Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher

Syndicate

Pirates Newsbeat

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Women in Pirates organization provide inspiration for others

PITTSBURGH (AP) — By themselves, each has an impressive story.

Mayu Fielding started with the Pirates as an administrative assistant in 2007 and quickly moved into her current role as education coordinator, helping foreign players transition to life in America. Kinza Baad graduated from the University of Virginia in 2017 and is in her fourth year as a scouting assistant. Astrid DeGruchy does a little bit of everything, describing herself as the “air traffic controller” of the Pirates’ international scouting department.

Together, they’re writing an even more impressive and important story, one that’s about their own talents and also the example they’re setting for others.

“It’s very exciting,” Fielding said. “When I started here, I was probably the only woman in baseball, in this organization, for a while. There were women in other areas, but not in baseball. I’d often find myself in a room full of men.

A piece of some interest, particularly for those curious about the working of the operations staff outside of the analytics department.

QLE Posted: March 29, 2020 at 12:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: operations, pirates, scouting, women in baseball

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Video: Pirates make two outs at home on the same play

The Pirates made a laughable base running blunder on Monday afternoon during a Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays. In the bottom of the seventh inning, with the Blue Jays up 2-0, the Pirates threatened Jays hurler Hector Perez, loading the bases with no outs on a Phillip Evans walk, a Kevin Kramer single, and another walk by Jacob Stallings. An Andrew Susac pop-up for the first out brought Oneil Cruz (pictured) to the plate.

Cruz slugged a 0-1 pitch from Perez that likely would have been a home run on most days, but with the wind blowing in from right field, the ball hit near the top of the fence. Evans scored easily. However, the faster Martin was hot on Kramer’s trail and both were thrown out in succession after a relay to home plate.

Somewhere, in all our discussion of the Marlins and the Orioles, the Pirates are angry that we’ve seemed to forgotten how bad they can get.

 

QLE Posted: March 10, 2020 at 01:08 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: outs, pirates

Friday, March 06, 2020

MLBPA files another grievance against the Pirates

Two years ago, the MLB Players Association filed a grievance against four teams: the Pirates, Athletics, Marlins, and Rays. The union claimed that the clubs failed to comply with rules regarding how they spend their revenue sharing money.

From 2017 to ’18, the Pirates’ Opening Day payroll declined by $9.5 million, from $86.3 to $74.8 million. The Athletics and Marlins had even bigger declines, but the Pirates have continued to slash payroll. As of right now, they are projected to open the regular season with a payroll of about $51 million. Biertempfel notes that the Pirates’ current payroll is about the same was it was eight years ago and ranks as the third-lowest in baseball.

No chance that this dispute can be resolved through feats of strength, is there?

 

QLE Posted: March 06, 2020 at 12:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: grievances, mlbpa, pirates

Monday, January 27, 2020

Starling Marte, D-backs trade | MLB.com

It’s now cheaper to pay the salaries of all Pirates players than getting two beers and a hot dog at Fenway.

he D-backs have agreed to a trade with the Pirates for center fielder Starling Marte, sources told MLB.com on Monday. Along with Marte, Pittsburgh will send $1.5 million to Arizona and receive right-handed prospect Brennan Malone and shortstop prospect Liover Peguero along with $250,000 in international pool money for this year in return, per a source. Neither team has confirmed the deal or the exchange.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2020 at 03:44 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, pirates, starling marte, trade

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Hal Smith, author of his own huge home run in 1960, dies

Bill Mazeroski has always balked when asked if he’d hit the biggest home run in baseball history.

“Heck,” Maz would respond anytime I’d bring this up in Bradenton, “I didn’t even hit the biggest homer in that game”

Hal Smith, whose three-run home run for the Pirates in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series against the Yankees would be overshadowed an inning later by Maz’s legendary shot, died Thursday at age 89 in Columbus, Texas, a small town near Houston.

And yes, it was Mr. Smith’s home run that set the stage and, very nearly, stole it, on that magical fall day at Forbes Field half a century ago.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 11, 2020 at 12:11 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: hal smith, obituaries, pirates, rip, world series

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

The All Decade Team

Second base: Jose Altuve, Astros

Hey, another six-time All-Star and a former MVP. But unlike Posey and Votto, who have faded of late, Altuve’s still a high-end performer. The diminutive 29-year-old’s fresh off his sixth straight outstanding season after beginning his career as a fairly non-threatening hitter. Between 2014-19, Altuve hit .327/.380/.497 with 114 dingers and helped his team to a championship. He ranked fourth in the majors in fWAR (32.4) and fifth in stolen bases (179) during that span.

Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 01, 2020 at 10:44 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, free agents, giants, indians, pirates, red sox, reds

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

New GM Ben Cherington: Pirates open to trading any player | TribLIVE.com

Even if Cherington, who was hired Nov. 18, is planning on doing something big from his suite overlooking gorgeous Coronado Bay — say, trade Starling Marte and/or Josh Bell? — he isn’t tipping his hand.

“A lot of teams have made calls about our players, and we’ve made a lot of calls, too,” Cherington said.

Cherington, though, did say the Pirates would be open to trading any player in the organization.

Cherington remains coy about his long-range plans. However, those from other teams that have had trade conversations with the Pirates are getting the impression the organization is going into at least some sort of rebuild.

That is certainly not totally surprising considering the Pirates finished last in the National League Central last season with a 69-93 record.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:07 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Saturday, December 07, 2019

An honest look at the Pirates’ frugal free-agent history under Bob Nutting – The Athletic

There’s not an owner who would say the way to win a World Series is by building a core with free agents alone. But there’s a big difference between not using free agency as a primary source of talent acquisition and … this:

Free Agency Graph

Since Nutting became the Pirates’ principal owner on Jan. 12, 2007, no team has spent less in free agency than the Pirates.

(A note on the numbers: While there is no official, publicly available list of all free-agent signings, data was pulled from free-agent trackers on ESPN and MLB Trade Rumors to compile as comprehensive a list as possible of free agents who have signed major-league deals since the 2006-07 offseason. This time frame was selected in order to analyze trends under the Pirates’ current ownership. The list excludes incentives, options or contract extensions in the salary totals. It includes over 1,500 signings, the last of which was Zack Wheeler and the Phillies agreeing on a five-year, $118 million deal on Wednesday.)

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2019 at 07:35 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, pay site, pirates

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Pirates owner Bob Nutting not sweating $17M in dead money | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

When do they build him a statue?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2019 at 05:47 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, pirates

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Pirates name Derek Shelton new manager

Derek Shelton was considered the favorite to land the Pittsburgh Pirates manager’s job when the search for Clint Hurdle’s successor began under former general manager Neal Huntington.

Even though Huntington was fired Oct. 28 and replaced by Ben Cherington on Nov. 18, Shelton still emerged as the Pirates’ man and was hired Wednesday.

Shelton spent the past two seasons as the Minnesota Twins’ bench coach. The Twins won the American League Central this season, and Rocco Baldelli was voted the AL Manager of the Year.

The 49-year-old Shelton has been a coach in the major leagues for 15 years. He served as the hitting coach with Cleveland Indians (2005-09) and Tampa Bay Rays (2010-16), then was the Toronto Blue Jays’ quality control coach in 2017.

So, any thoughts about the merits of this pick?

 

QLE Posted: November 27, 2019 at 09:45 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: derek shelton, managerial search, pirates

Friday, November 15, 2019

Sources: Ben Cherington has accepted Pirates’ GM job | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hopefully, he’ll be given free reign.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2019 at 01:56 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: ben cherington, pirates

Friday, November 08, 2019

Report: Ben Cherington Emerges As Candidate For Pittsburgh Pirates’ Head Of Baseball Operations

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Former Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington is reportedly a candidate to be the Pittsburgh Pirates’ head of baseball operations.

Ken Rosenthal of MLB on Fox reported the news Thursday.

Since September of 2016, Cherington has been the Toronto Blue Jays’ vice president of baseball operations.

So, what did Cherington do to deserve this?

 

QLE Posted: November 08, 2019 at 12:20 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: ben cherington, pirates

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Pirates president looks to ‘crack the code,’ build a winner

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The new president of the Pittsburgh Pirates is confident owner Bob Nutting is committed to winning.

Travis Williams, who succeeds Frank Coonelly on Nov. 1, says his job is to put the right people in place to help the Pirates climb back into contention. His first order of business will be finding a general manager after the team dismissed Neal Huntington.

Williams’ relationship with Nutting began more than a decade ago, when he was the team’s outside legal counsel.

“I pay attention to what the commitment and the passion is,” Williams said.

Not in baseball- they’re planning to fix the Pennsylvania Lottery again.

 

QLE Posted: October 30, 2019 at 12:42 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, travis williams, winning

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Pittsburgh Pirates fire general manager Neal Huntington

PITTSBURGH — Neal Huntington is out as the Pittsburgh Pirates executive vice president and general manager, the team has confirmed.

A statement from the team said he has been “relieved of his duties.”

Kevin Graves, current Pirates Assistant General Manager, will serve as Interim General Manager during the transition period, according to the team.

Will the last person associated with the 2019 Pirates please turn off the lights on your way out?

 

QLE Posted: October 29, 2019 at 12:09 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: fired, general manager, neal huntington, pirates

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Pirates fire team president Frank Coonelly

The Pittsburgh Pirates, in what they are calling a “leadership transition,” have fired team president Frank Coonelly. It is being cast as a mutual parting, with both the team and Coonelly issuing statements about how it’s all good, it’s just time for a change, etc. etc.

Coonelly, who used to serve as Major League Baseball’s chief labor lawyer, had been with the Pirates since 2007, and the Pirates experienced a brief run of success during his tenure, making the post season in 2013, 2014, and 2015. On either side of that run, however, came some bad baseball from a team with a reputation for not wanting to spend money on talent and which always stood willing to make trades that seemed more geared toward shedding payroll — or even potential future payroll — than it was in acquiring talent.

There is a strong sense of alienation in the Pirates fan base as a result. This postseason, which has featured numerous former Pirates players such as Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton, Austin Meadows, Daniel Hudson, Russell Martin, Francisco Cervelli and David Freese, has only served to rub salt in the wounds.

Brushes off CV, prepares his job application

 

QLE Posted: October 24, 2019 at 12:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: firings, frank coonelly, pirates

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Former Pirate Bobby Del Greco remembered as ‘hero,’ ‘bigger than life’

About 30 years ago, Bobby Del Greco Jr. was working out at a health spa with a friend when he heard a disturbing report.

“It came over the news that former Pittsburgh Pirate Bob Del Greco was missing and, possibly, dead,” his son remembers.

(After he retired from baseball, Del Greco Sr. drove a newspaper delivery truck, a job he held part-time during his player career while raising eight children with his wife, Catherine.)

The news report was sparked after his truck was found tipped over in the river.

“I ran down and called him and he said, ‘Hello,’ Del Greco Jr. said.

“Dad? Is it you?

“Yeah.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m eating fried bologna on pita bread, watching the Stooges.”

“Are you sure.”

“I’m positive.”


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Which managerial opening is the most desirable?

As we wait for tonight’s NLCS to kick off — a preview on that will be up later this morning — let’s talk about all the managerial openings, shall we?

With the Dodgers giving Dave Roberts their vote of confidence last night — and none of the remaining playoff teams being even close to likely to can their current skipper — we seem to be locked in at eight openings: Mets, Phillies, Pirates, Cubs, Giants, Padres, Royals, and Angels.

Which one is the most desirable? My take on the pros and cons of each gig

So, which of these jobs would you take if you had the choice?

 

QLE Posted: October 12, 2019 at 12:09 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, cubs, giants, mets, padres, phillies, pirates, royals

Sunday, October 06, 2019

WaPo: Tom Boswell: Nationals Are Breaking The Rules & Might Steal Dodger Series

Boz missed Talk Like A Pirate Day, but better late than never, eh?

Like a pirate ship sweeping up on a stately frigate with treasure in its hold, the Nats have no intention of playing fair in this National League Division Series or acknowledging any big league code of conduct or unwritten rules of fair play. They want the gold, the diamonds and, blimey, the pearls, too.

Thanks to the bizarre, and probably unfair, dynamics of baseball’s five-game division series — with those five games spread generously over seven days — it is possible for a team with three fab starting pitchers who are game for the heist to come alongside and, “arrrrr,” board a mightier ship. Right now, the Dodgers, their series tied at a game apiece after the Nationals’ 4-2 victory in Friday night’s Game 2, are wondering where Washington got these scary skull-and-crossbones relievers. Avast, there Nationals, you’ve already used Stephen Strasburg (Tuesday) and Max Scherzer (Friday) in relief — as keys to two vital victories. Who’ll be swinging down from the rigging next?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Castrovince: Counsell, Donnelly share special bond

Pretty great story. 

“Craig is part of our family,” Donnelly says.

It’s a family that lost a precious member far too soon, but has become spiritually strengthened by an event in 1997 that still, to this day, overwhelms those who hear about it. It’s a story that, as Counsell himself says, “screams Disney movie.”

“Anybody I’ve ever told the story to ... they’re blown away,” Counsell says. “You can bring people to tears just by telling the story.”

* * * * *

The story begins with five words that, when strung together, sound nothing short of nonsensical:

“The chicken runs at midnight.”

Guapo Posted: January 19, 2012 at 12:31 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: miami, pirates

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ryan Ludwick to join Reds

Puzzling strategy. With Ludwick, Chris Heisey, Drew Stubbs, and Jay Bruce, aren’t the Reds outfielders going to wilt in the hot sun due to their skin color?

Ryan Ludwick and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract Monday, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday night because the deal was pending a physical and no announcement had been made by the team.

An All-Star in 2008 with St. Louis, the 33-year-old Ludwick was traded from San Diego to Pittsburgh at the July 31 deadline last season. He batted a combined .237 with 13 homers and 75 RBIs.

Ludwick could give the Reds the right-handed bat they’ve been seeking to complement lefty sluggers Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. He figures to see playing time in left field, a spot filled mostly by Chris Heisey down the stretch last season after Cincinnati traded Jonny Gomes to Washington in late July.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:07 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, pirates, reds

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cubs sign Paul Maholm, reports Paul Maholm

It’s otherwise unconfirmed, but it seems like you should only need the one source when it’s actually the guy himself.

Just wanna say thank u to everyone that has cheered for me during my career as a Pirate. I loved my last six plus years in the city.

I hope to get to continue some things when I visit during the year and start some great things as I start my Cubs career.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 10, 2012 at 07:44 AM | 150 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pirates

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Kick Is Good!

Jack Wilson seems to be having fun on vacation.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:30 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mariners, pirates

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sickels: Pittsburgh Pirates Top 20 Prospects for 2012

1) Gerrit Cole, RHP, Grade A: Cole can be enigmatic and sometimes gets hit harder than he should given the quality of his stuff, but he’s still a Grade A prospect. At his best he throws strikes with three excellent pitches, and I think he’ll get more consistent. Looked great in Arizona Fall League, except for the disaster in the Rising Stars game.

2) Jameson Taillon, RHP, Grade A-: They are being very careful with his workload. As he incorporates his secondary pitches more often and builds his stamina, I expect greater dominance. Still struck out more than a hitter per inning even with restrictions on secondary pitch use.

3) Josh Bell, OF, Grade B+: Switch-hitter, should develop 30+-homer power and a high OBP. Pure hitting skills solid too. We’ll have to see about his defense and I want some pro data, but I’m very optimistic about him.

4) Starling Marte, OF, Grade B: Borderline B+. Hit well in Double-A, starting to develop more power, despite poor strike zone judgment. Superior defense. Still raw, needs a year of Triple-A, a wide range of possible outcomes, could become an All-Star, a mediocre regular, or a fourth outfielder.

5) Robbie Grossman, OF, Grade B: If he had fulfilled his commitment to the University of Texas, 2011 would have been his draft year. I know he was repeating High-A, but a player jumping from the college ranks to High-A, hitting .294/.418/.451, then ripping up the Arizona Fall League would be getting an awful lot of praise, not skepticism. I also think that Grossman’s tools are better than commonly reported. I expect he’ll provide gap power with some speed and a high OBP, and that’s valuable.

Thanks to Bucco Barnald.

Repoz Posted: December 25, 2011 at 01:57 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, pirates, prospect reports, scouting

Friday, December 16, 2011

Kovacevic: Pirates still playing small ball

Totally fair if somewhat brutal assessment:

And I really can’t see where Huntington was coming from when he made these remarks to reporters last week in Dallas: “We’ll still look to find moves to make us better, but we feel like we’ve taken a big step forward, whether it’s bigger or smaller moves. We’ve put this organization in position to take another big step forward next year.”

Big, clearly, is a relative concept.

Mike Emeigh Posted: December 16, 2011 at 04:03 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, teams

Page {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dcurrent_page} of {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dtotal_pages} pages {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dpagination_links} | Site Archive

 

 

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogUS-based pro sports leagues monitoring coronavirus outbreak
(3862 - 12:19pm, Apr 02)
Last: Mayor Blomberg

NewsblogMLB reportedly discussing a 100-game season that would include a neutral-site World Series at Dodger
(6 - 12:06pm, Apr 02)
Last: Buck Coats

NewsblogBaseball Question of the Day: What’s your favorite piece of memorabilia?
(16 - 12:04pm, Apr 02)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogMLB Can't Afford to Come Back Too Soon
(8 - 12:02pm, Apr 02)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogPosnanski: Baseball 100 Rules
(1167 - 11:58am, Apr 02)
Last: Mefisto

NewsblogBaseball Question of the Day: Which player do you love to hate?
(92 - 11:24am, Apr 02)
Last: Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight

NewsblogBaseball Question of the Day: What’s your best Little League war story?
(56 - 11:05am, Apr 02)
Last: PreservedFish

Hall of Merit2021 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(199 - 10:36am, Apr 02)
Last: bachslunch

NewsblogWhen the Game Cannot Go On
(8 - 8:20am, Apr 02)
Last: Weekly Journalist_

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread 2020
(1998 - 4:26am, Apr 02)
Last: Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama

NewsblogEx-Astros slugger Jimmy Wynn, nicknamed 'Toy Cannon,' dies at 78
(47 - 2:01am, Apr 02)
Last: QLE

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (April 2020)
(4 - 12:42am, Apr 02)
Last: the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB).

NewsblogEx-MLB All-Star Dan Haren to Auction off Bobbleheads for COVID-19 Relief Funds
(3 - 10:48pm, Apr 01)
Last: Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1925 Results
(6 - 9:48pm, Apr 01)
Last: Qufini

NewsblogToday in Baseball History: The Seattle Pilots get their name
(1 - 9:45pm, Apr 01)
Last: vortex of dissipation

Page rendered in 1.4818 seconds
166 querie(s) executed