Showing posts with label Pittsburgh Pirates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pittsburgh Pirates. Show all posts

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ralph Kiner, 91


Growing up in the Metropolitan area in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, two of the most legendary baseball players could  be seen and/or heard on New York Yankees and New York Mets broadcasts. Both had Hall of Fame baseball careers and both could have had their picture next to the word character in the dictionary.

Sadly, Mets' announcer Ralph Kiner joined Yankees player and announcer Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto today in God's ballpark today. He was 91 years of age. Kiner was one of the top sluggers of his era, but most people will remember him for his work on New York Mets games and his post-game show, "Kiner's Korner".

The Alhambra (CA) High School graduate signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1941. After a little more than two years in the minor leagues, Kiner served as a Navy pilot during World War II. He flew reconnaissance missions in the South Pacific looking for enemy submarines and ships and left active duty in December, 1945.

One year later the 23-year old was in the Major Leagues with the Pirates and became their primary left fielder. Though he led the National League in strikeouts (109), the rookie topped the NL with 23 home runs and also drove in 81 runs. Then he went on a tremendous seven year tear that included a six year streak in which he led the National League in home runs (seven years straight overall). He topped the half-century mark twice and eclipsed 40 home runs three times.


From 1947-1949, Kiner averaged 125 RBI and 48 home runs. He finished in the top 10 in the NL MVP voting five straight seasons, and led the league in OPS ('47, '49, '51)  and walks ('49, '51, '52) on three occasions. Unfortunately, the Pirates finished at or near the bottom of the NL in each of Kiner's best seasons.

About a quarter of the way into the 1953 season, he, Joe Garagiola and two others were dealt to the Chicago Cubs for six players and $150,000. Kiner adapted to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field and hit 28 home runs in 117 games the rest of the season as a Cubbie. (In addition to the seven he hit with Pittsburgh.)

Despite an OPS over .800 the next two seasons with the Cubs and Cleveland Indians, the 32-year old Kiner retired from baseball after 10 big league seasons. He never got the chance to play in the post-season, but the 7-time All-Star was selected by the Veterans Committee for induction in the baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.

After one year in the Chicago White Sox broadcast booth, Kiner joined the Mets crew and became a legend. He was a regular member of the Mets broadcast team until 2006, when at the age of 84, he reduced his schedule.  While across town, Rizzuto had his "Holy Cow!", Kiner's trademark was his frequent malaprops.. He would often combine and scramble players name. One Father's Day he wished everyone a Happy Birthday. While fans of opponents criticized him, it made him more beloved among Mets fans

Kiner suffered from Bell's Palsy, a stroke like illness, in 1998 that left him with slurred speech. But the fan favorite carried on and continued to make cameo appearances after the 2006 season. The Mets honored him with a day at Shea Stadium in 2007.

Kiner was married four times and is survived by his five children and 12 grand children. My condolences go out to his family and friends.



1 - NY Daily News

Monday, October 21, 2013

Leyland Decides To Call It A Day


The fiery temper, the wiry build. The profanity laced, chain smoking, shoot from the hip demeanor. The mustachioed, no-nonsense leader. That pretty much sums up the on-field persona of Jim Leyland, who earlier today stepped down as manager of the Detroit Tigers after eight semi-successful seasons.

"I'm going to be 69 years old," he said. "I'm not ashamed of that. I'm proud of it. The fuel's getting a little low."
"I want to retire a Tiger. So long. It's not goodbye. And from the bottom of my heart thank you for having me." 1
The 68-year old had worked the last handful of years for the Tigers on a year-to-year contract basis. He recently said words to the effect of "Why would it bother/worry me when that's how we've worked for so long" when queried by the media about his future.

Current Diamondbacks manager and former Tiger Kirk Gibson and another former Tiger, Brad Ausmus, are the early names being mentioned to replace Leyland as manager.

It appeared Leyland might have been relieved of his job in 2010 or 2011 after the Tigers finished 5th in the AL Central in 2008 and missed the playoffs the next two seasons. But after a 12-17 start in 2011, the Tigers won the first of three straight division crowns. They reached the league championship series in all three seasons and made it to the 2012 World Series where they lost to the San Francisco Giants. Leyland's Tigers also won the AL pennant in 2006, his first season in Detroit, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the Fall Classic.

With pitchers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, and sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder leading the team, the 2013 Tigers had a great shot at a return to the World Series. However, the team's bullpen and lineup let them down in the key moments of their ALCS loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Leyland was a throwback to the non-number crunching managers that preceded the millennium. His players may not have always liked him, but they respected and played hard for him. No one over the age of 30 will forget his days at the helm of the Pittsburgh Pirates when he chewed out a thinner, but already arrogant Barry Bonds in front of the rest of the team during 1991's Spring Training. (See the profanity laced video below)

People think of Leyland as an old curmudgeon, but he was just 41 years of age when he was hired to manage the Pirates in 1986. (He started a string of 11 seasons as a manager in the Tigers chain at age 20.) After finishing out in the upper half of the division just once in four years, Leyland's Pirates averaged 96 wins and captured the NL East title for three straight seasons (1990-1992).

The '90 squad lost the NLCS to the eventual World Series champion Cincinnati Reds in six games and then lost back-to-back seven game league championship series to the Atlanta Braves. The '92 squad fell in heartbreaking fashion when they blew a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7. The image of former Pirate Sid Bream sliding home with the winning run still resonates with Pirates fans to this day.

Cost cutting cost the Pirates dearly and they won just 53 games in 1995. In the midst of a fourth straight losing season, Leyland told Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy that he was quitting at the end of the season. McClatchy let Leyland out of the remainder of his 4-year, $4MM contract.

Leyland wasn't unemployed long; with the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, and California Angels all interested in hiring him, Leyland was hired by the Florida Marlins, which had put together a power packed team. The expansion team had played its first season in 1993 and captured the first wild card under Leyland's tutelage in 1997. The team then went on to win the NL pennant and defeated the Cleveland Indians in seven games for their first World Series title.

But as a precursor to future owner Jeffrey Loria’s putting a wrecking ball to the 2003 championship team, then owner Wayne Huizenga gutted the squad before the next season. The Marlins won just 54 games in defense of their title and Leyland, with no prospect of winning any time in the near future, walked away from his post and replaced Don Baylor as skipper of the Colorado Rockies.

In early September, however, a very emotional Leyland answered reports that he would step down at season's end by saying he didn't have the all of the passion he needed to do the job.
"To do this job right, the fire has to burn 12, 14 hours a day. I'm a maniac during the game and the fire burns like it always has, but I think to the job right, you've got to work at it 12 hours a day, and I'm not sure I'm doing very good at that right now. This is not final. It's a strong possibility." 2
After a 72-90 finish, Leyland indeed resigned to spend more time with his family. The St. Louis Cardinals hired him two months later to be a scout in his home area of Pittsburgh and he would remain in that position until he felt the itch to manage again prior to the 2005 season. (Leyland had been third base coach for White Sox manager Tony LaRussa prior to his hire in Pittsburgh and LaRussa was the Cardinals manager in 2000 when they signed Leyland as a scout.)

Though he missed out on the Philadelphia Phillies job the prior year, a refreshed, renewed Leyland was hired by the Tigers prior to the 2006 season. Signed to a 3-year deal (a 1-year extension was added a year later), Leyland admitted he never thought he would manage again.
 "I did a lousy job my last year of managing," Leyland said. "I stunk because I was burned out. When I left there, I sincerely believed that I would not manage again."
"I always missed the competition, but the last couple of years -- and this stuck in my craw a little bit, I did not want my managerial career to end like that."3
This time around it sounds like Leyland felt good about leaving. He is expected to take a position within the organization. Leyland leaves the game with 1769 wins, a .506 winning percentage, one World Series title, three pennants, and two Manager of the Year awards.

Good luck to a guy who did things his way and once yelled at Barry Bonds.

Headphones or low volume are advised if you are at work or have little kids around.



3 - ESPN.com

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Yes, Yankees Fans, It's Okay to Root For the Pirates


Yes, I said it. It is okay for Yankees fans to root for the Pittsburgh Pirates this post-season.  However, I will preface my statement...if you under the age of, oh, 55, it is okay to root for the Pirates. If you are over 55, there's a good chance you still harbor ill will against P-Burgh for the 1960 World Series.

I wasn't born yet, so I have never felt any malice towards the Pirates. That being said, I don't like seeing the film of Bill Mazeroski's home run sailing over Yogi Berra's head and over the brick wall in old Forbes Field.

My brother, 9-years old at the time of the '60 series, was mortified when he learned I rooted for the Pirates against the Baltimore Orioles in both the 1971 and 1979 World Series. I hated the Orioles as a kid; they beat the snot out of the Yankees time and time again.

While there wasn't the animosity that exists between the fans of the Yankees and Red Sox (and some players) today, the Orioles did much more damage to the Yankees in the late 1960's and early 1970's than Boston ever did.

The Orioles won the inaugural AL East title when division play began in 1969, and won it again in 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, and 1979. They won the AL Pennant three times and the World Series once.

But enough about Baltimore, this is about Pittsburgh. This is about a team that had its first winning record in 21 years this season. That's the same length of time since they have been in the post-season. The Pirates lost the NLCS three straight seasons from 1990-1992, twice in the 7th game.

The 1979 team, like the 1971 team, came back from a 3-1 deficit in games to the win the World Series. That was the fifth and final time the Pirates made it to the World Series and won it.

Tonight they enter as the host team for the one game wild card playoff with NL Central division rival Cincinnati. The two teams met in the regular season's final weekend, with the Pirates taking a three game sweep to ensure the first playoff home game since a 7-1 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the '92 NLCS. That series ended dramatically with former Pirate Sid Bream just beating a tag at home plate with the winning run after Atlanta rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the 9th. (Yes, some young Pirates fans know what it was like to be a young Yankees fans in 1960.) The Pirates also took the season series, 11 games to eight.

Manager Clint Hurdle, one of the front-runners for the NL Manager of the Year award, is in his third year as the Pirates' skipper. Under Hurdle's watch, the team has gone from 72 to 79 to 94 wins. The former Kansas City Royals Sports Illustrated cover boy has only one prior year of playoff managerial experience and that was with the NL pennant winning Colorado Rockies in 2007.

Hurdle's opposing manager, Dusty Baker, helmed the 2002 San Francisco Giants to a World Series title. However, Baker has won only one other playoff series in five additional playoff appearances.

The current squad hopes to get over the next hurdle with a bunch of talented kids and a good mix of veterans, including former Yankees A.J. Burnett and Russell Martin. Burnett led the team in starts (with Jeff Locke), innings pitched, and strikeouts. He is one of four Pirates pitchers that finished with double digit wins, three of which had 10 total, including Burnett.

Martin's numbers were very similar to those he produced with the Yankees. Fans wanted him gone until they saw what Chris Stewart did as a full-time player. Martin came through with walk-off winners in four home games this season and was a big influence on the youngsters.

Pitcher Francisco Liriano, one time known as the "next Johann Santana", looked like his career might done after posting 5+ ERAs in 2011 and 2012. But he resurrected his career in Pittsburgh this season with a career high 16 wins, his most innings pitched (161) since 2010 and his best ERA (3.02) and WHIP (1.224) since 2006. It will be his task Tuesday night to help the Pirates get to the division series when he squares off against the Reds' Johnny Cueto.

With Wandy Rodriguez out due to injury, the Pirates got a big boost when rookie Gerrit Cole was called up in June. Now, Yankees fans can whine about something. Cole was drafted by the interlocking NY in 2008, but he rebuked them. Cole went to UCLA instead and signed with the Pirates after he was the number one pick in the nation in the 2011 MLB amateur draft.

The 23-year old finished the season with a 10-7, 3.22 record in 19 starts and with 100 strikeouts in 117.1 IP. His performance also helped offset Locke's struggles over the last two months of the season.

The biggest star in the Steel City, though, is outfielder Andrew McCutchen. The 26-year old was the 11th overall pick in the 2005 draft and made his MLB debut in 2009. In five big league seasons he produced a slash line average of .296./380/.489, won Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards, and made three All-Star appearances.

The five-tool player averaged 20 home runs, 25 steals, and 91 runs scored a season. He led the NL in hits last season with 194 and had 185 this year. Yes, he can do it all and usually does.

He's aided in the lineup by slugging third baseman Pedro Alvarez (tied for NL lead with 36 HR), outfielder Starling Marte (41 steals), power hitting second baseman Neil Walker, and veteran outfielder Marlon Byrd, who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Mets.

Seton Hall product Jason Grilli, a veteran of 11 big league seasons got his first gig as a full-time closer at age 36 and responded with 33 saves in 35 opportunities. He averaged 13.3 strikeouts per nine innings and was named to his first All-Star game.

Mark Melancon (he and Jose Tabata are the final two former Yankees on the active roster) was Grilli's main set up man and filled in as closer when Grilli went down for six weeks with a strained forearm. He remained the closer for a short time even when Grilli returned until the veteran was back at or near 100%. The 28-year old appeared in a career high 72 games, saved 16 of them and averaged just fewer than nine strikeouts per nine innings.

Vin Mazzaro, Justin Wilson, Tony Watson, and Bryan Morris have all been solid out of the pen as well.

When it comes right down to it, the Pirates are a fun team to watch and to root for. There are no ghosts of Pirates past in PNC Park and no annoying choruses of "We are Family" (at least I hope not.) So here is one Yankees fan that hopes the Pirates get past the Reds, the Cardinals, and either the Braves or Dodgers (sorry Donnie Baseball, I hate the Dodgers.) and whatever American League opponent they may run into. The city of Pittsburgh has been waiting a long time for this.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pirates-Red Sox Hanrahan Deal Complete



It's taken several days to become official, but the Pirates and Red Sox have completed a six player deal that sends Pirates' closer Joel Hanrahan to the Red Sox.

In return the Pirates will receive prospects Jerry Sands (1B), Stolmy Pimentel (P), infielder Ivan DeJesus (had been acquired in the trade deadline mega deal with the Dodgers) and reliever Mark Melancon.

Boston will also receive minor league second baseman Brock Holt.

Hanrahan is expected to take over the closer role for Boston, with Andrew Bailey either moved to a set up role or traded away. Hanrahan spent parts of three unremarkable seasons with the Washington Nationals before he was dealt with Lastings Milledge to the Pirates for Sean Burnett and Nyjer Morgan during the 2009 season.

Hanrahan's career took off as a set up man in 2010 and he became the team's full-time closer a year later. The right-hander averaged 38 saves and nine strikeouts per nine innings in 133 total apperances. Hanrahan earned $4.1MM last season and is in his second year of arbitration eligibility. He can become a free agent after this coming season.

Melancon will have a chance to compete for the Pirates' closer role after one undistinguished season in Boston. He had a break out 2011 season when he saved 20 games in 71 appearances for the Houston Astros. Melancon was then dealt to Boston last December for shortstop Jed Lowrie and prospect Kyle Weiland.

As a set up man to Al Aceves, Melancon struggled with his control and finished the season with an ERA over 6. He also had a stint in the minor leagues in attempt to straighten out his pitching issues.

Sands is a slugging first baseman that was part of the same deal (as a player to be named later) that brought DeJesus to Boston last year. After Sands slugged 35 home runs in the minor leagues in 2010, he appeared in 61 games for the Dodgers in 2011, but hit just four home runs in 227 plate appearances. Last season he played in just nine Major Leagues games and was 4-23 with no home runs.

Pilmentel has been in the Red Sox organization since he was a 17-year old in 2007. Thus far his production has been mediocre, but still just 22-years old, the Pirates hope that he can find his 'A' game.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Yankees' Martin Goes West...a little



Russell Martin knew he wasn't going to get one of those fancy $13.3MM qualifying offers to stay with the Yankees. He probably didn't mind either; several reports have Martin ready to sign a three-year, $24MM deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Martin took a beating from many Yankees fans who only looked at his overall offensive numbers and ignored his defensive skills and his ability to call a game.

The Yankees now have to decide whether to pursue Mike Napoli, who will certainly want more money than Martin,  trade for a front line catcher, or work with what they've got (Eli Whiteside, Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine).

Au-revoir Monsieur Martin.

UPDATE 11/30: Martin's contract with Pittsburgh is 2 years for $17MM ($2MM of which is a signing bonus).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Will A.J. Walk The Plank?



Could it really happen? Could the Yankees rid themselves of the enigma that is A.J. Burnett? Not long after signing his five year deal with the Yankees, which has two years and $33MM remaining, the phrase "But he has such good stuff" or a variation has been thrown out there numerous times.

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported on Friday that Yankees' GM Brian Cashman was in talks with several teams for Burnett's services, with the Pirates being the front runner. It's no easy match though, primarily because of the $33MM albatross hanging around Burnett's neck. The Yankees wanted the Pirates to pick up 50% while the Buccos said 10% was more to their liking.

The Yankees also asked for 30-yr old left-handed hitter Garrett Jones, who averaged 19 home runs the last three seasons. Pitt GM Neal Huntington answered that with a big fat 'NO'.

Sunday morning, ESPN's Buster Olney reported the two sides had the "framework" in place for a deal. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal later added that the Yankees would probably have to pay $19MM-$23MM and the Yankees would receive multiple prospects, none of which are on the Pirates' 40 man roster.

Unless the Yankees can unload Burnett, the DH position could very well be filled by an Andruw Jones/Russell Branyan platoon, with the every day position players taking the spot often as well. You can bet most Yankees fans are starting a prayer circle that Burnett is gone by the time pitchers and catchers report to Tampa next Sunday.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

FullCountPitch - A Decade Of Number Ones: Part I


Making draft selections is a gamble in any sport, but no more so than with the Major League Baseball draft that takes place every June. Teams stockpile high school and college players over a 50 round selection process. The majority will never get the chance to play in any Major League Stadium, while others will surprise and grow into a starring role.

The most pressure, of course, is to be the number one selection overall. For every Joe Mauer, there is a Brien Taylor or a Danny Goodwin, who was actually the top pick in two different years (1971, 1975). With that in mind, it’s time to take a look back at the first overall picks in the last ten years of the MLB amateur (Rule IV) draft.


Read the rest of the free article at fullcountpitch.com


Matt Bush Bryan Bullington Justin Upton Delmon Young

Friday, December 24, 2010

BD Hot Stove: Brewing Up A Challenge | Baseball Digest


BD Hot Stove: Brewing Up A Challenge | Baseball Digest

When you think of the NL Central, you think of Tony LaRussa and the St. Louis Cardinals. LaRussa’s birds have finished first (6) or second (2) in eight of the last 11 years, with two pennants and a World Series championship to boot. They’re usually the early season favorite to win the division and this year may be no different with Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter leading the way. But the thing is, there’s a new sheriff town.

“Yes, Pete, it is. In fact , it’s pronounced “mill-e-wah-que” which is Algonquin for “the good land.”: In “Wayne’s World” Alice Cooper helped give Milwaukee its most notoriety since “Laverne & Shirley”. But in 2011, Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, and Yovani Gallardo may help bring Milwaukee back to the promised land. No one is saying the Brewers will win a World Series, something the town of Milwaukee hasn’t seen since the Braves took the title in 1958, but the team should be competitive this season with the aforementioned trio at the top of the order. GM Doug Melvin had to give up highly touted 2nd base prospect Brett Lawrie to Toronto to land Marcum, and then swung four other prospects to KC for Greinke and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. The Brewers also added reliever Sean Green to help set up for closer Joe Axford.

Pujols Country: It may take a country to pay Albert Pujols the kind of money he’ll want to stay parked in St. Louis forever. LaRussa just has to hope it doesn’t distract a team that has Wainwright, Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, and Jake Westbrook in the starting rotation. The Cards signed catcher Gerald Laird to back up starter Yadier Molina, inked Lance Berkman who’ll see most of his time in the outfield, and grabbed lefty reliever Brian Tallet to shore up the bullpen.

Chicago Hope: It’s going to be a time for pundits predict the Cubs will dominate the NL Central. None of the predictions over the last few years came to fruition, and the team is not ready for a charge to the top. Gone is long time Cub Derrek Lee with Carlos Pena signed to take his place. The team also reunited with Kerry Wood, who left for a free agent deal after the 2008 season. He’ll set up for closer Carlos Marmol. The Cubs have stated they won’t deal Carlos Zambrano, but that could change in order to either dump salary and/or no longer have to deal with his personality.

It’s spelled V-o-t-t-o: In case you were’t sure how to spell the name of NL MVP Joey, who led a baseball revival in Cincinnati this past summer. The Reds won their first division and made their first playoff appearances in 15 years, before being summarily dispatched in three games by the Phillies. The Reds haven’t been very active this off-season, preferring to “dance with the one who brung ya”. They gave their top starter, Bronson Arroyo, a three year contract extension, re-signed catcher Ramon Hernandez and utility man Miguel Cairo, and exercised the option on Jonny Gomes’ contract.

Not quite ready for lift off: The Astros finished 10 games under .500 or worse each of the last two seasons and it’s going to be difficult to improve on that with not punch in the lineup. The Astros dispatched their ace Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia last season and former Phils’ exec/current Astros head honcho Ed Wade may be helping his former team again. Rumors of a Joe Blanton to Houston deal is rumored to be in the works. If so it would give the Astros a decent top three starters in Wandy Rodriguez, J. A. Happ (acquired in the Oswalt deal), and Blanton. The Astros also added lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith, who can work out of the rotation or pen. But outside of Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence there’s not much offense to work with.

They don’t shiver your timbers: The Pirates have a lot of good young talent, but they won’t be look down at other teams for quite some time. The Pirates made some small moves that could help new manager Clint Hurdle keep the team’s hopes up. 1st baseman Lyle Overbay, pitcher Scott Olsen, outfielder Matt Diaz and corner man Garrett Atkins will try to help out stars on the rist Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, Pedro Alvarez, and Neil Walker.

Rumors, News, and Transactions

Just as they did with Johnny Damon, the Yankees reportedly had internal discussions about Bronx native Manny Ramirez. Nothing is likely to happen.

The Nationals signed reliever Sean Burnett to a two year contract.

In a minor league deal, the A’s sent Corey Wimbley, who stole 56 bases at Triple-A last year, to the Pirates for pitcher Ryan Kelly. The 23-yr old right-hander spent the 2010 season in Single-A.

Some last minute items on Santa’s gift list

Yankees fans: One more season of watching Andy Pettitte.

Randy Winn: A chance to finally appear in the playoffs after 1,721 career regular season games.

Bert Blyleven: Induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame

Marvin Miller: Enough sense in the coming year for the veteran’s committee to elect you into Hall next December.

Fans: Reduced ticket prices and better national TV announcers.

Jamie Moyer: Recovery from Tommy John surgery and the chance to pitch into your 50′s.

Nick Johnson: No doctor’s appointments.

Oliver Perez: Regain control.

The Dodgers: No more McCourts.

Bryce Harper: Humility

Stephen Strasburg: Complete arm strength.

Ryan Westmoreland: Complete health and a return to baseball.

Opposing Announcers: A guide to pronouncing the name of the Royals’ Kila Ka’aihue.

Jermaine Dye: The chance to play again.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chan Ho of the Caribbean


There was never any doubt that the Yankees' Chan Ho Park would be claimed on waivers. And not surprisingly he's been claimed by a National League team. The team where it seems all Yankees go these days- the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Park, whose greatest contribution to the Yankees was an upset stomach, ended up with the perfect team since he stole money from the Yankees all year long.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yankees Acquire Hinske


In apparent attempt to strengthen their bench, and possibly a sign of other moves to come, the Yankees have acquired utility man Eric Hinske from the Pittsburgh Pirates. In return, the Pirates received minor leaguers Eric Fryer and Casey Erickson.

Hinske was hitting .255 with 1 HR and 11 RBI in 54 games this season. The soon to be 32-yr old was rookie of the year with the Blue Jays in 2002, but his career has been in decline since. He’s also spent time with the Red Sox and Rays. Originally a 3rd baseman, Hinske has been used at 1st base and right field since.

It’s a curious acquisition, considering Xavier Nady gave the Yankees a solid right-handed bat and a pretty good defensive player. Hinske is neither of those. The Yankees didn’t really need another left-handed bat.


Joel Sherman has much more on the deal and the potential ramifications.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

John Challis, Teen Inspiration, Dies at 18

John Challis inspired people with his sheer courage, will, and determination. People of all ages looked at him as a role model. Just 18 years of age, he knew he was dying of liver cancer, but that didn't stop him from going after his goals and dreams. This afternoon his family is in mourning as Challis' body finally gave out from the cancer that had ravaged him.

Challis was a recent visitor to Yankee Stadium, where Alex Rodriguez played host to him and his family. He met with members of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Penguins, and touched all those he came in contact with.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

John Challis, Teen Inspiration, Dies at 18

John Challis inspired people with his sheer courage, will, and determination. People of all ages looked at him as a role model. Just 18 years of age, he knew he was dying of liver cancer, but that didn't stop him from going after his goals and dreams. This afternoon his family is in mourning as Challis' body finally gave out from the cancer that had ravaged him.

Challis was a recent visitor to Yankee Stadium, where Alex Rodriguez played host to him and his family. He met with members of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Penguins, and touched all those he came in contact with.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Farrell Not Ready to Walk the Plank

Boston Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell became one of the hot properties this season and was rumored to be the Pittsburgh Pirates #1 choice to be their next manager. Now they'll have to look elsewhere after Farrell told them, "thanks, but no thanks".

"While I do have aspirations to manage in the major leagues in the future," he said, "I have declined the opportunity to interview for the position of Pittsburgh Pirates manager." Source
Can you blame the guy? While managing in the big leagues is a great job, who would want to jump at the Pirates job? They're a team with no payroll, no fans, and no prospects for a title any time soon. And the manager isn't going to be able to change that. Perhaps Indians coach Joel Skinner will now be the #1 contender.

Farrell Not Ready to Walk the Plank

Boston Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell became one of the hot properties this season and was rumored to be the Pittsburgh Pirates #1 choice to be their next manager. Now they'll have to look elsewhere after Farrell told them, "thanks, but no thanks".

"While I do have aspirations to manage in the major leagues in the future," he said, "I have declined the opportunity to interview for the position of Pittsburgh Pirates manager." Source
Can you blame the guy? While managing in the big leagues is a great job, who would want to jump at the Pirates job? They're a team with no payroll, no fans, and no prospects for a title any time soon. And the manager isn't going to be able to change that. Perhaps Indians coach Joel Skinner will now be the #1 contender.

Friday, October 5, 2007

What's Worse than Managing the Pirates?

Getting fired by them. Jim Tracey got the axe today after 2 abysmal years. How you can succeed when you're relying on guys like Shaun Chacon.

What's Worse than Managing the Pirates?

Getting fired by them. Jim Tracey got the axe today after 2 abysmal years. How you can succeed when you're relying on guys like Shaun Chacon.