Apr 2, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez (left) is mobbed by teammates after hitting a walk-off single to end the game against the Chicago Cubs during the sixteenth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 4-3 in sixteen innings. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

No Need to Hate Pirates Lineup 93.7 The Fan... Here's Why


The Pittsburgh Pirates start off the year with a series victory at home and they did it in typical Pirate fashion.  It’s what has become the definition of Pirate baseball and what fans in Pittsburgh have become accustomed to seeing in the Steel City.

Charlie Morton and Francisco Liriano delivers absolute gems on the mound and the bullpen cleaned up the rest.

Not only that, but Morton showed that there is a price to pay when you throw at our star players.  Unlike last year.

Starling Marte was pitched inside by Edwin Jackson in game two and it caught him in the hand to lead off the first inning.   Apparently, that didn’t sit well with Captain Sinker.

Morton ushered Anthony Rizzo to first base with a fastball to the thigh in his very first delivery of the following inning.  To me, I tip my hat to Charlie.  Bob Walk, who apparently is a proponent of non-violent pitching, tends to disagree.  But after the punishment that was dealt out to our star players last year, it was nice to see the precedent was set early that throwing inside on them repeatedly will not be tolerated.  Kudos Charlie Morton.

Despite the fast start to the season there are some Pittsburgh broadcasters who seem down on the roster as it stands today.  No need to mention names, but the show aired beore the game today on 93.7.  And the brief segment that I caught reminded me why I decided to stop listening in the first place.

One of the prestiged broadcasters made the comment that he is close to “hating” the Pirate’s lineup because it has major league holes.   Let me repeat.  He said he’s close to hating…….the Pirate lineup.

This is the lineup that is made up of the same players (less Garrett Jones plus Travis Ishikawa) that was 22 games over .500 and in first place in the most competitive division in baseball the entire majority of last year.

So at that moment, I felt it incumbent upon me to explain why there’s no reason to hate the Pirate lineup.  Let’s talk about it.

First.  This is basically the same lineup that was 22 games over .500 going into September last year.  Did I mention that already?  Well, if I did I apologize, but that is sort of an important fact.  Not easy to win that many games with a terrible lineup you know.  They must have just got really lucky.

I definitely can see why he could be very close to “hating” this lineup though.   I mean it’s not as if this lineup almost had the best record in baseball in the months following the all-star break or something.

Wait a second…  this lineup DID almost have the best record in baseball in through the months following the all-star break last year.

Hmm..so ok…now I’m a bit confused.  Does that mean that he hated the Pirate’s lineup all of last year as well?

Or only liked the lineup in September when we had Justin Morneau and Marlin Byrd in place.  Or he liked the lineup last year, but  just hates the lineup this year?  Even though it’s basically the same lineup.  Or maybe he liked the lineup last year, but secretely hated it, and just said he liked it because it was a tremendously talented and successful lineup that went to the playoffs and broke the longest losing streak in the history of professional sport, but really deep down…….he hated it…but just didn’t tell anybody?

Hmm…

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why this lineup is hate-able though.  It’s not as if we have the NL MVP in center field, an all-star and the NL home run champ at 3rd, an all-star caliber left fielder, an all-star caliber 2nd basemen, a premier defensive catcher, a short stop who put up the 4th best offensive season the Pirates have seen in the last 20 years, a top tier starting rotation and a top 3 bullpen?

Wait a second… we do have all that?  Hmm.

Ok, ok.  So it must be because our first base situation.  That’s why this lineup draws such hatred from our esteemed broadcast journalist.  The platoon out there hasn’t lived up to your expectation and Ishikawa is not up to par.  There we go..

I can understand that.  I mean, in this series first base production only totalled a .300 BA and a 462 OBP% .  That is absolutely horrid, I agree.  Disgraceful performance.  That’s certainly not the caliber platoon I’m looking for.   We should all hate those numbers and be ashamed we have to watch such filth in motion.

And also he must hate the lineup because of right field.  I can see that too…. Makes perfect sense.  Our right field production in this series equaled a measley .250 BA and a .318 OBP%.  Makes me sick to see this type of incompetance at PNC park.  They’ll let anyone play nowadays!

Not sure what type of people he has in mind to make the lineup more “like”able, but hopefully the Pirate brass took notice of the brilliant insight he delivered today and gets to work immediately on re-constructing a team that won 94 games last year and was 5 wins away from the World Series.  Only then, can he start to like the product a bit more.

I have a suggestion.  Maybe if they brought back all the same players that we had last year when we went to the playoffs and almost won the NLDS and put THEM on the roster!  Maybe THEN… he could enjoy the lineup card slightly more.  Would that be better?

Wait a second…

For real pirate insight tune into The Big Tuna Show every Sunday at 12:30 on H4TV and follow me on twitter @TheBigTuna66

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  • scott stevens

    Let me get this straight, your brillant and everyone who disagrees with you is stupid and wrong. You continue to attack anyone who has a different viewpoint on how the Pirates are run. Are they not allowed to have their opinions without you writing your silly propaganda about how the Pirates were a juggernaut last year. Sure we made the playoffs, but we lost some key players, most of our players over performed and we did not put one penny into improving this powerhouse that didn’t even win the NL Pennant. You have your opinions, so be it, but other have their opinions also and that should be respected.

    • Tony Canella

      Thanks for the post Scott. I don’t mind opinions. I just think if you have them, you should be able to support them with facts, statistics, or anything else that would justify your rationale. Just saying you hate the lineup and bashing the team without offering one piece of VALID information supporting why you feel that way is just not acceptable to me. Especially if you’re a so-called sports expert with a radio talk show. Fans deserve more than that.

    • rlsjp

      Thank yoy Tony. I completely agree that an individual fan is allowed to hate with no valid reason. Radio talk show host need to be held to a different standard. I’m tired of hearing some of these guys saying the pirates payroll needs to increase and really have no idea what it currently is or any idea what a reasonable amount is in their opinion. Discussing 1B options like ike davis as if we are missing out on joey votto.

    • Tony Canella

      Absolutely. If you’re getting paid to offer professional caliber insight on the radio, bring some realistic suggestions into how the team can improve working with the existing model they use. If you don’t have any ideas, then temper your criticism and focus on something positive for a change. Like the fact that we won the series and our pitching was superb. Check out the latest article I just posted revolving around that. Thanks for the post rlsjp.

    • rlsjp

      They were advocating that we extend Martin and have him play a backup catcher / mentor role for tony sanchez..

    • Tony Canella

      wait…..WHAT? Did you ever see the scene in Major League where Roger Dorn runs up to Coach Lou Brown and hands him his contract stating he doesn’t have to do any physical activity that he doesn’t deem necessary? Remember what Lou did next? That’s what Russel Martin would do if they handed him a contract and asked him to be a backup catcher next year.

    • rlsjp

      Lol. No doubt!

  • Alan Davidson

    dude, some people still equate winning with payroll and vice-versa. the fact is that the yankees kinda sucked last year, the brewers were aweful, the dodgers tried to buy their way into the series, the angels were aweful, and the list goes on and on. nevermind that the oriels, the pirates, and the a’s all were post season teams and all were in the bottom half of last years payroll figures.

    • Tony Canella

      That’s the truth. No matter what the numbers say or whether or not it makes the most sense from a franchise perspective. Unless there’s a big time free agent coming in, some people won’t be happy. Even though most of the time these free agents never live up to expectations.