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Thread: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

      
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    Default Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Dejan Kovacevic's Pirates chat transcript: 8.3.2010
    Tuesday, August 03, 2010
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Mr_Xiaoqi: Hi Dejan - What are the reports that you've been getting from scouts regarding some possible major league arms in Altoona to help the big club in a year or so?

    Dejan Kovacevic: The top arms are starters Bryan Morris and Rudy Owens, but both of their current career paths have them in Indianapolis next year. Morris has waned a bit and is limited to about 130 innings. Owens is still going to strong, but the limit is probably about the same.

    That's not a situation where, except for rare cases like Mike Leake, the Pirates' opponent tonight, someone jumps to the majors right away the next year.

    Scott Evans - Barrow, AK: Good morning DK. I haven't heard much mentioned about Grossman this year. I've noticed he's hitting much better recently after a slow start. Is management still high on him or do they feel he's taken a step back?

    Dejan Kovacevic: Very much so, Scott. Grossman was a high school pick, and he is only 20, so his placement with all those legit prospects in Bradenton -- back before most of them were injured -- was considered aggressive by management. He's had more pressure on him lately with so many of those players missing, but the return of Starling Marte last night should ease that.

    Brian: How much of the failures of the pitching staff this season is the responsibility of the pitchers themselves, and how much of it has to do with Doumit's failure to call a game and manage the staff? How much did that play into the decision to trade for Chris Snyder?

    Dejan Kovacevic: If you're looking for a split between those two factors, then you're surely leaving out pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, as all coaches are a factor -- for better or worse -- when a specific facet of the team goes mostly in one direction.
    As for the performance and the catching, we'll see. I saw Ryan Doumit catch Paul Maholm's shutout and heard Maholm praising Doumit, unsolicited, for how he handled the game. Evaluations like this take a lot of time, a lot of starts.

    jal: Dejan With Alvarez being rested last night, primarily because he wasn't hitting, is there any concern that might have brought him up too soon? Any concern he might be hurt more than helped by playing in the majors right now?

    Dejan Kovacevic: None whatsoever. Last time anyone began expressing concern like that, Alvarez broke out for a home run every other at-bat.

    I spoke with Alvarez in Denver for quite a while about his specific struggle against sliders from lefties, and his response was that it was not so much the quality of the pitch or the stuff that's the difference in the majors. It's the way pitchers can use those types of pitches early in counts as setup pitches.
    Which was his way of saying that he can hit the pitch. He just needs to read the sequences better. That's probably better to do in the majors, especially now when the games themselves mean little to the Pirates.

    smyers: Dejan, is there any additional bullpen help available for the rest of the season besides who is currently on the roster? Ascanio after rehab? Joe Martinez?

    Dejan Kovacevic: It would appear that there had better be.
    Neal Huntington said Sunday he plans to look for veterans. Ascanio is not going to be ready, but Martinez probably will be a September callup. If you're looking just at August, the outside is the only real answer.

    yzguy431: good afternoon. salary dump or did the pirates improve with the latest deals? and, how are the core group of young guys reacting to it?

    Dejan Kovacevic: Computing whether or not the Pirates dumped salary Saturday is a simple, clear matter of adding and subtracting dollars. As I reported the other day, the Pirates are adding $450,000 in salary this year, $3.5 million next year.

    The core group of young guys ... not sure what you're asking there. If you're asking how they reacted to a salary dump, there wasn't one. If you're asking how they reacted to the trades, I can tell you that none of the three had any reaction I could see or hear.

    Charles: With the team now acquiring the best defensive catcher in baseball, what are the chances of Doumit clearing waivers and still being traded? The team already declared the 1B project over after he cost them wins in consecutive games in Detroit and he appears way to slow to be truly considered a corner OF option.

    Dejan Kovacevic: First off, Chris Snyder is not the best defensive catcher in baseball by any reasonable metric outside of stone-cold fielding percentage. That's just errors vs. chances. It's a positive, obviously, that he would have few throwing errors, but there is so much more to that position, from game-calling to receiving to framing pitches to controlling the running game. On the latter count, Snyder is at about 30 percent, right around league average.

    From what I see, Yadier Molina is the best, and I know that some on the coaching staff feel that way about Brian McCann.

    As for Doumit clearing waivers, sure, he would do that, given his increase in salary, low production, defense, etc. But those same variables might keep him from getting traded, too.

    AB in Hburg: DK, What's up with Moskos? He's been terrible lately.

    Dejan Kovacevic: It's funny, but I talked to Dean Treanor, pitching coach at Indianapolis, about a week after Moskos' promotion and, even though the numbers were good, the coach was issuing all kinds of not-really-subtle warnings. Turns out the coach was right: Moskos is getting hit hard and, of late, he has been walking people, too.

    The latter might be a case of Moskos doing the type of can't-throw-it-there nibbling I saw Daniel McCutchen doing Saturday night in St. Louis, but still ...

    pghfaninstl: Hey DK, any more word on the phantom double play from Saturday night's first inning?

    Dejan Kovacevic: None at all. John Russell made pretty clear that night after the game that his comments were going to be limited to what was printed.
    As I wrote on the blog, it was a really big issue the following morning.

    Brian: Was there ever a consideration to playing Saturday's game under protest after the umpires horrible infield fly rule call?

    Dejan Kovacevic: There probably should have been such consideration. A team plays a game under protest only when it feels an umpire has misapplied or misinterpreted a rule. Very, very clearly, that happened Saturday night, not so much with the original or late infield-fly rule call, but with second base umpire Mike Everitt's phantom call of Neil Walker being out.

    Realist: I'd like to give a shout out to all real Pirate fans out there who are just thoroughly disgusted with the organization.

    Dejan Kovacevic: OK.

    Brian: Considering the return the Pirates got for Dotel, isn't it fair to say that the team made the right decision by letting Capps walk and investing in Dotel instead?

    Dejan Kovacevic: Wow, that involves a lot of factors there, more than we can handle in a live chat. Send it in for the Q&A. Obviously, Washington got the higher-rated prospect in its trade than the Pirates, but it also would appear the Pirates did far better than many -- including they themselves -- expected in the Dotel return.

    Joe S: Does it not seem like the Cardinals get every call and break while at home, or is it just normal for an avid fan to feel that way vs a hated rival?

    Dejan Kovacevic: The Cardinals got a ton of calls this weekend. There are those in baseball who say that the good teams and good pitchers earn those calls, and St. Louis clearly is a much, much, much better team than the Pirates. I just happen not to be of the school that umpires or referees should ever be influenced, even subconsciously, by variables like that.

    Alex: What tangible difference does playing under protest make?

    Dejan Kovacevic: Tangibly, it's probably minimal. Only one game has been forced to a restart in recent decades, and I believe that was back in 1985 or 1986. One of the criteria is that the decision had to have been pivotal to the outcome, and the Pirates would have a hard time arguing that after a blowout loss.

    On the intangible level, it would represent mostly a matter of the Pirates sending out the signal that they will not get pushed around, and that umpires making such calls against them -- even if completely unwillfully -- need to be more alert.
    Let me ask this: What do you think St. Louis' reaction would have been had the same sequence gone against them?

    Dave Christian: Best team you've seen in person this season? I like the Padres. They don't make mistakes and pitch very well.

    Dejan Kovacevic: I liked St. Louis even before Jake Westbrook. The Cardinals look really, really good now. They can do it all.

    drew: Dejan - to your eye, do any of our starting pitchers seem to be throwing better 'stuff' than their recent stat lines might indicate? Thanks

    Dejan Kovacevic: Zach Duke probably deserved a better fate Sunday in St. Louis, but no, not really. The Pirates' starting pitching remains very dubious, and the bullpen now, in the wake of the trades, might be even worse than the starting pitching.
    Not passing judgment on the Saturday trades. Again, by all accounts, the Pirates appear to have done well in those. But even the short-term view of the pitching, starting and relief, continues to be an indictment of this management team's inability to find and secure pitching at the major-league level.

    Without getting into a long discussion, one look at the National League teams that have made quick turnarounds tells you that all it takes is a handful of correct calls in regards to pitching.

    drew: Dejan - how is the attitude in the clubhouse after 5 consecutive defeats, and 9 of 11? Do the young guys still have that happy-to-be-here zeal? Thanks

    Dejan Kovacevic: Not so much that the attitude is different. The people are different. It's a very, very different place. But it's crazy early to try to get a gauge on something like chemistry. A quarter of the roster just changed.

    Chuck Snow: Any more whispers out there about JR Losing his job?

    Dejan Kovacevic: None. One more this week ...
    end of line: Will the pirate front office ever put a date on the table for when they think they will be competing for a playoff spot. I would even welcome an attempt to get over the .500 mark.

    Dejan Kovacevic: They would very strongly disagree with your second goal there, I can tell you that. They see that as a flawed quick-fix approach.
    No, there is no date or year mentioned by anyone. I have heard this summer for the first time that the Pirates saw all along that the third year would be the most challenging in this building plan, possibly because they saw the talent being young, possibly because they saw that people would begin running out of patience. At any rate, the mere presence of a forecast for the third year would lead me to believe there is one for the fourth, fifth, etc.

    But no, I have not heard of the year in which they are expecting to return to the playoffs.

    As for me, I will return to the ballpark tonight to see the Pirates and Reds, the latter of which might end its decade of losing and return to the playoffs this fall.
    Day game tomorrow, and the Q&A returns on the blog Thursday.

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10215...#ixzz0veU6WxSD
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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Realist: I'd like to give a shout out to all real Pirate fans out there who are just thoroughly disgusted with the organization.

    Dejan Kovacevic: OK.
    What the **** is the point of even printing that?

    No, really?
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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Quote Originally Posted by cocktailsfor2 View Post
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    What the **** is the point of even printing that?

    No, really?
    Exactly. You **** well know as much as I do that these questions are hand picked. I know I've sent in questions to a ton of chats to see them not get answered. So, someone is handpicking these questions and the fact that some garbage type question/response like this evens gets through not to mention published to the PG website/DK's blog is pathetic.

    Way to promote an agenda, PG
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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Exactly. This is ********ery at it's finest. And way to bite the hand that feeds you, DK.

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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Its disgusting how little the Pittsburgh media knows about the draft and minors.

    I realize that Owens and Morris might be considered the best pitchers at Altoona...but scouts would certainly agree that in ANY discussion of the Altoona pitching staff you have to at least MENTION Justin Wilson. If Wilson gets his BB9...he's a solid #3 pitcher...I am not sure that Rudy Owens can even project to that........
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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    You make a good point, Benny. In the midst of being ****ed off about the other issue, I pretty much glossed over the rest of the chat.
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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Quote Originally Posted by cocktailsfor2 View Post
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    You make a good point, Benny. In the midst of being ****ed off about the other issue, I pretty much glossed over the rest of the chat.
    I mean it is seriously disturbing how little DK and especially their "specialist" Chuck Finder know about the draft, draft signings, and the minor leagues.

    I mean there have been times that Chuck Finder would write an article about the number of draftees signed and would give the wrong number...not even knowing who has signed.

    Disturbing indeed.
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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    I mean it is seriously disturbing how little DK and especially their "specialist" Chuck Finder know about the draft, draft signings, and the minor leagues.

    I mean there have been times that Chuck Finder would write an article about the number of draftees signed and would give the wrong number...not even knowing who has signed.

    Disturbing indeed.
    I know I said this during Spring Training and leading to it and I'll say it again... guys like Dejan and Finder aren't really baseball opinionated people. Nobody should be asking them their opinion on things they can't respond with answers someone else gave them because in most cases when it comes to the sport itself, evaluating talent etc... they don't really know much. There's a ton more fans that know that stuff. Finder for the most part is a bench guy for the PG, he fills in wherever but isn't good enough for a starting job Dejan originally was the PENGUINS beat writer and I always felt that he was more knowledgeable in the sport of hockey.

    When people were *****ing during Spring Training because Dejan was on a little vacation and not covering the Pirates it wasn't because they were waiting to hear what he had to say about this pitchers 12-6 curve or this batters swing It was because Dejan is excellent at reporting. Talking to people and getting information and throwing it back for the public. He's doing what a beat guy does, he's covering the Pirates with some inside information. Nobody has to have knowledge of the sport to do that
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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    I know I said this during Spring Training and leading to it and I'll say it again... guys like Dejan and Finder aren't really baseball opinionated people. Nobody should be asking them their opinion on things they can't respond with answers someone else gave them because in most cases when it comes to the sport itself, evaluating talent etc... they don't really know much. There's a ton more fans that know that stuff. Finder for the most part is a bench guy for the PG, he fills in wherever but isn't good enough for a starting job Dejan originally was the PENGUINS beat writer and I always felt that he was more knowledgeable in the sport of hockey.

    When people were *****ing during Spring Training because Dejan was on a little vacation and not covering the Pirates it wasn't because they were waiting to hear what he had to say about this pitchers 12-6 curve or this batters swing It was because Dejan is excellent at reporting. Talking to people and getting information and throwing it back for the public. He's doing what a beat guy does, he's covering the Pirates with some inside information. Nobody has to have knowledge of the sport to do that
    But the thing is, Kip, while DK is an OK "reporter/beat writer"...he is nothing more than OK...and Finder? He cant even adequately report who has actually been signed.

    Its just sad that the Pittsburgh media isn't any better than it is.
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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    But the thing is, Kip, while DK is an OK "reporter/beat writer"...he is nothing more than OK...and Finder? He cant even adequately report who has actually been signed.

    Its just sad that the Pittsburgh media isn't any better than it is.
    I wouldn't say that DK is an "OK" beat reporter. I think DK is a very good beat reporter and definitely better than any beat reporter I've seen in Pittsburgh at least. (compare DK to Rossi and Ed ******tte and neither Rossi or ******tte can come near DK in reporting things going on with their respective teams). I miss him doing the Pens but as an opinionated mind with how the game is played and anything that comes close to talent evaluation and building teams, prospects etc... I don't really want to know or hear Dejan's personal opinion and thoughts. If his "thoughts" are basically repeating what some scout or Pirates official and coach told him and his thoughts are no more than the "relaying" of information that Dejan does so well... then I'm all for that

    All in all I do like Dejan as a beat "reporter" but like the rest of the Pittsburgh media, outside of Joe Starkey, the opinions aren't ever really worth reading.
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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Its just sad that the Pittsburgh media isn't any better than it is.
    What media is "good" though? Larger markets might have more media outlets but in most cases it just becomes mroe of a fiercer battle between who can yell the loudest with everyone ponying for readers. I guess that in a market this small, with 2 newspapers (3 if you include the beaver county times who use Perrotto and Madden as writers for them) there's not really any of that need for "shock jock" brand .
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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Don;t forget the Washington Observer-Reporter that employs John Steigerwald.

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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Quote Originally Posted by wvkeeper View Post
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    Don;t forget the Washington Observer-Reporter that employs John Steigerwald.
    I had no idea that Steigerwald was at the Washington Observer. I give that place a free pass because Dale Lolley is over there and he's heads and shoulders above the rest of the Steelers media. I'd put Wexell next to him but I wanna say Jim Wexell is more of an independent writer
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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Yeah he does an Op-Ed column over there.

    http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/...-1-Steigerwald

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    Default Re: Dejan's Chat Transcript From August 3rd

    Quote Originally Posted by wvkeeper View Post
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    Yeah he does an Op-Ed column over there.

    http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/...-1-Steigerwald
    Geez... he's still bashing Ben Roethlisberger so that hed can preserve Kordell Stewart's legacy with the Steelers

    John Steigerwald is miserable on top of always being a guy that talked like he knew more than he ever really did
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