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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Nationals burned by quirky ‘fourth-out rule’ as Pirates score despite lining into inning-ending double play

The scene: Pittsburgh had runners at second (Hoy Jun Park) and third (Jack Suwinski) with one out in the fifth inning when Ke’Bryan Hayes hit a soft line drive at first baseman Josh Bell. Park and Suwinski both went on contact, Bell made the catch, then threw to third so the tag could be applied to Park, who did not tag up at second. Here’s the play:

Seems straightforward, right? Bell made the catch for one out, then Park was tagged for another out to complete the inning-ending double play. The confusion stems from Suwinski. He crossed the plate without tagging up at third base and his run counts despite not tagging up. That’s because the Nationals never appealed Suwinski leaving early.

This is covered by MLB Rule 5.09(c), the section covering appeal plays, and is colloquially known as the “fourth-out rule.” From the rulebook:

(c) Appeal Plays

Any runner shall be called out, on appeal, when:

(1) After a fly ball is caught, he fails to retouch his original base before he or his original base is tagged;

...

Any appeal under this rule must be made before the next pitch, or any play or attempted play. If the violation occurs during a play which ends a half-inning, the appeal must be made before the defensive team leaves the field.

Nationals players all left the field before the team could appeal Suwinski left third base early (which he obviously did), so Washington lost its chance to appeal. Suwinski’s run counted even though he never tagged up at third base on the Hayes line drive. The umpires on the field did check with the replay crew in New York to confirm the rule.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 30, 2022 at 01:21 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, pirates

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz showcases all his skills in impressive season debut

It was a Statcast showcase. We already pointed out he has the hardest infielder throw of the season. He also hit the hardest ball any Pirates player has hit all season (the 112.9 miles per hour double above) and had the three highest sprint speeds recorded this season by a Pirates player (via MLB Pipeline).

All this from the tallest regular shortstop—assuming he stays put—in MLB history.

This wasn’t Cruz’s MLB debut. He played the final two games last season, going 3 for 9 with a home run, three RBI and two runs. He was sent to the minors to start the season and remained there until his callup for Monday’s game. To this point, the Pirates had been one of the worst teams in baseball in terms of shortstop production. That’ll change now with Cruz in there.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2022 at 09:07 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: oneil cruz, pirates

Monday, June 20, 2022

Pittsburgh Pirates’ Jack Suwinski becomes 1st rookie in MLB history with 3-homer game that includes walk-off blast

Jack Suwinski hit his third homer of the game in the ninth inning, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 4-3, walk-off victory over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.

The rookie drove a slider from sidearming Tyler Rogers (0-3) to right for his second game-ending home run of the season after connecting for one June 4 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Suwinski became the first rookie in major league history to have a three-homer game that included a walk-off home run, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He also became the first Pirates player with multiple walk-off home runs in a single month since Wally Westlake in September of 1947, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

“I was just like, ‘No way, man. No way that’s going,’” Suwinski said. “That guy is hard to hit off of. Coming from that low under there, it’s not an easy at-bat.”

Pirates manager Derek Shelton spoke with Suwinski in the bottom of the eighth, asking if he was ready to go deep a third time. Shelton said he was told, “No.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2022 at 09:18 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: jack suwinski, pirates

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Reds don’t allow a Bucs hit—but lose

Rookie Hunter Greene carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning but still ended up being on the wrong end of a 1-0 Reds loss to the Pirates on Sunday.

While throwing 118 pitches—the most in the Majors this season—Greene worked 7 1/3 innings with five walks and nine strikeouts. With one out in the eighth inning, the 22-year-old issued back-to-back walks as he showed signs of fatigue. Reliever Art Warren took over and after walking his first batter, Ben Gamel, induced what should have been an inning-ending double play.

On Ke’Bryan Hayes’ ground ball to second base, Alejo Lopez bobbled the ball in his glove and could only notch one out on the play as Rodolfo Castro scored the game’s lone run.

Greene was the first Reds rookie to take a no-hitter through seven innings since Travis Wood carried a perfect game into the ninth before giving up a hit at Philadelphia on July 10, 2010. Cincinnati went on to lose in 11 innings, 1-0, during that game.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2022 at 04:34 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: hunter greene, no-hitter, pirates, reds

Monday, May 09, 2022

Josh VanMeter was forced to catch for the first time in 12 years. It didn’t go well

Instead of an actual catcher, the Pirates were forced to turn to their emergency catcher, second baseman Josh VanMeter. VanMeter had never caught in a professional setting before. Not in the Majors, not in the minors. In fact, the last time VanMeter caught was in high school, 12 years ago, when VanMeter was “14 or 15.”

The Pirates couldn’t score in the top of the inning, so VanMeter was entering his first ever professional catching experience in a tie ballgame. The pressure was on, and VanMeter’s inexperience showed.

The first hitter of the inning was hit by a pitch. Pitcher Wil Crowe wasn’t doing VanMeter any favors as he proceeded to throw a wild pitch. Obviously, VanMeter had a difficult time stopping it, and the runner advanced to second base. Tommy Pham walked to put two men on with nobody out. The umpire Little was definitely not helping VanMeter out. VanMeter had no idea how to frame pitches, so unless the ball was right down Broadway, Little was calling anything and everything a ball. Mike Moustakas walked. Bases were loaded for Tyler Stephenson. The first pitch of the at-bat was fouled off, right into VanMeter’s mask. You could tell that didn’t sit too well with the career utility man.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 09, 2022 at 12:13 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Records show the Pirates’ payroll is often covered by ticket and food sales. Whether they should spend more has tormented fans

In 2013, 2014 and 2015, fans’ spending on tickets and peanuts, popcorn, and other concessions covered the payroll, based on an analysis by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of never-before-released documents created to fulfill the team’s rental agreement for its use of the baseball showpiece PNC Park. 

In 2013, the first time the Pirates made the postseason since 1992, net ticket and concession revenue totaled $70.8 million — the same season the team shelled out $66.8 million on its opening day roster.

The next year, the Pirates made $80.7 million in net ticket and concession revenues while spending $71.9 million on their roster.

What does it all mean? Is it evidence, as endlessly debated on call-in sports shows, in bars, and on social media every time the Pirates trade or haggle salary with a star player, that owner Bob Nutting is trying to do baseball on the cheap?

Or is it, as the Pirates organization argues, an unfair analysis — a facile assessment that doesn’t take into account the costs of running extensive minor league operations, scouting and player development staffs and paying for facility overhead?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 10, 2022 at 11:46 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Pittsburgh Pirates, 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes reportedly agree to eight-year, $70 million deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates are building around third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes.

The Pirates and Hayes, 25, have come to terms on a new eight-year, $70 million deal pending Hayes passing a physical, according to multiple reports. A formal announcement isn’t expected until the team’s home opener on April 12, according to The Associated Press.

It is the largest contract agreement in franchise history.

Hayes struck out in the first inning of Thursday’s season opener against the St. Louis Cardinals and was removed from the game in the bottom of the inning with a spasm of his left forearm, the Pirates said, adding that he is considered day-to-day. Hayes was limited to 96 games in 2021 because of a left wrist injury.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 07, 2022 at 10:38 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: ke'bryan hayes, pirates

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

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fangraphs: Clint Hurdle: Four Scouting Reports

Clint Hurdle makes some comments on the Bucs’ youngsters and offers some hints into his philosophy on developing young hitters:

“Everything starts with a thought. There are things that paralyze young hitters. It usually takes some experience and I think it usually takes more than 500 at bats. It’s closer to 900 minor league at bats and 1,500 big league at bats. It’s the ability to not focus so much on everything the pitcher has. They put too much emphasis on the four pitches the guy throws and not enough on the one they want to hit. That’s a transition I try to take good young hitters to.

 

Mike Emeigh Posted: December 15, 2011 at 01:34 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, prospect reports

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brewers trade McGehee to Pirates for Veras

Trade of potential non-tenders.

The Brewers acquired reliever Jose Veras from the Pirates for infielder Casey McGehee, the teams announced.

Pirates presumably want a hedge in the event that Alvarez’s development continues to stall - or possibly to move Pedro to first. Brewers continue to add bullpen pieces.

Mike Emeigh Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:55 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, pirates

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Rule V Results

1.Astros take Rhiner Cruz from Mets.
2.Twins take Terry Doyle from White Sox.
3.Mariners take Lucas Luetge from Brewers.
4.Orioles take Ryan Flaherty from Cubs.
5.Royals take Cesar Cabral from Red Sox; traded to Yankees for cash.
6.Cubs take Lendy Castillo from Phillies.
8.Pirates take Gustavo Nunez from Tigers.
  21.Braves take Robert Fish from Angels.
22.Cardinals take Erik Komatsu from Nationals.
23.Red Sox take Marwin Gonzalez from Cubs.
  25.Diamondbacks take Brett Lorin from Pirates.
  29.Yankees take Brad Meyers from Nationals.


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Pirates make $4.5 million deal with left-hander Bedard

The Pirates and free agent left-hander Erik Bedard agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million contract Wednesday, according to an industry source.
[...]
The Pirates will have to remove two players from the 40-man roster to make room for Bedard and Nate McLouth, who a source confirmed agreed to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 07, 2011 at 08:47 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Pirates reportedly signing Betemit, McLouth

The return of Russ’s former favorite Pirate, plus a useful utility infielder:

Wilson Betemit, who the Royals sent to the Detroit Tigers in a midseason deal, has earned the interest of the Pirates while Nate McLouth could come back to the place where he was most successful.

Ken Rosenthal tweets that the McLouth deal is done pending a physical.

Mike Emeigh Posted: December 07, 2011 at 05:14 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

VIDEO: Vh1 Releases The New Baseball Wives Supertrailer!

The new series will follow the lives of five wives, ex-wives and girlfriends of professional Baseball players as they struggle to balance relationships, friendships and chaos. The Baseball Wives are: Anna Benson (wife of retired Arizona Diamondbacks’ Pitcher Kris Benson), Tanya Grace (ex-wife of retired Chicago Cubs’ First Baseman Mark Grace), Chantel Kendall (ex-wife of Kansas City Royals’ Jason Kendall), Brook Villone (wife of Ron Villone) and Jordana Lenz (linked to no particular athlete in particular – but I’m sure she has an MLB ex or two somewhere).

OsunaSakata Posted: November 29, 2011 at 11:56 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, cubs, mets, nationals, orioles, pirates, rockies, royals, television

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Joura: Reviewing my 33-year-old grudge against Richie Hebner

or…I Used To Spit on Your Grave Digger (mere zarchasm).

So then why all the disdain, from me and countless others, for poor Richie Hebner? If you were there, no explanation is needed but if you weren’t it’s not really that much of a mystery. Hebner committed the one Cardinal Sin of a ballplayer, one that if he was playing in the 21st Century, either he or his agent would have had the required media savvy to prevent from happening.

When the Mets traded for him, he made no secret that he didn’t want to be on the team.

...And then to the average fan, it seemed like Hebner just gave up. In retrospect, I have no doubt that it was merely a slump. But in 52 games and 194 PA, Hebner posted a .190/.281/.256 line. The Mets went 13-39 in that span and it should be pointed out that they won the first three games of Hebner’s slide. Over the previous two seasons, fans had been accustomed to seeing some rotten, uninspired play. But that stretch right after the All-Star break seemed even worse than what had become accepted as normal.

...Today is Richie Hebner’s birthday and he’s now 64 years old. Maybe it’s the influence of the McCartney song that references Hebner’s current age – “Indicate precisely what you mean to say…” – but it’s time to bury the hatchet and not directly in his back, either. I’ve hated this man I’ve never met for over 30 years now and I don’t want to do it anymore.

As my birthday present to this senior citizen, I’m taking Richie Hebner off of my personal “On Notice” board. Happy Birthday, Mr. Hebner – let’s both pretend that the 1979 baseball season never happened.

Repoz Posted: November 27, 2011 at 12:19 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets, phillies, pirates, sabermetrics

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kovacevic: Baseball sticks it to Pirates

Raise the Jolly Roger’s Amateur Draft Luxury Tax!

I asked Frank Coonelly, the Pirates’ president, what’s in this for them.

He cited a new draft feature that will award six bonus picks — Nos. 31-37 overall — to lower-revenue teams by way of a lottery, as well as a cap on international signings that’s staggered in inverse order of the standings. Both will be welcome.

Coonelly also was adamant that baseball wasn’t out to get his team.

“Is this everything the Pittsburgh Pirates hoped it would be? No,” he said. “But we don’t subscribe to the notion it was aimed at us. For one, this has been in the works a long time. For another, at the end of the day, if teams like the Yankees ever wanted to really flex their muscles in the draft, they could do it. This prevents that. We’ll continue to sign the players we draft.”

He then mentioned that the Pirates are still seeking a first baseman and a starting pitcher.

Don’t expect Albert Pujols.

Repoz Posted: November 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, pirates, prospect reports

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Pittsburgh Pirates

I so wanted Dave Doorneweerd to make the bigs…

1. Gerrit Cole, rhp
2. Jameson Taillon, rhp
3. Josh Bell, of
4. Starling Marte, of
5. Luis Heredia, rhp
6. Kyle McPherson, rhp
7. Tony Sanchez, c
8. Robbie Grossman, of
9. Stetson Allie, rhp
10. Jeff Locke, lhp

The Pirates have used the strategy of exceeding MLB’s bonus recommendations in the later rounds to sign pitchers away from solid college commitments. While that has stocked the lower levels of the system with live arms, none is close to being ready to help the major league club. The heavy concentration on pitchers also has left Pittsburgh with few impact hitting prospects beyond Bell, who has a chance to be special but has yet to play in a professional game, and fellow outfielder Starling Marte.

Repoz Posted: November 22, 2011 at 02:51 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, pirates, prospect reports, scouting

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vernon history museum honors Danny Murtaugh

Sculptor Zenos Frudakis, known to Phillies fans for his statues of Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts at Citizens Bank Park, said Murtaugh’s face reminded him of some of the men he met as a child in Gary, Ind.

“I grew up in a steel town and the men who worked in the mills were like the men who worked in the mines,” he said. “They had strong faces — faces with strong features.

“This subject had a lot of character and integrity. It’s not exactly a pretty face — not like a Cary Grant face … I could almost envision him in a helmet as a conquistador or a general. In a way, he was kind of a conquering general with an army of baseball players he led into the field of battle on the baseball diamond.”

Jeez…why dontcha just say he looked like Roy Barcroft beaten to a ten-cent pulp with a studded Trejo meat stick.

Repoz Posted: November 21, 2011 at 10:57 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, memorabilia, pirates

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

MLB: Xavier Paul victim of identity hoax in ABL

Pirates outfielder Xavier Paul has become caught in the middle of an identity hoax that had officials with the Australian Baseball League expecting Paul’s arrival at the start of their season, which began earlier this month.

Problem was, Paul had never actually agreed to go.(...)

Posing as an agent, [Diamondbacks minor leaguer Breland] Brown offered the ABL a deal in which Paul would agree to play in Australia this offseason if Brown was also invited. The ABL accepted the agreement. Brown was assigned to play with the Sydney Blue Sox, while Paul was put on the Brisbane Bandits roster.

Last week, Paul was tipped off that his identity was being misused when he was alerted to Internet articles that mentioned he would be participating in the ABL. Around that time, Brisbane reached out to Paul to ask him why he had not yet arrived in Australia.

That set off an investigation by the ABL, which quickly discovered the hoax. Brown, who had not yet joined the Sydney team, was immediately taken off the Blue Sox roster. Paul has since been removed from the Brisbane roster as well.

This is just a strange, strange story. Brown is 26 and was playing in the independent leagues two seasons ago, so he must have been doing everything possible to get noticed by Major League teams.

Austin Posted: November 15, 2011 at 08:57 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

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