It’s questions and answers like this exchange at pirateball.com that really gets my blood running:
Q. Is there any chance the Bucs will go after Torii Hunter?
A. No, and there are two reasons why they won’t.
The first is financial. The economics of the market in Pittsburgh just can’t compete when it comes to landing the big-name free agents. . . Second, the Pirates’ main priority this off season isn’t for help in center field. . .
I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it.
Bob Nutting could take on Torii Hunter at 5/80 without dealing one player from the current roster and still not put a significant dent in his 2006 – 2008 profits.
Now, I’m not suggesting he should, I’m just saying he could. "The economics of the market in Pittsburgh just can’t compete" when landing big-name free agents is just plain hogwash. That’s how marginal teams move up the ladder.
If we sign a +7 win player like A-Rod at the equivalent of $30M per year, ditch Bay, Marte, Wilson, Torres, Nady, and Grabow to bring A-Rod’s cost down to $15M per year for a couple, then surround A-Rod with players like LaRoche, McCutchen, Sanchez, Pearce, and Paulino, do you think we’ll win more than 70 games?
Heck yeah. Especially when you start adding in the wins from the booty Bay et al could bring in as well. So what if Robert Nutting’s profit is cut in third. Geez..
Then after reading that poke-in-the-wall exchange, I ran across this tidbit from the Pirates CEO Frank Coonelly buried in a Trib article Sunday:
"We’re not going to sign another Tony Armas — players who are only marginally better than someone you can sign for the major league minimum. Instead, we will plow that money into player development."
Plow what where?
Here we go again – this time it’s rebuilding management using a McClatchy era coined phrase. Come on Frank – the fans don’t want to hear that BS. Tell us EXACTLY what you will spend it on or don’t say anything because you’ll be hard pressed to find any Pirate fan that believes you.
Next thing we’ll be hearing is money saved in 2008 will be plowed back into scouting, or Bradenton, or laser fireworks. Hey, the scoreboard is now a year old now – we need a new one. Chock it up to player development since they watch it.
Dang – it’s really hard to be a Pirates fan anymore.
Folks, stop emailing me about Erik Bedard. There is zero chance we will get him. I just thought he’d be a nice addition.
One of the Pittsburgh Trib papers (Trib is the official newspaper of the Pirates, or something like that) said at pittsburghlive.com:
"While we cannot endorse Russell, something we mistakenly did for Lamont, McClendon and Tracy, we wish him well."
Does it get any lower than that folks?
"I was talking to a friend who works for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization and he told me about.."
Batton down the hatches – they are coming out of the woodwork now.
Psssttt.. inside scoop here: I was talking to a friend who works for Hank Steinbrenner and he told me he was trading Hughes to the Bucs for Jose Castillo and a few bucks.
Duke’s wedding is plastered all over the web for you to enjoy by their wedding planner:
Good stuff. Congrats to them both.