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SteelCityMan786
06-11-2007, 07:41 PM
http://post-gazette.com/pg/07162/793106-63.stm

Regressing Pirates reeling after sweep
Rodriguez's two home runs cap Yankees' dominance, 13-6

Monday, June 11, 2007

By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

NEW YORK -- Set aside, if one can, the get-off-my-shoulder manner in which the Pirates were swatted out of Yankee Stadium. Three losses are three losses, whether by a hair or by the two home runs Alex Rodriguez hammered in the New York Yankees' 13-6 romp yesterday.

Look, instead, at the big picture.

These Pirates have fallen to 26-37, a new low at 11 games under .500 and 1 1/2 games removed from last place in the Central Division. And that record, for those with a calculator and a keen eye for the cryptic, projects over the full year to 67-95.

Right.

Same record as the previous two seasons.

Very clearly, the team has not improved. And, just as clearly to the naked eye, it has regressed in so many critical areas, from its bullpen to its baserunning to its many blunders in the field, none of which were significant problems a year ago.

Some were not a problem even a month ago.

"Someone's got to take charge," right fielder Xavier Nady said, shaking his head. "Obviously, as a group, we need to start doing the little things better. It's embarrassing when we're not doing the things that every other major-league team is capable of doing. And, after seeing something like this series, it really makes you look at yourself in the mirror and say, 'Are we really like this?' "

Are they?

"I don't think so. I think everyone still has faith. We've seen ourselves when we play well, and we can get back to that."

So, what has gone wrong?

"I think part of the cause of all these unforced errors, bad throws, baserunning mistakes, bad at-bats, whatever it is ... when we get into a tight situation, we're trying to force stuff to happen," first baseman Adam LaRoche said. "You can't do that in this game. You've got to make the easy play. You can't try to hit a three-run homer or make a perfect pitch or throw home if you're not sure you're going to get an out there."

LaRoche did the latter in the ugly loss Saturday and failed to get an out.

How to solve it?

"One simple thing is that we've got to show up expecting to win," LaRoche continued. "It's got to be everybody showing up, like the Yankees show up, like the Red Sox show up, like Atlanta shows up, and saying, 'Shoot, this is a really good day because we've got a chance to win.' It's better to do that than to say, 'Oh, this is a really big game because we lost two in a row.' That's not the way you play to win. You need a calm confidence."

Left fielder Jason Bay pointed to the tension that was palpable among the Pirates all weekend, on and off the field, and said a blowout or two in their favor would be a good start. In their current 3-9 slide, their victories came by margins of two, one and one.

"We just need a laugher, so everyone can relax," he said. "Right now, we're in all these games, but I think everyone is more worried about messing up than doing the right thing."

That seemed to be the case again yesterday, on nearly all fronts.

With the starting pitching, which generally has been a strength, the Pirates got only 3 1/3 innings out of Shawn Chacon. He was charged with seven runs on eight hits and three walks.

That squandered a 6-5 lead the Pirates had taken through the top of the fourth off New York rookie Tyler Clippard on two-run hits by Jose Castillo, Chris Duffy and Jose Bautista.

"They beat the ball around, and they did it all day long," manager Jim Tracy said of the Yankees. "And we just could not stop them."

That was because the bullpen was no better.

Josh Sharpless, summoned to replace Chacon with two men aboard in the fourth, gave up the first of Rodriguez's home runs, and New York was ahead for good, 8-6.

Masumi Kuwata, making his big-league debut, gave up Rodriguez's other, a two-run shot in the sixth. And Jonah Bayliss was charged with three more the next inning.

The offense, while lively against the erratic Clippard, showed familiar flaws.

The most notable came in the fifth, when the Pirates were still trailing by 8-6, and bases were loaded with one out. Two of those runners had reached by Sean Henn walks, usually a signal for the batters behind them to show patience.

Ryan Doumit swung through all three pitches he saw, the first two out of the zone.

And Castillo chased his first pitch and bounced to second.

"We took a couple of impatient at-bats," Tracy said.

There were two more baserunning lapses, too: After Bautista's two-run single in the fourth, which caromed off the left-field fence, he hesitated between first and second and was tagged out. And, with no one out in the fifth, Freddy Sanchez neglected to tag at second on a fly ball to deep right.

Tracy, almost invariably reluctant to criticize his team since taking over as manager last year, has displayed something of a harder edge in recent days, no doubt sharpened by all the mistakes he has witnessed in that span.

Still, he expressed characteristic optimism that the season's story has not yet been told.

"We've obviously got some work to do," Tracy said. "But we've got, what, 99 games left to play? There are signs with our club that are good, and it's very apparent that there are some things that we need to work on."

steelpinstripe72
06-11-2007, 08:33 PM
Sorry...*runs and hides*

SteelCityMan786
06-11-2007, 08:54 PM
Cyber Tomatoes, CHECK!

Edman
06-11-2007, 08:55 PM
There are signs with our club that are good, and it's very apparent that there are some things that we need to work on.

Ya think, Mr. Tracy? Or how about this? There is nothing good about these Pirates at all. S.O.P. They got flashes, but that's all they got. This team just stinks and there is no end in sight.

The Pirates are the laughing stock of the league...no scratch that...The entire sports world.

steelpinstripe72
06-11-2007, 09:22 PM
Cyber Tomatoes, CHECK!

Heh...nothing I haven't seen before. ;) My dad and bro are Red Sox fans for no real reason. We're Pennsylvanian expatriates in New York for crying out loud (hence me being a Steelers and Yankees fan at the same time). Definitely different, that's for sure.

As for Edman thinking the Pirates were the laughingstock of the entire sports world...I thought that honor went to the Cleveland Browns?

HometownGal
06-11-2007, 09:25 PM
"We've obviously got some work to do," Tracy said. "But we've got, what, 99 games left to play? There are signs with our club that are good, and it's very apparent that there are some things that we need to work on."


Gee, Jim - whatever would lead you to that conclusion???? This guy is sniffing way too much glue.

The shame of it all is - this team does have some good talent, but is as inconsistent as the day is long.

As for Edman thinking the Pirates were the laughingstock of the entire sports world...I thought that honor went to the Cleveland Browns?


That dubious distinction goes hands down to the Shitsinnati Bungles.

tony hipchest
06-11-2007, 09:31 PM
The shame of it all is - this team does have some good talent, but is as inconsistent as the day is long.


.im sure that pleases the red sox, yanks, and about 10 other teams once the trade deadline comes around.

aint nothing to break a midseason slump, or an actual mlb warmup game for the rocket like an interleague series with the pirates!

Edman
06-11-2007, 11:33 PM
I was overexaggerating back there. I'm just so frustrated that the Pirates keep on losing. That's why I'm so negative about them on occasion.

tony hipchest
06-11-2007, 11:47 PM
I was overexaggerating back there. I'm just so frustrated that the Pirates keep on losing. That's why I'm so negative about them on occasion.

The Pirates are the laughing stock of the league...no scratch that...The entire sports world.

they do got one of the finest parks in the league. which is a big reason a sucker like me will throw down 100 bones for a day of family entertainment, even though i could get 3X the fun for twice as long at kennywood for the same price.

:confused: :dang:

anyone know if its profitable to scalp tickets outside PNC Park?

:toofunny:

X-Terminator
06-12-2007, 07:30 AM
I was overexaggerating back there. I'm just so frustrated that the Pirates keep on losing. That's why I'm so negative about them on occasion.

On occasion? Hell, I'm negative about them all the time. There really is no excuse for the team to be this bad, not with all of the talent they clearly have - you have to be either blind or ignorant to not see it. When you see the same mistakes being made over and over and over again, that is a failure of the manager and coaching staff, plain and simple. Jim Tracy should NEVER have been hired to manage this team. And what the hell did Jeff Manto ever do to deserve to be a hitting coach? He was a .230 hitter for his career, for God's sake! And don't even get me started on the joke that is Jim Colborn. It's a friggin miracle that the man has managed to get Snell and Gorzelanny to be successful. He's totally ruined Zach Duke and Paul Maholm, to the point that I don't see either one turning things around any time soon. The ONLY reason these jokers have jobs is because management was too damn cheap to find people worth a damn. Bob Nutting says he wants to win? Bull-f'ing-shit!

It's really a shame what's happened to this once proud franchise.

Edman
06-12-2007, 08:40 AM
On occasion? Hell, I'm negative about them all the time. There really is no excuse for the team to be this bad, not with all of the talent they clearly have - you have to be either blind or ignorant to not see it. When you see the same mistakes being made over and over and over again, that is a failure of the manager and coaching staff, plain and simple. Jim Tracy should NEVER have been hired to manage this team. And what the hell did Jeff Manto ever do to deserve to be a hitting coach? He was a .230 hitter for his career, for God's sake! And don't even get me started on the joke that is Jim Colborn. It's a friggin miracle that the man has managed to get Snell and Gorzelanny to be successful. He's totally ruined Zach Duke and Paul Maholm, to the point that I don't see either one turning things around any time soon. The ONLY reason these jokers have jobs is because management was too damn cheap to find people worth a damn. Bob Nutting says he wants to win? Bull-f'ing-shit!

It's really a shame what's happened to this once proud franchise.

You're right. There is basically no excuse for the Pirates to suck for this long. The Small-Market excuse doesn't work anymore. Look at the Twins, Athletics, Tigers, hell even the Brewers are starting to get it together. The Bucs owners are just too cheap and stupid. What is even more funny is that I hear the "Rooneys are cheap" line all the time on Steelers sites.

I was 3 the last time the Pirates had a winning season in 1992. THREE YEARS OLD! So I was basically too young to comphrehend baseball. What is even more sad is the sheer fact that there are young Bucs fans born 1992-Afterwards that have yet to see winning baseball in Pittsburgh. It's all so disappointing.

I feel sad imagining whenever I look inside that beautiful stadium...a playoff atmosphere one day. The place is packed and rocking, Millions of Pittsburgh fans cheering the Bucs, Thundersticks, banners, chants, you name it. Instead, we're opting for boycotts and sites like Irate fans are being created.

HometownGal
06-12-2007, 08:50 AM
The best way to show Pirates management that you don't approve of the way they've handled this team is to hit them in the wallet and NOT GO TO THE GAMES!!! Yes - PNC Park is absolutely beautiful and no matter how bad the team is, the atmosphere there is outstanding, but I can watch them lose and blow leads just as well at home and I can smoke, have a beer (or 2) and go to the can whenever I feel like it. :cheers:

I don't think I'm so much angry with the team as I am with the coaching staff and management. I'll continue to support them as they are my team, but as far as giving them one dime - forget it.

SteelCityMan786
06-12-2007, 01:24 PM
according to a Q&A with Dejan on the PG website, there is going to be a protest outside the ballpark during the June 30th game against the Nationals at PNC Park. That's a start. I guess we're learning from Baltimore's mass exodus during a game last year. It got the ownership to make some sort of upgrades.