Friday, August 28, 2009

From the Smize-archives!

At the top of Smizik's latest blog musings, he describes his storied past as the Pirates' beat writer during the 1970's dynasty.
It was a great experience for a young reporter to be around such an outstanding team and such extraordinary players. I didn’t quite realize it at the time, but it was an honor to cover Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski and the rest of those players. They were my Boys Of Summer.
Wow, Bob! That's a really incredible gig! But was it enough to make you... enjoy sports?

October 14th, 1960--
While there is reason to celebrate now, you can expect even more fireworks from Pirates' second basemen in the future. Bill Mazeroski's hit is looking less and less like an aberration, and more like something he can build on.

October 1st, 1972--
3,000 hits for Bob Clemente, and he's just getting started! Could we be seeing the makings of a 4,000 hit career?

April 7, 1973--
Bucs win opening day, as Steve Blass gets a jittery start out of his system. Should be smooth sailing from Pirates' ace from here on.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Silver lining, part i.

As we sit through another WGN rain delay, let's dig deep for some positives on the 2009 season. How 'bout this: Andrew McCutchen. Compare him to the Cubs' leadoff-hitting center fielder, Kosuke Fukudome.

Fukudome's career stats:
254 games, 20 HR, 18 SB, 12 CS, .264/.372/.414, 102 OPS+

McCutchen's career stats:
63 games, 7 HR, 12 SB, 1 CS, .285/.352/.473, 120 OPS+

Other main difference is that Chicago's Japanese import cost $48,000,000 for 4 years, whereas 'Cutch is rookie cheap. I'd be shocked if he makes more than $2 million total, by the time Fukudome's contract is up.

And for those of you following, Andrew McCutchen leads all rookie position players in Value Over Replacement Player. I don't put a ton of stock into that as a predictive tool for Rookie of the Year considerations (partly because VORP and BBWAA are two acronyms that can't stand to be in the same room together, and partly/more importantly because McCutchen will also be up against some non-position player competition-- J.A. Happ being the leading candidate); however, it's still encouraging.

There's probably at least one other positive thing to say about the Buccos, but WGN is going to their 'Coach' marathon, so I'm tapping out for now.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What could this mean??

I love Mike Tomlin to the max. I have an unhealthy amount of respect for the dude, and have yet to find fault with the way he runs the team. That said, fuck the heck does this mean??

“Hines has money in my emotional bank account, so I take care of Hines,” said Tomlin, who had Ward sit out every midweek practice last season.

Working backwards:
3. Hines Ward was kept out of Wednesday practices last year because he's getting fragile, didn't need to learn anything new, and would be better conditioned on game day because of the extra rest.
2. "I take care of Hines" Perfectly fair; we expect a coach to take care of his players.
1. "emotional bank account" !??!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!??!

Thoughts? Anyone?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Editor's note

Some, if not all of the information in this post is no longer true. Derrick Mason has unretired and will join the Ravens' training camp after all.

Let's make him regret it.