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(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)   The Pittsburgh Pirates are 10 games above .500 and in first place. Who do they have to thank? Why, Zoltan, of course   (post-gazette.com) divider line 76
    More: Cool, pirates, Rod Barajas, terrible towels, Erik Bedard, Seann William Scott, playoff beard, sports medicines, PNC Park  
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1377 clicks; posted to Sports » on 06 Jul 2012 at 3:17 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-05 11:30:23 PM
content.clearchannel.com

Zoltan!
 
2012-07-06 12:11:37 AM
Dr. Kunkle-Miller, a certified sports psychologist

lol
 
2012-07-06 12:14:53 AM
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-07-06 02:10:01 AM
I've been looking at both the NL Central and AL Central standings and it is quite possible that Pittsburgh could beat Cleveland six times in the Fall instead of the usual two.

/it is also possible that the ALCS and NLCS could have teams from AFC North cities
//but Hell its July, and the Pirates were this good last season until they remembered who they were
 
2012-07-06 02:21:31 AM
i.imgur.com
 
2012-07-06 03:08:40 AM

bluorangefyre: the Pirates were this good last season until they remembered who they were


At the halfway point last year the Pirates were 1 game above .500, in third place in the NL Central. Their runs scored / runs allowed indicated that they were very, very lucky to be even that high.

This year's Pirates are 10 games above .500 (better even than the 1992 team that was supposed to go to the World Series *sob*). They are in first by 2 games. Their RS / RA indicates that this isn't much of a fluke. Of course, this is the Pirates, so any bad thing that could happen probably will, and I highly doubt they will win the NL Central, but so far this is the best team they've fielded since at least 1992.
 
2012-07-06 03:24:42 AM

bluorangefyre: I've been looking at both the NL Central and AL Central standings and it is quite possible that Pittsburgh could beat Cleveland six times in the Fall instead of the usual two.

/it is also possible that the ALCS and NLCS could have teams from AFC North cities
//but Hell its July, and the Pirates were this good last season until they remembered who they were


I think the White Sox have a great chance of winning the ALCS as long as they can figure out how to win at home. For some reason they don't like winning at home.
 
2012-07-06 03:38:03 AM
blog.mlive.com

ZOLTAN!!
 
2012-07-06 04:35:31 AM
Dr. Kunkle-Miller

The "Dr." part implies respect and intelligence. Then comes the "Kunkle-Miller" part.
"Hello, I'm Doctor Kunkle-Miller. No, that's 'Kunkle-Miller', just like it sounds. No, there is no 'c' in Kunkle. Not 'Knuckle' - 'Kunkle'. 'Kunkle-Miller'."

I imagine being interviewed for this article is the high point of Doctor "Moose Knuckle" Kunkle-Miller's career.
 
2012-07-06 05:06:04 AM
As a girl who grew up in Pittsburgh and whose father is named Zoltan, I heartily approve. Clearly they should've asked for my dad's help earlier!

/it's an ancient Hungarian prince's name for those wondering, rather popular name there
 
2012-07-06 05:07:51 AM

I had Snu Snu:
ZOLTAN!!


I'm an MSU grad, but I have to say, Zoltan is friggin awesome and probably one of my favorite players and when I read the headline I first thought of him...
 
2012-07-06 05:10:06 AM

ongbok: bluorangefyre: I've been looking at both the NL Central and AL Central standings and it is quite possible that Pittsburgh could beat Cleveland six times in the Fall instead of the usual two.

/it is also possible that the ALCS and NLCS could have teams from AFC North cities
//but Hell its July, and the Pirates were this good last season until they remembered who they were

I think the White Sox have a great chance of winning the ALCS as long as they can figure out how to win at home. For some reason they don't like winning at home.


I totally understand their hesitation. If I had a chance to make 50,000 white sox fans sad, I would do it in a heartbeat.
 
2012-07-06 06:42:12 AM
Everyone should be pulling for the Bucks this season.
 
2012-07-06 06:44:06 AM
Hopefully, like last year, Jerry Meals will put an end to this fantasy of a winning baseball team in a city that clearly doesn't deserve to celebrate anything.

This is, after all, the city that cheers Big Ben.

Screw Pittsburgh.
 
2012-07-06 07:11:05 AM
Hopefully the deal is if the Pirates are good the Steelers and Pens are bad. Because if I have to hear about the SEVEN RING FEVER crap this fall, I will burn down Pittsburgh like Bane.
 
2012-07-06 07:17:51 AM
I'd love to see a Baltimore vs Pittsburgh World Series.
 
2012-07-06 07:18:36 AM
Well, I thought they meant Zoltar from the movie: "Big". As in, the Pirates went to a mechanical wish granter and wished that someday they could be good big league players.
 
2012-07-06 07:35:59 AM
www.tnastars.com
 
2012-07-06 07:37:46 AM

misterblaine63: Hopefully, like last year, Jerry Meals will put an end to this fantasy of a winning baseball team in a city that clearly doesn't deserve to celebrate anything.

This is, after all, the city that cheers Big Ben.

Screw Pittsburgh.


Yes, we cheer a top flight QB that has taken us to three Super Bowls. How silly of us.
 
2012-07-06 07:57:31 AM

DiamondDave: misterblaine63: Hopefully, like last year, Jerry Meals will put an end to this fantasy of a winning baseball team in a city that clearly doesn't deserve to celebrate anything.

This is, after all, the city that cheers Big Ben.

Screw Pittsburgh.

Yes, we cheer a top flight QB that has taken us to three Super Bowls. How silly of us.


I think he's referring to the whole serial rapist thing.
 
2012-07-06 07:58:52 AM
And Jonathan Papelbon is about to find out how "smart" Philly fans are.

Hope the Pirates don't crap out like last year. They still need a bat or two.
 
2012-07-06 08:23:49 AM

Krustofsky: And Jonathan Papelbon is about to find out how "smart" Philly fans are.

Hope the Pirates don't crap out like last year. They still need a bat or two.


It takes a long time for young teams to learn to win consistently. I think they are going to be there until the end. But what the fark to I know?
 
2012-07-06 08:28:58 AM
Still so many mad bros hating on the greatest city in the world. It's hard work being a championship contender in every major sport that we have a team for, but we're that good. And Ben was never even charged. :)
 
2012-07-06 08:46:07 AM

Gunny Highway: Everyone should be pulling for the Bucks this season.


Milwaukee?
 
2012-07-06 08:46:47 AM

Great_Milenko: DiamondDave: misterblaine63: Hopefully, like last year, Jerry Meals will put an end to this fantasy of a winning baseball team in a city that clearly doesn't deserve to celebrate anything.

This is, after all, the city that cheers Big Ben.

Screw Pittsburgh.

Yes, we cheer a top flight QB that has taken us to three Super Bowls. How silly of us.

I think he's referring to the whole serial rapist thing.


I didn't know he was ever convicted of rape! Oh, wait.. he wasn't even CHARGED?

/GO BUCS!
 
2012-07-06 08:51:40 AM

GoodyearPimp: Gunny Highway: Everyone should be pulling for the Bucks this season.

Milwaukee?


Another team people should root for.

a1.ec-images.myspacecdn.com

COFFEE NOW!
 
2012-07-06 09:01:26 AM
At the other end of the PA Turnpike, the Phillies are ten games under .500 and fading fast. I like the idea that the Nationals and Bucs are having the year they seemed to be destined to have. Even though it's bad for the Phillies, it's good for baseball.
 
2012-07-06 09:01:29 AM
And my phils are 10 games back from 500, baseball is weird this year.
 
2012-07-06 09:14:00 AM
The Padres are no longer in the cellar. That's like winning the world series around here these days.

/they'll be back soon enough.
 
2012-07-06 09:27:46 AM

ongbok: bluorangefyre: I've been looking at both the NL Central and AL Central standings and it is quite possible that Pittsburgh could beat Cleveland six times in the Fall instead of the usual two.

/it is also possible that the ALCS and NLCS could have teams from AFC North cities
//but Hell its July, and the Pirates were this good last season until they remembered who they were

I think the White Sox have a great chance of winning the ALCS as long as they can figure out how to win at home. For some reason they don't like winning at home.


With the win yesterday they finally pulled to an over .500 record at home. They've been playing pretty solid ball on their last few homestands. Hopefully they can keep it up; it's been an exciting season so far and this is one of the most likable teams they've fielded in a long time.
 
2012-07-06 09:30:18 AM

soj4life: And my phils are 10 games back from 500, baseball is weird this year.


Alternatively, this year is normalized, and the last 5 have been weird.

/long-time Phillies fan
 
2012-07-06 09:31:21 AM
The crazy thing with the Pirates is that they should only get better as their prospects grow up. Their system is loaded. Lots of guys that I wouldn't trade even if it would help this year.

006andahalf: The Padres are no longer in the cellar. That's like winning the world series around here these days.

/they'll be back soon enough.


A paraphrased conversation I had with a valet guy at the hotel I stayed in when I was in San Diego about a month ago:

Valet: Did you have a good night?
Me: Yeah, I went to a Padres game.
Valet: Ugh.
Me: No, they won!
Valet: What?!
 
2012-07-06 09:33:48 AM
Last time the Pirates were any good, I was seven. Even if I weren't a fan of thiers, I'd be pulling for them, if for no other reason than to stop counting their failures by decades.

/screw the Steelers, though.
 
2012-07-06 09:51:07 AM
Come on Buccos. Hold it together. I have a good feeling about this season, at least by Pirate standards of the last 2 decades
 
2012-07-06 10:07:05 AM

Krustofsky: Hope the Pirates don't crap out like last year. They still need a bat or two.


Specifically:
1) A shortstop. Any shortstop, really. They've put Clint Barmes out there almost every day, and he'shiat .202/.226/.298. Barmes is a good defender with very good range, but unless he's covering half the damn field that bat is unacceptable.

2) Demote Jose Tabata. He's 23. He may grow into a guy who can hit, but that's what AAA is for. He's an iffy defender, and his baserunning is clinically retarded. (8 SB vs 9 CS, and 5 other non-force outs made on the bases.) There's no present value there.

3) Bring up Starling Marte to platoon with Garrett Jones. Jones can't hit lefties at all, and never could. Marte is a righty, plus he's a reasonable defender, so you wrap up a late-inning replacement for Jones there too. He's been hitting .289/.349/.494 in AAA, so even if you adjust it downwards that's a reasonable corner outfield bat, especially if you add in a platoon advantage.

4) A backup plan for Erik Bedard's inevitable injury. You've gotten your 16 starts. Don't count on 30. Start getting Gerrit Cole ready for an early promotion, or consider moving some prospects for a #3-level guy.

5) A catcher who can throw out baserunners. Opponents have stolen 42 bases out of 44 attempts against Barajas. That's just crazy. Against his backup (McKenry), they're 24-for-28. And it's not like Barajas hits like Mike Piazza. At the very least, find a backup who can also serve as a defensive replacement late in close games.

They should have the budget for this-- only the SS should cost them much of anything. They even have lots of prospects to trade if they're committed to a postseason run.
 
2012-07-06 10:10:40 AM

FreakinB: The crazy thing with the Pirates is that they should only get better as their prospects grow up. Their system is loaded. Lots of guys that I wouldn't trade even if it would help this year.


...and Brian Cashman, clad in overalls and a straw hat gnaws on a stalk of wheat and removes his work gloves. He squints his eyes as he surveys the field, musing to himself, "eyup.. crop looks just about right for harvest".
 
2012-07-06 10:14:38 AM

FreakinB: The crazy thing with the Pirates is that they should only get better as their prospects grow up. Their system is loaded. Lots of guys that I wouldn't trade even if it would help this year.


They'd be silly to trade Cole or Taillon. But they have guys like Luis Heredia-- an 18-year-old with a high ceiling, who hasn't proven much. Maybe that guy is an awesome rookie ... in 2016. Why not try to move him as part of a deal with a non-contender?
 
2012-07-06 10:19:48 AM
As a Cubs fan, I sympathize with the plight of the Pirates, and am rooting for them to win it all this year.
 
2012-07-06 10:25:05 AM
It's about time the Pirates got good again. With Pujols and Fielder leaving the division, it makes sense that there's room at the top for teams like Cincy and Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, the Cubs and the Astros are still on the left hand side of that 20 year path Pittsburgh is just now pulling out of.

Seriously, who's left in Houston who is any kind of decent? I guess that Altuve kid could be pretty good, but now that Lee is gone, Jed Lowrie is the biggest slugger on the team. And yeah, the bullpen doesn't suck, but that's because they're only in the game after the starters have already blown it.

Meanwhile, the Cubbies? Dempster, Soriano, and that new kid at first base. If there's anybody else on that team that doesn't suck, I sure haven't noticed it.

Anyway, while the Cards are still trying to figure out their team in the post-Pujols era, I wouldn't mind having the Buccos succeed a little bit. They always seemed like the kind of team that deserved better, and, unlike the Cubbies, the majority of Pittsburgh fans I've met AREN'T assholes.
 
2012-07-06 10:30:23 AM

chimp_ninja: FreakinB: The crazy thing with the Pirates is that they should only get better as their prospects grow up. Their system is loaded. Lots of guys that I wouldn't trade even if it would help this year.

They'd be silly to trade Cole or Taillon. But they have guys like Luis Heredia-- an 18-year-old with a high ceiling, who hasn't proven much. Maybe that guy is an awesome rookie ... in 2016. Why not try to move him as part of a deal with a non-contender?


I was talking Cole, Taillon, etc. If they can get some interest in guys deeper down then I could see it. But I also wouldn't go too crazy on this year unless it's for a guy they can keep for a while. The Pirates are definitely improving but I think the lineup is a few pieces away.
 
2012-07-06 10:39:49 AM
I think that the Nats have a better chance of winning big this fall. They are an all around better team.
 
2012-07-06 10:49:36 AM
What's interesting is that the Indianapolis Indians (the Pirates' AAA affiliate) are 12 games up in their division and kicking ass. I wonder if that means an influx of talent for Pittsburgh in the next couple of years?
 
2012-07-06 10:57:52 AM
is it interesting to anyone else that in both hockey and baseball, its a Washington vs. Pittsburgh thing?
 
2012-07-06 12:20:30 PM

misterblaine63: Hopefully, like last year, Jerry Meals will put an end to this fantasy of a winning baseball team in a city that clearly doesn't deserve to celebrate anything.

This is, after all, the city that cheers Big Ben.

Screw Pittsburgh.


You don't understand that 90% of Steelers fans don't like Ben. After the Georgia incident, many wanted him gone.

As for the Pirates, remember that they had one of the hardest schedules in MLB for the first two months. Part of the reason they weren't hitting is because they faced tough pitchers from tough teams. Now that their schedule has become comparatively easy, they are hitting. This team could be for real. July will tell the story.
 
2012-07-06 12:24:01 PM

bart2puck: is it interesting to anyone else that in both hockey and baseball, its a Washington vs. Pittsburgh thing?


We're still bitter about that whole Whiskey tax thing.
 
2012-07-06 01:11:13 PM

Great_Milenko: DiamondDave: misterblaine63: Hopefully, like last year, Jerry Meals will put an end to this fantasy of a winning baseball team in a city that clearly doesn't deserve to celebrate anything.

This is, after all, the city that cheers Big Ben.

Screw Pittsburgh.

Yes, we cheer a top flight QB that has taken us to three Super Bowls. How silly of us.

I think he's referring to the whole serial rapist thing.


To be a serial rapist, don't you actually have to rape someone?

Never arrested, or charged. Not so much as a fingerprint or mug shot.
 
2012-07-06 01:30:09 PM

DiamondDave: Great_Milenko: DiamondDave: misterblaine63: Hopefully, like last year, Jerry Meals will put an end to this fantasy of a winning baseball team in a city that clearly doesn't deserve to celebrate anything.

This is, after all, the city that cheers Big Ben.

Screw Pittsburgh.

Yes, we cheer a top flight QB that has taken us to three Super Bowls. How silly of us.

I think he's referring to the whole serial rapist thing.

To be a serial rapist, don't you actually have to rape someone?

Never arrested, or charged. Not so much as a fingerprint or mug shot.


What industrial strength fingerprint remover might look like

www.xconomy.com

//Winning isn't everything, it's the ONLY thing
 
2012-07-06 01:32:05 PM
i.imgur.com

The interesting thing about this picture is, the last time the Buccos were playing this well, you could buy this game in the store.
 
2012-07-06 01:57:54 PM

bart2puck: is it interesting to anyone else that in both hockey and baseball, its a Washington vs. Pittsburgh thing?


Baseball? Pirates v Nats is a big rivalry?
 
2012-07-06 02:07:46 PM
I think it's obvious. The leadership in the clubhouse from the 'team first' A.J. Burnett has made all the difference. A real class act that guy is. If they win their division, I expect a street in pittsburgh named after him. The world series? A double life size bronze statue in front of city hall. And when he retires as a pirate (despite being coveted by oh, let's say 25 teams or so), not only must they retire his number but serious consideration needs to be given to the idea of just straight-up disbanding.

/loves me some A.J.
 
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