First Pitch: Are the Pirates a Sign That Baseball is a Fair Game?
Sep30

First Pitch: Are the Pirates a Sign That Baseball is a Fair Game?

Earlier this week it was announced that Bud Selig would retire after the 2014 season. I would believe this, but Selig has said this before. This is about the sixth or seventh time that Selig has said he would be retiring, so it’s hard to take this announcement seriously. One aspect of Selig’s reign as commissioner is that baseball seems to favor big market teams, while making it harder on smaller markets to compete. Selig...

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First Pitch: Getting Hot at the Right Time
Sep29

First Pitch: Getting Hot at the Right Time

There’s one thing I’ve been saying in a lot of different articles over the past few days, and it remained true today: the Pirates have a lot of players who are getting hot at the right time. The playoffs are set up in a way where, once you’re in, you can win it all. Anyone can win a one game Wild Card matchup. Anyone can win a best of five or a best of seven series. It’s not as much about talent in these cases....

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First Pitch: If That’s All For A.J. Burnett…
Sep28

First Pitch: If That’s All For A.J. Burnett…

Tonight may have been the final start for A.J. Burnett in a Pirates uniform. There’s the chance that he could pitch in the playoffs, but that can only happen if the Pirates win the Wild Card game against the Reds on Tuesday. There’s a chance he could return next year, but that’s not a guarantee. If this was the final start for Burnett, then he went out with a bang. He absolutely dominated the Reds, putting the...

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First Pitch: The Biggest Story in the Pirates Minor League System This Year
Sep27

First Pitch: The Biggest Story in the Pirates Minor League System This Year

This afternoon I had a radio interview with Daniel Dudley of TribLIVE Radio, which has pretty much been a weekly thing each Thursday afternoon this season. Today Dan asked me a question I was all too prepared for, and not because I knew it was coming. The question actually surprised me, but it’s a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot this year. I was asked how this season has felt as someone who has followed the farm...

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First Pitch: The Six Year Plan, and the Next Six Years
Sep26

First Pitch: The Six Year Plan, and the Next Six Years

Six years ago, on September 25th, 2007, the Pittsburgh Pirates hired Neal Huntington to be their new General Manager. Six years later, that looks like one of the most important moves the team has made. When Huntington took over, the Pirates had almost nothing to work with. Their farm system had Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker. There were guys who would later be developed into major league players, like Starling Marte and Tony Watson,...

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First Pitch: First to the Majors Doesn’t Equal Best in the Draft
Sep25

First Pitch: First to the Majors Doesn’t Equal Best in the Draft

In 2008 Jay Bruce made it to the majors and hit 21 home runs in 413 at-bats, finishing fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting. Bruce was taken one pick after Andrew McCutchen, which had people questioning the selection of McCutchen. At the time, McCutchen was in the middle of a season where he had a .770 OPS in Triple-A. Bruce remains a good player, but McCutchen has turned into an MVP. Justin Smoak reached the majors in April of...

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