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Pirates Newsbeat

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?


Monday, September 30, 2019

Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage expects to be fired

After the Pirates fired manager Clint Hurdle on Sunday, the final day of the regular season, pitching coach Ray Searage said he also expects to be fired, per The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel. Searage said, “They told us they would let us know in the next couple of days. Now, bringing in a new manager could mean bringing in different personnel, anyway. I’m preparing myself not to be a Pittsburgh Pirate next year.”

Searage, 64, has been the Pirates’ pitching coach since 2010. He has been credited with helping some pitchers turn around their careers, such as Edinson Vólquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. He hasn’t gotten as much credit in recent years as the Pirates haven’t gotten as much out of their pitchers. They have even watched some of their former pitchers, such as Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow, go on to reach greater heights with new teams.

Not a surprise, as Searage notes: Any commentary on the merits of this?

 

QLE Posted: September 30, 2019 at 12:40 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, pitching coaches, ray searage

Friday, September 27, 2019

Manager Clint Hurdle hopes to return to Pirates in 2020

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Clint Hurdle hopes to return for what would be his 10th season as the Pittsburgh Pirates’ manager in 2020.

Hurdle has two more years remaining on a deal that started with the 2018 season.

Pittsburgh began Thursday 67-91, its most losses since 2010. The second half of the season included several clubhouse incidents, including a fight between relief pitchers Felipe Vazquez and Kyle Crick.

 

 

QLE Posted: September 27, 2019 at 01:09 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: clint hurdle, manager, pirates

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Felipe Vazquez Arrested

This doesn’t sound good.

In a stunning and deeply troubling turn of events, Pirates pitcher Felipe Vazquez has been arrested and charged with a series of crimes in the state of Florida, according to James Santelli of CBS Pittsburgh. Vazquez, a resident of Florida, is in custody after being arrested today in Pennsylvania.

The underlying behavior alleged is exceedingly disturbing. Allegations involve an online relationship with a child, with charges including computer pornography, solicitation, and providing obscene materials to a minor. From other publicly released materials, it appears that other charges relating to the unlawful relationship with a child could also be filed.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2019 at 02:35 PM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: felipe vazquez, pirates

Friday, September 06, 2019


Saturday, August 17, 2019

A pair of altercations between players and coaches highlights the Pirates’ fraying clubhouse ($)

On July 21, the day before he was to be activated off the IL, Kela triggered an altercation with performance coach Hector Morales. The incident was loud and was witnessed by several players and team employees.

Hurdle moved in to defuse the situation and, according to sources, was berated by Kela. While it is not uncommon for a manager to step into such an incident, it is rare for a player to so directly disrespect his manager.

In a press release the next day, the Pirates said Kela was suspended for two games due to violation of his contract. When Kela was asked if he thought his suspension was warranted, he said, “The narrative is what the narrative is. I know the truth, so I’m not really worried about it. I’m not going to sit here and try to justify … I guess the suspension or anything like that. … I know the truth and I’m not going to get into any deeper details about it because that won’t benefit me or the organization.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 17, 2019 at 08:14 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Pirates clubhouse has been a mess lately

The Pirates season has been a disappointing one with injury and underachievement marring any chance they had at being competitive. At the moment they’re mired in last place, have the second-worst record in the National League and, since the All-Star break, are a dreadful 6-25.

But it’s even worse than that. As Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports today, the clubhouse has been in turmoil for much of the season, with “rifts caused by envy, charges of favoritism, and overt insubordination against manager Clint Hurdle and his staff.”

For those curious as to what self-destruction looks like….

 

QLE Posted: August 17, 2019 at 03:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clubhouse culture, pirates, the ship be sinking

Saturday, August 10, 2019

MLB unveils ‘Cubbies’ and ‘The Burgh’ uniforms for 2019 Little League Classic

The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates are getting a one day makeover at the end of August. On Friday, MLB unveiled new “Cubbies” and “The Burgh” uniforms that both teams will wear during the 2019 Little League Classic.

The jerseys will feature a color stripe across the chest with the team’s nickname for that day. The Cubs’ jerseys feature a blue stripe with lettering that reads “Cubbies.” The Pirates jerseys have a yellow stripe with lettering that reads “The Burgh.”

This is a departure from how Major League Baseball has handled the game in the past. In previous seasons, teams participating in the Little League Classic wore their colorful Players’ Weekend uniforms during the game.

This year, MLB decided to go with all-white and all-black uniforms for Players’ Weekend. The league decided to keep some color in the Little League Classic uniforms.

It is just me, or does this feel vaguely patronizing to anyone else?

 

QLE Posted: August 10, 2019 at 08:18 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, little league, pirates, uniforms

Friday, August 02, 2019

MLB issues 8 suspensions after Cincinnati Reds-Pittsburgh Pirates brawl; David Bell out 6 games

ATLANTA – Two days after a benches-clearing brawl between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates, Major League Baseball announced suspensions for six players and both managers on Thursday afternoon that totaled 40 games.

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett received an eight-game suspension, manager David Bell was given a six-game suspension, pitcher Jared Hughes was suspended for three games and former Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig received a three-game suspension.

For the Pirates, reliever Keone Kela was given a 10-game suspension, infielder José Osuna received a five-game suspension, Kyle Crick got three games and manager Clint Hurdle was suspended for two games.

All six players elected to appeal their suspensions and are eligible to play until their appeals are resolved. Suspended players count against the 25-man roster.

We assume that the Indians were expecting this when they traded for Puig, but, given how their management has behaved this year to date….

 

QLE Posted: August 02, 2019 at 01:16 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: brawl, pirates, reds, suspensions

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Pirates have an anger problem

Tuesday night’s benches-clearing brawl between the Pirates and Reds was not the first time this year that the two clubs had a disagreement. In April, the Pirates didn’t like that Derek Dietrich admired his home run, so Chris Archer threw behind Dietrich the next time he came to the plate. The benches emptied, leading to one of the best baseball pictures ever taken:

....

The two incidents are actually part of a longer trend for the Pirates in which their thirst for revenge has escalated into benches-clearing incidents. Here’s a likely incomplete list of benches-clearing incidents involving the Pirates dating back to 2015. Each date links to a post we wrote about the incident so you can read the whole story.

...

I searched the posts we’ve made here since the start of the 2015 regular season, using the phrases “benches clear,” “benches empty,” and “tempers flare,” which are common phrases used for such incidents. With the usual disclaimer that this is very likely an incomplete list based on an incomplete methodology, I was able to find 45 benches-clearing incidents over the last five years. The Pirates were involved in nine of them — 20 percent. The Rangers have been involved in eight such incidents, followed by the Cubs and Giants at 7, and the Royals at six. If you set the cutoff arbitrarily to May 30, 2018, the Pirates have been involved in five of 14 incidents (~36 percent).

So, any theories on why this might be the case?

QLE Posted: August 01, 2019 at 03:31 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: anger, benches clearing, pirates

Friday, July 26, 2019

Pirates broadcasters complain about Yairo Muñoz stealing bases ahead seven runs

The Pirates’ broadcast team has not had the best year. In May, Bob Walk complained about Marcell Ozuna tagging up to advance to third base on a Yairo Muñoz fly ball to deep center field when the Cardinals led 16-4. Walk said, “Can you answer why he was tagging up there?” He continued, “There is no answer. None.” Later, Joe Block said, “Gotta play the game, I guess.” Walk snarked, “Is that what that’s called? I have a problem with that.”

In late May, John Wehner said Derek Dietrich‘s dead grandfather would be ashamed of him because he flipped his bat and watched some of the many home runs he hit against the Pirates early in the season. Specifically, Wehner said on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan Morning Show, “I heard of him because of his grandfather (Steve Demeter) who used to be a minor league coach for the Pirates. He was the nicest, sweetest guy in the world. He’s rolling in his grave every time this guy hits a home run. He’s embarrassed of his grandson.”

In early June, Steve Blass offered some ill-advised commentary on Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr.’s “jewelry” or “stuff.” After Acuña was hit by a pitch, Blass said, “I was getting ready to say, you know… With a young player doing all that stuff and all the jewelry and all the stuff, back in the day — I’m not saying it’s right or wrong…” Blass made similar comments about Cubs infielder Javier Báez two years ago, saying, “Anybody but Javier Baez. He’s a difficult player for me to root for. I’ll put it that way.” Block asked, “Is it because of his flashiness?” Blass responded, “That’s a nice way of putting it.

That leads us to Wednesday evening, when the Pirates hosted the Cardinals for the second game of a three-game series. The game got out of hand quickly as the Cardinals put up a nine-spot in the second inning and tacked on four more runs in the fourth to make it a 13-4 game. During that fourth inning, when the Cardinals led 11-4, Muñoz was on first base after grounding into a fielder’s choice. He easily stole second base on a 1-0 pitch from Luis Escobar. Play-by-play guy Greg Brown says with surprise in his voice, “The runner steals, ahead 11 to four. Wow.” He continued, “Always wonder about those unwritten rules.” As Walk was explaining how the unwritten rules have changed in recent years, Muñoz stole third base with just as much ease. The Pirates’ infield was playing back, so there was no chance to get Muñoz. The fans at PNC Park began to boo, which Brown used as evidence that what Muñoz did was wrong. Walk said, “I know exactly what would happen now — in a different era.” Brown said, “I’ve never heard the fans boo [over unwritten rules]. Basically, this is — again, these old, unwritten rules, but the fans don’t like it. I guess it’s possible [the fans are] just not happy with Escobar giving them this running lead.”

One of the many side-effects of being a Giants fan: Finding it legitimately bewildering what so many of the fans of other teams are willing to tolerate as broadcasters….

QLE Posted: July 26, 2019 at 07:40 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasters, pirates, yairo munoz

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Pirates suspend Keone Kela two games for contract violation

On Monday, the Pirates announced the club suspended reliever Keone Kela two games for an unspecified contract violation. Kela will begin serving the suspension tonight.

Phrased this way, I keep imagining some sort of 19th-century offense- did he try to jump teams?

 

QLE Posted: July 23, 2019 at 04:58 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: keone kela, pirates, suspensions

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Pirates slugger Josh Bell bashes three homers in rout of Cubs

“Bell is pumped for the chance to step into the batter’s box and swing for the fences with everyone in baseball watching”<

Josh Bell has gotten little ink this year compared to Yelich and Bellinger.  Maybe it’s been the need for bigger and bigger sample sizes to validate his regular season performance, or maybe it’s because those other two’s rate stats were otherworldly for so long.

Half a season in, Bell is on pace for 112 extra base hits.  No way, right? 

Or ... ?

Lest we forget Posted: July 02, 2019 at 10:15 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: extra base hits, josh bell, pirates, superstars

Friday, June 14, 2019

Ice Cube Is Making A Movie About Dock Ellis’ LSD No-Hitter

One of baseball’s most famously outrageous games is headed to the big screen with the help of Ice Cube.

On June 12, 1970 — exactly 47 years ago — pitcher Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates while high on LSD. You’ve heard the story before, but now we’ve learned that Ice Cube plans to retell it as a motion picture with his son in the starring role.

Bote Man Posted: June 14, 2019 at 08:12 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dock ellis, lsd, movies, pirates

Is Chris Archer Broken? - MLB Trade Rumors

As much as Archer has struggled this season, his pre-Pittsburgh track record earns him some benefit of the doubt. Considering what he accomplished as a Ray, it would be unwise to say Archer’s never going to rebound. However, it doesn’t appear his new sinker-heavy approach is working, nor does his once-bargain contract look all that appealing anymore. With $20MM in team options over the next two years ($9MM in 2020, $11MM in ’21), Archer’s not going to crush the Pirates’ payroll structure. However, as a low-budget team, they can’t afford to have one of their most expensive players continue to falter.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 06:02 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: chris archer, 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

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