Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: ESPN's Buster Olney on the Bucs

      
  1. #1
    irahuss's Avatar
    Status : irahuss is offline
    Rank : Waterboy
    Join Date : Oct 16, 2009
    Posts : 157
    Threads : 23
    Last Online : Apr-04-2011 @ 08:54 PM

    Default ESPN's Buster Olney on the Bucs

    Long balls could shrink Bucs' long odds

    Monday, February 22, 2010 | Feedback | Print Entry

    The other day, the Pirates' sluggers were on practice field No. 3 at their spring training complex in Bradenton, Fla. But after left-handed hitters Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez launched balls far beyond the right-field fence and smashed a couple of car windows in the parking lot of the River Run Golf Course, the Pirates moved the hitters to practice field No. 2.


    What this meant is that the building beyond the left-field fence, near field No. 2, is probably a little dented today courtesy of Jones, the Pirates' enormous slugger who had three extraordinary months last year. On Sunday, Jones carved one long drive after another over the distance fence in left-center field; he looked like he was hitting a driver with a bad slice (but thankfully, his car window isn't busted).

    After making his debut for Pittsburgh on July 1, he mashed 10 homers in his first 19 games. Pitchers began working Jones out of the strike zone, and in August his numbers went down. But the Pirates were encouraged by Jones' adjustments as the season progressed; he drew 18 walks in his past 130 plate appearances. Don Long, the Pirates' hitting coach, spent time talking with Jones in the batting cages Sunday about how to lay off the pitches low and away.

    Jones finished last season ranked 14th among all hitters in OPS with 300 or more plate appearances; in slugging, he was eighth.

    He looks like he has just enough patience to keep pitchers honest, and if he were to generate a 25- to 30-homer type of season, he would be one more reason why the Pittsburgh offense has a chance to be markedly improved over 2009, when the Pirates finished dead last in the majors in runs.


    The Pirates will have the dynamic Andrew McCutchen in the big leagues the whole season, Ryan Doumit is healthy (at least for now), and Akinori Iwamura was acquired during the offseason to add some stability. Alvarez will probably be summoned to the big leagues in late May or early June, after seemingly figuring some things out in the second half of last season in the minors.

    The Pirates are not likely to end their streak of consecutive seasons without making the playoffs, but they are getting better.

    Either way, the golfers at River Run should beware: The Pirates' hitters are moving back to practice field No. 3 on Tuesday. As Pittsburgh media relations man Jim Trdinich notes: "Fore!"

    Paul Maholm struggled in the middle months of last season, posting ERAs of 5.52, 5.90 and 4.58 in June, July and August, and this has him thinking about adjustments, perhaps to deal with the warming weather of midsummer. He mused Sunday about possibly altering his pre-start throwing routine, his thought being that perhaps he should throw less in his warm-ups.

    Maholm recalled how, before a game he pitched against the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright last season, he went to the outfield to go through his usual bit of long-tossing. He kept looking for Wainwright to come out and start his pregame routine, and it wasn't until about 10 minutes before the first pitch that Wainwright emerged and starting throwing in the bullpen, without long-tossing. And he was ready to go.

    Maholm subsequently chatted with Wainwright about his routine, and Wainwright mentioned that he had a similar experience in a start against Jake Peavy, who threw about 10 fastballs in 12 seconds in the bullpen and then was ready to go.

    So Maholm is wondering if fewer pitches thrown in warming up might be a good way to help him save bullets for the game.

    By the way: Maholm is a huge fan of baseball. He followed offseason transactions closely, to the point that he kind of annoyed his wife with how much time he spent on the computer. In short, we have a lot in common.

    Just a thought: Major League Baseball should think about just inviting the best sluggers to the Home Run Derby, rather than trying to shoehorn the All-Stars into competing. Jones may or may not be at the All-Star Game, but he would be perfect for the Home Run Derby, clubbing monstrous shots all over the place. In the NBA, the best 3-point shooters generally get the invites to the 3-point shooting competition. If MLB did the same, the NL could field a heck of a trio in the Home Run Derby, in Jones, Ryan Howard and Adam Dunn.

    Joe Mauer isn't talking about his contract stuff. And he's cutting off his beard.

    Josh Beckett isn't talking about his contract stuff, either, writes Daniel Barbarisi. Dan Shaughnessy wonders if anybody feels good about the odds of Beckett coming back next year. I think the negotiations will be pretty simple: The Red Sox will essentially tell Beckett that they'd like to pay him something close to what the market has borne for the elite 30-something right-handed free agents, somewhere in the range of $82.5 million we've seen for A.J. Burnett and John Lackey. And if he wants more, he'll have to try to get it elsewhere.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog...e=olney_buster

  2. #2
    JimY's Avatar
    Status : JimY is offline
    Rank : Waterboy
    Join Date : Feb 13, 2010
    Location : Steubenville, OH
    Posts : 125
    Threads : 9
    Last Online : Feb-24-2012 @ 06:07 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: ESPN's Buster Olney on the Bucs

    Quote Originally Posted by irahuss View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote


    The Pirates are not likely to end their streak of consecutive seasons without making the playoffs, but they are getting better.
    If only that was our streak, Buster, if only.

  3. #3
    Kipper's Avatar
    Status : Kipper is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 8, 2009
    Posts : 67,323
    Threads : 1817
    Last Online : Apr-25-2017 @ 08:36 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: ESPN's Buster Olney on the Bucs

    Quote Originally Posted by JimY View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    If only that was our streak, Buster, if only.


    I was going to mention that too.

  4. #4
    irahuss's Avatar
    Status : irahuss is offline
    Rank : Waterboy
    Join Date : Oct 16, 2009
    Posts : 157
    Threads : 23
    Last Online : Apr-04-2011 @ 08:54 PM

    Default Re: ESPN's Buster Olney on the Bucs

    Quote Originally Posted by JimY View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    If only that was our streak, Buster, if only.
    Well... it is ONE of our streaks...

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •