Bonehead Tidbits

Kevin McClatchy decided to open his mouth to the media a couple of times this week and proceeded to show the world what a fool he is. First he stunned Pirate fans living outside the City of Pittsburgh by telling them he isn’t concerned about what they think:

‘"My skin’s a little thicker when I get criticized by people who don’t live in the city of Pittsburgh," McClatchy said "The people I’m really concerned with are the people who live in this community, who work in this community, and who can come to our games. We have great fans all over the country, but I’ve got to worry about the ones who live here, because they’re our customers."’

Wow. What a lame thing to say. Not only does he alienate the youth by fielding a poor product the last 10 years, now he says he doesn’t give a hoot about anyone who doesn’t live in the city.

The last time I looked there were 3,385 zip codes in the Pirates media blackout range. Seems to me if McClatchy cares less about any of those living in the 3,000+ zip codes outside of Pittsburgh, they shouldn’t be blacked out. Know what I mean? Not only that, but look at how far the Pirates blackout zone ranges in this map (approximate):

Do you see that tiny speck called Pittsburgh? Now look at who else McClatchy cares less about. I mean, not one of those folks outside Pittsburgh ever go see a game, do they? Families don’t travel from Ohio, or NY, or WV, or even other cities in PA to see the Pirates do they? I mean, just exactly *where* does Kevin’s ‘community’ start and end?

You know, if he wanted to say I care *more* about those attending games all the time then he should have said that. But, he didn’t. He’s only interested in those in his community.

McClatchy is a bone head.

Then, in the same article, McClatchy attempts to pick a bone with Cuban by saying:

"My only thing with Mark is … since I’ve been in sports, it doesn’t matter if it’s baseball or basketball, there’s always been sort of a professional courtesy given to other owners. You all know that what you do is difficult, so you don’t criticize each other…

"If Mark came in here, I don’t think he do too much different than what we’re doing at this time," McClatchy said. "I have nothing negative to say about Mark. But there are slightly different economics in Major League Baseball than there are in certain other sports (leagues)."

In one sentence he says owners should be courteous to other owners – not to criticize each other. In the next sentence he says Mark has no clue about baseball economics and Cuban wouldn’t do anything other than what he is doing.

Huh? What kind of double-speak is that?

McClatchy is a bonehead.

Duffy to AAA. Well, sitting on the pine in Pittsburgh won’t help him so kudos to Littlefield for *finally* making some sort of a decision what to do with him. The bad thing about this is that Duff was never given the shot to relieve some pressure by batting 8th. Nor was he given a shot to start the year healthy – Littlefield threw him on the field less than 100% to start the year.

But Duff said his words before he went to Indy and I hope the kid got everything off his chest to the man who screwed him up the most – Jim Tracy.

Poor Humberto Cota. He catches Oliver Perez’s madness all year and then the fans cast a ‘you stink’ award on him because everytime he is receiving, a pitcher bombs. Take Snell yesterday. I mean, it had to be Humberto’s fault that Snell was throwing straight heat up in the zone. It had to be Humberto’s fault that every batter in the lineup was hammering Snell, including the pitcher. Sure – it was Cota’s fault. See what happened when Cota was put on the pine because of a bruised kneecap and Paulino took over? Like magic – the pitchers pitched perfectly. I guess since the offense scored 8 runs in 2 innings and they had travel plans didn’t have a thing to do with it. LoL

Release Cota. It’s HIS fault. Right? I mean, he had only caught two games since April 25th and both of those were with Perez so him dropping 4 pitches last night (it was 4 wasn’t it – I might have lost count) makes him an easy fan target.

Fans are boneheads too sometimes.

Pirate batters have now K’d 1 time every 3.1 times with runners in scoring position. This has to be a MLB record.

Our D is just plain horrible. I have mentioned this over and over. Nate and Jason take bad routes to balls and have weak arms thereby allowing runners to advance like water running downhill; Freddy makes some amazing plays then fails to make others; sometimes our middle infielders make the DP, sometimes they don’t; Freddy’s weak arm at SS is now so apparent even slower players are reaching when a ball is hit in the hole; and so on.

When we have our ‘better’ D in consisting of Jack, Randa, and Duffy, we held opponents to 3.3 runs per game average and the team’s ERA tanked into the high 2’s. When Freddy started playing 3B then moved to SS and Nate playing in the OF, we are now allowing 5.1 runs per game average. That is 1.8 runs per game difference.

We do score a bit more runs with Freddy and Nate in the lineup.. 0.7 more per game. So the offsetting value is -1.1 runs per game and, over 162 games would mean an extra 178 runs scored against us and 20 more losses.

That’s H U G E.

There isn’t much Tracy can do with both Jack Wilson and Joe Randa on the DL. If he benches Freddy for Jose Hernandez and a tad better defense, he’ll lose the run production. If he plays Freddy at 3B where he isn’t as exposed, then puts Bautista in CF he might limit some of the defensive woes from advancing base runners but then he sits a hot bat with Nate. And we all know Burnitz isn’t coming out anytime soon where Nate could take his place.

It is going to be very hard to win any games with the D we currently have with Jack and Randa on the bench unless our starter throws a 2 runs game or less. The way Jack was hitting, he evens out Randa’s lack of offense (even though Randa has been one of the better clutch hitters) but the defensive upgrade totally merits their playing over Sanchez and Bautista. So that puts Bautista in CF and Nate on the bench. Hurry back Jack and Joe.

I’m still hearing Kyle Drabek is our #1 pick for the draft this year. I don’t even think it would matter if Lincoln was available.. I think the org is pretty well set on another high school kid. Kudos to Kyle but I’d take Lincoln in a flash over Drabek because, if nothing else, Lincoln could be in the pen by 2008.

Tony LaCava would make an excellent GM. Everybody say his name now – Tony LaCava. Maybe McClatchy will hire someone from within his ‘community’.




    You’ve got to be kidding me with your anaylsis of Cota. He is not a good catcher in any aspect. He can’t throw. He can’t catch the ball. He can’t hit. He had 8 passed balls in only 87 games last year. His caught stealing percentage is only 28% for his career. Even the candy arm Kendall has a 30% career percentage. He’s a liability on defense. His catcher ERA is pathetic this year. And, you can’t blame it all on Perez. Snell has a 1.76 ERA with Ronny and over 12 with Cota in equal number of starts. The fact is, he’s bringing nothing to the team and we have two more talented players at his position. He needs to be dispatched. Option him to AAA and if someone claims him on waivers, big deal. What can you possibly say in his defense? There’s no quantitative evidence that he does anything to help the team in any way.


    I don’t understand what analysis you use to say Randa is better on defense than Sanchez. Freddy has shown he is at least an average SS, which should translate well to 3B.
    You are also using a small sample size to justify that the defense is the reason the runs given up have been higher. That’s no different than what you accuse the fans of doing about Cota.

  3. Pirate

    bison – we all have our opinions and yours seems to be that Humberto is in the ‘he stinks’ basket. I can respect that. But let’s be serious a second.. telling me Snell had a 1.76 ERA with Paulino behind the plate and 12 with Cota means absolutely nothing to me. Ronny doesn’t thow the ball.. Ronny doesn’t set the schedule who Snell is pitching against.. Ronny didn’t catch any of the Pirate pitchers right out of camp.. etc, etc.. etc.. And, having been a catcher, I realize the value of a CERA is worthless – but throwing out runners is valuable and Ronny does have a cannon.
    But I think you missed my point. I never suggested Cota was the answer – I just suggested he isn’t as much to blame as some of the fans want him to be. True – no bat but he dis have a 6 game hitting streak going and had hit safely in 9 of 11 games so he was heating up. Without reps, nobody is going to hit well. Ask Duffy.

    While most fans are in the Paulion is a ‘great’ catcher basket, I’m not there. I agree with BP and Callis at BA – he is a catch and throw backup catcher at best. He always will be and I think the org needs to consider moving him out to another position. Doumit should be behind the plate learning this year – not Paulino. But that’s my take.

    curtis – the sample sizes are small but that’s is all the history we have with Freddy. We have to use what we have. Freddy’s arm is simply too weak to be anything but an above average 2B. As for comparing Freddy to Randa – watch Joe when he is back in the game.. he won’t have the range Freddy might have but Joe will make up with it with his experience – knowing where to be, when to be there, and why. He knows NL batters and he just needs a bit more time to get to know the staff and the catchers.

    As for the defense sample size being small, no, we have played 1/5th the season and we have more than enough data to tell how our D is doing. Go look at the basic stats at Hardball that are driven by FIP and defensive efficiency:

    We are -30 runs by their scale (-10 by pitching), I have us -38 on just fielding, BP has us -24 on fielding, and if you use Pinto’s PMR we are -45 runs on fielding.

    BTW, everyone has us no better than 25th and I have us 29th in fielding. So, no matter who’s scale or measure you look at, other than simple FPCT where we are 17th from a stat that measures very little, we stink on D.

    But, like bison’s love for Paulino, I can see your desire to start Freddy at 3B. He is certainly better at 3B than SS.

  4. Nicolas

    so i’m curious, jake…
    – i cant help but think freddy is flat-out going too hard, as evidenced by the making spectacular plays and flubbing the routine plays. Though it is rather obvious from watching him that his arm does not belong at SS. I wouldn’t want to put him at third and cut in on the reasonably good play of bautista, so why don’t we shift him to second? i have no qualms about having him as an “above average at second” kinda guy.

    – ignore the reality of jerEmy for a minute…do you think mcclouth playing in right is enough to make up for what he lacks that is showing up in CF?

    – paulino is so dang big, they cant really move him anywhere but first, can they?


    Ok, I see your point about the defense, but still can’t agree with you at all on Randa. Playing him now because he is more experienced doesn’t make sense. This team can easily lose 100+ games and playing Randa over Sanchez is not going to help that. Giving Freddy a chance to play 3B could easily see him improve, especially considering he has better range than Randa at his age. Randa probably won’t be in the league next season. Sanchez is almost as good on D as Randa, light years better with the bat, and has a future. To me there’s no doubt who should be playing.

  6. Pirate

    Nicolas – is Bautista *really* our answer at 3B? Figure that out and you’ll have your answer. I’m not sure.. I want to see more of his D over 100 games or so. So far, so good though.
    Nate in RF would kill us with his arm – there is no doubt about it. He is a pure 4th or 5th OF in my book. But to answer your question, no, it wouldn’t help a bit in my opinion, especially with all these soft throwing lefties we have.

    Paulino is not going to be moved anywhere because the public has fallen in love with him. Bay is the obvious choice for 1B in my book and I think Ronny could handle either corner ok. Look at Burnitz. 🙂

    curtis – like I mentioned to Nicolas, the org needs to make a decision on Bautista.. is he the heir at 3B or isn’t he? But he won’t get the experience with Randa on the roster because ‘old school’ Tracy would be crazy to play a pure rookie behind the rookie arms we have on the mound. True, Joe might have tanked his offense into the trash bucket last year and could be declining more and more – same with Burnitz. But where our true liability is on this team is D – not offense.

    As for Freddy’s D at 3B being close to Joe’s, well, as you have read I don’t buy that a bit. And Freddy is a streak hitter.. he’ll roll off 10 games hitting the ball square then choke 5 games. And he still isn’t clutch at all. At least Joe is +runs in clutch. True, Freddy will cross the plate more *maybe* (maybe because of the pathetic offense we have anyway) but I still see Freddy as a utilityman or, at best, a platoon guy with Jose at 2B. I’ve never been one to believe Castillo has a MLB bat anyway.

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