Pirates GM Huntington Joins the @RumbunterPodcst (S6 Ep1)

Holy crap – we’re BACK!

We know, we know… just when you’ve been asking yourselves, “When is the excellent — if scarce and somewhat amateurish — RumBunter Podcast coming back… is it even coming back at all?”

You needn’t ask yourself that question (you were asking yourself that question, weren’t you?) any longer. We are back, gang, and we’re ready to have a killer season, just like the Pirates! Prepare yourself for an interview with the #1-requested RumBunter Podcast guest – the General Manager, Neal Huntington!

The Buccos’ GM chats with Cocktails and guest co-host Kipper from the wonderful Pittsburgh Sports Forum (in for the vacationing Smitty) on a range of Pirates-specific and varying baseball topics: Pedro Florimon, the DH, the Bucs’ bullpen, and more – listen and find out for yourself.

The RumBunter Podcast's #1 Fan Favorite

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Pirates Jordy Mercer Joins @RumbunterPodcst (S5 Ep4)

May 11, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer (10) and second baseman Neil Walker (18) celebrate winning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Pirates defeated the Phillies, 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates Jordy Mercer joined the RumBunter podcast recently to discuss the 17-18 Pirates. We have always tried to provide new information about Jordy Mercer rather than the normal interview with the Pirates shortstop. The 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates are not playing like the team that ended the 2014 season and Mercer discusses some of those struggles and of course the interview looks at some indicators that show that Mercer could be poised for a break out.

Mercer had a strong finish to his season in 2014 when he was the strongest offensive shortstop in the National League. Mercer had an outstanding spring training, but then still started the 2015 season slowly. One topic that is never discussed enough is just how well Jordy has played shortstop defensively. The offense in 2015 was better than expected, and we look forward to seeing Mercer return to his 2015 production.

In the interview, Mercer talks about just how difficult it is to hit from the number eight hole. The Bucs shortstop also talks about why he bats better the further up in the batting order he hits. Finally, Jordy talks about something very cool– The Mercer Ranch. Now that’s something the outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy. Enough…enough, just give it a listen.

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Pirates Neil Walker Joins The @RumbunterPodcst S5 Ep3

Mar 9, 2015; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates Neil Walker (18) throws out Minnesota Twin

Pittsburgh Pirates Neil Walker has joined the RumBunter podcast several times.  We have always tried to provide a different angle.  You know, some-not-so focused on just the Neil Walker that everyone knows. We like to call it Neil Walker Insight™.  However, despite the best of intentions, it’s just too hard to escape discussing the 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates trust that the third time is the charm this season. Neil Walker had a monster season in 2014 just like it was predicted by Smitty on RumBunter, and will attempt to do it again in 2015.

All winter, the Pirates have added to the depth of the organization with interesting acquisitions.  Now as spring training is in full swing, Pirates fans have been told that the Pirates roster is, on paper at least, the best of the Neal Huntington era.  So how does Walker feel about the roster?

Mar 11, 2015; Clearwater, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates Neil Walker (18) warms up before the start of the spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

How does he feel about the impact Jung Ho Kang will have on the Pirates, and does Walker know how to say “I got it!” so that Kang can understand it?  There’s also some good discussion is staying in touch with old teammate Garrett Jones, and former bench coach Jeff Banister.

Other topics on the show include some interesting ones -Walker also discusses fishing, dining out, and finally, did you ever wonder how many autographs Neil Walker signs in a season?  We try to get that answer for you.

The Bucs will begin their chase for a third consecutive MLB Postseason appearance.  The Pirates will start the season on the road against the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers.

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Dan Szymborski Pittsburgh Pirates Projections Podcast S5 Ep2

Dan Szymborski discussed ZiPS projections for Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Szymborski gets paid to do cool baseball stuff, but didn’t get paid when he joined the RumBunter podcast.  Despite not making a nickel, Syzmborski absolutely crushes it.  Szymborski talks baseball in a unique and hilarious manner as he talks about creating ZiPS, the most reliable projection system in baseball.  The Baltimore native has worked his tail off, and he humbly discusses how it all started during the interview.

The now-ESPN staffer was twice featured by TIME with one of the top 50 websites in 2002 and 2003, and made it in the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis.  Despite his celebrity status, Dan is the best interview in a long list of podcast guests.  So, as expected, one thing that you won’t get when listening to this podcast is bored.

The discussion moves fast and furiously.  The strong projections once again for Andrew McCutchen lead off the ZiPS specific discussion.  How will Josh Harrison respond to his monster season is very interesting, but perhaps the most random discussion surrounds Jung-ho Kang and the KBO.  As you probably know, the 2015 season looks exciting when digging into the Pittsburgh Pirates ZiPS projections.  A lot of time is spent as Cocktails and Smitty discuss the projections showing more love for the Pirates pitching staff than it (correctly) predicted last season.

Syzmborski also talks about the entertaining comps which included Tyler Glasnow being compared to A.J. Burnett, but more entertaining is the Pirates player that earned a Milton Bradley comp.

Enough description, here is Series 5, Episode 2 of the RumBunter Podcast with Dan Szymborski.

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Series 5 Episode 1: The General Manager – Neal Huntington: Off-Season Moves, Things to Come

Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington joined the RumBunter podcast to discuss the 2015 Pirates season. The Pirates podcast is over thirty minutes in length and covers a variety of topics surrounding the 2015 Pirates including how the team was able to sign Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett to deals that “left cash on the table” in Huntington’s words.

The Pirates Senior Vice President and General Manager called attention to the depth of the 2015 club, discussed the satisfaction with seeing Jeff Banister named the manager of the Texas Rangers, and the details that surfaced as Banister went through the interview process.

Of course, the trade of outfielder Travis Snider is discussed along with the GM’s feelings on the Neil Walker arbitration process and how he distances himself from it.

New Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli has had difficulty staying on the field during his career. With the catching position going from one of strength over the past two seasons, to a potential weakness with the departure of Russell Martin, listen to how Huntington feels the Pirates can help to keep Cervelli on the field during 2015.

The Pirates offseason has brought plenty of attention from Baseball Prospectus to MLB.com and other sites such as PiratesProspects.com that have gone to great lengths researching the most talented players in the Pirates system and ranking them in Top-100 lists. Under Huntington’s watch, the Pirates have developed a post season contender as well as one of the top farm systems in Major League Baseball with names such as Tyler Glasnow, Jameson Taillon, Josh Bell, Austin Meadows, Reese McGuire, Nick Kingham and Alen Hanson found in the majority of those lists. The Pirates GM talks about the people that deserve the credit for all of those accolades surrounding the future of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball club.

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Podcast Episode 4.2 – @Tony26Montana – FOTP, Media Star, Baseball Player

Tony Sanchez joined the RumBunter Podcast to talk Pirates baseball.   Friend Of The Program Tony Sanchez joined the RumBunter Podcast to talk Pirates baseball.

Tony Sanchez – the Pittsburgh Pirates catcher, social media mega star, crusher of scoreboards and Winter workout partner of Miguel Cabrera was a special guest on the RumBunter Podcast. Around talking to his roommate (his Mom), Sanchez looked ahead to the 2014 season while also reflecting on his rookie season in Major League Baseball.

We even provide Tony with a little internet surprise of our own!

TonySanchezFirstMLBHit The self-proclaimed college dropout recently made the cover of the USA Today with his savvy tweet regarding the New York Yankees signing of Masahiro Tanaka.


Tanaka is 25 and just signed for 155 mil. I’m 25 and my Mom still yells at me for not putting my dishes away. #Fail. SanchezUSAToday

Sanchez was busy finishing off his off-season workouts and talks about the work he has put in this winter to be ready to dominate in 2014. In just 66 plate appearances last season, @Tony26Montana hit .233/.288/.400 with a 92 wRC+.
He also provided fans with a highlight reel catch that will be remembered for a long time.
Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez landed on the concrete in the Padres dugout.
Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez landed on the concrete in the Padres’ dugout.
The defensive first Sanchez talks about the Pirates off-season addition of Chris Stewart. A good discussion is held regarding the Bucs catching situation and it’s a must listen. But then, what isn’t when Sanchez is near a microphone?
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Podcast Episode 4.1- The Pittsburgh Kid: NFW

Pirates second baseman Neil Walker joined us on the Rumbunter podcast

Pirates second baseman Neil Walker was on the Rumbunter podcast this week

Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker joined the RumBunter podcast to discuss all things 2014.  Walker is already at Bradenton, doing some early preparing for the season.  The Pittsburgh Kid talks about his improving glove work, all those defensive shifts the Bucs used in 2013,  hitting gap-to-gap, and he also drops an A.J. Burnett bombshell!

The podcast is a bit lengthy as Walker talks for well over thirty minutes with Cocktails and Smitty.  All the fun concludes with what might be his life’s work after his time in a Major League Baseball uniform is over.  The Pine-Richland super athlete shows off his future MLB Network prowess by providing his opinion and analysis in the 2014 season regarding several Bucco teammates.

One of the best attributes about Walk is the fact that he never, ever pulls punches.  Remember his famous line about “Huntington’s guys” back in the day?  He says what he feels and it’s always honest, from the heart, and spot on topic.

NFW and some fat Podcast host...

NFW and some fat Podcast host…

Many thanks to Neil for joining us to kick off this year’s edition of the best podcast in Pittsburgh- The RumBunter Podcast, but most of all, we want to thank YOU listeners for helping make us a success. You’re why we do this damned thing in the first place!

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Winner, Winner, Crimmus Dinner!

Hey, all!

Sorry to have taken so long to post this, but between computer issues, personal issues, the upcoming and recent holidays, and then the excitement of the Pirates re-signing Friend of The Podcast™ Kyle McPherson , well… we hope you will understand and forgive us.

[Note: ALL links in RumbunterPlus posts open in a new window. Always.]

First off we want to thank you for the support you’ve given the Podcast, this here new RumbunterPlus site, our sponsor, Dirty Gerty, and the well-wishes you’ve sent to us personally. As I mentioned in my Thanksgiving post, YOU are why we’re doing this.

Enough bullshitting around, you say? Get to the point, you say? Oh, all right. Fine. Simmer down. Mighty impatient, aren’t you?

In the last Podcast, we asked “Who was the very first guest on the very first Rumbunter Podcast, way back when?” The answer, of course, was Charlie Wilmoth (@WilmothC on twitter), founder of Bucs Dugout, and an all-around swell egg.

[Note to self – next time, pick a question with an answer that’s not so easily looked up on google/iTunes/edwordtoyourmother/rumbunter, and screen the replies. Derp.]

Okay – the winner of the Podcast Contest’s First Prize – the autographed baseball pictured in THIS post is… DAVID KALEIDA, known on twitter as @RDavidK (you should be following him), and the man behind the very fine 6-4-3 PUTOUT (bookmark it and visit it often!)

THIS Official MLB baseball, signed by SEVEN Pirates!

THIS Official MLB baseball, signed by SEVEN Pirates!

Congratulations, David!

Second Prize goes to Podcast listener DQ (unfortunately, we have no further info on him or her to pimp, so…)


This Pirates Rally Towel, handed out to fans at the October 1 game against the Reds! This 18 x 15″ towel, this piece of Pittsburgh Pirates history (currently selling on eBay starting from $20!!), from the infamous “Cueeeeeeeeeeee-to” game, will look great framed or unframed, or being twirled around your head, whether you’re at a Pirates’ game or just sitting around the house in your skivvies!

Congratulations, DQ!

So, David and DQ, we need you to give us your mailing addresses (your replies will be screened; David, I may… or may not… have your address around here, but give it to me again – just in case, willya?) so we can get your prizes out to you, tout suite! (I will try my best to mail ’em on Monday, but it’s more likely that I’ll send ’em out after returning from visiting the in-laws between Christmas and New Year.)

Keep visiting here for our next Podcast, and who knows – maybe even a Christmas/New Year contest – we’ve got some great autographed Bucco swag just layin’ around here, waitin’ to make its way into your hot little hands!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey, all!

Cocktailsfor2 here –

I just wanted to take a moment here to bang out a note about some of the Rumbunter-related things I’m thankful for, before I fall into a booze- and tryptophan-induced coma…

I’m thankful for YOU all for helping make the Rumbunter Podcast as popular as it is – if you enjoy listening to it HALF as much as I enjoy doing it, then you are some happy sunzabitches.

I’m thankful for Smitty – more than just words can express. He’s a rock – he does the work of any five people combined, and keeps things purring, both here and at Rumbunter.com , and he does it day in and day out –without making a penny on the site – and keeps coming back for more. He makes me laugh, and he’s ALWAYS got my back. When I grow up, I wanna be just like him. Without Smitty, there would be no Rumbunter Podcast or RumbunterPlus. There’d also be no Cocktailsfor2 on the ‘airwaves’  (Some of you might say that maybe that’s not such a good thing, but I for one am thankful for it, and most grateful and beholden to him). He took a chance on me three years ago, out of the blue, and we’ve never looked back.

I’m thankful for Mrs. Cocktailsfor2 for designing and implementing RumbunterPlus, and for putting up with the hours I spend on the podcast and me going to baseball games and us going to Pittsburgh every summer for The Gathering even though she despises baseball and me watching virtually every Pirates’ game on the internet and… well, you get the idea.

I’m thankful for all the Pirates’ personnel that graciously takes their time to appear on the podcast – NH, CH, Banny,  NFW, TSanch, Barmy, McFEAR, Poytress, SmashinLash, Colla, and so on, and the bloggers – Charlie, Vlad, Pat, Tim, Wilbur, Kipper, Kristy… and for MVP Adam.

And so, a safe and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and keep listening – you’re why we do it. And I’m thankful for that.




…P.S. – if you haven’t checked out our latest episode, jump on that shit NOW! Check out what Clint Hurdle has to say about AJ, Polanco, Jeff Branson, and more – and enter the contest! Click on “Podcasts” at the top of this page.

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Podcast Episode 8: The Manager – Clint Hurdle

Are you tired of seeing this yet?

Are you tired of seeing this yet?

The RumBunter Podcast had the pleasure of speaking with the National League Manager of the Year, Clint Hurdle.  The Bucs skipper answers the question on the minds of most Pirates fans–has he talked to A.J. Burnett ?

The interview also spends some time on how Gregory Polanco is doing in the Dominican Winter League.  But more importantly, Hurdle talks about what the Pirates, fresh from re-bonding the city of Pittsburgh to baseball, can do to regain a stranglehold on the Dominican, which was at one time a hotbed for Buccos talent.


The last time Hurdle was on the show was a little over a year ago.  The link for that show is available here. 

Let us know if you sense a different tone – thirteen months ago Hurdle had a lot more of explaining to do.

Both interviews are typical “no-B.S.”   Hurdle handles everything in the same manner – straight forward and full steam ahead.

And as far as the contest goes, here’s what you’re in the running for…

The Pittsburgh Kid &Tony Sanchez

The Pittsburgh Kid & Tony Sanchez

All-Stars Jason Grilli, Pedro Alverez

Jason Grill, Pedro Alvarez

It’s also signed by Jeff Locke, Gaby Sanchez and Clint Barmes!

The first person to correctly answer the contest question from the podcast wins THIS baseball! Leave your answer in the comment section below!

Good luck and, as always, thanks for listening!

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