Pirates Make Brilliant Move

The story officially broke last night from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

We had been talking about it all season long. 

The tenth overall pick in the 1974 draft,  Joe Kerrigan, will return to the Pirates in 2010.  Kerrigan told Dejan in the PG, “I really enjoyed it, as much as I have any season in baseball.”

But the brilliant news was what the Rum Bunter team was screaming to have resolved all season.  A second pitching coach will be added to the staff.  (Rich Donnelly will not return) Rum Bunter leaked the story, however subtly several days ago in this post

We begged for a ”bullpen” specific coach months ago.  An additional coach that could spend his time working with the bullpen and the entire staff when up to speed,  as well as learning as much as possible from Kerrigan throughout the year.  The next crucial decision will be the obvious one.  Who will this coach be?  What will they focus on?  And arguably what goals will they set and achieve for the staff and  personally?

We couldn’t help but notice on numerous occassions the lack of attention spent on the bullpen.  There is simply not enough time in the day for Kerrigan to reach all of the arms on the staff.  A second coach will vastly improve the developmental opportunities within the Pirates pitching staff. 

Unfortunately, the pitching staff celebrated the news of Kerrigan’s return in 2010 by falling behind to 13 Chicago Cubs hitters last night.  The trend continued as Pirate pitchers fell behind in the count,  two balls and no strikes, to nine Cubs hitters. 

The infielders were asleep and frigid.  Andy LaRoche was seen with handwarmers for God sake. 

When the ball was hit to the Pirates infielders, especially Delwyn Young and Luis Cruz.  It was ugly. 

Pirate starter Kevin Hart threw 96 pitches.  In the first four innings.  He walked four batters.  He twice walked the leadoff batters of the inning.  It was ugly.

Phil Dumtrait walked two batters in two innings, including a leadoff walk in the sixth inning which was erased after a strikeout/thrown out by Doumit.  And then?  Another walk.

Eric Hacker had one walk in one inning. 

Frustrating. 

The Pirates lost 6-0.  The Pirates have three wins since the All-Star break.

Did you know?  Joe Kerrigan pitched 220 innings in his 131 game career from 1976-1980.  He walked 92 batters and struck out 107  [Baseball Reference]

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Old video of the Twins newest player.  How hard is it to say your 16?  Watch the video.    In the coming days, this story should be very interesting.  Disappointment?  Hell, that can’t even describe it.

Dejan broke the ‘Sano Saga’ today: An excerpt is below but go read it all.

At one point, according to sources on both sides, Sano phoned Plummer in tears because he wanted to sign with the Pirates and could not understand why there was a delay. Plummer, calling the family daily from his office in New York, advised patience and grew angry with Gayo.

Neal Huntington did most of the direct communication with Plummer, but that went little better. Huntington tried many approaches, from nice guy to finger-wagging, and none of it had much of an effect.

A month ago, the Pirates went to Plummer and to the family — directly, with Gayo going to the house — with an upgraded offer to $2.6 million. Once again, it was the only written offer Plummer had, but it served only to anger him further that Gayo was talking to the family and telling them that no other team was going to top this amount. Soon after, when Gayo was in a Santo Domingo hearing room with MLB investigators — all teams were invited, but only the Pirates attended — Plummer accused the Pirates and MLB of conspiring to have him sign with Pittsburgh. Gayo maintained, on live television, that he was the only there because he was the only one who cared that much about Sano.

And later in the story….

About three weeks ago, these two had one last conversation, in which a very much exasperated Huntington simply asked Plummer to call him once he was ready to negotiate. And, in the final sign of the bitterness between these parties, that call never came. Plummer took the time to call all of the other teams in the Sano bidding yesterday, but not the Pirates.

Huntington found about Sano’s agreement with the Twins from me yesterday in a Wrigley Field tunnel.

Plummer had told me about the agreement with the Twins much earlier yesterday — shortly after I landed at O’Hare — but, as with so much of this process on both sides, I was given the information in confidence. (I can share stuff now, obviously, since it is done.) I came back with the hypothetical question: If Pittsburgh were to call you right now and offer $3.5 million, would you take it?” He flatly responded he would not, explaining that he respected the agreement he had with Minnesota.

Just go read it on the PG.  If the ink is truly dry on the contract which it isn’t ["We are very interested in Miguel Sano, and we are pursuing him aggressively, but we do not have a signed deal,"  Smith said in this  TwinCities.com article]…..I am going to throw up.

Topics: Andy LaRoche, Delwyn Young, Eric Hacker, Kevin Hart, Luis Cruz, Phil Dumtrait

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