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JoeyT: If the Pirates brass had some gumption, wouldn't trading Hanrahan for a solid bat be the right thing to do right now? If they have a surplus of anything, it is the back end of the bullpen. It would take guts being in the wild card lead, but could be beneficial quickly.
Bob Smizik: You have to remember the only teams looking for closers are those in contention. Most of them have closers. True, those closers might not be as good as Hanrahan, but I doubt there are many teams offering bats for Hanrahan. Very few contenders have surplus bats.
The teams with players to offer would not be interested in a closer who'll make about $6 million next year and then be a free agent.
Raisedin: Where are all the people who proclaimed Pittsburgh dead as a baseball town? I thought the Pens had swooped up the young generation. The Penguins would never come close to filling up PNC Park every night.
Bob Smizik: The Pirates have shown there still is great interest in winning baseball and that they have NOT lost a generation.
Realitycheck: Does Mike Wallace's agent do any research before advising his client? Recent history fact checking alone will tell you the Steelers don't treat players too kindly who do this kind of stuff.
Bob Smizik: Wallace has taken his stance. Let's see how it plays out. There won't likely be winners or losers.
BudS: What is better for Correia's career: stick with Bucs and pitch well out of pen or get traded to Cubs for three packs of spearmint gum and maybe start for them once they trade their top guys?
Bob Smizik: Correia is a free agent at the end of the season. If he is traded, his new team will have little bearing on his future.
PGPlus: Your take on the Pirates "giving away" yesterday's game by resting some starters? There are 162 games right?
Bob Smizik: I have no problem with Hurdle resting McCutchen. I think it is a good long-tern strategy. His was the only significant absence from yesterday's lineup.
MLB: Have the Pirates ever been as bad as the 2012 Astros in the past two decades? The 1985-86 squads maybe before that?
Bob Smizik: I think you'd have to go back to the early 50s to find a Pirates team as bad as the Astros are right now.
Smoltz: Bob - over the last 20 years we have been conditioned to accept a Pirate loss as normal. Now every loss sends me into a panic that the bottom is about to fall out on this amazing season. How would you rate the bucco's performance over the last two weeks with an eye towards that crucial series with the Reds?
Bob Smizik: I just read the Pirates have gone 12-7 and lost five games standings over the past 19. 12-7 s a 102-win pace. Can't fault the Pirates. The Reds have been sensational.
Smoltz: At what point in Rothlesberger's career will the Steelers start looking for his successor?
Bob Smizik: Not now, for sure. I'd say it is still at least three years away.
James Pittsburgh: The only deal that I see the Pirates making is a Ryan Ludwick type deal for an outfielder. Maybe they will add Victorino or an outfielder from the Angels. What are your thoughs Bob?
Bob Smizik: A Ludwick-type would fit this team perfectly. But as we know it didn't work well last year. There are no guarantees when you take a player for two months. I see them making a move but really have no idea in what direction they will go.
moral_compass: Bob, earlier last week you posted that you are rooting for PSU to succeed this year. You pretty much implied that the players are the victims against the NCAA sanctions. Don't you think you are marginalizing the true victims with this kind of sentiment? Overall, the PG has been very forgiving of PSU and seems to want to move on rather than provide any investigative reporting.
Bob Smizik: No, I do not think I am marginalizing the victims and I cannot fathom how you would think that. It is possible to have compassion for the victims and still think Penn State football was treated badly. I am amazed that people cannot grasp that.
Golf Doctor: Do you see crybaby Correia packaged in a deal prior to the deadline? Or will he be delegated to long relief throughout the playoffs?
Bob Smizik: There is no more long-held American tradition than complaining about your job. Everyone does it. I have no problem with Corriea, who made a brief statement about his unhappiness. He is not a crybaby.
Smoltz: Olympic fever has hit! As a long-time competitive swimmer, I find it interesting that Olympic coaches are never questioned in a society that is all to ready to throw a coach under the bus instead of a wide receiver making millions. Do you think it is just lack of knowledge of the sport by the general public? Or NBC's ability to paint a picture of a Michael Phelps/Ryan Lochte being perfect and unquestionable?
Bob Smizik: The Olympics are treated a bit differently than most sporting events, especially by the network carrying them. It's more about country and there's less criticism. I'm OK with that. I do think, though, that the swim announcers did not do a good job of informing their listeners last night. There was plenty of reason to question Lochte's place on the 400 relay and I don't believe a word was said about it. That's poor journalism.
Amos Otis: Is JMac so valuable, so untouchable that HE couldn't go to the bullpen for a couple of weeks. I know Correia is only average,but he is the hot hand at the moment...am i missing something?
Bob Smizik: I think the Pirates made the right decision to start McDonald yesterday. Not so sure about the next time.
Bill: At this point, for you Bob...is everyone on the block? I think Cole is proving to be the only untouchable and Taillon as well unless you net a Butler/Willingham type bat.
Bob Smizik: Sorry, I did not understand your question.
Bill: Is Correia definitely not here on Wednesday?
Bob Smizik: 50-50.
Bill: Have you heard anyone talking about what's "mechanically" wrong with McDonald since the All-Star break?
Bob Smizik: I've heard people talking about it, but I had little respect for their opinion. Just about the only person in Pittsburgh I'd pay any attention to on this matter is Ray Searage. I freely admit I know next-to-nothing about pitching mechanics.
Bill: Are you getting more Pirates or Steelers questions?
Bob Smizik: Pirates
North Side Steve: Any chance the Pirates could package Bedard and a prospect for the corner outfielder/bat instead of Correia? Realize Bedard is a valued commodity (lefty starting pitcher), but I don't see Bedard or Correia in the rotation next season, so I would like to see one of them moved now and seems like Bedard would give us more leverage.
Bob Smizik: Bedard is an oft-injured pitcher who will be a free agent at the end of the season. He has little value on the trade market.
pgherinfl - Carl: Why can't the Pirates skip McDonalds start and give it to Correia? Or push him back a start and insert Correia there.
Bob Smizik: I think that's what they should do the next time out. We'll see.
Naterosboro: Any worries on Marte other than the usual "Prospect not fulfilling potential"?
Bob Smizik: Much too early to tell on him. He's in a tough position, expected to produce immediately.
Naterosboro: What are your feelings/opinions on the Olympics (especially summer)?
Bob Smizik: I enjoy the track and swimming in the summer Olympics. The rest of it does not hold much interest for me.
jimb056: If Corea doesn't want to be here and we can get a bat for him,hy not?
Bob Smizik: The team's that are offering bats at the moment are, for the most part, non-contenders. Such teams would have little interest in a pitcher who will be a free agent in two months.
Naterosboro: Feelings on trading Joel Hanrahan (hypothetical)? Do you think Lincoln or Grilli could step in and fill that role if he were to be traded?
Bob Smizik: My guess is they would go to Grilli. I'd take a shot at Lincoln, who has a larger upside and more years of control.
Guest: Joey T's question seconded. How hard is it to swing 3-way deal. Hanny (or Correia, Grilli) for prospects, prospects for new bat?
Bob Smizik: Three way deals are fairly uncommon. Short of a contender, I don't think many teams are interested in Hanrahan. To answer your question: Very hard.
Naterosboro: Thoughts on Correia publicly stating he wants traded (after his move to the bullpen)? Extreme disrespect to his teammates? Or just a veteran showing his competitiveness?
Bob Smizik: The latter. From what I've read, he made a brief comment and that was it. There was no tirade, no mud-slinging. I can respect that and I think his teammates and the Pirates front office also can. He has a right to be upset.
James Pittsburgh: I think the Pirates should try to improve the team, but I am not trading Marte for Shoo or Hunter Pence, since neither player would likely get the Pirates to the World Series. I think the Pirates can make the playoffs but too many hole in the starting rotation to win three playoff series. Your thoughts Bob?
Bob Smizik: I would trade Marte for either of those players, although I doubt he'd be enough. He is a good prospect. I don't think he's a future superstar.
MAdesso: Bob, whu not put McDonald on DL, and replace with KC right now?
Bob Smizik: I would give such a strategy a thought and I imagine the Pirates are. Remember, you have to be injured to go on the DL.
Guest: Maybe since the 2nd half of 2011, Wallace thinks his skill are starting to slide. And he only has one shot at a huge payday?
Bob Smizik: That could be his thinking, but most of these guys are fairly large egos. Such a thought probably hasn't entered his head.
WeBelieve: How does one become an Olympic team handball player? I've never seen one youth know of the sport, let alone play it.
Bob Smizik: I've actually seen team handball. Pretty boring. A sport that the U.S. should drop from its Olympic team.
James Pittsburgh: If Mike Wallace doesn't sign his tender until week 10, will the Steelers deactivate him for the games?
Bob Smizik: Not even sure he's on the roster. But if he is, yes.
Naterosboro: Are the Reds the biggest jerks in baseball? Lose their best player and rip off 10 straight, leaving the Buccos 3 games behind? Jerks I tell ya....
Bob Smizik: They've got their nerve, don't they.
MAdesso: Bob, when is ESPN going to televise a Pirate game this season?
Bob Smizik: When they deem it in their best interest.
Guest: Are the top pitching prospects on the trading block?
Bob Smizik: I doubt any of the top three, Cole, Taillon, Heredia, are available.
chuck: Bob, where do you see Brad Lincoln as the year winds down. Gone? Closer? Starter? I think if JH is traded it will be Grilli and Lincoln competing for closer duties. If Correa is traded and McDonald continues to struggle, Lincoln could be in the mix to return to the rotation
Bob Smizik: I don't expect Hanrahan to be traded so I believe Lincoln will remain in his current role -- this year and next.
BillRussell: Percentage chance that the PBC picks up Alfonso Soriano and Bryan Lahair and cash to pay Soriano tomorrow by 4pm?
Bob Smizik: 2.06%
Bob Smizik: Sorry I could not get to all the questions. They are much appreciated.
There will be no chat next week. I will return two weeks from today, Aug. 13, at noon.
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