Big Lead Sports Bar



The Buck Commander will be reunited with old teammate Jason Bay, as Adam LaRoche has apparently been dealt to the Boston Red Sox. That's all the details I have for now, but regardless of who the Pirates get back in return, this should be cause for the third sports-related parade through the streets of Pittsburgh.

Check back soon to find out the Buccos' return.


It looks like your new Pirates are SS Argenis Diaz and P Hunter Strickland. Give me some time to do a little digging on this dynamic duo.



Hunter Strickland:

"Tall righty with projectable frame. Fastball sits about 88-91 mph, topping out around 93. Fastball is a little flat, but shows some good movement when he takes something off of it. Strickland has a slow, easy delivery without much explosion at the moment. Good balance. Also works in a 79-82 mph slurve along with a change that sits at 83-85 mph. Changeup could stand to have some more separation from his fastball, look for that to be an area of improvement in 2009.Repeats delivery well, needs to work on his release point to improve his command. His father played in the Tigers organization."

Argenis Diaz:

"Diaz is an elite defensive shortstop, and if he improves his concentration on routine plays, he could compete for a gold glove in the bigs right now. He has plus range, excellent footing, an impressive glove, and an outstanding arm. Makes impossible plays in the field. However, he does make a lot of errors on off-the-mark long throws off of grounders that he has no business getting to in the first place. He also really struggles with routine plays on occasion, almost as if he has a mental block. That is a definite area in need of improvement. The other key for Diaz is how much he will hit. He's a slap hitter with below average to average on base ability and without much power, but he's swung the bat very well during a few prolonged stints here and there. Good bat speed through the zone. Struggles with advanced off-speed stuff. Can show lack of plate discipline in stretches. Hits lefties significantly better than righties. Excellent at laying down bunts. Won't steal a lot of bases."

Red Sox Acquire Adam LaRoche [MLB Trade Rumors]

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AJ said...

Ha... still chuckling at the third parade joke. Well played, Don.

Unknown said...

my blood pressure has somehow gone down already.

BurressWithButterflywings said...


BurressWithButterflywings said...

wow. Absolutely nothing impressive about either of these guys..... not saying there was much to write home about on Hans Klopek either.

Steve said...

Hi there Argenis...(I mean, Mr. Wilson's replacement). Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates (I mean your nightmare).

Now the Pirates can finally make the other meaningless trade for Jack and get a Mr. Sanchez replacement.

Seriously, any player currently on this team, or will be on the roster 2 years from now will never, ever be a part of a championship caliber team in Pittsburgh, so why even put names on their uniforms. Just wearing Dave Parker masks and the identifiers SS, LF, etc. would be more than adequate.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

No doubt Garrett Jones will be falling out the Pirates plans sooner than later.

Once they deal Wilson and Sanchez next week the payroll will be sitting at roughly 28 Million. NICE!

Judge Smailes said...

I notice alot of hate towards the Pirates by commenters on this blog. Certainly 17 losing seasons and counting will do that, but I think this front office deserves a chance. They were left with nothing and are trying. They were lucky to get a bag of balls for LaRoche. BTW, I remember another Pittsburgh franchise at the beginning of this decade that was trading away all its talent (Jagre, Kovalev, Straka, etc.) for worthless prospects to slash payroll. I also don't think anyone cared at the time because there were less than 10,000 people a night to see Ramzi Abid and Kris Beech skating for the Penguins. Of course now this is the new version of Hockey Town. Just goes to show that if the Pirates could ever turn it around, all the haters would be there telling everyone how they stuck by the Pirates through thick and thin.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

I do not consider myself a hater, I consider myself a REALIST.

I love the Pirates. I would love to see the Pirates prove me wrong and win. I would love nothing more than for them be a contender, but I call a spade a spade. Comparing the Penguins' and Pirates' recent situations is like comparing apples and oranges IMHO. 1.) The Pens had a few down years, not 17 in a row; mind you they had made the playoffs 11 straight seasons and 12 of 13 prior to that. 2.) The Pens were in serious financial straits (along with others in the NHL at the time) and were not turning out a sizeable yearly profit while dumping their next big player year after year after year for ZERO return. They simply couldnt afford what they had, they didn't sell a guy to the fans as the next face of the franchise and then promptly ship him off for a couple of maybes.

So until the Pens dump everyone they have right now, concoct 10 5-year plans in a 10 year span,adhere to none of them, and do it all after promising a better product in a new stadium/arena with nothing to show for going on 9 seasons now, then we could compare these two franchises.

Until then, go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here!

AJ said...

Great point Judge. Compare a franchise that was driven into bankruptcy by poor ownership and struggling with a bloated lease on a 30 year old arena versus a team that pulls in 30 million bucks a year and has the nicest tax payer funded stadium in the league. Your comparison is spot on.

And you're totally right, nobody at all complained when Jagr, Kovalev, and Stratka left... everybody was excited to see them leave.

Judge Smailes said...

No need to be a smartass. Look, my point was aimed at fans who take shots at every move this team makes. What do you want them to do? Do you really think they were going to build around LaRoche, McLouth and Morgan? It seems like this front office is actually doing something to try to make this team better in the long run. It may not work, but I'd rather see this approach than signing Reggie Sanders and Sean Casey just to appease the fans.
As to the Penguins, the quality of the two franchises is not up for debate. But the fans' approaches to the two teams are certainly comparable. During the lean times the Penguins have had, the team received very little support.

Jeff_King_Fan said...


johnny said...


I see your point that you are trying to make and I would like to find some middle ground. First, I will wait a little longer to bag on current management, since they have shown increased ability to draft and sign players the last two seasons and seem to be making a good faith effort with Cano in the Dominican. Granted, I still would have taken Posey over Alvarez, but Alvarez looks to have found his bat in Altoona recently.

However, the flaw with comparing them to the Pens is that the Pens, as was noted, were playing towards a future where they could be competitive under a new CBA with a salary cap and they have drafted and developed better.

Granted, taking Sid was a fortuitous no-brainer, but they were in a position where they traded up to get MAF, had a near 100% probability of getting Ovie or Malkin thanks to their rebuilding, and took Staal at 19 overall.

In addition, they took guys like Letang, Talbot, etc. in later rounds and have made good trades that have already panned out at the club level.

Stated differently, the Baby Pens have shown that they can develop the talent that the organization drafts, while the Pirates farm system seems to be an abyss.

BURGH08 said...

I think a realist view is to accept to a degree getting LaRoche off the books with Boston paying for the salary is a good deal.

I also think a realist view to not give a rats ass about Boston taking the salary because the money won't likely be used to improve the product here in Pittsburgh.

As for 'taking shots at every move this team makes', they deserve any dosage of sarcasm, bitterness, and laughter a fan base wants to inflict.

If someone steals my car, and later mails me the license plate, I'm still pissed the car is gone.

That's how I see Nutting's Pirates. LaRoche is simply the license plate.

Brian said...

I think in their Penthusiasm people forget how down everyone was on the Penguins a few years ago. Many people---including those in the media---didn't care whether the Pens left for Oklahoma City, or Kansas City, or Hamilton, or wherever. "Ooooh, how dare they want a new arena! They suck! They haven't made the playoffs in two years!!!"

For some reason people think Craig Patrick was a genius because of his trades in the early 90s. But those trades weren't genius, they were no-brainers. In the mid- and late-90s he never acquired a #1 defenseman, never got a goaltender after Barrasso and Wregget got old, and never addressed other needs the teams had. Judge is right to point out all those no-name players the Penguins signed and all those rinky-dink deadline deals for players who would be gone four weeks later. LOL @ Dan Kesa.

But, you can't be down on people for being sick of the Pirates. This is ridiculous. But not only does it demonstrate how incompetent people at all levels of the Pirates' organization have been, it shows how much baseball needs a salary cap. There's really no point in even trying to field a Major League team when the big teams can spend on two star players what you spend on your whole roster.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Well, I personally take anything that the local media says and does with a grain of salt a lot of the time.

I don't mind the LaRoche trade, I can't believe someone was moronic enough to take on his salary. It is just the front that is put up that puts me off personally. They say one thing and do another. Everyone cites McLouth's .260 career average but nobody talks about the fact that he was the only power guy we had.

I won't miss Adam LaRoche, although ESPN and Peter Gammons reported last night that the Bucs had been offered more in terms of talent but from others but the Sox were the only team willing to take on the entire salary so there you go.

Steve said...

I won't miss LaRoche either, just like I won't miss Diaz, Moss, Jones, Sanchez or any other temporary roster spot filler this team trots out. Don't care if they're good or not as it doesn't really matter.

Yup, it's definately about the money and I can't wait for ticket prices to increase next season even after the Pirates slash the payroll to league lowest.

Hmmm, I wonder when is Cris Crocker or some other overly optimistic Pirates fan is going to do a video dressed in a Doumit shirt yelling and crying at people like me to leave the Pirates alone?

That carrot Nutting is hanging in starving faces of the die-hard fans must be a good one.

Judge Smailes said...

I think a few of you missed my point, probably because I didn't really articulate it well. Let me try again-- almost everything this franchise has done over the past 17 years has been indefensible. The Littlefield era was pathetic. While I understand the frustration, the moves this front office has made seem to make sense from a baseball perspective. In fact, articles written by "baseball people" (who apparantly know everything) indicate that some of these moves were very good. My initial comment was that no matter what the Pirates do, some folks on this site and others automatically write it off. I guess we are all gun shy by the boneheaded things this franchise has done in the past, but I sense they are starting to do the right thing. For those of you who just can't brings yourselves to trust anything they do, I wonder what you would if you were suddenly put in charge of the Pirates. The caveat is that you can't simply say "spend more money". If that's your answer, then who would your spend money on?

Jeff_King_Fan said...

i see what your saying. people are just tired of giving another management team all their faith and hope due to recent regimes. i think neal has a great goal in mind and has already made our farm system much better. time will tell, but i think hes lightyears ahead of littlefield & bonifay. remember, this guy did turn cleveland (similar market) into a powerhouse. have faith pirate fans, and remember only 7 1/2 games back in late July!!!!

BURGH08 said...

You actually can simply say 'spend more money', because any significant management move to upgrade the product has to have money infused in it.

The example was noted that better talent was reportedly offered to the Pirates for LaRoche, but with that paying some of his salary would have to happen.

Now, we don't know the details of that report, but if that is true, it's just another example of what is truly the motivation of this organization. It has little to do with actually winning.