Today and tomorrow are two of the lamest days of the sports year, so for now I'm just going to post a bunch of links to interesting things I've seen the last couple of days.
If we want to go back to the Justin Upton front, Nick Piecoro reports that Kevin Towers wants "Major League" players for Upton. It seems insane to me to trade a player like Upton and not ask for a team's best prospects back in return, but I suppose you could use it as a glimmer of hope that the Pirates could pull off a trade for Upton without having to move Gerrit Cole or Jameson Taillon. More than likely, though, what it means is that the Pirates are just a bad fit for the D'Backs and it's time to move our sights, as fans, elsewhere.
Ben Duronio at FanGraphs looks at James McDonald's slider and how he's used it to find success.
Russel Carleton, aka Pizza Cutter, returns to Baseball Prospectus with some words of wisdom for aspiring sabermetricians.
XKCD looks at what would happen to a pitch that traveled at the speed of light.
This picture, of McCutchen and Hanrahan exchanging a "Z" in the handshake line last night, is pretty much everything that's right in the world of Pirate fans at the moment.
The Triple-A All-Star Game is tonight at 7:00, and I believe it'll be televised on the MLB Network. Starling Marte and Rudy Owens are both on the International League squad.
Agreed. And when is Fox going to stop letting Tom McCarver talk. Seriously. Stating what Joe Buck just said does not add insight. This guy is so awful and has been for as long as I can remember. Here's a tip Mr. McCarver; when "Family Guy" makes a joke about how bad you are, maybe it's time to stop...
MLBtraderumors says the Snakes think they should get three major leaguers for Upton. Too bad Charlie got hurt because I think he could've been an attractive trade chip. I do not think Karstens or Lincoln hold as much value and you'd need to seriously consider a major move like including Pedro if you wanted to be a serious suitor for Upton. Speaking of pitching, I'm coming around to the idea the Bucs should aim for a mid-level bat (like Willingham or Victorino) and just load up on pitching by making a play for a Greinke or Hamels.
For a while now I have been wanting to write something about how it is time for Root Sports to grow up with their broadcasts. The Pirates are too good to be talking about the stupid stuff they talk about or showing a picture of a fan eating an ice cream cone when the count is 3-2 and there are two outs in the eight.
BUT, after watching the MLB All Star game on FOX last night I am glad we can watch the Pirates on Root Sports and not on FOX. If I had to watch the Pirates on FOX every night I would go crazy. I hate the promos for their stupid shows, all the love of Chevy, the worship of Budweiser, etc.
Root Sports may not be perfect, but they are way better than stupid FOX!
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I came to the same conclusion after ESPN interviewed Josh Hamilton over Cutch's HR Derby at bat and after noticing the Sawx-Yanks game on ESPN was only in the third inning at 9:30.
Dear Major Networks: Until further notice, please continue to ignore the Pirates so we are not subject to your craptastic broadcats.
Okay, the Snakes want major leaguers... and there are reports that they need a third baseman.... Alvarez and someone else for Upton. Maybe Alvarez and hell, I don't know. Hanrahan. I couldn't see Arizona making that deal, though. But IF there's a major league deal to be made between the two teams, our major player in is going to be Alvarez, and the rest will be creating equal value using other guys.
In reality, we probably don't have anyone close to good enough to trade, considering A Mc off limits.
@TomBrenholts I'd read Starling Marte as our best trade chip to Arizona, if what they want is "Major League players." Triple-A prospects ready for a call-up definitely qualify. In any case, I'd be shocked to see Alvarez goes. His struggles mean he's worth way more to the Pirates in theoretical value than he is to another team in actual value.
@TomBrenholts To elaborate a bit more: Marte is extremely talented, he's got big upside, and his service clock hasn't even started ticking. He's not a sure thing yet, but he's the sort of player Arizona's looking for here, not Alvarez.
@whygavs I agree, and that's why I was surprised to hear them specifically asking for major leaguers; if I were looking for a major leaguer to get me over the hump, I'd start with someone like Justin Upton! It's almost as if they said that as code for, "Pirates, go away."
As far as including Marte, as much as I love his potential I'd do that as quickly as I could sign the documents. Upton is already what we'd hope Marte could become.
So when Kevin Towers says he is only looking for "Major League" players, does that mean he'll consider a deal built around Charlie Sheen and Corbin Bernsen?
@wkkortas No, he literally wants Willie Mays Hayes and Ricky Vaughan. Towers fell asleep watching scouting footage last night, then woke up with the movie playing on TBS and didn't know the difference.
@Eephus @wkkortas Major League on TBS is horrible. It has the WORST audio edit of all time in it: the part where Dorn says to Vaughn "Strike this Motherf---er out..." TBS uses the horribly "Strike this GUY out!" Only, it sound like Corbin Bernsen had Barry White say "Guy." Awful.
@Andy Coulter @Eephus @wkkortas I'm going to have to disagree on that one. I saw a profanity-free version of Good Will Hunting once. It had the following dialogue:"GIVE ME MY burger SANDWICH!" "HERE! HERE'S YOUR burger SANDWICH!" Leaving aside the awkward turn of phrase, they didn't even try to match the tone of voice. And that's just one example of the child friendly banter you find in South Boston.