To begin,I would like to thank all of you that posted,instant messaged,emailed and talked to me last night and this afternoon to offer your condolences on Chancellor's passing.
On behalf of myself,Cherie,Ryan and Rachel-Thank you all for your kind words.
They have been greatly appreciated by all of us.
Now back to catching up.
The last I posted ,the Pirates had lost their first game back since the All-Star break.
Since then,that losing streak has extended to 6 and the ridiculous talk of a .500 season or rallying for a divisional run is now history.
I thought it was a fantasy at best,but sometimes one can dream.
But in one week it is all extinguished.
After dropping 3 games to the Braves at Turner Field,the Buccos returned home to drop 3 more to the Rockies.
Today's 5-3 loss had some controversy as Ian Snell accused the Rockies of sign stealing.
I am not sure how much I believe that,but the game was not televised,so I cannot say that I know.
But Snell,now 7-7, is one of the few on this team that actually seems to care,so I will back him on this one.
Ian Snell is the type of fiery player that this team needs more of and I will take any little bit of fire and concern on the Pirates that I can get,even if it could be misguided.
The Bucs did have two homers in the game from Adam LaRoche (14th) and Freddy Sanchez (4th).
In my opinion,Jim Tracy has lost his ball club.
He has his best player in a miserable slump (Jason Bay),his pitching coach arguing with position players (a new one to me),a losing streak filled with uninspired play and after a meeting with his "team Leaders" that included B.P.Chacon!? resulted in another poor effort.what else can I say?
Show me one thing that would make you think that Jim Tracy can turn this around.
I do not see it in any way.
From effort to morale to games won,I see no hope under this regime.
However,I am not sure if anyone changes things from the outside either.
Think about this-Who is available that changes things that can take the team over in mid-season?
Joe Girardi?He turned down Baltimore,who will spend far more than the Bucs,why would he take this team?
Dusty Baker? I like Dusty a lot,but he is a better manager with a veteran,contending team,than any other types,look at his lack of success in Chicago.
So,sadly,as much as I think Tracy is a failure,I see no alternative that will improve this team.
If you want to fire him and give it to a coach to run the season out and hope things change,be my guest,but I don't believe it changes the won-loss record all that much.
Today's Pirate notebook in the Post Gazette has a few belly laughs.
Captain Dave has no worries about his future.(Oh boy) and since he is not worried,he is starting talks to extend B.P. Chacon's contract.(Double Oh Boy).
So IF the Captain gets the axe over the winter,he gets a bit of revenge on the new hire by saddling him with B.P.Chacon's new long term contract.
Now the Captain-We can fire ANYTIME!!!!!!!!!!
The Pirates did sign Daniel Moskos and are sending him to Bradenton.
Good news? He may go to Hickory after that,so I might see him pitch and get a card signed.
Bad news?He still wont be Matt Wieters........
Anyone out there outside of Don Kelly's family or fellow Butler Pa native Battlin Bob excited about his return to Pittsburgh.
During Hiatus-I did get to see the Hamilton Tiger-Cats game vs Montreal.
They not only scored some touchdowns,they rallied to make the Alouettes sweat a bit before succumbing 29-20.
Timmy Chang came off the bench to fire a TD pass to Brock Ralph and moved the Cats down the field for a follow-up field goal to get within 6 points.
No word on whether Chang or Jason Maas will start in this weeks expected blood letting at the 3-0 and defending Grey Cup Champion BC Lions at Vancouver.
The Cats wore these new Yellow jerseys.
Not bad,but I will take the traditional Black.
Note to the Cats-If you use the Yellow jerseys-outline the numbers in thicker black instead of thin style
Makes them easier to see!
Was at tonight's Hagerstown Suns-Lexington Legends game,which was won by Lexington 6-4 in 10 innings.
Very impressed by Lexington lefty starter David Qualben.
Qualben throws around 90 and has a deadly pickoff move,tonight he picked off 3 runners and had Koby Clemens not dropped a throw,would have had a 4th.
Keep an eye on David Qualben for those of you in Fantasy leagues that have minor leaguers.
On the signing front.
I missed two of the 3 Lake County games.If that does not tell you about the issues around this house,nothing does,as I miss a Hickory or Lake County visit only when I HAVE to.
Any way I only needed 2 Lake County guys and got them both.
Paolo Espino and Carlton Smith were both able to sign cards, Espino for me and Smith for Ryan and the visiting (and new reader) Jeff Boone.
Thanks to both for the help.
Have gotten all the Lexington players in their team set,except for one.
I do not expect to get Jhon Florentino,as his signing hand is in a cast.
Oh,well maybe next year at Salem.
A very good signing team for the most part,with a star given to outfielder Drew Holder and Tallmadge Ohio's Brandon Caipen.
I talked to Brandon for a few minutes about Tallmadge,very nice guy.
Tallmadge always has a place (although not a special one) in mine and Cherie's life for an event that happened 20 years ago.
Maybe I will write about that on a slow day.
Wonder if one of our readers,Becky,remembers that event in Tallmadge???
So,only one guy to get over the next two games-the newest Sun-catcher John Poppert.
The Suns will be on the road after that until July 30th,when they take on the Augusta Greenjackets.
Augusta is a Giants farm team.
Welcome to two new readers-the aforementioned Jeff Boone and Bill Cover.
Both are great guys and I have gotten to know them through autograph collecting at different games.
Welcome aboard guys!
I think that catches us up a bit.
Dont forget to vote in the football poll,close voting thus far!!!!!
One more thing,Bob,you have anything to add on the Pirates???
Moskos and the Captain-Peter Diana-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Timmy Chang-Hamilton Spectator
Battlin Bob-Ryan Heimberger