Posted on: September 6, 2009 5:19 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2009 12:04 am

Pipe Down Philadelphia

  1. Last night (9/5/09), Ross Ohlendorf struck out the side against St. Louis in
    the 7th inning on just nine pitches.  It marked the 43rd time in
    Baseball history that the feat had been pulled off; and
    Ohlendorf became the 40th man to accomplish it. Card batters were K. Greene, J. Lugo and  J. La Rue)
  2. We'll be hearing a lot in the coming days about the Bucs having a losing record for 17 straight seasons, breaking the 16-year mark held by the Phillies.  Here is best how we Pirate fans can rebut:
(sort by W/L %)

11) Pirates 19,441GP 9,744W 9,561L (.505)

28) Phillies 19,288GP 9,022W 10,154L  (.470)

Only Padres and Devil Rays are worse than Phils, who are 115
years older than Tampa Bay and 86 years older than San Diego.  The best way to measure it: Philadelphia is 1,132 games below .500 and they would need to go unbeaten for 7 consecutive 162-game seasons to level the scales!
Posted on: March 9, 2009 6:57 am
Edited on: March 9, 2009 7:00 am

Bucs Aren't Looking This Gift Horse in the Mouth

Npho "Gift" Ngoepe is a 19-yo switch-hitting INF for South Africa in this year's edition of the World Baseball Classic and apparently in the Pirates farm system.  He's also a lifelong Oakland A's fan.

From InternationalPastime.com
The switch-hitting shortstop Ngoepe’ s signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates was somewhat overshadowed by the unusual (and seemingly quite gimmicky and desperate) signings of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, the two Indian pitchers who won a reality TV show to get their contracts. Ngpepe is viewed as a project, but has the most potential of reaching the majors of any player on South Africa’s roster. After the Classic, Ngoepe will likely be sent to the Pirates’ Single-A affiliate.

From SFGate.com
South Africa second baseman Npho "Gift" Ngoepe, 19, is a Sotho tribesman who grew up on a baseball field; his mother worked at the clubhouse in Randburg. He's also a longtime A's fan, and he wanted to see Giambi, Eric Chavez and Bobby Crosby.
"On PlayStation, I'll be like, 'Giambi's up, he hits all the home runs, that's big!' " Ngoepe said.



Based on this photo, he needs work on his fielding.
I guess there is something to be said for the Pirates finally addressing their need for better international scouting and talent development under Neal Huntington and Frank Coonelly, but I hope they are concentrating their efforts on the proven areas of Latin America and Asia.


Posted on: January 15, 2009 3:27 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2009 6:07 pm

So Glad Mike Tomlin Coaches My Favorite Team

Mike Tomlin is a wonderful coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  He has just the right personality for the job. He opened his press conference on Tuesday by saying with a wry smirk, "Greetings from the non-bird contingent of the final four. It's nice to be here."

I think the conferences are slated to go no further than 40-45 minutes each Tuesday at noon. He starts getting a little agitated around the 12:28 mark just about every week. For the most part of the regular season, they are done by just after 12:30. I think I've watched them all this season on FSN Pittsburgh (DirecTV Ch. 659), what else does a man currently employed by life have to do on Tuesday while enjoying his lunch?

Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin During Weekly News Conference January 13, 2009 (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)Anyway, this week about 12:35, some reporter I don't recognize (it was packed this week with a lot of non-regulars, thus longer than normal) asks about comments made by (un-named of course) veterans after the win over San Diego about him being a better coach in January of his second season as opposed to his rookie season last year and if he feels the same way about his performance? Tomlin has this nonsensical look in his face and replies rather tersely, "Frankly, I'm not interested in evaluating my own performance as a head coach, and I'm certainly not interested in discussing my players' evaluations of my job. It's my job to evaluate their performance just as there are others in this organization that evaluate mine!" By this point, he was kinda steamed and he wanted you to know it, but he did so without looking angry at all, and the room was busting up laughing. After a perfect pause, he finished it off with a great zinger to the reporter, "How's your editor doing (at his job)?"

I have read accounts that Tomlin does a crossword puzzle and the jumble daily. You can tell that he is a man of letters because he is great with the media each Tuesday. Tony Kornheiser heaped all kinds of praise on Tomlin during a Steelers Monday Night Football game earlier this season. Tomlin is humorous yet stern, candid yet reserved, confident in his team yet respectful of all their opponents. He's easy-going yet all-business, too. You can see why all kinds of players perform for him because he's so flexible, personality-wise. From my observation, he has this great presence on the sideline and locker room as well as in the media center.

I liked him the day the Steelers hired him and I grow to like him more and more as a coach with every passing game. I grow to like him more as a person with every passing press conference and interview.  And this week, a brief flash of seemingly-unassuming footage just strengthened my fondness for Mike Tomlin.

On Showtime's Inside the NFL this week, they opened the segment of highlights from the Steelers-Chargers AFC Divisional Playoff game with an NFL Films-shot from the 50 yd.-line; camera on the ground looking up right at Coach Tomlin, before kickoff and just after the team had charged, no pun intended, onto a frozen Heinz Field. He turned around both to face and take in the frenzied crowd; he breathed in the cold air enhanced by falling snow in the twilight.  If October's brown-dead ivy in Wrigley Field is the visual symbol to Cubs fans that it's the postseason taking place now, then the falling snow beneath a January steel-grey sky against a Heinz Field backdrop is the same to sons and daughters of Western Pennsylvania.  Last Sunday's snowflakes sparkled between tens of thousands of gold towels waving above tens of thousands of gold seats that would go practically unused throughout the game.

As Mike Tomlin appreciated this moment, he didn't gesture or play to the crowd--he isn't Ray Lewis and this isn't Baltimore. He just smiled proudly, then turned back to face the field, almost like a conductor would face his orchestra after greeting the audience, then the Head Coach took a deep breath and donned his headset. Another professional football postseason was about to begin at the confluence, and all seemed right in Pittsburgh.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com