Posted on: October 7, 2010 8:37 pm

Pirates fan bets against team every game, wins

When Pete Rose finally admitted to gambling on baseball, he took care to say that he always put money on his team -- never against.

Perhaps that was the wrong philosophy.

Gary Mercer, a lifetime Pirates fan, decided to see just how much money he could make by betting on the Pirates to lose. Yes, to lose -- this coming from a Bucs fan. Mercer laid $20 bucks on every game and earned more money than an IRA, with 9.98 percent earnings on a $3,250 investment. He walked away with a total profit of $324.24, which could have been much higher had the Pirates not ripped off a five-game winning streak in September. For our entertainment, Mercer kept a spreadsheet of all of his bets , plus several other goodies.

Mercer began by taking just the line, which Vegas put against the line, meaning Mercer didn't bet $20 to win $20. For example, the first loss of the season for Pittsburgh came on April 8 with a -151 line, netting Mercer $13.25.

He bet the line for a while before dabbling in betting the runs to make more money, also throwing in a combination of the straight moneylines and run spreads. He deviated from $20 per game just once, when he could'nt resist a Charlie Morton start (2-12, 7.17 ERA in 17 games over 79 2/3 innings) on September 5 by betting $29.09 on runs. He walked away with $40.73 dollars as a result.

Mercer published a profit chart, which you can see below. He also created home/away splits, which indicate that Mercer lost $111.47 when the Pirates played at home thanks to a 40-41 home record. The away record of 17-64 (wow) was what enabled Mercer to go into the red with an away-game profit of $435.82.

Profit chart

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Tags: Pirates
Posted on: October 7, 2010 4:53 pm

Porter interviews for Pirates gig

Bo Porter is a man in demand.

The Diamondbacks coach interviewed for the Pirates job, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Porter was the second candidate interviewed by the job vacated by the fired John Russell and the first minority. All managerial and GM interviews must include at least one minority candidate, but Porter won't be alone in that category as ex-Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel is expected to interview with the job. Samuel also will interview with the Brewers and Blue Jays, most likely.

Porter, 38, interviewed in June for the Marlins job and is a serious candidate for the gig, having coached in the Marlins system for a long time before leaving after the 2009 season. He started the year coaching third base then moved to the bench when Kirk Gibson assumed the manager's job after A.J. Hinch was dismissed.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 5, 2010 6:11 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2010 6:15 pm

Pirates interview Wedge

Eric Wedge The Pirates interviewed former Indians manager Eric Wedge on Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 's Rob Biertempfel reports .

General manager Neal Huntington returned from organizational meetings in Bradenton, Fla., for organizational meetings to interview Wedge at PNC Park and will remain in town the rest of this week to interview at least one more candidate, Biertempfel writes.

Phil Garner, the former Brewers, Tigers and Astros manager, is also believed to be interested in the job.

The Pirates plan on announcing who interviewed after each interview is completed.

Wedge, 42, managed the Indians from 2003-09. He has also interviewed in Chicago and Toronto.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 4, 2010 11:40 am
Edited on: October 4, 2010 12:14 pm

It's official, Pirates fire Russell

The Pirates have made it official, firing manager John Russell, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 's Dejan Kovacevic tweets .
Late Saturday night, Kovacevic reported the firing would happen today, and now it has.

Russell was 186-299 in three years with the Pirates.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 4, 2010 11:32 am

Cubs 2010: Chasing Pittsburgh

While not as good as the fake Mets commercial , Cubs fans have taken their frustrations to the creative outlets of YouTube:

A hat-tip to the good folks over at Big League Stew for finding this one.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Tags: Cubs, Mets, Pirates
Posted on: October 4, 2010 11:19 am
Edited on: October 4, 2010 12:05 pm

Manager watch 2010

So, what's up with the manager shuffle?

Here's the latest, that will likely be updated throughout the day:

Ken Macha, Brewers
John Russell, Pirates
Jerry Manuel, Mets

Dead men walking
Jerry Manuel, Mets
John Russell, Pirates

Interim guys with their fingers crossed (in order of those likely to get the job)
Mike Quade, Cubs
Edwin Rodriguez, Marlins
Daren Brown, Mariners

Cito Gaston, Blue Jays
Bobby Cox, Braves
Joe Torre, Dodgers

Up in the air
Tony La Russa, Cardinals
Ozzie Guillen, White Sox -- isn't Guillen one step from doing something crazy?
Joe Girardi, Yankees -- listen, I don't think he's going anywhere, but until the Cubs decide their future, his name's going to be thrown out there. And the Cubs should make a run at him, just to make sure.

Likely back
Kirk Gibson, Diamondbacks

Already on the hot seat for 2011
Jim Tracey, Rockies
Jim Leyland, Tigers
Bob Geren, A's
Jim Riggleman, Nationals
Ned Yost, Royals

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 3, 2010 1:23 am
Edited on: October 3, 2010 3:16 pm

Report: Pirates to fire Russell, keep Huntington

John Russell The Pirates will reportedly fired manager John Russell, while keeping general manager Neal Huntington, although both are under contract through 2011.

Citing "several internal sources," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 's Dejan Kovacevic writes the decisions "should become known early this week."

It's just another example of a team firing the manager, when it doesn't really matter. Managers make for cheap and easy scapegoats. Russell saw this coming the day he took the job.

It's not like the love child of Connie Mack and John McGraw conceived in a test tube belonging to Tony La Russa could have done much better with the roster Russell was given, but that's just the way the game works.

The Pirates go into the final day of the season with a 57-103 record and are 186-298 in the last three seasons, all under the guidance of Russell and Huntington.

Not that either Huntington or Russell are blameless, but the ownership group has famously used its money to pad its pockets, rather than try to put the best product on the field. But even though fellow owners don't like the likes of the Nutting family just taking its revenue sharing money, the owners who do care about winning like seeing the Pirates on their schedule and know they don't have to worry about them. No matter who is fired or hired, while there are owners like the Nuttings in Pittsburgh and David Glass in Kansas City, baseball will continue to have its patsies always available to play their part as the Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotters of the Yankees, Red Sox and Cardinals of MLB.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 1, 2010 11:52 pm

Park sets record for Asian pitchers

Chan Ho Park's 124th career victory on Friday made him the winningest Asian-born pitcher in Major League history.

"It's very special," Park told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 's Rob Biertempfel . "It makes me think about 17 years ago when I first came here. I think about the people who brought me here and who helped me."

Park three three scoreless innings of relief for the Pirates against the Marlins on Friday, striking out six of the nine batters he faced.

Chan Ho Park The Pirates are Park's eight team in the big leagues after being singed as a free agent by the Dodgers in 1994 when he was 21.

His first eight years were spent with the Dodgers, going 80-54 with a 3.80 ERA in his first stint with the team. He earned an All-Star nod in 2001. He signed a five-year, $65 million contract with the Rangers before the 2002 season.

In four seasons with the Rangers, Park underperformed, going 22-23 with a 5.79 ERA. After two years with the Padres, he signed with the Mets in 2007. There, he spent much of the season in the minor leagues, making one start for the Mets before he was designated for assignment in June. He signed a minor-league deal with the Astros, but never made it to Houston.

After re-signing with the Dodgers in 2008, Park reinvented himself as a reliever, where the shorter outings allowed him to use his mid-90s fastball more, instead of trying to conserve his energy during starts.

Last season he pitched well out of the bullpen for the Phillies and signed a one-year contract with the Yankees. After going 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA in 27 appearances for the Yankees, he was designated for assignment and claimed off waivers by the Pirates.

Another former Dodgers, Hideo Nomo, had held the record for most wins by an Asian-born pitcher. After Park's record-setting outing, teammates celebrated with a beer shower as he walked into the clubhouse.

"[John Russell] told me he'll give me the lineup card," Park said. "I've got the ball. Everything I used, even my socks and underwear, I'm going to keep. It's all very special."

I'd love to see how he's going to display that underwear in his house -- do you frame it? Or just put it in a drawer? If you frame it -- do you have it out, or under the pants in their natural environment?

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
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