Thursday Headlines: Let’s go Pirates!


A Galleon of Her Own

As you may have heard, Julie decided again this year that our loyalty should be auctioned off for the playoffs. But rather than do what we’ve done in the past, Julie decided she’d have a fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. I’m happy to say that the goal of $1000 was exceeded, and almost as happy that the Pirates got more votes than the Cardinals.  So… let’s go Pirates!

While our track record at picking teams for which to cheer in the playoffs isn’t stellar, the Pirates may have some sticking power. As the wild card, they have to face the team with the best record in the league, which just happens to be the Cardinals. But the Pirates were 10-9 against the Cards this year, so Clint Hurdle isn’t worried about playoff jitters.

“We know them,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “They know us. There won’t be any hidden-ball tricks, I hope. No Statue of Liberty plays. We’ve seen a lot of each other. Our scouts have done a great job. We were prepared in a number of different ways to go if we needed to go. Maybe from that point that we don’t have a lot of playoff experience, that might be a benefit to us.”

And while the Cardinals are the gold standard for National League organizations, Neil Walker says the Pirates won’t be intimidated.

“It’s no secret this organization [the Cardinals] has been the model for success over the past several years,” Pirates second baseman Neil Walker said. “In our organization, they’ve tried to develop that, too — the pitching-first mentality, the defense, the grind-it-out offensive approach. Certainly, they’ve been successful for so many years because of all those things. We’ve played very good baseball ourselves this year.”

Back to the Cubs for a moment – in case you missed it, Ken Rosenthal reported that A.J. Hinch is on the Cubs’ list of managerial candidates.

Hinch played from 1998-2004 with the Athletics, Royals, Tigers and Phillies, and compiled a career .219 batting average. He never played at Wrigley Field, but he did manage five games there after taking over for Bob Melvin as the D-backs manager in 2009. At that point, Hinch had never managed or coached at any level. He was fired on July 1, 2010, following a 31-48 start. He does have a psychology degree from Stanford.

As for his experience, here’s what Theo Epstein said he’d be looking for:

“We’re going to look, first and foremost, at candidates with managerial experience,” Epstein said Monday when he announced Dale Sveum had been dismissed as manager after two seasons. “But I don’t want to rule out a candidate who hasn’t managed but may have demonstrated real leadership over a long period of time in another role as a team leader, in a Minor League capacity, in an executive capacity.

“There are other ways you can show leadership,” Epstein said. “I think the most germane is as a Major League manager. I see no reason to limit our search. Let’s put it this way — there have been first-time Major League managers who are outstanding leaders immediately, as they came in the door.”

But he’d also like someone who understands the North Side:

“Candidates who have Cubs experience in their background will have the built-in advantage of knowing some of the idiosyncrasies of the marketplace and the franchise,” Epstein said. “They might be better equipped in that one area to deal with the gauntlet that can be managing the Cubs.

“Is it a prerequisite, or does it mean that candidates can’t be prepared who haven’t been through here?” he said. “No, but there’s a bit more of an adjustment period as I’ve discovered when you come from the outside.”

But the Yankees aren’t letting go of the most obvious choice, Joe Girardi, without a fight. The intrigue has only just begun.

49 thoughts on “Thursday Headlines: Let’s go Pirates!

  1. NotAgain says:

    FYI you’ve got a spider on yer boob.

    1. juliedicaro says:

      It gives me pirate street cred.

  2. Doc Blume says:

    The AJ Hinch speculation is growning louder. While I don’t believe good managers make a significant difference for a team over managers who really don’t stand out, bad managers do make a difference and can cause a world of hurt for an organization. (Please see Bobby Valentine and the Red Sox.) I believe AJ Hinch is one of those bad managers. Don’t want him near this organization. I didn’t particularly like the Sveum hire, but I didn’t think he would do much harm….and I don’t believe he really did. Hinch is bad. I don’t want him. He’s got no instincts and relies entirely on stats and has a track record of not developing talent. Keep him in San Diego as a scout…it’s where he belongs in a job he can do. He has no business being in a dugout.

    1. Raythar says:

      You are spot on. His stint here in Arizona was nothing short of disastrous. He was clearly not right for the job. I’d prefer that Hinch be some sort of back up plan in case McLeod gets a GM job somewhere.

      1. gravedigger says:

        i had to google him. had no idea who he was. i’ll just go with what you guys say

      2. Doc Blume says:

        I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again today…if Hinch is hired, Jed Hoyer will be out of a job in less than 3 years.

  3. juliedicaro says:

    Drunk Halloween photos are fun.

    1. gravedigger says:

      i wouldn’t know anything about that, since i do not drink

      1. Doc Blume says:

        Oh…is today opposite day?

  4. juliedicaro says:

    I’m getting annoyed with the blogger echo chamber that’s going on right now. Bloggers are speculating, and then people are reporting on the speculating like it’s fact. Annoying.

  5. juliedicaro says:

    How can the Cubs have made an offer to Girardi when the Yankees haven’t granted permission to speak to him? Conflicting reports? Or is there something I don’t understand about the process?

    1. Raythar says:

      Conflicting reports. Cubs haven’t made an offer as far as I’ve heard, but apparently Girardi’s camp wants to talk to the Cubs first. Doesn’t mean there is anything official yet.

      1. juliedicaro says:

        This morning,. The Score said the Cubs had made a “substantial” offer.

        1. gravedigger says:

          that sounds illegal

        2. Raythar says:

          Being prepared to make a substantial offer and making a substantial offered are two different things. Like you mentioned earlier, some people are taking speculation and running with it.

          No doubt that the Cubs are ready to give Girardi 5 mill per year and the penthouse suite in Trump tower, but they can’t formally offer it to him yet.

          1. Doc Blume says:

            I blame Theriot.

    2. Doc Blume says:

      I suppose the Cubs can make a substantial offer without talking to him, right?

    3. Doc Blume says:

      The scenario could very easily be this…

      We know the Yankees went into negotiations with Girardi yesterday. Girardi said, “He…look guys, I’m flattered, but I think my time here is over. I need some new challenges. It’s been great and all and I wish you all the best.” At this point, the Yankees, who have been known as a classy organization went ahead and told Girardi that he’s free to go. And then the Cubs jumped in with a 12 year $400 million offer.

      The only thing that we don’t know is if that part about Girardi turning down the Yankees is true or not. The rest is either fact or extremely likely.

        1. Doc Blume says:

          You don’t think the Cubs offered Girardi a 12 year, $400 million contract?

          1. gravedigger says:

            yes, that does sound cubs-like

  6. Doc Blume says:

    Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago is reporting that Brad Ausmus is not in consideration for the Cubs job.

  7. Doc Blume says:

    10 years ago tonight…

    I attended my first playoff game at Wrigley Field. I took my dad with me, as a birthday present to him. Cubs vs. Braves. Prior vs. Maddux.

    1. Raythar says:

      Sounds like a helluva time. Great memory to make.

      1. Doc Blume says:

        Wrigley Field and the Lakeview neighborhood as a whole, up until that 8th inning in game 6 of the NLCS that year, was one of the greatest, funnest, and happiest places I have ever been at in my life.

        It was about 1/2 way through that game that fans actually realized that the Cubs might actually advance and have a long run in the playoffs. After that, Wrigleyville was like Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. (And after the game…it literally was Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street with women flashing from the windows of the rooftop buildings and beads being thrown everywhere.)

        It really was a great time.

        1. Raythar says:

          That’s amazing. Just watching it on tv the energy Wrigley was giving off was something else. Can’t imagine what it was like being there.

          1. Doc Blume says:

            I was also at Game 1 and Game 2 of the NLCS that year…when Sosa hit that homer to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth in Game 1, I have never again since seen a scene as joyous as that moment (even though the Cubs eventually lost that game).

            While the end sucked, those two weeks were absolutely magical.

  8. Doc Blume says:

    Dale Sveum rejoins Ned Yost in as a coach in KC.

    1. Doc Blume says:

      There is an extra “in” somewhere in that statement.

  9. Raythar says:

    Also, I’ll be in Chicago this weekend! Going to the ‘Hawks game on Saturday. Will I see any of you beautiful ppl there?

    1. Doc Blume says:

      I’ll be in town, but unfortunately I’ll be there for (yet another) funeral this weekend. This has been a brutal year for my family.

      1. Raythar says:

        That sucks :( my condolences

        1. Doc Blume says:

          I’ll just say that I won’t be sad to see 2013 end.

  10. Doc Blume says:

    via the Dan Bernstein’s sources: Cubs are likely offering Girardi 5 years for between $25 and $30 million and that the Cubs basically feel their job in the negotiations is done and that now it is just waiting for the Yankees to let him go (or have the contract run out).

    1. Raythar says:

      That’s quite the commitment, but exactly what it will take to bring Girardi out here. Hopefully he doesn’t just use it as leverage.

  11. Anonymous says:

    That is twitter in a nutshell: someone has a thought, and everyone has to react…

  12. Doc Blume says:

    The Royals now have their future interim manager on staff so they have someone to take Ned Yost’s place after he gets fired a few weeks before the season ends as they make the playoffs.

  13. Doc Blume says:

    Since we don’t have a thread for today yet…here ya go…

    Reports are the Dusty Baker has been fired as manager of the Reds.

    *Insert laugh track here*

    1. dabirdguy says:

      Most certainly it could have happened to a nicer guy.People are figuring out how hard he is on a pitching staff.
      Another thing in Dale’s defense….did anyone else notice the lack of sore arms on the Cubs staff?

      1. Doc Blume says:

        Honestly, the Cubs plugged in so many different parts in their pitching staff it was really difficult to say one way or the other if Dale did a good job with it or not. (But Garza did get hurt and Samardzija did have dead arm for much of the second half this year.)

  14. Anonymous says:

    So, do the Cubs add him to the manager list?

    1. Doc Blume says:

      Believe it or not, I’d rather have Dusty back than have AJ Hinch manage this team.

      1. dabirdguy says:

        Are you outta your mind?

        1. Doc Blume says:

          No. Hinch is just that bad.

  15. sloanpeterson2 says:

    I’d rather have Lane KIffin coach the Cubs, then AJ Hinch…

  16. Doc Blume says:

    The Reds AAA manager…Jim Riggleman.

    I think Rigs should get promoted.

    1. J says:

      no better way to insure that the Reds and their talented team is managed into mediocracy. At least Dusty had the team shooting for the post season.

  17. sloanpeterson2 says:

    Maddux again?

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