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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Art of Pitching: Mastering the Sinkerball

My original idea for this story was a simple article discussing how Cumpton was getting advice from Morton and was working on improving his sinker. Add in some numbers from Cumpton last year, and it would be an easy story that I could file away as I tried to get ahead during the early weeks of Spring Training. But after talking with both players, I quickly realized that there was so much I didn’t know about the sinker, and about what players discuss when they’re talking to each other about grips. After over a dozen interviews with nine players and coaches over the last month, I realized how complex something as simple as a sinkerball pitch could be.

Really good technical article about the sinker from Pirates Prospects.


Thursday, February 06, 2014

Ralph Kiner, Mets broadcasting legend and Hall of Fame Pirates player, dead at 91

Kiner always credited Hank Greenberg, the equally renowned home run hitter who hit 58 for the Detroit Tigers in 1938, as having most influenced his career. Greenberg was acquired by the Pirates in 1947 specifically to tutor Kiner, but besides working with him on his hitting, Greenberg also cautioned Kiner about his partying ways while ingraining in him the value of hard work. In becoming the most prolific power hitter in baseball, Kiner was credited with having coined the phrase “home run hitters drive Cadilacs” although he later confessed the quote was actually attributed to him by a ‘40s Pirate teammate, lefthanded pitcher Fritz Ostermueller.

Unfortunately, during those first seven years in the big leagues, Kiner’s Pirates finished last or next-to-last five times while finishing over .500 only once, prompting what has become one of the most famous lines ever uttered by a baseball executive. It was after the 1952 season, in which Kiner had won his seventh straight home run title, that Pirates GM Branch Rickey nevertheless offered to cut his major league high salary of $90,000 some 22% to $70,000. When Kiner protested, Rickey replied: “Son, we could have finished last without you.”

kthejoker Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:38 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, new york mets, pittsburgh pirates, rip

Friday, January 10, 2014

Antonio Álvarez estará al frente del Ministerio del Deporte

There aren’t any English-language sources on this that I’ve found, so here’s a link to El Nacional. The upshot is that former Pirates outfielder Tony Alvarez (who goes by Antonio these days) was just chosen as Venezuela’s new Minister of Sport.


Monday, December 02, 2013

Bucs prospect Chambers dies at 24 - Pittsburgh’s 2009 third-round pick passes away in his sleep

“All of us at the Pittsburgh Pirates are shocked and saddened by Evan’s sudden passing in his sleep this past weekend,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “Beyond being just a talented ballplayer, Evan was a great teammate and a quiet leader who went about his craft as a professional every day.

“Off the field, Evan loved making a difference in the community, and often dedicated a lot of his time working with children in the communities in which he played. Our heartfelt sympathies and prayers go out to his family for this unimaginable loss. He was far too young. He will be missed.”


Monday, November 25, 2013

Bucs acquire Decker, Mikolas from Padres

The Pirates on Monday traded outfield prospect Alex Dickerson to the Padres in exchange for outfielder Jaff Decker and right-hander Miles Mikolas. In a corresponding move to make room for the pair on the club’s 40-man roster, the Pirates designated Garrett Jones and righty Kyle McPherson for assignment.


 

 

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