Monday Morsels

— Remember last season when we were witnessing the “once in a lifetime” season the Cubs put together?  The Dodgers are on their way to eclipsing the Cubs success, as they are on a pace for 115 wins.  They could lose their final 45 games and still finish with a record of 83-79.

— They’ve done that in large part without Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez for substantial periods of time.

Cody-Bellinger-Joc-Pederson-Corey-Seager-Chase-Utley

— No reason to worry but Shane Baz, the Pirates #1 selection in the recent draft, has struggled mightily through his first seven professional starts.  He’s only totaled 14.2 IP but has put up a 5.52 ERA and a 2.045 WHIP.  He’s walking 5.5 per nine innings.

baz signs

— The Los Angeles Rams will travel the most miles this season (32,600), and the Steelers will travel the fewest (6,694).  My guess is it won’t be the 6,694 that kills the Steeler season.  It’ll be the 568 miles to Foxboro in January.

— It looks like I was in the distinct minority with this opinion but I wasn’t troubled in the least by Joe West’s comments about Adrian Beltre being the biggest complainer.  That comment of course led to West being suspended for three games.  I never thought it implied bias on West’s part but merely his opinion based on anecdotal evidence.  Nor did he ever suggest there was retribution at play.

beltre

— If an umpire gives a player, coach or manager a quick ejection does that indicate bias?  If it happens more than once should that umpire be suspended?  When we see an umpire laughing and joking with a player during the game, which we see many times, does that indicate a bias in favor of that player or team?  Of course not.

— MLB players will wear special youth oriented jerseys later this month that feature player nicknames and special patches.  It is reportedly an attempt to “cater to the youth market.”

— NYT writer Tyler Kepner had the best response to that sentiment.  If they want to cater to the youth market how about scheduling a World Series game in the afternoon?  Just one.   Or maybe a first pitch before 8:30 pm?

— Bob Smizik shared this with me recently:  “We’re always going to have to balance near term with long term,” the General Manager said. “That’s true now, it’s going to be true next year and it’s going to be true the year after that. Our goal here is to have a team that is in position for us to add at the deadline year after year after year.”

— That quote was from Milwaukee GM David Stearns but is almost verbatim what Neal Huntington says every year.

walker

— The Brewers surrendered the infamous PTBNL for Walker and will pick up most of Walker’s pro-rated $17M salary.  Seems like a pretty low cost of acquisition for a quality hitter who is being viewed as able to plug in at multiple positions.  He in fact made his Brewer debut yesterday at third base.

— According to Spotrac even after adding Walker’s estimated $4.7M reamining salary, Brewers total adjusted payroll is at just $84M.   They have the Pirates at $108M.

tj watt

— I was able to catch some limited action from the Steelers game Friday night thanks to the NFL Network.  An NFL preseason game is about a meaningful as the Grapefruit League but it was hard not to be impressed by TJ Watt.  I admit to not following the team as closely as I once did but was that Tommy Maddox playing the second half at quarterback?

— Gregory Polanco said yesterday that his recent hamstring injury feels worse than the last time when he landed on the DL.  If they didn’t already have a need to do so, if Polanco is out for anything more than a few games, the Pirates need to find offensive help in an August trade assuming they want to stay in the playoff chase.

Curtis-Granderson3

— Here are some hitters that are out there and available per MLBTR.com:  Curtis Granderson, Mets: With a nearly 1.000 OPS since mid-May, the Grandy Man’s remaining $15MM salary seems rather reasonable. He’s still owed about $4.3MM of that sum, but the Mets could grease the wheels on a trade by including some cash. Like teammates Bruce and Cabrera, Grandy has cleared waivers.

— Jed Lowrie, Athletics: The A’s can hang onto the veteran Lowrie for 2018 thanks to a very reasonable $6MM option, but it’d be hard to justify pushing Lowrie to the bench for a prospect like Franklin Barreto when Lowrie is flirting with an .800 OPS and has hit well all year. He can play anywhere in the infield, making him an ideal bench option for a contender — especially a team with a potential infield vacancy in 2018.

—  Carlos Gomez, Rangers: Gomez raked in June and hit well in July, so he has generally been going well of late and owns a .251/.334/.460 slash for the year. With good baserunning and center-field capability added to the mix, Gomez could represent a plug-and-go option if a team finds a sudden need for a semi-regular up the middle. He is earning a fairly hefty $11.5MM salary, though, so adding him would mean taking on a fair bit of cash.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Oakland Athletics

 

— If Neal Huntington really wants to put the band back together, Matt Joyce is hitting .273/.346/.682/1.028 in August.  The problem is he’s guaranteed $6M in 2018 and the Pirates have already committed substantial dollars in bench pieces like David Freese and Sean Rodriguez.   Assuming of course that neither is moved in the offseason.

— I freely admit I get more cynical with each passing column but does anyone else find these “what I did with the Stanley Cup” stories to be a little tedious?

— Francisco Cervelli left the game yesterday after aggravating his previous hurt left hand.  According to reports he hopes to avoid the DL but “needs time” to recover.

ct-jose-quintana-cubs-whitesox-photos

— The Cubs added Jose Quintana in July.  Thus far he’s 2-2 with a 4.20 ERA for his new team.  The Brewers, as mentioned above, have added Neil Walker.  The Cardinals made no additions but have put their game together and were tied for first going into yesterday’s games.

— The Pirates have needs.  They are no worse than four back at the end of Sunday’s action and five back in the loss column.  Winning ten of eleven is meaningless when you follow it by losing six of nine.  That’s the problem of chasing three teams.  There’s little margin for error.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Philadelphia Phillies

 

— The Pirates have been incredibly average for 118 games in 2017.  It’s time to decide what they want to be.  With 34 of the next 38 games against division foes, they’re either a playoff contender, which requires an upgrade to the lineup and yet still more in the bullpen or they’re an average team playing for 2018.

— If the latter, and shame on them if they decide that, then let’s stop the Kabuki dance and promote Steven Brault and Tyler Glasstrointestinal for the remainder of the season to see what they have for next year.

huntington

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113 thoughts on “Monday Morsels

  1. The Steelers of the 70s dominated Oakland and probably kept them from being a dynasty. My recollection is that the Raiders had one of the top 2 or 3 records in the NFL over the decade but were limited to one championship because they kept running in to the black and gold.

    But they did beat them once one the way to their only Super Bowl.

    History records that the Steelers lost in Oakland while playing without BOTH Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier. Which is to say they beat a Steeler team that was obviously short handed given how critical the running game was to those teams and football in general in the 70s. Steeler fans remember that, the rest of the football world just remembers that the Raiders beat them and won the Super Bowl that year.

    It would be nice to beat New England just once in a playoff game during the Brady/Belicheat era. I don’t care if Brady is old or the Pats are injury riddled, or anything else. The Steelers do not need to justify themselves; they’ve been very successful during the 21st century, but it sure would be nice.

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  2. — I freely admit I get more cynical with each passing column but does anyone else find these “what I did with the Stanley Cup” stories to be a little tedious?

    I would say, don’t read them then. Some like them and some don’t.

    Not sure if it’s fair to compare the Brewers and Pirates payrolls. The Brewers have 5 guys making 1 million or more with 3 being Vets. The Pirates have about 15 with 9 being classified as Vets and therefore making more money. The Pirateres are an older team. Once more of their younger players get arb eligible like the Pirates, they’re payroll will go up, but I’m sure they’d love to get Braun off there.

    Payroll doesn’t always tell the whole story as you have to factor in young players making the minimum.

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  3. Who had the better year?

    Player A 307 AB 41 R 3 HR 37 RBI 277 AVG 344 OBP 378 SLG
    Player B 308 AB 35 R 6 HR 33 RBI 282 AVG 342 OBP 429 SLG

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    1. Player B. With all of the other numbers being so closely comparable, the better slugging percentage indicates that Player B gets more extra base hits and probably home runs as well.

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          1. Some whine that Frazier isn’t in the every day lineup and leading off to boot. Not necessarily on here but some may question if a Granderson is needed when you have Frazier.

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            1. Because the Pirates lack power up and down the lineup and because Polanco is oft-injured of late, Granderson makes a lot of sense if the Bucs will spend the money. Granderson works better than most because he is signed for next year as well. If the F.O. is not convinced that we are contenders in 2017 (who can blame them), they might think that with Granderson and a whole year of Marte, plus whatever they do about third base and the bullpen will make them a contender again next year.

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          2. He is always criticizing Frazier. I think he’s trying to show that Frazier is not very good. What he actually showed was that Tabata was decent as a 4th OFer, just not as a starter. Just like Frazier is a good bench player but not a good starter.

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                  1. I’m not wrong. Tabata, up to that point, was a good 4thOFer. He went downhill from there. You failed to make your point.
                    Yes Frazier deserves more ABs in the future. That is until he falls off the map.
                    You always criticize Frazier. You succeeded in disproving your point.

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                    1. Tabata hit 282 again in 174 at bats in 2014 and was all but released. He wasn’t good enough to play for the Pirates. Is Adam Frazier good enough to play for the Pirates?

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  4. Living in a country with three time zones necessitates that somebody gets the short straw. Either the game start late on the east coast or too early put west.

    In a perfect world, the competing teams would drive the decision. So if both teams are in the east, have the games start a bit earlier. If both teams are in the west, start them later. If it’s east va west, base it on the home team.

    Of course it does not work that way. It’s an 8:30 eastern start regardless. But realistically, if two eastern clubs are playing, that’s where a higher percentage of viewers will be. And the fans of those teams should be highest priority for scheduling.

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    1. Games never start at 8:30 though, it’s typically some odd time like 8:38. Playoff games, IMO, are definitely a place where MLB should look at speeding things up. I’m guessing there are longer commercial breaks as well. But you rarely see a playoff game going less than 3:15.

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  5. Here is my take on the rest of the season:

    Our offense, being as ‘popgunnish’ as it is, will continue to drag down our pitching no matter how good it is. And our pitching, with 3 #5’s in the rotation (Kuhl, Williams and Nova) is not good enough to overcome this.

    Our only hope, since NH is averse to bringing in any boppers for the OF, is that Glasnow, when he comes up, pitches like he has at Indy and our #5’s get hot for the last 6-7 weeks.

    Mr Doom and Gloom thinks that we have a better shot at going farther below .500 than going above .500, unfortunately. Outside of that one little run that we had, this team, as currently constructed, appears to have little hope of putting together another one.

    And, if Mr NH really thinks that we have a shot at 2018, he better have one busy and productive off season.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Very well stated, Lee. You never know what is going to happen in athletic competition but the Pirates, to steal a phrase, are multiple bricks shy of a load. The good news is that there’s still a pennant race in front of us in mid-August and it is my long-standing belief that is pretty much all a fan can ask for.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Bob…unfortunately, that pennant race is looking more and more like the proverbial carrot on a stick to me.

        I keep hoping that this year is like 1973, except that we win it this year. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the Shane Baz report, Don. I expect to hear weekly updates on his performance until his major league debut in 2022. 🙂

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  7. Don, that Stanley Cup comment was equivalent to throwing bread at carp into the spillway at Pymatuning, for reaction from the puckheads.

    By the way, I thought I read on here last week that this place is 24/7 Pirates. What are you trying to do? Break up the topic monopoly!!!???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ah the Pymatuning Spillway-use to take my class there on spring field trips-don’t remember if I took the class with Fats in it-in later years I took them every year to the Burgh for the Gateway Clipper,The Incline,and the best of all the tour of Three Rivers Stadium-the guide every year at the stadium was some young intern who had memorized a script as they told the history of the stadium-once in awhile we’d run into a Steeler or a Pirate-Bill Cowher blew us off as the students tried to talk to him but Joe Gordon who was there was a great guy-at the Incline one year the daddio of the radio Porky Chedwick was just getting on the tram-he was very nice -by the way Sam[Fats] a happy belated birthday

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        1. That almost made me spit out my lunch, Bob. Good one, if not a damning one, from one of it’s long time employees.

          There is a bit of a comedic relief over there and I try to read once a day and comment when I’m in and extra inflammatory mood.

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          1. I see they deleted one of your responses.

            What amazes me is that Boro and Daq can personally attack anyone they choose to and their comments NEVER get deleted.

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    1. Very interesting. What is your take, Bob? Is there any way he could have been doping all along? Could there be huge holes in the MLB testing? If not, could 2017 still be a outlier and not enough of a sample to draw a conclusion?

      I’m still leaning to him trying to get back into season form, but if continues for the rest of the year and into next year, one surely has to wonder about how long he was using and if he was, for how long. And if he was able to elude the test for that long, others must certainly be.

      I mean look at a guy like SRood. Before his first year in Pittsburgh, he hit double digits in homers once (12), including 4 the previous year. He hits 18 last year and lands a 2 year contract for more money than he made in his first 9 years combined. Not accusing SRod, but it does make one wonder. With millions and tens of million on the line, it sure seems worth the risk to some players.

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      1. Considering how primitive the drug he was using, it’s hard to believe Marte was fooling the testers all those years. I don’t know if this split season is a big enough sample size to pronounce anything long term about him.

        Perhaps foolishly, but I still think he and Polanco can be all-star caliber outfielders.

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  8. Good stuff, as always, Don.

    Agree on Joe West. I’m not sure I would call Freese a bench piece for next season. Looks to me to be the starting third baseman.

    With Polanco looking to be headed for the DL and Cervelli hurting big time, if the Pirates want to stay in the race they need to make a move. I love the suggestion of Granderson, who provides both slugging and on-base. My guess, however, is the Pirates do not consider this team worthy of such an investment.

    For those who think Cervelli can easily be replaced by Elias Diaz, I offer these minor-league numbers for Diaz:

    This season at Indy: .266/.298/.339 — .638
    Minor-league career: .259/.321/.360 — .681

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/pirates/2017/08/13/Pirates-catcher-francisco-cervelli-injured-left-hand-pain-elias-diaz-chris-stewart-backup-options-disabled-list/stories/201708130181

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    1. I agree, Bob. I believe that Polanco’s injury and Cervelli hurting sealed it for NH, and he too believes the 2017 Pirates do not merit an investment such as Granderson. Perhaps we may see a move or two that focus on 2018.

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  9. I don’t know what the team could fetch as far as a power bat for the remainder of the season, I do know this, when this team is down runs early you can turn the channel. I tried to find a site that tracks come from behind wins, but wasn’t successful, it sure doesn’t seem this Pirate team has many.

    Quintana has been pedestrian at best, it’s Arrieta pitching for the big contract down the stretch that’s turned the Cubs around since the break.

    The miles to Foxboro is the magic number for the Steelers, they may have improved their pass rush with Watt, but enough to cover for guys like Cockrell, Gay, and Mitchell in the secondary is questionable.

    Glasnow ain’t coming until the date that extends team control, especially when the time frame is in about two weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trailing after 6, the Pirates are 5-46; after 7, they are 5-53; after 8; 5-53.

      Not sure how uncommon that is in today’s MLB. Pirates leading after 6, 44-7; leading after 7, 48-4; leading after 8, 49-4.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know the number is pretty much as you state once you get into the mid/late innings Bob, what I was trying to find was; team records when trailing by two or more runs.

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  10. My guess is it won’t be the 6,694 that kills the Steeler season. It’ll be the 568 miles to Foxboro in January.
    —————————————————————————————

    I fear the 30 yards between the line of scrimmage and the Steelers secondary is what’s really going to do them in.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. does anyone else find these “what I did with the Stanley Cup” stories to be a little tedious?
    ————————————————————————————————-

    Nope, not me.

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  12. Could not agree more Don about the start time for the World Series. 8:30 is way too late. The Super Bowl, considered a national holiday by many, kicks off around 6:30. Last year’s WS went seven games and I was only able to see the end of game 7, which I barely could stay awake for.

    I remember as a kid watching these games played in the afternoons. Why couldn’t they start weeknight games at 7:05 and weekend games at 4?

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      1. I don’t know the numbers but I would think that a “significant portion of the country” lives on the East Coast not the Pacific Coast.

        Do these people not buy Bud Light(I prefer Miller Light) and Chevy Trucks?

        I agree with Fish about going up against the NFL and college football on the weekends but 8:30 isn’t getting too many 5th graders watching.

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        1. A significant portion of the population does live in the Eastern time zone. That does not mean it’s a good idea to start games when people in the Pacific time zone are working.

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          1. Bob,

            Not to beat a dead horse but is it a good idea to end a game when people in the Eastern time zone as in bed?

            I like the idea of starting the games based on where it’s being played.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Comparing the Super Bowl start time and a World Series game is comparing watermelons to pomegranate seeds.

      It’s one game and the world stops for it. They could put that game on at 2am and viewership would not miss much of a beat.

      Weeknight games at 7:05, would be at 4:05 Pacific when the Bud Light and Chevy trucks buyers are still out earning their money to spend on Bud Lights and Chevy trucks.

      Weekend games will never compete against the NFL so that rules out afternoon games on Sunday. Saturday is eaten up by college games and raking leaves. So that ain’t happening either.

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    2. I have no problem with an 8:30 start for Friday and Saturday night games, but no game should start later than 8:00 on a weeknight or Sunday, and ideally at 7:30 unless a West Coast team is involved.

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    1. I agree, PC. If they go against the usual and win games they are supposed to win against lesser competition (a very tall task these days) and beat the Pats at Heinz, they could get home field in the playoffs.

      I got them at 13-3. Unless Ben gets hurt. Then all bets are off.

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      1. I knew one pitcher was going to get knocked around, I just had the wrong one. Hey, even Nostradomus missed a point spread every now and then.

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  13. With a 5-8 record, a 4.64 ERA and a whopping 1.4 WHIP, Kuhl should have pitched himself out of the rotation. If the Pirates are serious about winning, Brault or Ty Terrific will take his next start.

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      1. Yes, because there is some one better. After 23 starts, a 4.64 era and 1.4 whip tells u all u need to know. Time to groom him for the 7th inning role next year.

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        1. Wrong. He got off to a bad start and had an E.R.A. over 7.00 at one point. It’s been coming down steadily since Mid-May and his whole season numbers distort how well he has been pitching. Your slavish adherence to an unproven notion that Glasnow or Brault can come in and immediately do better than Kuhl or Williams is nothing more than wishful thinking disguised as “enlightened” opinion.

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        1. Admittedly, I don’t fully understand the process, but according to Baseball Reference, he is a rookie now for all of 2017 and cannot be a rookie for 2018, as he has accumulated more than 50IP. He also has accumulated 66 days on the active roster (0.066 on the same site), so as far as I can tell, he has eaten up one of his
          “years” of control already, no matter if he was up now, next week or on the 26th.

          Do you have a link stating that he’d still be in year one in 2018, therefore pushing his 1st FA year to 2024, because I can’t find it? I’m seriously curious and not doubting you.

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          1. This is from a Bill Brink Q&A. I think he explains the situation quite well:

            Losing a fan: If Glasnow returns after Aug 26. Isn’t that just another example of the fact this organization doesn’t want to win?

            Bill Brink: This is in reference to the Pirates being able to keep Glasnow from gaining one full year of service time by keeping him in the minors until that date, because the service time he gained last year and this year would equal the requisite 172 days or more if promoted before then.

            This is one of those decisions front offices face — do you want three or four starts of Glasnow this month and then you lose him to free agency a year earlier, or do you want the full 2023 season?

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  14. World Series game before 8:30? Not gonna happen. Unless California falls into the Pacific. They are not giving up viewers from the Pacific time zone to cater to a few snot nosed kids, who don’t buy Bud Light or Chevy trucks and 10pm pumpkin turners (like me).

    I hold out hope that they would at least try a 7 or 7:30 start if two East Coast major population centers make the Series, although I doubt it. But my preseason Red Sox/Nationals series could make it feasible.

    Nope. Ain’t gonna happen.

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    1. Anybody who lives in California can tell you that an 8:30 start in the east is not gonna get them home from work in LA, Anaheim or the Bay area during rush hours traffic. 5:30 p.m. doesn’t really cut it, so it’s all nonsensical. Most avid fans in that situation are going to tape the game on their VCR and catch up to live action by fast forwarding through all of those commercials.

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      1. Non-sensical? Good grief. Then why do they do it, Mr. Sensical?

        While what you say is true, I assure you there are more commercial watching fans tuning in live at 5:30 than 4 pm. Same for large cities of Phoenix and Denver at 6:30 vs 5 pm.

        There is no perfect time given the country is covering 4 time zones (with the obvious exception), but the advertisers must feel their best bet at the most live viewers would be an 8:30 EDT start or it wouldn’t be that way.

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        1. I understand why the advertisers like the 8:30 time, but it is my guess that the number of people tuning out and going to bed before the end of the game negates any gains in the earlier time slots in terms of how many viewers get to see their commercials.

          My comments were directed at the league justifying the late start times and not the advertisers. So, unless we get a New York-L.A. or a Boston-L.A., or a D.C.-L.A. world series, it doesn’t make sense. You should note that I made an exception for a true East Coast-West Coast World Series. However, why does a game between Cleveland and Chicago or D.C. and Cleveland require an 8:30 start time when there would be limited interest from West Coast fans in any event?

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          1. I understand why the advertisers like the 8:30 time, but it is my guess that the number of people tuning out and going to bed before the end of the game negates any gains in the earlier time slots in terms of how many viewers get to see their commercials.
            ——————————
            Bob, I am an expert on fish. You are an expert in whatever field you are/were in. Bob Smizik is an expert on journalism. I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing the experts that work for the TV companies understand fully well when their viewers are watching their programs and when they can charge the most for advertising,thereby maximizing their revenue.

            I assure you the games start at 8:30 because that’s when the TV companies can maximize their earning dollar per commercial and not just a way to screw Bob in Philly or Fish in Pittsburgh.

            So you must be mistaken about more people turning off and going to bed in the east than are picked up out west by starting later. Otherwise, they would start the games earlier, thereby maximizing their commercial revenue.

            While a total East Coast series may be SLIGHTLY less viewers than a East-West series, There are so many people out there, beyond just the market of the teams in the series, it wouldn’t make a difference.

            Do San Diego fans care about a World series between Seattle and the Mets more than they would Red Sox vs Nationals? I don’t think so. Outside of the market of the Series participants, viewership remains fairly equal, IMO. So they aren’t any more going to move an all East Series to 7 pm, any more than they would moving an all West Series to 10 PM EDT.

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  15. Agree totally about Joe West.

    Couldn’t disagree more about the “what I did with the Cup” stories. They may never win the Stanley Cup again, so I’m going to eat those up with a spoon, because I want to get every drop.

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  16. I don’t think the Beltre/West thing has to do with PC, at all. He didn’t make a racial or ethnic slur towards him.

    The comment was not necessary. A several decade tenured umpire should know that. You wanna make comments about people in the game, who are not your peers, by the way, wait until after you retire and hire a ghost writer to publish your memoirs and opinions.

    The umpires are supposed to be invisible. Seems to me, they are getting more and more visible. The players are the game. The fans are the game. The umpires? Not so much.

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    1. I agree with your 2nd paragraph Fish, but if I recall, he was being interviewed on his own time, in plain clothes, and asked his opinion. He gave it. Now he’s censured and suspended.

      PC doesn’t just apply to racism, sexism, et al. Any time you are ‘corrected’ and/or ‘punished’ because you shared a viewpoint on your own time that someone in power fears might offend someone, that is a PC action.

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      1. I agree with your PC definition. I just don’t think West’s comments fall under that.

        Anytime you open your mouth and give an opinion, it doesn’t have to be PC or not PC. I consider it poor timing and poor judgment.

        I also don’t get because it was in his “own time” or “not in uniform” that it makes it OK.

        Would a gym teacher, having drinks at a bar, be any less wrong if he said little Jimmy was a uncoordinated nerd in gym class, to the school newspaper than if he said it while in class?

        There was no reason to make the comment. I would expect nothing less from that jerk, anyways.

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  17. Speaking of the 2017 Dodgers and 2016 Cubs, it’s a fair bet to say that none of the people who read this site (and probably their fathers) were alive the last time the Pirates won 100 games in a regular season.

    In 1909 they outdid even the Dodgers’ current pace, going 110-42 (.724) en route to their first world series championship. That team, and the even more successful 1902 squad (103-36 – .741) are the only two Pirate teams to ever win 100.

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  18. Great morsels as always, Don.

    In regards to the Joe West suspension, here’s my take:
    1. West is a terrible umpire and should’ve retired years ago (Ranked #3 behind Angel Fernandez and C.B. Bucknor as the worst umpire in baseball in an anonymous player poll).
    2. Despite #1, what he said, in no way merited a suspension like that.
    3. Beltre himself said he realized it was a joke, that West had told him so personally, and Beltre thought the suspension was unwarranted and ridiculous.

    It’s just another example of our PC culture. You have to be on eggshells every time you speak or write, because some folks might get their delicate sensibilities offended and you could lose your job.

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