew McCutchen. We are in the 2nd row in Left Field for the Saturday game, and there will be a fireworks show after the game. Sunday, we are going to be right next to the Pirates dugout down the 3rd base line. I'm hoping for some autograph opportunities on Sunday,and the boys will get to run the bases after the game. I'm loving this baseball season so much, that it hasn't made me miss football as much as I usually do. :)

 

Let's Go Bucs !!!

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Hugh series against the Reds this weekend.

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Reds somehow manage to extend their lead to 5 games despite missing Votto for a few weeks and no Phillips for a handfull of games. September is going to be very interesting for 2 usual bottom feeders :brew:

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It's a shame, but the Pirates nickel and dimed for talent at the trade deadline. And that's what will haunt them this year. All they had to do was buck up a little to get some actual pitching talent, but in typical Pirate fashion, they went to the scrap heap and hoped to get lucky. Wandy Rodriguez, really? The organization made good money this season, and their fans came out and supported the hell out of them, but the FO seems to have a one-tract mind on how to do things. Hopefully, they can get this ship turned in the right direction before it's too late.

Edited by fitzkek

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Reds somehow manage to extend their lead to 5 games despite missing Votto for a few weeks and no Phillips for a handfull of games. September is going to be very interesting for 2 usual bottom feeders :brew:

 

Redlegs now up 6 games after last night.

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I actually don't mind any of the trades they made. They weren't getting Greinke & who else was/is that great? The problem is JMac hit a wall, so did the bullpen, and in the last 3 weeks Cutch & Pedro have combined for 1 HR & 5 RBI.

 

If they can stay close for another 2 weeks Septembers schedule is cake.

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I actually don't mind any of the trades they made. They weren't getting Greinke & who else was/is that great? The problem is JMac hit a wall, so did the bullpen, and in the last 3 weeks Cutch & Pedro have combined for 1 HR & 5 RBI.

 

If they can stay close for another 2 weeks Septembers schedule is cake.

 

 

Other then the 6 games against the Reds you are correct. The Reds have a pretty easy schedule as well barring 3 games against the Dodgers.

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It's a shame, but the Pirates nickel and dimed for talent at the trade deadline. And that's what will haunt them this year. All they had to do was buck up a little to get some actual pitching talent, but in typical Pirate fashion, they went to the scrap heap and hoped to get lucky. Wandy Rodriguez, really? The organization made good money this season, and their fans came out and supported the hell out of them, but the FO seems to have a one-tract mind on how to do things. Hopefully, they can get this ship turned in the right direction before it's too late.

 

 

Dude, you are EXTREMELY mis-informed here. I stand by what the Pirates did at the deadline 100%. It had zero to do with money. It had everything to do with maintaining a team that is primed to be contenders for the next several years, not just this year. They were being asked to give up top prospects like Starling Marte for rental players like Hunter Pence. No way should the Pirates even consider this. Anyone who has watched Marte play knows that he is the real deal. The Pirates are absolutely loaded with pitching talent in the minors, and they were right to not let top prospects Gerrit Cole or Jameson Tailon go. Those two top out at 99 and 97 on the radar gun and have all the goods. The Pirates made moves to improve their team for this year and make a run without giving up on their future. All three guys they got are under team control for the next few years. What exactly do you want them to buck up for ? The asking price for Greinke was Marte & Cole......give me a break !!! There is no way that I do that. Of course, I highly double you know who Gerritt Cole or Jameson Tailon are, so, I think you were speaking with a general lack of knowledge of the Pirates situation.

 

Your comment about the front office is laughable. Do you realize that this front office has spent the most money in the draft over the last five years ? This is not the ownership of old that wouldn't take a high pick because of the cost associated with it. This ownership is committed to winning over several years. They will continue to increase payroll through the years. You do realize that they extended McCutchen's contract prior to the season, something the old front office had never done ? The market is small, they can't charge as much for tickets, food, etc. or sell as much merchandise as the big market teams, who have 10 times the population to pull from.

 

I like you Fitz, but, this post was filled with ignorance. However, I understand being upset when your 180 million dollar payroll team is a joke, and things are only going to get worse. The Phillies minor league cupboard is empty, they are completely eaten up by contracts to Howard, Lee & Halladay, and the fans are bitter. Sure, the Phillies went for it and have a World Series trophy to show for it (though, when you are paying over twice as much as the MLB average for your team, you damn well should win something), nothing wrong with that, but, when you are in a market that isn't even in the same stratosphere, you have to go about building your team differently, because baseball, unlike other sports, is an unfair and unbalanced game, where large market teams have a clear advantage. Not every big-market team takes advantage of their advantage, but, they do have it.

 

By the way Fitz, if you were fishing for me...........good catch.

 

Oh, and here is a nice video, pay close attention to the beginning...........

 

 

Edited by Menudo

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The Pirates have been cringe-worthy over the last week, but, no way am I jumping off this ship. Of course, I want to make the playoffs, and once there, who knows what can happen. However, this is a team that won 57 games just two seasons ago. This has been a magical season, and the Pirates have the guns in the minors to be contenders for the next few seasons. That isn't easy to do for a small market team. Baseball has peaks and valleys, the Bucs are going through their worst valley. I believed that they will get it together and will contend through September for the wild card. Whether they got it or not, this season has been an unbelievable accomplishment.

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