Playing Pepper: Answering Questions For C70 At The Bat

I, along with Jim from North Side Notch, answered some preseason Pirates questions for the Cardinals blog C70 At The Bat.

The questions answered are:

1) What was your opinion of the team’s offseason?
2) Can Pedro Alvarez get back to the form that made him a top prospect?
3) How will the rotation shape up?
4) Is there a prospect that will make an impact on the team this season?
5) Where will the team finish in their division and what are you most excited about for 2012?

My favorite part is that Jim and I gave the same answer for the Pedro Alvarez question almost word-for-word. Give a click to see what it was.

Dock Ellis Trade Tree

Happy Birthday to Dock Ellis, who would have been 67 today. John Dreker of Pirates Prospects has an in-depth look at Dock’s career today and asked me if I would create this trade tree to go in conjunction with it. Little did I know this would be one of the longer trees I’ve come across, spanning 28 years and 25 players. It even has a link to the Manny Sanguillen tree. (I missed Miguel Dilone‘s second stint with the Bucs when I made that one.)

Dock started the All-Star Game in 1971 while winning 19 games for the World Series winning Pirates. In 1970 he threw a complete game no-hitter and posted the highest WAR (3.1) of his Pirates career.

I always learn something new doing these. On this one I found out that former Astros, A’s and Mets manager Art Howe is a Pittsburgh native and started his playing career as a Buc.

Thursday Trade Tree – Mike Fetters

Ed. Note: Thursday Trade Tree? On a Friday? Just trust me that I wrote it last night.

With a turn of the head so sharp it gives you whiplash, here comes Mike Fetters.

A couple of memorable Pirates in this tree, for positive and negative. Fetters’ trademark headsnap to the plate was always fun to watch even of the results weren’t always pretty (8 saves, 1.50 WHIP & 0.4 WAR over 48 innings.)

Then there’s Randall Simon, who is infamous for the Sausage incident. In July of 2003, on his way to hitting a robust .274/.305/.417 (85 OPS+), Simon inexplicably took a swing at the Italian Sausage during a game in Milwaukee. Luckily the runner inside the costume was unharmed and Simon got off with a $432 fine. The Bucs were lucky to trade him a month later for Ray Sadler. Leave it to Dave Littlefield though. He liked what he had seen enough to bring Simon back the next season. After 194 at bats of .194/.264/.280 (42 OPS+) Randall was finally released.

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