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Looking over the meassage boards I am seeing threads here and there about the Pirates. I figure because of all the threads and the fact that Spring Training has begun it was time for me to start the Official 2014 Pirates Thread.

This thread is for discussing day to day Bucco talk; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

We make predictions before the season starts, we discuss players perfomance, and we root for our Buccos.

I am looking forward to another great year.....of banter here on HPA!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nah.....only doubled it!

That is one thing i miss about living near and working in the city, I could go to games 7 days a week if I wanted.

Going to a game form here takes planning.
 

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I'm starting to go through withdrawal symptoms right now! March 31st can't come soon enough for me.

On the positive side of things, we have quite a few of our key position players returning for 2014 (Pedro, Marte, Cutch, Walker, and Martin)

The first base/right field situation still concerns me a bit at the moment. I have a little more faith in the Sanchez/Lambo platoon at first than I do in the Tabata/Snyder platoon in right. Regardless, I'm a little disappointed that the Bucs didn't make any real efforts to improve these two positions in the off-season.

Probably more concerning to me is how the rotation will hold up with the loss of AJ. I will say that at age 37, I don't think he was worth the $16 million he got in Philly to the Bucs, but his loss will certainly hurt the rotation IMO. I would have liked to see the Bucs go after a viable starter in the off season to replace AJ. Volquez was not the answer. He has had some serious struggles as of late and posted one of the worst ERAs in MLB for SD last year, which is considered a very pitcher friendly park. Perhaps the Bucs are really counting on Tailon coming up in June?
 

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I saw my first Pirates game in Forbes Field in 1966 in the lower level on the third base side. They were playing the Cards and it rained. Watching them cover and uncover the field was amazing to this then 17 year old. My first Steelers game was also in Forbes but in 1955. I saw the Bucs play in the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s, but I have never been to PNC park. I saw some awesome baseball over the years. I think I might have to make the drive out to see them again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Esox_Hunter said:
Regardless, I'm a little disappointed that the Bucs didn't make any real efforts to improve these two positions in the off-season.
It was reported that they approached Josh Johnson with an $8M-1yr deal but he went to the Padres because it is more pitcher friendly. It was also reported that they offered James Loney almost exactly what he re-signed in Tampa for. Think about it, money is the same and you don't have to move your family or leave a team you are already familiar with. Additionally they did offer AJ $12M but he wasn't interested.

I do think they made a mistake not offering AJ the qualifing offer. Face it, it was probably too much but you have a veteran leader who can pitch 200 innings and yea you're overpaying him a little but it was worth it. Now on the other hand they save that money and can use it for other things, Huntington better put it to good use at mid-season or he may be out.

G-Daddy do yourself a HUGE favor and get to PNC Park for some games. I haven't been to too many parks but I can't believe you'll find one much better than PNC.
 

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Absobucnlutely! 'Ol Bubblegum sure has a lingo all of his own. My opinion is that the Bucco's are going to be in decent shape this year IF they get some starting pitching help by mid-season. I think Wandy will be on the DL by May, I hope I am wrong. Listening to some of the guys on MLB, they say that a pitcher can overcome shoulder soreness without surgery but soreness in the elbow or forearm without surgery is a whole other story. Tallion will mostly be up by July.

The way that Bubblegum and Huntington are talking Polanco will be up by summer, so right field shouldn't be an issue. Sanchez shed some weight over the winter so maybe that'll help him produce a little more. A lot of If's but it doesn't matter, baseball is almost here and the Bucco's will have another winning season!

GDaddy, please do yourself a favor and get to PNC to see at least one game because once you do, it will not be your last. Although I think that prices on tickets and food might have changed a wee bit since Forbes Field days
but you won't regret it. I'm partial to certain seats but honestly there isn't a bad seat in the joint. Friday night free t-shirt night and in the summer, it can't be beat.

Raise it!
 

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CuttnRun said:
Sanchez shed some weight over the winter so maybe that'll help him produce a little more
Funny story, 2 years ago, we went to wrigley in september to watch the bucs play. first time ever there, it was awesome. we got there right when the gates opened and watched all the warmups. My wife, who played sports all her life, including college, but really doesnt care to follow professional sports. Gaby Sanchez walked by, who was in his dumpier state, and she looked at me and said "Is that guy a player? He's huge" he did look enormous.i did read where he took 10 days off after the season and has been working out ever since.
I think they will be fine once all the pieces start to fall into place. But i am also disappointed they didnt make any attempt to make a splash. i am not one for 35 yr old free agents, but to try and trade and snag someone. Dustin Ackley for Seattle comes to mind. former batting leader in college, hasnt really carried it to the majors seattle seems to have an abundance of 1B/OF and Cano roaming 2B now. they would have to give up alittle but try to make a baseball deal like that. That said, i'm really excited again, hopefully they can carry some of the momentum from last season, into this year.
 

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good ole boy said:
I hope your right but I have my doubts.
My God man, are you really a fan of the Bucco's? You haven't said one positive thing on any of the Pirate threads. There were a lot of doubters last year and they proved you ALL wrong. Come on man have some faith.
 

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I think Lambo deserves a chance at 1B after hitting 30+ homers last yr. Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams were both given chances with STL. If he gives you GI Jones production from last year platooned with Gaby great. Then pick up a 1B at the deadline.

As for RF, this is the last shot for Snider and Tabata to show they are more than just a 4th outfielder. All reports on Polanco indicate that he has more ceiling than our MVP CF. He has filled out his frame over the last few years. I remember seeing him in a ST game and he hit 2-3 balls in the gap to the track in Right CF. He just looked like a ball player. Im looking forward to seeing him come up but Ive heard he is a head case.

I would have liked to see the Bucs get another starter but they seem to keep thinking they are going to find magic in a bottle again like they did with AJ and Liriano.

BW said before that they did attempt to get Loney and Josh Johnson. Both took nearly identical money to go where they wanted to.

Im glad they have a plan that they are sticking with and they aren't just throwing money at Matt Morris or Pat Mears or Jason Kendall for the sake of throwing money away.

Lets Go Bucs
 

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I say 162-0 this year.....this is the year we go all the way all the way all the way!!!!!
 

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treestand91 said:
I say 162-0 this year.....this is the year we go all the way all the way all the way!!!!!
There it is, the post I was waiting on. I say 80 and 82. They fare better if the 1b/RF issues are resolved with some pop.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
They tried to get him for less (Similar to Tabata or Dexter Fowler) but he refused the other two offers.

This is a very good signing in my opinion. Marte's ceiling is higher yet.

Once Polanco gets up here (who they say has a higher ceiling then Marte) that is one heck of an outfield.

ESPN right now is doing a ranking of the top ten players at each position.

CF: McCutchen #2 (#1 Mike Trout, down from #1 )
2B: Walker #8 (Up from #13 in 2013)
3B Alvarez #10 (Up from #15)
LF: Marte #8 (Up from #23)
C: Martin #10 (Up from #15)
LHP: Lariano #10 (Up from #41)

Gerrit Cole ranked #64 in the top 100, that is up from #500 in 2013.

None of this means much overall but it is nice to see a lot of the core players there. No shocker there is no one from SS, 1B, or RF on the list. Seems to be traditional Pirate weaknesses.
 

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They def. need to get something outta 1B or RF. Every other relevant team has their RF or 1B hitting 3rd-5th. Lambo is starting out in AAA again.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I agree about Alvarez.

There has been talk about the Pirates extending him but I don't see him going for it. He will get a $100M plus somewhere in the AL.

I hate losing that power but he bats .230 and committed 27 errors last season. If those improved even a little bit I say it is worth an extension.

Not like the one Miguel Cabrera just signed (10 years/$292M) that's nuts. Cabrera is the second best in the game right now in my opinion.
 
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