Tri-State at the Plate Episode #59: Pittsburgh Pirates Playoff Podcast and Champagne Celebrations

The most alliterative title in podcast history is in honor of the Pittsburgh Pirates going to the playoffs for the second consecutive season!

Super Producer turned Super Dad Jason Ruggiero returns to the podcast this week in between diapers to talk baseball with Andy Burdick! The duo open the pod by discussing Frank Wren and the Atlanta Braves situation.  They then transition to playoff baseball in Pittsburgh by looking at the last five games of the season and the Pirates playoff projections.  Andy talks about Gerrit Cole‘s ace status, champagne celebrations in the clubhouse and the difficulty of pronouncing ‘Incmikoski’, and an in-depth discussion of the team MVP.  Jason then gets his feet wet discussing the pluses and minuses of the Indians offense, Carlos Santana‘s on base percentage, Corey Kluber‘s amazing season, and the future of Cleveland’s middle infield.  The duo wrap up the show with a Tweetmail, rehashing an old topic from an old friend.

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #58: Cross Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

This week, Chris Bradley joins Andy Burdick and the duo discuss truly weird baseball after Jesus Montero‘s season ends over ice cream and Seattle Mariners cross-checker.  Andy then discusses the recent happenings with the Tribe, ranging from long-term Lonnie Chisenhall projections to Cleveland’s playoff chances.  Chris then discusses the Pirates playoff hopes, Pittsburgh’s need to open their wallet this off season, and the future of Pedro Alvarez and Josh Harrison in the infield.  The gentlemen then wrap up with a big SeaWolves shout out to former Erie SeaWolf (current Detroit Tiger) Steven Moya, as well as general manager Greg Coleman finishing the season strong with the Two Knuckle Challenge.  You won’t want to miss this one, folks.

Chris Bradley’s Baseball Adventures, Episode I

By Chris Bradley

Photo Aug 16, 12 12 06 PM

Howard J. Lamade Stadium

I’ve been a resident of the Northeastern Pennsylvania region for the vast majority of my life. There isn’t much here besides a lot of trees and a lot of Republicans. Spend a few days here and you’ll quickly realize why this state is called “Penn’s Woods”. One thing I have never done is attend the Little League World Series in Williamsport.

I told Andy that I wanted to chronicle my visit to this event, mostly because it is about baseball in general, but also because I had never been there.  I watched it on television, I followed the storylines, and I rooted for the underdogs, but I had never actually visited the Little League Complex. That all changed this past Saturday, as I took the hour and thirty minute trip to watch a bunch of 11-13 year olds play their guts out.

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Tri-State at the Plate Episode #57: Stetson Allie Onesies


On this week’s episode, the Ginger Prince of Baseball Bob Finkbeiner makes his glorious return to the podcast to talk stick-ball with Andy and fill in while Jason is on paternity leave.  The duo start with discussion of Giancarlo Stanton as front-runner for National League MVP as all the other contenders drop like flies.  Andy then talks about the state of the union in Pittsburgh, re-signing Russell Martin, and the trade deadline deals that never were.  Bob then talks about the injuries that have been plaguing the Tribe and the value of Nick Swisher before talking contract extensions with Corey Kluber (The Klub-bot).  The two then wrap up with a SeaWolves shout-out, highlighting the Altoona-Erie series this weekend at Jerry Uht Park and discuss the potential of a Stetson Allie onesie for Jason’s offspring.  Andy ends the episode by calling Bob ‘Rob’ for the first time ever in an attempt to sound hip.  It is unsuccessful.

The Pirates Roster and the Postseason

By Chris Bradley

If the season were to end today, the Pittsburgh Pirates would have their second Wildcard berth in as many years. Only caveat being, they currently have a pretty dreadful (subjectively speaking) offense even after putting up 11 runs against the Detroit Tigers the other night. I am a pretty optimistic Pirate fan, unlike numerous other bloggers and tweeps, I try to stay positive in the face of adversity when it comes to my favorite baseball team. My loyalty and patience has been tested twice already this season, but as I said, I tried to stay calm. Continue reading

Josh Harrison’s 2014 Breakout Season

By Andy Burdick

Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Josh Harrison, at 27 years old, has improved his standing in the lineup, going from super-utility player at the beginning of the season to full-time fixture at the top of the lineup.  He is in the midst of the best year in his career by far and has already set career bests in just about every statistical category.

Year Age Tm G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2011 23 PIT 65 204 21 53 13 2 1 16 4 1 3 24 .272 .281 .374 .656 83
2012 24 PIT 104 276 34 58 9 5 3 16 7 3 10 37 .233 .279 .345 .624 73
2013 25 PIT 60 95 10 22 1 2 3 14 2 0 2 10 .250 .290 .409 .699 96
2014 ★ 26 PIT 99 352 52 103 22 6 10 38 15 4 19 55 .314 .351 .509 .861 140

The big question about Harrison’s success this season is about his ability to maintain this level of production.  At 352 plate appearances this season, we are getting to the point when a lot of Harrison’s statistics are stabilizing. Continue reading

Pittsburgh Pirates State of the Union: Neal Huntington on 93.7 The Fan

By Andy Burdick

Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal HuntingtonGeneral Manager Neal Huntington spoke about a variety of topics on 93.7 The Fan this morning.  Here are the highlights of what he had to say:

In regards to why Andrew McCutchen or Neil Walker haven’t been placed on the disabled list, he stated that he doesn’t want to lose days with McCutchen or Walker on the back of a DL stint in which they may be healthy by day ten.  This is why neither has yet to be placed on the disabled list. He stated McCutchen is feeling better every day.

Medical professionals have told him that McCutchen’s injury is not related to the hit by pitch from Randall Delgado in Arizona as it was a torque-related injury, not an impact injury. Continue reading

Andrew McCutchen is Snakebitten

By Andy Burdick

Andrew McCutchen is the reining National League MVP well on his way to earning his second consecutive MVP award.  He is the face of a franchise on the upswing with a roster full of quirky teammates.

Which is why after last night’s game in Arizona, quite a few people around baseball are not very pleased with the Diamondbacks.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Deadline Aftermath

By Andy Burdick

Pirates fans at 4:00 yesterday.

Pirates fans at 4:00 yesterday.

The 2014 trade deadline was one of the more exciting ones in recent memory.  In fact, this trade season had plenty of high-profile activity, starting with the Cubs trading starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s for a package featuring their top short stop prospect Addison Russell.

The Pirates, while rumored to be in on some of the bigger name trade chips like Jon Lester and David Price, never pushed all of their chips to the center of the table.  In fact, they flat-out folded at the deadline. Continue reading

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #56: 2014 Trade Deadline Edition

This week Andy and Jason team-up for a special Trade Deadline Edition of Tri-State at the Plate. The guys start things off by talking about the Indians decision to trade Justin Masterson, before moving on to all the juicy rumors that are swirling, including the Pirates reported interest in Red Sox ace Jon Lester.