Pittsburgh Pirates fans continue to scratch their heads wondering exactly who the heck these guys are coaching and running the show for the new Pittsburgh Pirates.
Day-after-day I receive emails asking the same question:
"Do you honestly think this group will make a difference Jake?"
Let’s be serious, if Ryan Doumit doesn’t feel like running hard to first, will any of these guys make him change his mind? If twenty of the players decide to head to Ybor City and club at Prana’s during spring break mid-March, will they not go knowing they aren’t supposed to? Will we start seeing bed checks at 11 PM, 2 AM, and 5 AM during away games?
The entire supporting cast is brand new with only Varsho having ever performed his role at the major league level. So not only are coaches having to learn, but their management team has never been in their roles either so there’s not much help there.
Basically, the entire Pittsburgh Pirates organization is being held together by a man who could have qualified as a Geritol spokesperson twenty years ago – the great Chuck Tanner, who is nearing 80 years young.
I suppose when you look at it like that, if Tanner walked up to Doumit and said "son, if you don’t hustle down that line every at bat for the rest of the year, I’ll make sure you’ll never play another game of professional baseball" could be quite intimidating.
But it won’t come down to that. It won’t have to. Russell and his staff are going to work on team-building within their own ranks first. They have to. The roster as we know it today will eventually be blown up with few survivors and that’s when they will need to start making a difference.
Perhaps as early as 2010.
In the meantime, get to know them. Write them letters in support:
Name of coach
115 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
talk to them in spring training, and go to the games and watch them in action. More importantly, don’t expect them to be perfect because they won’t be. They will need time to gel as a group too.
Bay to the White Sox? Indians? Twins? Mariners? Giants? Heck, now it’s the Yankees. By the time Bay is dealt, if he’s dealt this winter, he’ll probably have been linked to 15 or more teams in baseball.
That type of deal probably isn’t going to be leaked. So the club you haven’t heard Bay linked to is probably where he will end up.
The funniest print story on Bay so far? This one from the Chicago Tribune:
"The Sox have plenty of relievers who could help rebuild the Pirates’ bullpen."
Now reporters are turning to slapstick humor. Hit this Pirate fan with another, Mr. Gonzales. Geezz.. just what we need, a reliever or two for Bay.
Yes, Nate McLouth and Chris Duffy were both mentioned as available in Jerry Cransick’s ESPN article today. But to be quite blunt, Cransick is becoming more of a tabloid rumor mill guy who occasionally gets one right based on the sheer numbers of junk he prints.
Who knows if Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington has offered them up. And more importantly, who would even want Duffy coming off surgery and not having played a solid year of pro ball since 2003? He’s a great cover guy, but come on. And McLouth in centerfield is a disaster and the only corner he could play is left but he doesn’t have the bat for it.
Yes, John Grabow was mentioned as available by the SportingNews today, who also mentioned Wilson and Marte.
Jonathan Mayo released Minor League Baseball’s top 50 prospect list and Andrew McCutchen was ranked 8th. Mayo did it right this year – he polled 20 amateur scouts and compiled their top 30 list into his top 50 list. Good work Jonathan.
Cutch – what’s with the dregs, man? Is that chicken wire for your dancin’?
Poor guy.. can’t get anyone to take a good picture of him.
It’s sickening to see where Rick Porcello is at 14th – three behind David Price and seven higher than Matt Weiters that the fans complained so much about. You may recall, Porcello was one of our choices last year. We missed a quality arm.
You have to wonder, if the Pittsburgh Pirates had raised their ticket prices this year, could they have possibly lost another 7,000 season ticket holders like in 2002? Maybe I should wonder instead if the Pirates even have 7,000 season ticket holders anymore?
Jeety’s Joint actually ponders why the Pirates didn’t raise their prices:
"But as a fan, I’m left a little puzzled. We have new front office leadership, and I’m struggling to see what is being done to improve the team. Aren’t we poor? It feels like they’re avoiding price increases to delay our disgust with them until AFTER the first season. Admirable, I guess."
Nice guy, kewl delivery, wonderful org PR.. no stuff.
Poor Cardinals fans. Last year it was Kip Wells, this year it’s Caesar Izturis. We know how you feel, believe me.