Poof! There Goes Another Face Of The Franchise . . .

Posted on June 4, 2009. Filed under: MLB | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

DO THE PITSBURGH PIRATES EVEN HAVE A FRANCHISE PLAYER?  Sure, second baseman Freddy Sanchez won the National League batting title in 2006 – wait, you didn’t know a Pirate led the league in batting recently?  Well, he did – but he never really stuck as “the guy”.   And every year that management claims to have signed the “face of the franchise”, they turn around and trade him for minor league prospects and reep the ires of their tired fanbase.  Pittsburgh’s once beloved Buccos have become faceless. 

Nate McClouth Makes One of His Many Spectacular Plays as a Pirate

Just yesterday the Pirates traded freshly signed, All-Star centerfielder, Nate McClouth, who last year won the first gold glove for a Pirates’ player in ten years, to Atlanta for three prospects.  Here are the details.  The positive?  The move makes way for celebrated centerfielder, Andrew McCuthchen, to play on the big stage.  A consolation prize of sorts . . .

This follows the big splash move – well, not for Pittsburgh – of last season where the Pirates sent Jason Bay to the Red Sox to replace Manny Ramirez in Left Field as he escaped as far away as he could from Boston in a three way trade to Los Angeles.   What did the Pirates get?  Pieces for the “future”.  And fans are waiting to see a glimmer of hope from Brandon Moss and Andy LaRoche, who are starting in the big leagues, but haven’t yet delivered in a way that replaces fan favorite, Jason Bay.

Outfielder Brandon Moss has 7 homeruns in the 90 games he’s played in Pittsburgh, is hitting .242 over that span and strikes out once every four at bats.  His fielding is not terrible and he’ll pull out a gem every now and again, but he’s not the “amazing” player the management touted he would be.  Not yet . . .

After a forgettable start to his Pirates career in 2008, Andy LaRoche is rounding into form so far this year, batting nearly .300 with 13 doubles and making some spectacular plays at the hot corner, not withstanding his terrible 3 error performance in the first two games of the season, of course . . .   

With Jason Bay instrumental in the Red Sox playoff run last year and already totaling 16 dingers for Boston this season, Pittsburgh fans feel like they’ve just sucked on a bushel of lemons . . . SOUR.

There might be hope for the future, but the loyal fans that support the once proud participant in the “City of Champions” have been waiting 16 years for a winning team to cheer on. 

Not for bobbleheads, fireworks and Styx concerts . . .

Yes, this is only the second year with new management, and President Frank Coonelly and GM Neal Huntington are focusing on the hated “future” during a season where it is imperative that the team gets to at least 81-81 or else they will hold the most dubious distinction of WORST FRANCHISE IN PRO SPORTS via their 17 consecutive losing seasons . . .

Haven’t the Bucco faithful been waiting long enough?

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That Dude . . .

Posted on May 5, 2009. Filed under: Life, MLB, NHL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

You know that dude . . .

No matter what type of sports fan you are, there’s that dude . . .

The dude that seems to have your team’s number EVERY time.  You involuntarily start to dry heave when you see him on TV making an amazing play.  You actually hate him.  And if he happens to get injured, you don’t feel bad. 

You know that dude.  Or dudes . . .

At this very moment, there are two players that I want to punch in the face. 

Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals:  He always answers.  It’s the match up the NHL dreamed about all season.  Sid “The Kid” Crosby versus Alexander “The (puke) Great” Ovechkin in the playoffs battling for bragging rights in a well documented hate – hate relationship.  Through two games, he has responded to every goal and has matched Crosby’s 4 goals in the series with 4 of his own.  His excessive celebrating and lack of respect for his competition makes him the NHL’s version of Terrell Owens, except he doesn’t drop the puck and is leading his team, not destroying it.  I can’t stand him.   

   
 

Matt Garza, Tampa Bay Rays:  Spitface.  It seems like every time the camera is on him, he is spitting on the mound.  In between EVERY pitch.  Annoying.  Even more annoying is the fact that the Red Sox just can’t figure him out.  His ONLY two wins this season have come against Boston.  Since his stellar Game 7 performance in the ALCS last year, which earned him MVP honors, Garza has dominated my team.  In his last start versus the Sox, he engineered a 13-0 win with 10 strikeouts, taking a no-hitter into the 7th inning before Jacoby Ellsbury got to him.  That clobbering made Garza 7-1 with a 2.54 ERA in 10 career starts against Boston.     ARGGGHHHHHH!

For now, that’s who I am hating on . . .

P.S.  Of course, you would love to have that dude on YOUR team . . . Jerks.

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Opening Day Baseball Thoughts . . . So Far . . .

Posted on April 6, 2009. Filed under: MLB | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What Does Opening Day Mean To You? 

Sunshine glistening off the finely trimmed grass, diving catches that make you say “did you see that?!” and walk-off homeruns, completing inconceivable comebacks. 

Let’s not forget the smells . . . popcorn, roasted peanuts, hot dogs and nacho cheese, and the excitement to get to eat them without your fingers freezing off like they did during football season . . . and I don’t want to hear from people in warm weather cities that don’t have to balance gloves, handwarmers, nachos, a hot dog, a beer – or two, and your cell phone, necessary to keep track of your fantasy team, all in sub-freezing temperatures.  It just doesn’t count . . .

In Pittsburgh, Opening Day is like a gateway to Spring.  And today it’s snowing.  Can you belive it?  It happens . . . just ask Cleveland. 

Here are a few interesting observations from today’s first full day of baseball:

  • The Yankees’ Hundred Million Dollar Men – I suppose that narrows it down to most of their team, although I am talking about the latest additions, big splash free agents, Mark Teixiera and C.C. Sabathia.  They gave “bombers” a whole new meaning today as they both stunk up Camden Yard against Baltimore this afternoon.  Sabathia didn’t get out of the fifth inning as he gave up six runs, eight hits, five free passes and went strikeout-LESS.  How do you like the initial return on that $161 Million investment, eh?  Teixeira left five runners on base, unable to connect at the plate going 0-for4 with a walk to the delight of the Orioles’ hometown crowd that feels slighted by Teixeira who flirted with the birds before signing with the evil empire.
           
  • The American League 2008 Cy Young Award Winner, Cleveland Indians’ Cliff Lee, already has one-third of his loss toal from a year ago as he was rocked for seven runs in five innings by the Texas Rangers.  Lee has always been a streaky pitcher, trust me, I had him on my fantasy team twice.  One above average year and one BAD, very bad year.  Last season he went 22-3 and was just on a very long hot streak.  He won the Cy Young and we did not draft him this year.  It’s kinda like Freddy Sanchez of the Pirates winning the 2006 NL batting title . . . not going to happen again.
     
  • The pair of Sox teams both postponed their opening day games to tomorrow, due to inclement weather.  The Royals are enjoying the snow in the Chicago forecast and the Red Sox have another day to think about beating the Rays . . . not that they need it, I’m sure they’ve been thinking about it since last October.
     
  • Oh Canada – stop throwing debris on the diamond . . . During the bottom of the eighth inning, Toronto led Detroit by a score of 12 to 5, and the Rodgers Centre fans began throwing garbage onto the field.  You read it right, the Blue Jays were on top by seven runs and the home crowd began tossing crap on the field . . . someone even threw a baseball at the Tigers’ outfielder Josh Anderson.   Straighten up Toronto, that’s ridiculous.   
     
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates came back from a two run deficit in the ninth to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4.  The come from behind win delays the “here we go again” mentality from taking hold of Bucco nation . . . We’ll see just how long they can keep fighting and hold out hope for their fans – THEY ARE IN PAIN – that they can avoid becoming the sole owner of the record for most consecutive losing seasons in professional sports history.  They are currently tied with the 1933-1948 Philadelphia Phillies at 16 years of losing seasons.  

Happy Opening Day Everyone!  Here’s a classic baseball clip for your viewing fun:

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