heads into offseason with plenty to work on

Pittsburgh heads into offseason with plenty to work on

PITTSBURGH (AP) Clint Hurdle has gained an appreciation for advanced metrics during his six seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The manager, though, doesn’t need to dive too deeply into the numbers to figure out where his team went wrong in 2016.

“The game will always start with pitching,” Hurdle said. “Always has, always will. If you look at it any other way, I think you’re confused.”

There was no confusion about what happened in Pittsburgh over the summer, when a bid for a fourth straight playoff berth cratered underneath the weight of a starting rotation that failed to live up to the standards set by its predecessors and a bullpen that faltered in crucial moments. The Pirates finished 18th in the majors in ERA (4.21), a full run a game higher than they allowed while winning 98 games in 2015. Happ last winter led Pittsburgh to take fliers on erratic veterans Jon Niese, Juan Nicasio and Ryan Vogelsong in the hopes pitching coach Ray Searage could replicate the magic that rejuvenated the careers of players like Burnett and Francisco Liriano. It simply didn’t work. Niese was back with the New York Mets by August. Liriano was shipped to Toronto at the trade deadline following a nightmarish loss in form. Nicasio finished the year as a reliever and Vogelsong looked every bit his age as the 39 year old went 0 3 with a 7.48 ERA over the final month.

How shaky was the rotation for the Pirates? Jeff Locke led them in innings pitched (127 1/3) and he spent the second half of the season as a long reliever.

“We took some chances on things early that didn’t work out as anticipated,” Hurdle said. “We’re well aware of what we need to do to improve to be a championship caliber team.”

The goal over the winter will be figuring out how to get there in a typically competitive division that spent 2016 watching the Chicago Cubs become a distant spec on the horizon while they won the NL Central by an astounding 17 games.

Some takeaways from six months of middling baseball that offered glimpses of http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ promise and concern in near equal measure.

THE CUTCH QUANDRY: Pittsburgh’s rise to contender coincided with star centerfielder Andrew McCutchen’s evolution into one of the game’s best players. The 2013 NL MVP, however, never found a rhythm in 2016. His.256 batting average marked a career low and he struck out a career high 143 times. He’s about to enter the final year of his contract and the Pirates front office has shown it won’t hesitate to deal away favorite sons if necessary. They did it a year ago when second baseman Neil Walker entering his final season of arbitration was sent to New York in exchange for Niese.

Asked on Sunday if expected to be back in 2017, McCutchen took a pragmatic approach.

“I mean I’m under contract with them right?” McCutchen said. “So that’s the way I’m looking at it but like I said, I don’t align the stars, I’m not the person who controls all that.”

PROSPERING PROSPECTS: Two years removed from Tommy John surgery that threatened his development, Jameson Taillon looked like a top end starter while going 5 4 with a 3.38 ERA in 18 starts. Perhaps the most encouraging sign is Taillon’s durability. He threw a combined 165 innings between the minors and the majors and didn’t give up more than three runs in five September starts.

Tyler Glasnow’s introduction to the majors was a bit rockier but he’ll have all offseason to work on his mechanics and should arrive for spring training with a spot in the rotation as his to lose. First baseman Josh Bell brought a needed jolt of energy in 45 games, hitting.273 with three home runs and showed impressive plate discipline drawing 21 walks against 19 strikeouts.

“I like the fact that we’ve got young some really good young players in place for some time together,” Hurdle said. “I think it bodes well for us.”

WATSON’S WORKLOAD: The Pirates raised eyebrows when they sent All Star closer Mark Melancon to Washington before the trade deadline and longtime apprentice Tony Watson dealt with some issues after moving from his set up role to the back end of the bullpen. He blew four of his 19 save chances after taking over, including one in what became an 8 7 extra inning loss to the Cubs on Aug. 29 that sent Pittsburgh into an eight game skid from which it never fully recovered. He’ll almost certainly arrive in Bradenton as the closer, with Felipe Rivero acquired from the Nationals expected to become the setup man full time.

BIG SPENDERS? Ivan Nova looked right at home in PNC Park after coming over from the cheap jerseys New York Yankees. Nova went 5 2 with a 3.06 ERA for the Pirates, who are aggressively trying to court Nova to stick around before he hits free agency. With a thin class to compete against, however, Nova won’t come cheap on the open market. He may, however, be Pittsburgh’s best bet to give Taillon and Gerrit Cole who battled injuries all season some help at the top of the rotation.

Pittsburgh artist creates

Pittsburgh artist creates

PITTSBURGH This is not your average Barbie doll at least not the one with the impossibly elongated proportions, likely to be found floating in your 4 year old daughter’s bathtub. And it’s all thanks to Nickolay Lamm, a 24 year old Greenfield artist and researcher. “If http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ Barbie looks good as an average woman and even there’s a small chance of Barbie influencing young girls, why can’t we come out with an average sized doll?” Mr. Lamm lamented on the phone recently. “Average is beautiful.” Mr. Lamm is a man with a mission: “to raise awareness about issues I care about,” he said, from our thin obsessed culture to global warming. He seems to have found the perfect job to do that. Those images in turn get picked up on media websites, spurring commentary and maybe even outrage and gets the aggregators a mention. Mr. “It’s kind of cool.” Maybe, but Mattel officials have been silent and didn’t return a call requesting comment. They haven’t sued, either, because “Average Barbie” is not for sale. Mr. Lamm created it from a three dimensional model, using measurements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for an average 19 year old girl, and then photoshopped the image. “If I tried to sell an ‘Average Barbie,’ I’d call it something different, obviously,” Mr. Lamm said. “They haven’t contacted me, and I’m pretty sure they want this story to go away.” Mattel is probably not sweating it too much. Barbie dolls have sold in the millions if not billions since her unveiling in 1959. That organization posted an online information campaign: “Dying to be Barbie: Eating Disorders in the Pursuit of the Impossible,” which included an infographic showing how Mattel’s Barbie would, indeed, be impossible in real life, with a 16 inch waist that is smaller than her head, and a head far too big for her tiny neck. There would be no room in her midsection for internal organs. Her legs are 50 percent longer than her arms, compared to the average woman’s legs, which are 20 percent longer than her arms. In fact, her ankles are so tiny she would have to crawl rather than walk. Still, in a culture where four out of five 10 year old girls say they worry about being “fat,” according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Barbie is still a big item on little girls’ cheap jerseys wish lists. president, etc.). There are Barbies for almost every country, for every profession, even “University” Barbies (“Touchdown! In her school colors of crimson and cream, Barbie(R) doll is dressed to cheer on a Sooner victory,” reads the blurb for University of Oklahoma Barbie). “One of the reasons Mattel has done nothing is because Barbie continues to sell,” noted Christine Whelan, visiting assistant professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, who specializes in body image issues and the sociology of gender. “If their business model were suffering they would do something about it.” Cultural norms for feminine beauty have gone through fat and thin cycles over the ages, she added. In the 1880s, as American society became more affluent, a voluptuous body became a sign of status, and women worried about being too thin. “I have a poster in my office from the late 19th century advertising Corpula tablets, guaranteed to fatten you up,” Ms. Whelan said. In the ’20s, a thin, boyish “flapper” style emerged, to be replaced during World War II and afterwards with the hourglass shape, and then, in the 1960s, a youthful, boyish figure was suddenly in again remember Metrecal, baby boomers? But in this era of cheap, readily available high calorie food, a new paradox has emerged. Being thin is still in, even as Americans have gotten heavier every year with no change in sight. “It costs more to eat less and go to the gym and have all the social support necessary to be skinny,” Ms. Whelan said. “Skinny is a luxury item it means you can afford to eat more fresh vegetables.” The average sized woman, she said, is a size 14, “which would not have been considered average 30 years ago, but would have been 100 years ago. The thin body image is here to stay.” For mothers hoping to counter that message, good luck: “Average Barbie” is, as of now, just a mirage on your computer screen.

Pitt County debates putting body cams on deputies

Pitt County debates putting body cams on deputies

PITT COUNTY Body cameras are technology that will protect citizens and officers alike. Greenville Police Department already has them and has already ordered more; the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office is ready to get on board, but with a few hesitations. Greenville officers have had them for cheap jerseys two years. Now the push to implement them across Pitt County is underway.

County Commissioner Glen Webb is the President Elect of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners. with them and the topic made its way to the forefront. was to let our congressional leaders know, great, they give grants for the equipment, but we also need grants for the http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ storage. This is a big expense for local government,” Webb said.

Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks says he would need about 150 cameras to outfit his deputies, each one costing nearly $1,000.

“They are not cheap they are expensive and it cost a lot of money to outfit the officers with them,” Webb said.

But the big expense is not elks’ only hesitation.

“It’s very serious. So I could come in and fake a call, when we go to somebody’s house, we’re walking with the body cameras and the next thing you know, they’re asking for a copy of that tape, get the whole layout of the inside of the house. You know, that’s talking to the extreme, but at the same time, that’s how serious these are the cameras are,” Elks said.

Elks says the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association has urged all offices to lay out specific privacy policies for the body cam footage before implementing them. Right now, the footage would be available to the public through the Public Information Act.

The Greenville Police Department’s existing policy to deal with cam footage says if the footage is part of an active or ongoing investigation, they cannot release it. Also, if the footage is part of an internal investigation, personnel file, they cannot release it without the officer’s consent.

Pitching trade rumors are heating up

Pitching trade rumors are heating up

PITTSBURGH The non waiver trade deadline is 35 days away, which means rumor season is heating up.

The Boston Globe reported the Pittsburgh Pirates have scouted right handed starter Clay Buchholz with the idea of making a deal for him before the July 31 deadline.

Buchholz turns 31 cheap jerseys in August and makes $12 million this year. If he arrived in time for the second half of the season, his new team would owe him $6 million and hold options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million per year.

By current standards, those salary figures are very manageable for an experienced starting pitcher. The Pirates would like to bolster this year starting staff, but it doubtful they be interested in acquiring a short term rental like Cincinnati Johnny Cueto, who will hit the free agent market this winter. Burnett follows through on his announced plans to retire after this season.

Buchholz has had some highs and lows in his career with the Red Sox.

Buchholz is 5 6 this season with a 3.68 earned run average. His WHIP is 1.29 in 15 starts. He walked 23 batters and struck out 91 in 93 innings.

If the Red Sox did consider trading him, what would they want? Most likely Boston would seek a package of prospects, including at least one significant player, and perhaps two. He would not come cheap.

Because of Buchholz age, experience and reasonable contract, the Red Sox will probably have multiple offers for him.

Whether they willing to deal remains to be seen.

Although he not inclined to reveal any secrets, manager Clint Hurdle said general manager Neal Huntington keeps him informed on trade talks.

involved directly and probably case specifically through the major league level, he said. comes up, when it comes up, I get a look http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ at it or a conversation about it. sits

Starling Marte was absent from the starting lineup for Thursday series finale against the Reds.

played the lion share of the games, so we giving him a break tonight, Hurdle said.

Gregory Polanco moved to left field, Josh Harrison played right field and Jung Ho Kang returned to the starting lineup at third base.

Kang has played both shortstop and third base. Hurdle thinks he adequate at either position, but better at third.

Pitchers push Reds win streak to three

Pitchers push Reds win streak to three

Jeff Heidema, Mark Trimble and Curtis Taylor all chalked up clutch wins this past week for the Coquitlam Reds. Premier Baseball League standings.

On Monday, they clinched a playoff berth by blasting the White Rock Tritons 7 3, with Heidema tossing a solid six 1/3 innings. The club erupted for six runs in the third to erase a 2 0 hole, with Tyler Yorko who had three hits on the day delivering a two run double.

A day later, Coquitlam faced http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ off against fifth place Abbotsford and pulled off a 6 4 decision over the Cardinals. Mark Trimble displayed terrific control, fanning seven and walking just one in a complete game win.

Trailing 2 1, the Reds’ bats drummed up five runs in the bottom of the third. Darren Honeysett’s two run double proved to be the big hit, while Aydan Smith recorded three hits and two RBI.

On Wednesday, the squad maintained that momentum by dumping the Whalley Chiefs 41, behind the sharp pitching of Curtis Taylor.

Taylor went five innings and held the Chiefs to just three hits. He was ahead before he faced his first batter, as Coquitlam racked up six runs in the top of the first inning.

Jordan Zazulak laced a two run double as part of that quick start, while Max Hollingworth drove in another run with a single.

The outfielder would expand the club’s lead in the third with a towering home run, finishing 2 for 2 with a stolen base.

Mitchell Jackman also posted two hits, as Coquitlam improved to 24 21. The wins boosted the club’s cheap jerseys chances of finishing in sixth place or possibly fifth spot and avoiding a match up against either Langley or Nanaimo, who are duelling for first place.

“We got three big innings with the bats, and it was nice that none of them were cheap innings,” noted manager Kyle Williams. “We’ve had innings where we score a handful of runs through the other team’s errors and walks, but all of these were from our own hitters.”.