Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

-- Lots of Pirates-related stuff.

-- I have to root for Canada. Again. I'm not happy.

-- Other shizzle.

-- Next broadcast(s?).


---Playing Catch(-Up)---


It's pretty bad when I let more than a week go by without posting something. There's been a clear dip in my site's traffic because of it. Can't leave the adoring public hungry for too long.

So, let's get started...with starters.

Tony Armas's most recent, and, very possibly, final start in a Pirates uniform went shakily. He only gave up one run in the first inning, but managed to throw 40 pitches in the doing against Marlins Thursday night. I'm guessing that his middle name isn't "Efficiency".

In his place, it was officially announced this week that Shawn Chacon is being promoted from long-relief into a starter's role. I'm sure this move does not sit well with many fans for a couple of reasons.

1) Chacon has been servicable, if not good, in the long-relief role. His WHIP (Walks + Hits per Inning Pitched) is not a stellar number (1.37 over 33.2 IP).

2) Since Chacon has been...let's call it "not negative"... as the long-reliever/mop-up man, trying to put someone else in that role may not work out as well.

3) Chacon is not part of the future of the Pirates. This is taking up valuable experience time from righties in the minor league system, like Bryan Bullington and John Van Ben Scho Ten.

In defense of #1, his WHIP is still better than the team average (1.45 entering game 2 at Cardinals), and right in the middle of Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny (better) and Paul Maholm and Zach Duke (worse). However, his walks per inning pitched, if my calculations are correct, is only better than the man he's replacing. And we all know how quickly a free-base can come back and haunt a starting pitcher.

As for defending 2 and 3, I really can't do that well. The only thing I can think of is that Jim Tracy is thinking to give the veteran a fair shake. After all, there are two other pitchers in the rotation who are struggling mightily. Then again, at least it's not Marty McLeary

======

Speaking of which, the Stats Geek has an excellent article in yesterday's Post-Gazette, using the example of using McCleary with a four-run lead and the bases loaded instead of a pitcher who has been statistically better.

You can read it yourself, but I like this particular quote:

You know how football coaches have this little chart that says when to go for a two-point conversion and when to go for just one? Maybe managers could use one to remind them the crucial moment won't always wait for the ninth inning.

I don't think such a chart would help this coaching staff. Just a hunch.

======

The Pirates are finally considering virtually going all-in in the Dominican Republic. That's a trip that's about 20 years late. To be fair, the guys who went down weren't with us that long. So, they're only 6 years late.

And why do I get the feeling that we won't be getting the Domincan's true top prospects? Instead, it'll be phrased, "The Pirates' top Dominican prospect..."

Heh. On a "related, but not" note: from an Associated Press article:

[T]he New York Mets were breaking ground on a new $7.5 million academy just a few miles to the south in the beach resort of Boca Chica.

My Spanish is a bit rusty, but I think Boca Chica translates to Girl Mouth.

Hmm...

=======

Currently listening to tonight's Pirate game where the Bucs trail 2-0 in the 2nd off two solo shots from our ace and regular stopper Ian Snell. Naturally, the Pirates catch the Cardinals in a 5-game losing streak and instantly provide the wallowing World Champions the cure to what ails them.

And, of course, the Pirate bats are making Kip Wells look pretty good. Then again, it's always former Pirates who come back to haunt their former team. It's never a current Bucco who haunts his former team.

I can see why some people want to get off the merry-go-round.

T-minus 63 wins
or
T-minus 57 losses
with 117 to play.



---Last Chance---


Only hours remain to bid on Playoff Street Banners of your favorite Penguins.

Except Gary Roberts.

More on him in a bit.

===

Ho'boy.

----VS.----


No team called the "Ducks" has any business winning any championship. Period.

This was the reason I was forced to root for New Jersey in the Stanley Cup Finals when they took on the Mighty Ducks. If it had been the Minnesota Wild instead, I'd have been on that bandwagon.

So, for the second consecutive year, I have to pull for the Canadian representative. At least if the Senators do win it all, it makes the Penguins' first-round exit a little easier to take, since we went as far as any team was able to go against them (all teams have succumbed to Ottawa in 5 games so far). I don't care if it takes them 7, as long as they get it done.

Put Shamu Salami on another team, then I'll root for him.


---Random---


First, a LOOONG overdue thanks to Charlie at Bucs Dugout for giving my site a link on his page. I don't remember actually sending him my link or setting up a link exchange (pure laziness on my part...it's not like I don't enjoy reading blogs written by people who tend to know more stuff than me). And, of course, a thanks for calling this rag "well-written."

Secondly, "big ups" to loyal reader and Steeltown Angel Tiffany for being what I consider the punctuation mark on a pretty amusing running gag on John Fedko's Fone Zone program on PCNC.

If I am, somehow, your only link to the Pittsburgh blog scene, the joke is that callers would Fone into the Zone and start their calls with a seemingly relevant issue in Pittsburgh sports, whether it be Pirate pitchers or injured/unsigned Steelers players, and then the call would end with the caller asking why Gary Roberts (of the Penguins) isn't being used to fill these important roles.

Anyway, back to Tiffany's capper. Go to this page. Watch the first video, and listen toward the end.

I feel kind of bad for Fedko. I know a good deal of people resent him or just generally hate him. Show me this two years ago and I'm rolling in the aisles. Now I'm just chuckling despite myself.

I'll say this again: Sports talk is a lot harder than it looks when you run the show. Let the "inmates run the asylum," as it were, it's very difficult to recover from.

I will say that the thing that irks me about Fedko is that he does seem to try to be cool in that way that your dad tries to be cool with you when you're a teenager. "What's up, my man!"

Read: Looking anything but.

But he also seems to be going for a Jim Rome kind of feel. "Let's just call 'em 'Team Turmoil'."

So, if you're trying to be the cool father-figure type AND taking a model from a terrible sports talk show host, you're begging for a run of prank calls.

Of course, I don't know what that says about me, since...


---One, Perhaps Two---


A comment in a subsequent Pensblog post read thus:



Not that I'm overly concerned, because:

1) I'll be able to laugh it (them) off and maybe play with it (them) a bit; and,

2) I'm small-time enough that if I make a total jackass of myself, it won't take terribly long to live down.

That said, I have a short show scheduled on Saturday, June 9th from after the noon news until Pirate pregame at 12:40PM.

There is a possibility that I'll have a show on either Tuesday the 29th or Wednesday the 30th of this month (next week) for an hour and a half, depending on if I'll be on remotes those evenings. I should know more by tomorrow afternoon. A VERY outside chance that I'll have both the 29th and 30th.

2 Comments:

Anonymous karri said...

Mike,
First, besides wanting to see new pitchers come up from AAA ball, I would love it if the entire coaching staff was replaced also, well, at least Jim Tracy and Jim Colborn. Isn’t that the way it always is...when you have a semi-talented sports team that is not playing to their potential, the first thing fans want are the heads of the coaches. (Ex. The 2005-2006 Penguins...and you have to admit, Michel Therrien and Mike Yeo have made a huge difference with the Pens. )

Secondly, on the Friday, May 26th broadcast of the Pirates on FSN, Jonah Bayliss was interviewed, by some guy (I have no idea) about being the go-to-pitcher and the FSN guy said something like Bayliss may need to be called the “fireman.” He must have read Brian O’Neill’s article from the Stats Geek on May 22. (Side point: I found out from that interview that Jonah Bayliss’ sweet Fender Telecaster guitar is an interesting shade of orange, if the color of my TV is accurate.)

ThePensblog prank...hahaha...Tiff’s finishing touch - priceless!

Boca Chica ...well...what can I possibly say in response to that. ;)

5/26/2007 9:54 AM  
Anonymous nicole said...

Hey Mike,
I guess this might be my last comment for a while. Been using my friends computer to check out your site and others. Now I have to move to Florida with my family. Sucks!
I really liked your site...don't know when I'll see it again. :(

Keep writing...your really good.

Sorry I had to use an alias...didn't want anyone to know I was commenting on your site.

5/29/2007 4:26 PM  

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