Sep 20, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) is hit by a Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Matt Garza (not pictured) pitch for the second time in the game during the fifth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington was as hot as he has been all season on his weekly show hosted by Greg Brown. If only the show was televised, it would have been really enjoyable to hear the Bucco GM speak so bluntly about the recurring topic that has happened all season for the Pirates.
Of course the topic was on the Bucs reigning MVP getting hit this season, how Major League Baseball has reacted to similar situations around baseball and not reacted to the Pirates situation, and how the Bucs loss last night stung.
Huntington dove right into the topic that has Pittsburgh fans pissed off this morning.
"Andrew McCutchen is our best player…..we get get that our hit by pitches are high. I should check this, but how many of those are breaking balls? Others have alluded to our HBP numbers….but it seems our guys get dotted up with fastballs to the ribs.Again, we have hit a lot of people. Take a look at it….we do pitch inside. We are agressive inside. There are times our guy gets hit. Does (the opposition then) get hit? Yeah. I didnt think Matt Garza hit Cutch either time on purpose. But it did happen nonetheless."
Brown then read the quote from Garza when he called people idiots for thinking it might have been intentional. For the first time in Neal Huntington Show Recap history we have a quote from Greg Brown:
Here’s the quote from Brown: “If you get warned by the umpire and still throw inside on McCutchen, who is the idiot here?”
"There are times balls get away…why it becomes a story…I get your guys passion. When Cutch gets hit a lot….there is a difficulty in that.. Both times it happened with two outs…there is a ton of grey area here. But it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen."
Brown defended his “accusations” from Garza’s quote saying the only person that knows the intent is him (Garza)
"Sometimes the umpire and you look at it…makes no sense. But there is a challenge to it. This is a high value series. They are doing their best to keep intenisty in check.I dont want to call a pitcher out…..but when you throw behind a players head…and nothing happens–(no warning–no ejection.) I have a problem with that. When you dont want to hit a guy, but throw two feet behind a guy because youre a tough guy….I have a problem with that.We have to pitch inside. There are times that we do lose a fastball. I am not going to sit here and say that sometimes we don’t have intent.There is never a reason to throw a ball at head level."
Brown spoke about MLB not issuing penalties for the situation.
"There is a right way and a wrong way. I never thought I would defend the league…but there is a chance that the league fined him (Delgado) All fines are not public knowledge. It’s a no brainer (Delgado should have been suspended according to Huntington)"
Brown asked about having a home wild card and how significant it would be.
"It is signficant coming back here from Cincy….it is signficant and it will be weighed accordingly."
Brown spoke about the value of postseason on the impact for next years budget.
"Bob took critism when he said, ‘The more money we make in revenue, the more I will have to pay on players. Bob has allowed us to pour in staff retention, development, you know different areas to make this a championship organization."
Brown spoke about the road ahead.
"We have packed for what could be a really long road trip and also for what could be a short road trip. if your remember we stubbed our toe and had to win two of three in Cincy after coughing up games that would have put us in drivers seat. It’s in our hands…"
Brown asked to compare last years club to this years team.
"Its hard to say this years club is better than last years with the 94 wins. But things are coming together…"
The week ahead will determine if there will be a show next week.