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Raise the Jolly Roger - A Pittsburgh Pirates Road to Redemption

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View Poll Results: Who will win the NL Central in 2013?
Chicago Cubs 4 6.15%
Cincinnati Reds 12 18.46%
Milwaukee Brewers 3 4.62%
Pittsburgh Pirates 28 43.08%
St. Louis Cardinals 18 27.69%
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:48 PM   #1
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Raise the Jolly Roger - A Pittsburgh Pirates Road to Redemption

If you'd like to see the beginning of my franchise, check my arena for the dynasty posts. I update the franchise both in the dynasty section and in this thread.

Enjoy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by joshrmlb
On an unrelated note to this franchise note. This has to be my favorite franchise of all time. This is awesome man. (Too bad I couldn't check all the pages.)

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**RTJR - Pittsburgh Pirates Road to Redemption Graphics**
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by Frank is the Tank


by The Kid (@simulationsports.net)

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For Graphics: Frank is the Tank, The Kid (@simulationsports.net), CountdowNxx (@simulationsports.net), kc2135, royals19

For Tables: crains13, Bluejaysfan65

For Trade Assistance/Realism: ACMilan99

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To All: Thanks for Following
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Please feel free to rate my thread to let me know how I'm doing - thanks!!!


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MLB Standings
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The Hunt for October - Updated: August 5, 2013
NL CENTRALWLGBRSRA
Pittsburgh6645-391341
St. Louis58538.0452408
Cincinnati565610.5497520
Chicago476419.0429494
Milwaukee456721.5425500



**I WOULD LIKE TO CREDIT THE WRITERS ON PITTSBURGHPIRATES.COM FOR ARTICLES UTILIZED IN THIS FRANCHISE. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO CREDIT MLB.COM FOR GAME WRAP-UPS**

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Old 03-20-2013, 07:57 PM   #2
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Re: Raise the Jolly Roger - A Pittsburgh Pirates Road to Redemption


by Tracy Ringolsby

Walker Has Unique Perspective on Bucs' Drought


PITTSBURGH -- Neil Walker understands the plight of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

He has lived it.

More than being the second baseman for the Pirates, he's a Pittsburgh native. He grew up a Bucs fan.

Walker was 7 years old on Oct. 14, 1992, when Atlanta rallied in the bottom of the ninth in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series on a two-out, two-run Francisco Cabrera pinch-hit single, with Sid Bream sliding into home ahead of a Barry Bonds throw to the plate to cap a 3-2 Braves win over the Pirates.

"I was so upset after that game," Walker said. "So close, and then ... "

Little did Walker, or anybody else, realize what was ahead for the Pirates, a team which won three consecutive NL East titles from 1990-92, but never advanced to the World Series. Pittsburgh hasn't posted a winning record, much less won a division title, since.

The 20 consecutive losing seasons is the longest streak in the history of North American professional team sports. And Walker has been an active part of each of the last four. He made his big league debut in September 2009, and he has been the Pirates' starting second baseman the last three years

And Walker wants to be part of the Pittsburgh team that starts the upward trend for the Pirates to regain that status.

The franchise played its first NL game on April 30, 1887, and is one of the oldest clubs in professional baseball. Forty Hall of Famers have had ties to the team. And despite the struggles of the past 20 years, the Bucs' all-time winning percentage is .503. Pittsburgh has won five World Series championships.

The Pirates, however, have not been to the postseason since 1992, the longest drought in the NL and second longest in the big leagues. Kansas City hasn't played a playoff game since '85.

Pittsburgh lost 105 games during Walker's rookie season in 2010, the third most in franchise history, and is a combined 208-278 in his three full years in the big leagues.

The Bucs' first-round Draft choice and the 11th player taken overall in 2004, Walker's ties to the team run deeper than his playing career.

"Three Rivers [Stadium] was my second home," Walker said of the Pirates' home prior to the opening of PNC Park in 2001. "My dad is a member of the Pirate alumni."

Tom Walker was a right-handed pitcher who played in the big leagues from 1972-77 with Montreal, Detroit, St. Louis and the California Angels. He finished his career in '78 with Pittsburgh's Triple-A team, and early in his career, played winter ball in Puerto Rico with Bucs legend Roberto Clemente, who talked him out of accompanying Clemente on that fatal flight of mercy on Dec. 31, 1972.

"I'm aware," Neil Walker said of the Pirates' storied history that has been overshadowed by two decades of failure. "I know about Clemente, Willie Stargell and 'Maz.'"

"Maz," as Hall of Fame second baseman Bill Mazeroski is known, worked with Walker on making the transition to second base. Signed as a catcher, Walker didn't move to the infield until his fourth year in pro ball.

"Regardless of what has happened the last 20 years, the Pirates are one of the best organizations in the history of baseball," Walker said.

And while outsiders talk about the late-season fades the Pirates have suffered in the past two years, Walker sees them as providing promise for the future. The Bucs were in first place as late as July 25, 2011, but won only 19 of their final 62 games, slipping below .500 for good at 54-55 on Aug. 3 that season. A year ago, Pittsburgh led the NL Central as late as July 18, was a season-best 16 games above .500 on Aug, 8, but lost 36 of its final 52 games

What frustrated Walker is the Pirates lost 24 of the final 35 games. He started only six of those games because of a lower back problem that was the focus of his offseason workouts.

"This game can throw you curves," Walker said.

Pittsburgh, however, continued to rework its roster, looking to add depth. In addition to the July 24 acquisition of lefty Wandy Rodriguez from Houston last season, the offseason additions included left-handed starting pitcher Francisco Liriano, right-handed reliever Mark Melancon and catcher Russell Martin.

Now. ...

"The last two years have not ended the way we want," said Walker. "We played a lot of good baseball, but did not get done what we needed to get done.

"Our motto this year is, 'Finish every pitch. Finish every at-bat. Finish every inning.'"

And if it all goes the way Walker hopes, the Pirates will finish the two decades of failure.

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Old 03-20-2013, 08:09 PM   #3
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Re: Raise the Jolly Roger - A Pittsburgh Pirates Road to Redemption



d'Arnaud Has Thumb Surgery, Placed on 60-Day DL



LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Chase d'Arnaud, who appeared on track to make the Pirates' Opening Day roster, had surgery to repair a partially torn ligament in his left thumb on Monday at the Cleveland Clinic. He is expected to be out 5-8 weeks.

"I kind of knew when I went [to the clinic] that I was going to have the surgery. It really [stinks]. I worked hard this offseason, so the timing of this is really annoying," d'Arnaud told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Tribune-Review.

d'Arnaud suffered the injury during a baserunning drill last Saturday. At first, it was believed he wasn't seriously injured. However, an MRI later revealed the tear. He'll be re-evaluated on April 1.

General manager Neal Huntington said losing d'Arnaud helped trigger Wednesday's trade that brought infielder John McDonald from Arizona.

"Jordy Mercer has done everything we could have asked him to do here in Spring Training, and now he'll shift the competition focus to make the club as an extra guy, corner utility guy," Huntington said of the player on the 40-man roster who was expected to fill d'Arnaud's role. "Yeah, without the injury to Chase we're probably not as motivated to make this type of move. But with the injury to Chase, and as shallow as the shortstop position is in the industry and for us at the upper levels of the organization -- we have some young guys we're excited about in the future -- but shortstop is a position where you have to take care of the baseball."

The 26-year-old d'Arnaud made his Major League debut in 2011 and was a September callup last season. In seven Grapefruit League games this spring, he was hitting .214.

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Old 03-20-2013, 08:16 PM   #4
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Re: Raise the Jolly Roger - A Pittsburgh Pirates Road to Redemption

Looks good. I am doing the same thing as you, waiting for OSFM rosters, but doing spring training and using results until then. I absolutely love that stadium, it's the best I've ever been to (and I've been to 14 of the current stadiums). Should be fun to play 81+ games there.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:20 PM   #5
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Re: Raise the Jolly Roger - A Pittsburgh Pirates Road to Redemption

I like having things as realistic as possible to an extent. I'm not going to do 30 team control and make everything like the MLB after the season starts that'd be crazy hah! But I like keeping things on track until Opening Day and OSFM.

PNC is amazing. I've actually only been to PNC and well Three Rivers. I had season tickets last year and it never got old. The atmosphere, food, people are just great!
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:05 PM   #6
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Re: Raise the Jolly Roger - A Pittsburgh Pirates Road to Redemption

McCutchen's Second Home Run of Spring Not Enough as Braves Drub Pirates 18-9


Pittsburgh Pirates at Atlanta Braves
Mar 20, 2013123456789RHE
Pittsburgh (10-14)0140103009163
Atlanta (15-11)52016130X18212
W: Minor (2-0, 5.50) L: McPherson (0-2, 8.31)


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons each hit a pair of home runs, and the Braves' potent offense once again erupted in Wednesday afternoon's 18-9 win over the Pirates at Champion Stadium.

The Braves, who hit five home runs, scored 17 runs in their last game, a win over the Phillies on Monday.

Freeman highlighted his 4-for-4 performance with a pair of two-run shots. Simmons hit a three-run blast, a solo shot and doubled in his first Grapefruit League game since leaving for the World Baseball Classic on Feb. 23.

Freeman finished a triple shy of the cycle and leads the Grapefruit League with seven home runs. The Braves first baseman hit an opposite-field home run off the left-center field scoreboard in the second inning and then capped his productive afternoon by sending a Vin Mazzaro pitch over the right-field wall in the fifth.

Simmons, who helped the Netherlands reach the Classic semifinals, drilled a solo home run off Pirates starter Kyle McPherson in the fourth, and his three-run shot came off Mazzaro in the fifth. The Braves shortstop started a five-run first inning with a double off the center-field wall.

Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor capped the scoring in the first with an RBI double, but experienced his shakiest outing of the spring. He allowed five runs on 10 hits and three walks and lasted only four innings. He recorded five strikeouts -- three against Starling Marte -- and benefited from two Pirates being tagged out at the plate.

The Pirates pulled within 7-5 with a four-run third inning highlighted by Andrew McCutchen's two-run home run. Michael McKenry and McPherson capped the inning's scoring with consecutive RBI singles.

McKenry drove in three runs, Alex Presley drove in two and Brandon Inge went 2-for-5.

Up Next: Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, a non-roster invitee, will start against the Orioles in a 7:05 p.m. ET game at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota on Thursday. Sanchez is 1-1, with a 7.56 ERA in five appearances (two starts) in Grapefruit League play.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:18 PM   #7
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Re: Raise the Jolly Roger - A Pittsburgh Pirates Road to Redemption


by Paul Hagen / MLB.com

McPherson's Rough Outing Doesn't Help Cause


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Right-hander Kyle McPherson is trying to become the Pirates' fifth starter. He didn't help his case by giving up eight earned runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Braves at Champion Stadium. He gave up 10 hits, including three doubles and a homer.

"He was trying to follow a game plan and that was problematic," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Command was up early. The execution part of the arsenal was really inconsistent. That's really kind of what went sideways on him, the execution part of everything."

Hurdle indicated that performance at this point of the spring weighs more heavily because the start of the regular season is a week-and-a-half away.

"You'd like to think that," he said. "You have to look at everything. That's a quality lineup over there. So it is what it is. It is late. We're trying to make decisions. And the one thing he did do, he did not back down. He kept firing and kept battling, which we expect all our men to do. At the same time, we've got to find ways to get outs and to execute with more consistency, especially as we're closing in on things."

McPherson, the Pirates' seventh-rated prospect according to MLB.com, remained upbeat after the 18-9 loss.

"I just went out there and tried to establish the fastball early," he said. "I just wound up giving up some of those ground balls you wish could be hit toward position players. But then again, that's just how the game is and you have to continue to go after the next hitter and battle on, pitch after pitch."

Six of the first seven Braves hitters reached on hits and pitching coach Ray Searage made an early trip to the mound.

"He just came out there and told me to slow the game down a little bit, continue to execute pitches," McPherson said. "Keep a narrow focus on the task at hand. You just have to continue to pound the zone, mix up your pitches and stay aggressive. That's what I think I did. Right, wrong or indifferent you're going to give up ground-ball hits. Then again, you're going to go out there and get the best plays made. So you've just got to take them as they come and keep moving forward."

The 25-year-old McPherson is 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA this spring. His primary competition for the rotation is Jeff Locke, who is 2-1, 3.12.

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Old 03-21-2013, 08:01 PM   #8
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Pedro Alvarez on Pirates 2013 Expectations


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