’79 Champs Witness Bucs Rise to 5th Place

I was supposed to be in the audience tonight. But a business trip looms tomorrow. Thusly, I witnessed the game courtesy of Fox Sports Ohio. 22 members of the 1979 World Series champs were honored before the game and they got to watch Zach Duke, Ryan Doumit and Garrett Jones pitch and pound the Reds into submission. And into the cellar.

The Pirates took over 5th place with their fifth straight win. Duke allowed two runs on eight hits and no walks in seven innings. The Pirates got on Justin Lehr in the first inning with three runs. Doumit was in the middle of it. With the Pirates already up 1-0, one gone in the first and Jones on third, Doumit hit a high bouncer back to Lehr. The Reds hurler wanted to get two and end the inning, but Doumit hustled down the line and was credited with a fielder’s choice RBI. He then swiped second based and scored on a single from Lastings Milledge.

Doumit hit a two run homer high into the seats in right in the fifth to make it 6-1. Jones added a two run double in next frame and the route was on. The Pirates added four more in the 7th. Steve Pearce had a two run single. Had it not been for an acrobatic stop by Brandon Phillips off the bat of Delwyn Young that Phillips helped turn into a double play, it could’ve been worse.

Lehr allowed six runs on 8 hits in five innings.

The Good

Five straight wins.

Fifth place.

Doumit had three hits, scored three times and drove in three.

Jones also had three hits and three runs knocked home.

Duke picks up win #10.

The Bad

Nothing at all, other than me not being in the Steel City tonight.

The Rest

The 19 players from the 1979 team on hand were:

Matt Alexander, Dale Berra, Bert Blyleven, John Candelaria, Mike Easler, Phil Garner, Grant Jackson, Bruce Kison, Lee Lacy, Bill Madlock, Omar Moreno, Steve Nicosia, Ed Ott, Dave Parker, Don Robinson, Jim Rooker, Manny Sanguillen, Rennie Stennett and Kent Tekulve. Chuck Tanner and coach Al Monchak were there along with trainer Tony Bartirome. Willie Stargell’s wife was also there.

Among the deceased in addition to Stargell are Bill Robinson, John Milner, Dave Roberts and Dock Ellis (not on post-season roster). Living players who did not come back were Jim Bibby, Doe Boyland (not on post-season roster), Joe Coleman (not on post-season roster), Tim Foli, Gary Hargis (not on post-season roster), Alberto Lois (not on post-season roster), Rick Rhoden (disabled most of the season), Enrique Romo, Frank Taveras (traded early on for Foli), Ed Whitson (traded for Madlock in June)

This was Doumit’s fifth career game with three runs scored. It was the third time he reached three RBI and three runs scored in one contest.

Jones has six RBI in the last two games.

Duke reached double figures in wins for the second time in his career.

Each of the starting 8 had a hit and scored a run.

Last five game winning streak was May 15 to 20th against Colorado and Washington. Each of the starters were the winning pitcher during the current winning streak.The bullpen picked up three wins during the earlier winning streak.

Luis Cruz got his third start of the year in place of Ronny Cedeno who has a fractured finger.

Welcome back Phil Dumatrait who pitched a scoreless inning, his first game since July 7, 2008.

 

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Downfall of the Fam-A-Lee – Part 16

The Buccos were in it in 1982. They didn’t win it, but they played meaningful games in September – something that the club has failed to do in recent times. And as Willie Stargell once said, “I love September, especially when we are in it.” Pops retired following 1982. With a strong offense (2nd in the NL in runs scored) and a decent pitching staff in place (John Candelaria, Larry McWilliams and Rick Rhoden were slated for the rotation), what were the Bucs looking for heading into 1983?
After the jump you have more than 4,000 words including over 1,000 on Lee Mazzilli.
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Downfall of the Fam-A-Lee – Part 14

Continuing with a look at post-1979 trades. Last time out I examined the trades that happened after the 1979 post-season and up through the end of the 1980 season.
This time, let’s look at trades that happened after 1980 and up through the end of the 1981 season.
Gary Alexander, Victor Cruz, Bob Owchinko and Rafael Vasquez
On December 9, 1980 the Pirates traded Bert Blyleven and Manny Sanguillen to the Tribe for Alexander, Cruz, Owchinko and Vasquez in what was clearly the organization’s worst trade since they gave up Willie Randolph, Dock Ellis and Ken Brett to the Bombers for Doc Medich. Where to start on this one? It is wicked painful. How about alphabetically?
Way, perhaps too much, more after the jump.
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Downfall of the Fam-A-Lee – Part 14

Continuing with a look at post-1979 trades. Last time out I examined the trades that happened after the 1979 post-season and up through the end of the 1980 season.
This time, let’s look at trades that happened after 1980 and up through the end of the 1981 season.
Gary Alexander, Victor Cruz, Bob Owchinko and Rafael Vasquez
On December 9, 1980 the Pirates traded Bert Blyleven and Manny Sanguillen to the Tribe for Alexander, Cruz, Owchinko and Vasquez in what was clearly the organization’s worst trade since they gave up Willie Randolph, Dock Ellis and Ken Brett to the Bombers for Doc Medich. Where to start on this one? It is wicked painful. How about alphabetically?
Way, perhaps too much, more after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »

1985 Pirates Retrospective

Back on the old Buried Treasure site before the MVN upgrade, I had made a series of posts about the 1985 Pirates and their futility and the angst it caused me as a 14 year old die hard. Unfortunately, all the old posts won’t be able to be linked to the new site for various reasons, most of which are beyond my computer comprehension. However, back in December of 2006, when I was informed of the changeover, I made a point of copying my mostest favoritest posts to MS Word and storing them on my home computer. So, back for an encore is a series of five posts about the 1985 Buccos.
I have placed the five posts in the “Stats” section of the page for permanence. You can access them by clicking on the “Stats” link next to the heads of Cory, Dave or myself. Each piece is also linked below:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Downfall of the Fam-A-Lee – Part 11

The last member of the 1979 post-season roster that was picked up via trade was Manny Sanguillen
The Trade
The Pirates acquire Sanguillen from Oakland on April 4, 1979 for Miguel Dilone, Mike Edwards and Elias Sosa.
The Background
Sanguillen was amateur free agent signing out of Panama, one of a host of players the Bucs signed from the Canal Country. He was a boxer in his youth and the speed and agility he learned while boxing suited him well as a catcher. One of my favorite things to do every year is to watch my VHS tape of the 1971 World Series highlights so I can hear Curt Gowdy (I think its Curt Gowdy) refer to him as the “smiling Panamanian.” He hit .379 in that Fall Classic. The free swinger helped the Pirates win division titles in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974 and 1975.
Sanguillen was among, along with Johnny Bench and Ted Simmons, the best NL catchers in the first part of the 1970s. Sangy made three All-Star teams and should’ve made the All-Star team in 1974. That contest was played in Three Rivers. NL skipper Yogi Berra chose his own catcher, Jerry Grote, over Sangy. He spent the first part of 1973 in right field following the death of Roberto Clemente.
He was nearing the end of his useful life as a catcher following 1976 when the Pirates traded him and $100,000 to the A’s for manager Chuck Tanner. Pirate manager Danny Murtaugh had retired following 1976 and would unfortunately die that off season. The Galbreath family felt the Bucs would be in good hands with Tanner and got him from Charlie Finley.
In his last season as a full time player, Sangy and Jeff Newman split catching duties with the A’s, with Manny also appearing numerous times as DH in 1977.
Before the start of the 1978 campaign, Sangy was reacquired by Pittsburgh. He was the third string catcher behind Ed Ott and Duffy Dyer. He appeared in 40 games at first, but was behind the plate in just 18 contests.
His role was more limited in 1979 as he was primarily a pinch hitter. He was in just 13 games in the field. He didn’t appear in the 1979 NLCS, but came up big with a game winning pinch hit in Game 2 of the 1979 World Series.
After 48 ABs in 47 games in 1980, Sangy was traded along with Bert Blyleven to the Indians in a disastrous trade. Sangy retired without appearing in a contest with the Tribe.
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Posted in Bert Blyleven, Duffy Dyer, Ed Ott, Frank Taveras, Manny Sanguillen, Miguel Dilone, Omar Moreno, TZPlayers - Pittsburgh Pirates - Past. Comments Off on Downfall of the Fam-A-Lee – Part 11

Downfall of the Fam-A-Lee – Part 1

In 2006 I read the book When the Bucs Won it All by Bill Ranier and David Finoli. The authors suggest that the Pirates failings in the mid-80s were mainly due to the trades that took place putting the 1979 team in place. The authors stated:

Because he (GM Pete Peterson) no longer had the personnel to trade like he did when he first took over, Pittsburgh slid from the top of the rung all the way down to the bottom in the second half of 1981 and during the abysmal 1984 and 1985 seasons.

I disagree. Very much so. Peterson made a couple of bad trades, but the ones that hurt the most happened after the team won the World Series in 1979. In a series of posts I will look at why the author’s statement is untrue (think of it as a blog version of the FoxSports show “Top 5 Reasons Why You Can’t Blame Bad Trades on the Pirates Being Terrible in the mid-80s”)
First, let’s look at the players that were on the World Series roster and how they were acquired, in alphabetical order:
Matt Alexander – signed as a FA (free agent) on 9/1/78
Jim Bibby – signed as a FA on 3/15/78
Bert Blyleven – acquired via a four team trade on 12/8/77. The Pirates gave up Al Oliver and Nelson Norman. They got Bert and John Milner
John Candelaria – 2nd round DP (draft pick) in 1972
Mike Easler – acquired via trade from the Red Sox on 3/15/79 for two career minor leaguers (George Hill and Martin Rivas) and cash
Tim Foli – acquired via trade from the Mets on 4/19/79 for Frank Taveras. The Bucs also got career minor leaguer Greg Field
Phil Garner – acquired via trade from the A’s on 3/15/76 along with Chris Batton, who never played in the Show for the Pirates, and Tommy Helms, who was at the end of the line. The Pirates gave up several players in return. Dave Giusti, Doc Medich, Doug Bair, Mitchell Page, Rick Langford and Tony Armas all went to the A’s. Strangely enough, the A’s had acquired Helms from the Pirates for cash earlier in the same off season and then traded him back. The Bucs released him in June of 1977 and he was picked up by Boston, who released him the following Spring. And he was done.
Grant Jackson – acquired via trade from Seattle on 12/7/76 for Jimmy Sexton and Craig Reynolds
Bruce Kison – 14th round DP in 1968
Lee Lacy – signed as a FA on 1/19/79
Bill Madlock – acquired via trade from Frisco on 6/28/79. The Bucs got Madlock, Dave Roberts and Lenny Randle, who never appeared in a Pirate uni. They gave up Ed Whitson, Fred Breining and Al Holland.
John Milner – acquired in the same trade as Blyleven
Omar Moreno – signed as an undrafted FA in 1969. Omar is from Panama and wasn’t eligible for the draft
Steve Nicosia – 1st round DP in 1973
Ed Ott – 23rd round DP in 1970
Dave Parker – 14th round DP in 1970
Bill Robinson – acquired via trade from Philly on 4/5/75 for former All-Star pitcher Wayne Simpson. Simpson won 14 games and made the All-Star team as a 21 year old rookie for the Reds in 1970. He would win just 18 more games in his career
Don Robinson – 3rd round DP in 1975
Enrique Romo – acquired via trade from Seattle on 12/5/78. The Pirates gave up Odell Jones, Rafael Vazquez and Mario Mendoza. The Pirates also got Rick Jones and Tom McMillan, neither of whom ever appeared in the Bigs with the Pirates. Jones was called up late in 1979, but didn’t appear in a game
Jim Rooker – acquired via trade from KC on 10/25/72 even up for Gene Garber
Manny Sanguillen – acquired via trade from Oakland on 4/4/78. The Pirates sent Miguel Dilone, Elias Sosa and Mike Edwards to the A’s to get Sangy back. He had been traded, along with $100,000, before the 1977 season to the A’s for manager Chuck Tanner. No that isn’t a typo. My Dilone story. I was 14. It was 1985. Dilone was in his last season, hanging on with Montreal. They were in Cincy and I was at the ball yard with baseball cards trying to get autographs. When I asked Dilone in my typical polite way, he yelled back at me in anger the following (at least I think this is what he said): No tengo escribir mi nombre. Translated that means “I don’t have to write my name”. I didn’t argue with him.
Willie Stargell – signed as an amateur FA, before the draft was established in 1958
Rennie Stennett – exact same as Moreno. He was from Panama and was inked in 1969
Kent Tekulve – signed as an undrafted FA in 1969
Next time I’ll examine the trades the various trades that brought some of those players to the club.