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    Default Pony League Pirates

    The Pony League Pirates
    By Bob Smizik | Sunday 10:30 a.m.

    Nothing is coming up right for the Pirates these days.

    Take the first inning last night when the New York Mets had runners on second and third and Chris Carter struck out on a pitch in the dirt. Catcher Chris Snyder checked the runner at third, Jose Reyes, then threw to first to retire Carter. As soon as Carter committed to first, Reyes sprinted home and slid under the throw from Garrett Jones, who took too long to get rid of the ball.

    What a tough break. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to handle that play from my days of coaching Pony League baseball.

    The joke continues. The Pirates are 40-83 and whether they reach 100 losses is no longer in question. All that's in doubt is whether they will reach 110.

    How that first inning developed says even more about the Pirates. After Reyes doubled, Angel Pagan bunted for what was a single because pitcher James McDonald failed to cover first base. Those stinkin’ Dodgers, from where McDonald recently came, they pay no attention to the fundamentals.

    When Carlos Beltran flied out to center, Reyes didn’t dare try to score on Andrew McCutchen’s strong throw -- which was well over the head of the cutoff man and allowed Pagan to go to second.

    There you have it. In one inning, three plays that should have been mastered on the Pony League level but which the Pirates cannot master.

    An accounting of this game, which mercifully was called in the sixth inning on account of rain with the Mets leading, 5-1, would not be complete without a word from the man responsible for seeing these fundamentals are properly practiced -- manager John Russell.

    Noting that Snyder argued the call at home on which Reyes was safe, Russell credited the catcher’s reaction with ``really pumping up our bench, even though Reyes was safe.’’

    He then added, ``There was a lot of energy. I would have liked to see how it would have gone if the game continued."

    And there you have it, folks. Proof, at last, that Russell is asleep, literally and/or figuratively, on the bench.

    ``If the game continues.’’

    It did, John, for more than four innings. And how it went is how it almost always goes with your team. That ``energy’’ provided by Snyder -- who, by the way, allowed Pagan to advance to third while he was fruitlessly arguing with the ump -- did nothing to change another listless, losing performance.

    Is Frank Coonelly watching this?
    Well, this time Smizick got it right. There is simply no one to hold accountable but the manager. Smizick didn't even mention not PH'ing for the pitcher with runners at 2nd and 3rd the night before.

    This has got to change if all this talk of drafting for the future will mean a hill of beans.

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

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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    Well, this time Smizick got it right. There is simply no one to hold accountable but the manager. Smizick didn't even mention not PH'ing for the pitcher with runners at 2nd and 3rd the night before.

    This has got to change if all this talk of drafting for the future will mean a hill of beans.
    I was thinking exactly the same thing when I saw that play. Reminded me of coaching Little League. We tell the kids to throw to third in that situation, and even practice it. You just don't expect it in the Majors, except, I guess, if it's the Pirates, and Snyder, who is supposed to be a good catcher, seemed to forget that there were runners on.

    I really wonder how many of you guys actually watch the games these days? All this exuberance over the draft is called for, I agree, but the major league club is such a train wreck. There are mistakes like this in almost every game. They don't know even know how to throw from the outfield to the cutoff man. I think it's one of the main reasons Milledge isn't playing; he seems clueless about what to do after he catches or fields a ball.

    If the whole staff is not fired at the end of the year, I will be really stunned. There is too much raw talent on this team for them to be sooo bad.

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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    Funny......we DON'T pinch hit the night before with 2 runners on base....cause we want to keep the bullpen fresh.....THEN we get a rainout in the 6th inning which rested the guy(s) we saved from the night before......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????? We didn't even think of that now did we, John???? ****in team is so screwed up, it doesn't even TRY to win so it can save its pitchers for NO REASON........I can't explain how ****in ****ed off I am........
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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    Well, you don't want to mess with the plans for 1st overall next June, do you?

    Seriously though, I am completely sick of Russell and his "laid back" attitude. If NH doesn't make a change in the the offseason, and bring in someone who's going to at least emphasize fundamental baseball, then he's as responsible as Russell for this bs.

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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    Russell is history!

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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    Smizik blames James McDonald for a play that was all on Jones and Walker. The guy was sacrifice bunting. Jones needs to come in and Walker needs to cover first. McDonald tried to field the ball at first because no one else was there. He never really had a chance to get to first. The Pirates did the same thing that same inning with McCutchen on second. Tabata bunted, the pitcher fell over trying to field it, but Davis was there quickly and Tejada covered first. That's how the play is supposed to happen.

    Smizik probably wasn't a very good Pony League coach.

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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    Nutting is the root of this problem.........If this ****in LOSER ran a McDonalds restaurant, HE would run out of hamburger buns for Christ Sake!!!!!! Then Coonley would be the guy saying we are gonna take care of that next time.......Huntington would be the guy who says "Its our McNuggets that you should want, not the burgers".......and Russell would be outside sweeping the parking lot, oblivious to anything goin on inside........Jesus H....I could go on and on........
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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    PS......these guys would be TOO ****IN CHEAP to go to the store to buy more rolls.....They can't go over budget and have to just build from what they have.......
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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    Lemme just say I'm soooooo glad some of you people were not in charge of this latest rebuild that is going quite well, in my opinion. Neil and Frank are doing a pretty decent job. Not everything is always about money spent, money spent at the wrong time may and often times ends up being wasted.

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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by jnn123 View Post
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    Smizik blames James McDonald for a play that was all on Jones and Walker. The guy was sacrifice bunting. Jones needs to come in and Walker needs to cover first. McDonald tried to field the ball at first because no one else was there. He never really had a chance to get to first. The Pirates did the same thing that same inning with McCutchen on second. Tabata bunted, the pitcher fell over trying to field it, but Davis was there quickly and Tejada covered first. That's how the play is supposed to happen.

    Smizik probably wasn't a very good Pony League coach.
    that's what I was thinking when I read this "wasn't that Jones' fault, not McDonald's?

    at Bob Smizik once again. Even when he has a legitimate argument that most can rally behyind he finds a way to screw it up with his lack of baseball knowledge.

    btw... I'm all about Russell and the entire staff getting fired but I like seeing coaches get fired so I'm not the greatest at analyzing them. If they aren't getting the most out of the players as per my own judgment and predictions, then the coach isn't doing his main job. Russell has been getting below expectation performances from his team and that's his fault.

    Quote Originally Posted by dcm8299 View Post
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    Lemme just say I'm soooooo glad some of you people were not in charge of this latest rebuild that is going quite well, in my opinion. Neil and Frank are doing a pretty decent job. Not everything is always about money spent, money spent at the wrong time may and often times ends up being wasted.
    Sometimes it's just easier to take the simple path that all of the other lemmings take and complain about something everyone else is. You don't stick out like a sore thumb
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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by ranrod7 View Post
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    Nutting is the root of this problem.........If this ****in LOSER ran a McDonalds restaurant, HE would run out of hamburger buns for Christ Sake!!!!!! Then Coonley would be the guy saying we are gonna take care of that next time.......Huntington would be the guy who says "Its our McNuggets that you should want, not the burgers".......and Russell would be outside sweeping the parking lot, oblivious to anything goin on inside........Jesus H....I could go on and on........
    Where was all of this venom and hate back when Kevin McClatchy was majority owner/CEO and Dave Littlefield was GM and they were running this team straight into the ground? Where was this *****ing when the Pirates were just as inept in fundamentals, didn't have a big payroll or were wasting whatever money they had on Burnitz, Benito, Randa, Morris etc... ? Where was the same amount of hate when our drafts resembled garbage picking at a yard sale and we passed up Matt Wieters for Danny Moskos or drafted Bryan Bullington? Where was this same amount of hate when we completely ignored the International signing period, McClatchy was sinking zero funds into it and was employing about half the amount of scouts that the average team has?

    There was NO *****ing and anger at the level I see now. There was support. Support for the most incompetent owner (McClatchy) the Pirates have ever had that had no business giving himself the CEO position and the most incompetent Pirates GM in Dave Littlefield as they ran the minor leagues into the ground. They drafted like ****. They spent the same annual amount on payroll, signed and traded for crap and provided the same sort of losing every season.

    You should've been ****ed off years ago when you were showing all of your enthusiasm (that I miss) and support for the biggest ****ing trainwreck this organization has ever provided. McClatchy and Littlefield did more harm to this franchise than the Cocaine trials. Maybe you were secretly ****ed and you were just hiding it well, I don't know. But I'm sorry, you supported with enthusiasm the very thing that has lead the Pirates to this low point of baseball ineptness and losing and then turn around and get ****ed when an actual plan has been put in place and is performing to pull this franchise out of the hole that Kevin McClatchy, Cam Bonifay and Dave Littlefield put it into.

    This is all backwards You should be supporting the team right now like you did then. Supporting an actual plan that none of us had seen in the years of losing post Bonds that Nutting, Coonelly and Huntington have brought with them. I'm not saying you should sing campfire songs and do backflips but if you couldn't be ****ed when the most and biggest damage to this franchise was being performed then it's really tough to accept one's anger when the team finally starts drafting extremely well. It re-stocks their minor league system with the most talent it's probably seen in decades. Isn't wasting wads of money in Free Agency on garbage to fool the dumb casual fans.

    Call me a shill Call me out for hoping and thinking that specific players would have better seasons than they have and haven't for reasons few can even realistically explain... I can accept it. I need something to help provide sanity and fun during the darkest parts of a true rebuikld ...but I accepted that a true rebuild that was properly done and with the state this Organization was left in by the McClatchy/Littlefield regime that you supported more than the current one would take years. Something that was torn down over 15 years to levels worthy of being condemned was never going to get fixed to the point where we started winning in the matter of 2-3 years. Other GM's in the National League said it would take the Pirates 6-8 years. Personally we're a little ahead of that curve based on how quickly Huntington has restocked the minor leagues which is the foundation for any success this team will ever have at the MLB level.

    cheer up! It could be worse, Kevin McClatchy and Dave Littlefield could be still running the team and we'd be losing, drafting poorly, wasting money on garbage free agents of no use and have a minor league system that every expert would consider to be a joke

    The root of the Pirates current problem is/was Kevin McClatchy and Dave Littlefield and the damage they did together for years to lead the Pirates into having to perform such an in depth and lengthy rebuild
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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    It may go back even further to the consortium before McClatchy et Co. Almost assuredly, however, this group now in place has the team back on path. We're just in a now world that has to have things fixed overnight.

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

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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    Actually Kipper, I *****ED BACK THEN TOO!!!!!!!! I can't prove it cause all the threads are erased from the Trib Board, so you have to take my word for it......BUT, I was still a critic...

    Just cause I did all the Game Day Threads back then and got into the games doesn't mean I was all Kool-Aid all the time!!!!!!!
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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Where was all of this venom and hate back when Kevin McClatchy was majority owner/CEO and Dave Littlefield was GM and they were running this team straight into the ground? Where was this *****ing when the Pirates were just as inept in fundamentals, didn't have a big payroll or were wasting whatever money they had on Burnitz, Benito, Randa, Morris etc... ? Where was the same amount of hate when our drafts resembled garbage picking at a yard sale and we passed up Matt Wieters for Danny Moskos or drafted Bryan Bullington? Where was this same amount of hate when we completely ignored the International signing period, McClatchy was sinking zero funds into it and was employing about half the amount of scouts that the average team has?

    There was NO *****ing and anger at the level I see now. There was support. Support for the most incompetent owner (McClatchy) the Pirates have ever had that had no business giving himself the CEO position and the most incompetent Pirates GM in Dave Littlefield as they ran the minor leagues into the ground. They drafted like ****. They spent the same annual amount on payroll, signed and traded for crap and provided the same sort of losing every season.

    You should've been ****ed off years ago when you were showing all of your enthusiasm (that I miss) and support for the biggest ****ing trainwreck this organization has ever provided. McClatchy and Littlefield did more harm to this franchise than the Cocaine trials. Maybe you were secretly ****ed and you were just hiding it well, I don't know. But I'm sorry, you supported with enthusiasm the very thing that has lead the Pirates to this low point of baseball ineptness and losing and then turn around and get ****ed when an actual plan has been put in place and is performing to pull this franchise out of the hole that Kevin McClatchy, Cam Bonifay and Dave Littlefield put it into.

    This is all backwards You should be supporting the team right now like you did then. Supporting an actual plan that none of us had seen in the years of losing post Bonds that Nutting, Coonelly and Huntington have brought with them. I'm not saying you should sing campfire songs and do backflips but if you couldn't be ****ed when the most and biggest damage to this franchise was being performed then it's really tough to accept one's anger when the team finally starts drafting extremely well. It re-stocks their minor league system with the most talent it's probably seen in decades. Isn't wasting wads of money in Free Agency on garbage to fool the dumb casual fans.

    Call me a shill Call me out for hoping and thinking that specific players would have better seasons than they have and haven't for reasons few can even realistically explain... I can accept it. I need something to help provide sanity and fun during the darkest parts of a true rebuikld ...but I accepted that a true rebuild that was properly done and with the state this Organization was left in by the McClatchy/Littlefield regime that you supported more than the current one would take years. Something that was torn down over 15 years to levels worthy of being condemned was never going to get fixed to the point where we started winning in the matter of 2-3 years. Other GM's in the National League said it would take the Pirates 6-8 years. Personally we're a little ahead of that curve based on how quickly Huntington has restocked the minor leagues which is the foundation for any success this team will ever have at the MLB level.

    cheer up! It could be worse, Kevin McClatchy and Dave Littlefield could be still running the team and we'd be losing, drafting poorly, wasting money on garbage free agents of no use and have a minor league system that every expert would consider to be a joke

    The root of the Pirates current problem is/was Kevin McClatchy and Dave Littlefield and the damage they did together for years to lead the Pirates into having to perform such an in depth and lengthy rebuild
    Well put Kipper! Blaming Nutting for the play on the field is just assinine. He has approved the funds to sign the talent this organization sorely lacked. We can't sign the Cliff Lee's of the world. We must develop them ourself. I'm on board with the rebuild regardless of how painful it is now. And believe me, I live in Reds country, it's pretty painful seeing the Reds do well while my Bucs struggle.

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    Default Re: Pony League Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by indybucfan View Post
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    Well put Kipper! Blaming Nutting for the play on the field is just assinine. He has approved the funds to sign the talent this organization sorely lacked. We can't sign the Cliff Lee's of the world. We must develop them ourself. I'm on board with the rebuild regardless of how painful it is now. And believe me, I live in Reds country, it's pretty painful seeing the Reds do well while my Bucs struggle.
    I can understand people being ****ed because it's been so long and losing isn't any fun, I just hate seeing it misdirected. I also don't put as much stock into payroll and money regarding building winners as I do management. I've said this a bunch of times now but ...

    What does anyone think the results would be if Dave Littlefield were given say $20-25 more million to spend? We saw what he would do with $20 million in contracts for Jeromy Burnitz and Joe Randa and trades for Matt Morris.

    All of the money in the world can't make a retard make better decisions. The Pirates were run by the 2 biggest incompetent retards baseball has seen in Kevin McClatchy and Dave Littlefield.

    Increasing payroll was also never going to dig the Pirates out of the hole that Dumb and Dumber put them in. Look at the Seattle Mariners... that's a lot of money that bought a loser and that was done by a GM that most Pirates fans WANTED instead of Huntington

    The Reds have gotten every last ounce of value from all of the money they've dished out. That's a rarity. It also won't last too long either, they just got nice and lucky with everything hitting at the same time IMO. Getting what they are from geriatrics like Rolen, Phillips and Hernandez and even Edmonds is crazy
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