• First Pitch: The Other Black Hole in the Lineup

    Last week I looked at the black hole in the lineup that is the 7-9 spots, specifically looking at how the Pirates have seen the worst offensive production in the league from non-pitchers. I wanted to continue that by taking a look at the top of the order. Going in to this...

  • First Pitch: Spending Money in Free Agency Isn’t Worth It

    A few years ago I saw Pat Lackey at WHYGAVS write an article at the end of the year talking about what he learned about the game of baseball that year. I thought it was a good approach to take. It makes sense for anyone to embrace new lines of thinking, evaluate...

  • First Pitch: There Is No Escape

    I was watching the game tonight around the seventh inning, thinking about how Kevin Correia was dealing on the mound. I've been critical of Correia this year, but the last two months he's been the least of the problems for the Pirates. In fact, he's been their best starter during that time....

  • First Pitch: The Day Huntington and Stark Lost Their Jobs?

    When I read Dejan Kovacevic's column on the Navy SEAL training last night, my initial reaction was "someone is getting fired". Between the team's horrible play at the major league level, and now this news coming out complete with Kyle Stark's e-mail, it was the perfect recipe for a full day of...

  • First Pitch: Pitching Has Been the Problem

    I wanted to take a step back tonight and look at how the individual players on this team are performing since the start of August. The team as a whole has been horrible, and watching the day to day action has gotten extremely frustrating. One day the pitching will be decent, but...

  • First Pitch: The 2009 Draft Class Lacking Impact Talent

    Today we finished up the Bradenton Marauders recap, which means we've wrapped up all of the prep pitchers from the 2009 draft. There are still players from the 2009 draft to cover in the upper levels of the farm system. However, since a bulk of the draft was focused on those prep...

  • First Pitch: Stolen Bases Are a Problem, But Not the Big Problem

    It's not a surprise to me that the Pirates haven't been placing much emphasis on the running game this year. They've been taking that approach in the minors the last few years, having pitchers focus on the batter at the plate, rather than holding the runner on first base. It makes sense...

  • First Pitch: Bad Scheduling Decision

    It would have been impossible to predict a year in advance that it was going to rain in Chicago tonight. That's about how long ago it has been since the 2012 MLB schedule came out. However, it wouldn't have been impossible to plan for the possibility of rain. Baseball schedules constantly have...

  • First Pitch: The Dismal Tide

    "You know, if you'd have told me 20 years ago I'd see children walking the streets of our Texas towns with green hair, bones in their noses, I just flat-out wouldn't have believed you." "Signs and wonders. But I think once you quit hearing 'sir' and 'ma'am,' the rest is soon to foller." "Oh, it's the tide. It's the dismal tide. It...

  • First Pitch: Looking Deeper at the Black Hole at the Bottom of the Lineup

    The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Clint Barmes and Rod Barajas over the off-season, looking at each player for values other than offense. So far on the season, both players have put up some horrible offensive numbers. Yet each is getting playing time. Barmes is getting playing time because of his defense. His 17.5...

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