Late deal posturing? Fukudome?

"Huntington said he has been rebuffed in numerous attempts to gain permission from other clubs to interview for the assistant GM position. Instead, he is now focusing on hiring a player development director and scouting director." – John Perrotto, Beaver County Times, Nov 5th

"The end result is that [Huntington] now has a long road to hoe to establish any credibility back with the fraternity he just screwed members of, he faces anger and a loss of credibility within his potential new club because some of those members are in the fraternity and are fighting mad he didn’t do the right thing to begin with, and he’s quickly finding out he can’t hire the help he wants because fraternity members are turning their backs on him." — Bucco Blog, Sept 23rd

’nuff said.

Very few additional rumors are coming out of Orlando dealing with the Pirates. There were a few people who wondered if it might be more advantageous to the Pirates to posture themselves as late sellers hoping for a bonus windfall if they did decide to deal Ian Snell or Matt Capps. It was an interesting idea because of the limited amount of quality pitching in the free agent market which is sure to be snapped up in a hurry leaving quite a few teams with holes to plug.

I received a lot of email about my stance on John Russell so it’s only right to add this disclaimer: he’s the manager and I’ll support him from here on out mainly because I have no choice. No, he wasn’t my first, second, or even thirtieth pick, but it is what it is and that’s all there is to it.

There’s some talk going around about Neil Walker starting for the Pirates in 2008. The reason seems logical enough – the Pirates managed near replacement level production from the position last year at .250/.314/.385 plus Bautista was nearly -1 win defensively.

Pirate fans seemed to be enamored with the idea of the Pirates getting into the race for left-hand hitting superstar Kosuke Fukudome, a Japanese corner outfielder. Even with Fukudome’s elbow problems last year, he’s expected to get a $12-$15 million dollar deal over 3+ years.

Bob Nutting can certainly afford to go after him, and it is sexy thinking about McCutchen in center and Bay and Fukudome on the corners in 2009. No doubt about it.

But it won’t happen.

Another common theme in the email bag is trading Jason Bay to the Marlins for Miguel Cabrera. Where do you play Cabrera if we did get him.. third? Then who plays left.. Nady? McLouth? With all the pitch to contact arms we have, that would be total disaster.

Don’t look for that to happen either.

But one email I received had a great Lou Piniella/Tony LaRussa type of idea: start every game with either Matt Capps or Damaso Marte for an inning or two and then bring in our starter. That way the starter could be in the pen getting warm and the Pirates could try to avoid first inning blowouts that have killed them.

This borders the idea I had last year of using a tandem rotation scheme where starters and relievers switch back and forth. One game a starter starts and the next game he’s the reliever.

I like it.. unconventional as all get out, but it might work, especially on the road. But then, who would close? Torres on the road would work, but at home? Chacon if resigned?


Unfortunately, the Pirates are too stuffy to try anything off the wall like that.