No Erstad? Sanchez and Cubs? Plus, PR hits

Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington had a chance to add a quality player in Darin Erstad but for some reason passed on him at the same price Chris Gomez cost him.

Let’s see.. Erstad potential upside or Gomez downslide? Erstad’s glove or Gomez’s no-glove? Erstad’s left-hand bat or Gomez from the right side?

You say Gomez was needed to handle the hot corner in Bautista’s stead? Don’t we have Sanchez (+20 runs UZR at 3B 2005 – 2006) with a guy named Josh Wilson (+/- 0 runs UZR at 2B) able to take over at 2B? You think Gomez was needed to spell LaRoche? Erstad actually plays a very solid first base (+14 runs UZR in 2005 — +1 runs UZR 2006 and 2007).

No brainer.

This is exactly the type of deal a small-market team needs to make – a plus makeup player on the rebound wanting a one-year deal who understands he doesn’t have a full-time role. And he’s the kind of player who will rock the NLCD right-hand arms. 

I understand not signing a Lo Duca, I understand not getting involved in the Lamb sweepstakes, but I don’t understand signing a Gomez over an Erstad when we are dying for left hand bats and people who can cover the ball.

Oh, that’s right. I guess we should believe power sluggers Ryan Doumit and Chris Duffy will be available all year.

I swear I still feel the ghost of Dave Littlefield. Yeah, we might as well start Pearce in AAA too.. it only makes sense.

Only four days left for you to register and try and win a 2007 Neil Walker bobblehead. By registering at Bucco Blog’s Pittsburgh Pirates Discussion Forum before the stroke of midnight New Year’s eve, you are automatically entered. recaps the year saying:

"Pirates’ 2007 marked by inconsistency

"There were defensive lapses and offensive inconsistencies. A relatively young group of pitchers endured growing pains, though each of the rotation’s top three starters would finish the season with a new high in career innings set.

"The bullpen and bench struggled early, only to mesh as the season progressed and as roles and personnel changed… Twice the Pirates endured periods in which they dropped 13 of 15 games. And when it came to Interleague road games, the club reeled off just one win in nine games."

Yeah – it’s the players fault. They were "inconsistent," had too many "lapses" and "growing pains," and "struggled" often.

Are we supposed to believe from that article that the writer believes if the players hadn’t been "inconsistent" et al that they would have been a .500 team or something?

I mean, isn’t there a high correlation between "inconsistent" play and extended periods of low player payroll? Sure there is, and that high r value is called low morale.

You get what you pay for in this world.

I think the Cubs and Pirates need to work on a package deal with Freddy Sanchez and Josh Vitters as the main cards. Retrun the call Huntington.

My Hall of Fame card? Hey, since it’s the year of steroids, I’d vote for McGwire since he won’t get one anywhere else. Best bet? The Goose.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished below .500 for the first time in eight years last year. However, they saw the post-season in 6 of the previous 8 plus took home the World Series trophy two years ago. But that’s not enough for one Cardinals blogger who is now calling out the front office as liars and demanding change:

"For Cardinal fans, the promises that were made 3 years ago, last year and this year have turned out to be lies. A spade is a spade and until we get some proof that DeWitt, Johnny Mo or any other person employed by the team is willing to make the changes necessary to elevate this business above mediocrity, than we shouldn’t relent. After all, it’s a business. And us, the customers, have been lied to long enough."

Talk about spoiled rotten fans. Imagine this dude 14 years from now.



I suppose we now know where Kevin McClatchy got the idea for the red uni’s last year.

Last year the Pirates front office went to sleep from Christmas until well into the new year. It was the first time in years the Pirates didn’t make a deal or sign a major or minor league free agent during the period.

Looks like we’re sleeping again this year.

I actually went back and counted how many fan emails I have received since Huntington took office that asked this question or a derivative of it:

"What are we doing?"

Sixty-three emails, with thirteen in the last four days.

The roster doesn’t compete on paper, they aren’t dealing for youth, and they continue to salary dump.

It’s sexy to think Bay will achieve a higher value if he mashes next year, but will he?

Bay will be in a contract year in 2009 so the the club that deals for him next winter isn’t going to pay anywhere near the value for him then he would command today coming off a bad year that is semi-explained with his knee problem. So why wait?

Sanchez is heading into declining years, has multiple health issues, and really isn’t a very good second baseman, so why keep him? And Nady and Wilson are coming off almost career years – we’ll never get more for them than we can now.

True – dealing all these guys means we end up with a replacement level roster that probably wins 50 games. But so what – at least we are getting the most of our value at the best possible time. Waiting does nothing but force us to eat declining values.. values that should be building our farm.

Isn’t that the plan? Shouldn’t that be the plan?

I said it once and I’ll say it again – I think Huntington has a deal or two already worked out and he won’t pull the trigger on them until mid to late January because they hope to get as many season ticket holders resigned before they make their moves knowing they are going to take a huge PR hit.

It’s all about the almighty dollar, baby.

Where oh’ where has the Pirates coverage gone, oh’ where oh’ where could the beat writers be? You can hear a pin drop..

Boy, talk about one dead city for Pirates coverage.

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