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    Default Offense?

    Kovacevic: Time for front-office offensive

    By Dejan Kovacevic, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    CLEVELAND The Pirates' offense continued to flat-line with the 5-1 loss to Cleveland on Saturday at Progressive Field, one in which the Indians' Carlos Carrasco carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. By evening's end, the visitors mustered all of four hits, with half of them actually escaping the infield.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ...

    So, what now?

    Five weeks before Major League Baseball's July 31 trading deadline, the Pirates are back to .500 at 35-35, back to four games off the Central Division lead, and their immediate future is murky.

    Is it really worth it to make a short-term addition or two?

    My advice is this: Go for it, but proceed with caution.

    I can't wrap my head around contending with an offense that ranks in the National League's bottom five for batting average (.239), runs (260) and home runs (48), not to mention a current lineup in which the catcher, third baseman, first baseman, left fielder and right fielder have combined for eight home runs.

    But I still can come up with five reasons why general manager Neal Huntington should add offense, even if it's just for this summer:

    1. Keep the clubhouse

    On the field, these Pirates have done their part to bring about a dramatic improvement from the 105 losses of 2010, breaking down just about every barrier, from pitching better to winning on the road. (Still waiting on beating the Brewers, of course.) The front office has rightly praised manager Clint Hurdle, his staff and his players for their determination.

    Well, this is the time for the front office to show the same.

    Remember when the Penguins made two trades before the NHL deadline in February, even though Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin would miss the playoffs?

    That front office, seeing that the remaining roster had battled fiercely, had the players' backs.

    The Pirates should follow suit. But, like the Penguins, they shouldn't mortgage the future by trading elite prospects. All that's needed is a bat or two to stay competitive, and that can come by taking on salary in a trade, which the front office has maintained for years it could do but never has done.

    2. Boost internal pride

    If all that emerges is a .500-or-better finish, so be it.

    The 18-year losing streak is this franchise's albatross, and it affects everyone from instructors to evaluators to major leaguers to prospects to the newest of draft picks, who immediately field questions about being selected by the laughingstock of baseball.

    Let these people be proud of the uniform for something that happened in the past two decades.

    3. Make the fans happy

    I cringe at typing that because any sports team that makes moves for P.R. purposes is a loser. But, again, the Pirates are no ordinary case.

    If the front office steps up, it would mark the team's first ringer-type acquisition since Shawon Dunston way back in 1997. (Sorry, can't bring myself to count Matt Morris because that would apply logic where no logic belongs.) It would give fans hope, it would sell tickets and that would allow for the raising of payroll and keeping the team's core young talent.

    4. The manager wants it

    I know because I asked Hurdle again Saturday if he'd like to add offense, and he replied: "Absolutely. There aren't many days that Neal and I don't have a conversation about what we can do to make our club better. We just had one today."

    I reminded Hurdle that a midseason acquisition would be rare ground for this team.

    "Well, that's maybe another thing on our to-do list," he said. "I'll say this: Everything I've talked about with the front office, it's all been very positive. Nobody's throwing up roadblocks."

    5. First base is open

    Lyle Overbay is looking like a bust for his one-year, $5 million contract, batting .228 with a current 2-for-22 slump and a team-high 50th strikeout for the final out Saturday. Before the game, Hurdle had Overbay in his office for a half-hour, and word in the clubhouse was that pressure is mounting on Overbay to perform.

    If he doesn't, that's a good opening to have because first basemen are among the easiest commodities in baseball to acquire.

    It's up to Bob Nutting, Frank Coonelly and Huntington to get something done. A lot of good pitching, including Paul Maholm's better-than-his-line work Saturday, is going to waste.



    Read more: Kovacevic: Time for front-office offensive - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1Pj5N6oAH
    I hope they are able to do something if only what a shame it would be to waste the excellent pitching we've been getting this year. It's also the reason that I wish they had concentrated more on bats in the draft. Other than a few that Benny and others point out, it's a real weakness in our minor system.

    POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON!

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    Default Re: Offense?

    Five weeks before Major League Baseball's July 31 trading deadline, the Pirates are back to .500 at 35-35, back to four games off the Central Division lead, and their immediate future is murky.

    Is it really worth it to make a short-term addition or two?

    My advice is this: Go for it, but proceed with caution.

    I agree. In life when something unexpectedly good comes your way you take it and run with it.
    Are these morons getting dumber or just louder-Mayor Quimby

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    Default Re: Offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoray61 View Post
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    Five weeks before Major League Baseball's July 31 trading deadline, the Pirates are back to .500 at 35-35, back to four games off the Central Division lead, and their immediate future is murky.

    Is it really worth it to make a short-term addition or two?

    My advice is this: Go for it, but proceed with caution.

    I agree. In life when something unexpectedly good comes your way you take it and run with it.
    I agree with this in theory. It's not about trying to win the division, it's taking another step to respectability. But trades should be made with an either this or that in mind. Either the player(s) being traded for should be a salary dump for the other team with little traded in return. Or the players acquired should be a fit going forward in which we trade a little something something for. I'd like to see us get a Yonder Alonso or someone of that ilk, but that type of trade is more a throw in the towel trade. Maybe closer to the trade deadline that would work if the wheel falls completely off.

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    Default Re: Offense?

    Explains why I was so in favor of drafting Rendon...Rendon, Rendon.

    The cupboard truly is bare in our minors, where there are no exciting hitters, but maybe a few pitchers.

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    Default Re: Offense?

    I guess the next question is, if we're ok with going after a bat or two before the trading deadline...we're going to have to give up arms...who are you willing to let go?

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    Default Re: Offense?

    They should of done more in the off season to add a legit bat where it would
    Of only cost them the money they claim they have to spend. Now it will cost them
    Prospects & money. To me it is a case of looking 3 years down the line instead of
    Making this years team the best they could. If we had a decent offense we would
    Easily be leading the division.

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    Default Re: Offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh View Post
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    They should of done more in the off season to add a legit bat where it would
    Of only cost them the money they claim they have to spend. Now it will cost them
    Prospects & money. To me it is a case of looking 3 years down the line instead of
    Making this years team the best they could. If we had a decent offense we would
    Easily be leading the division.
    But to be fair,who among us would have thought that pitching would be the strength of this team? I know I didn't.
    Are these morons getting dumber or just louder-Mayor Quimby

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    Default Re: Offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoray61 View Post
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    But to be fair,who among us would have thought that pitching would be the strength of this team? I know I didn't.
    Exactly. I would've thought they were wasting money spending more on bats in the offseason. We'll see if the pitching holds up, but the bats are certainly quiet...need Jobu.

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    Default Re: Offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by DCBILL View Post
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    Explains why I was so in favor of drafting Rendon...Rendon, Rendon.

    The cupboard truly is bare in our minors, where there are no exciting hitters, but maybe a few pitchers.
    What exactly would have Rendon done for us right now?

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    Default Re: Offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by wvkeeper View Post
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    What exactly would have Rendon done for us right now?
    Nothing right now, but we are truly weak in the minors as far as offense is concerned. I understand the thinking that it's easier to acquire bats, but I really felt that this year they should have concentrated more on position players and less on pitching. They've done a good job of that over the last 2-3 years. Give that a chance to prove they knew what they were doing or not.

    POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON!

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    So, someone toss some names around, who do you think is or will be available and whats the cost gonna be?

    Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Offense?

    I think Overbay will be the first victim if they decide to make a change.

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    Default Re: Offense?

    Maholm for what batter?
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    Default Re: Offense?

    "Ex" made my point re Rendon.

    No player drafted this month will help any MLB team, but Rendon--if he hits--would be a welcome addition to the PBC.

    Before the draft, I've said everything I needed to about drafting hitters versus pitchers.

    Power pitchers just seem to get hurt and don't pan out.

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    Default Re: Offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by CROSSBONES View Post
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    Maholm for what batter?
    I don't think they'll trade major league pitching for a bat. I think it would be a prospects for major league hitter trade. But hopefully, they won't end up overpaying for a Lyle Overbay type veteran. Of the teams that are probably closing in on being sellers (Marlins, Astros, and Orioles over 10 games out with the Cubs, Mets, Nationals, Padres, and Royals being 9+ games out), what would be available to trade for? I'd either want a bad contract that ends this year cheap or a younger player that is an upgrade at one of the corners long term.

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