Bye Bye Bull Rider; Serious Gigabytes Saved on Jumbotron

No more barbed wire at PNC Park?  The Pittsburgh Pirates shocked fans at a few minutes after midnight when they non-tendered Matt Capps .

It’s our opinion that GM Neal Huntington tried to bluff at the poker table called the winter meetings.  He told everyone he was going to offer a contract to Capps.

He probably tried to deal him. 

Nobody believed he was going to tender Capps, or more likely, the GM’s just waited until midnight to see exactly what they had to work with from the non-tender list. 

A deal couldn’t get done.  And this move is certainly risky on the Pirates part. So now, the Red Sox, Cubs, Cards, and several other teams are thought to be ready to pay the Bull Rider.

We gotta say, congratulations to the Pirates front office.  This move will be watched closely by the fans and can you imagine if Capps gets it together?  The talk shows are going to continue to torture the Bucs for this one.  Oh, my what fun.

It’s a big, hairy, ballsy move on Neal’s part.  It surely can come back to haunt him.  I really get the feeling something more is up with Capps’ health.  As much as we pick on the Pirates, personally, I won’t miss Capps.  Sorry.

A shoulder injury in 2008 and this year’s elbow problems combined to be enough for the Pirates to keep the check book in their pocket.   Never hard for the Bucs to do.

After nearly a week at the Winter Meetings, obviously nobody was interested in Capps.  Two good seasons and one awful season, well, it was good enough for JJ Putz, but not for the 26 year old Capps. 

Of course, Capps isn’t Putz.  He has a poor strikeout ratio (6.89K/9), is a fly ball pitcher (36% GB), but until 2009 had the ability to command his low 90’s fastball anywhere in the zone.  Three outings really made his ERA (5.80) soar, his BABIP was widely discussed and why wouldn’t it be it was .370!

The Pirates cant afford to spend millions on a question mark.  No matter how bad the bullpen will be, the Pirates have finally shown that  a multi-million dollar contract will never be issued while fingers are crossed under the negotation table. 

Gotta believe Capps needs to get in better shape too.  He looked in better shape in 2007 when his HR/flyball rate was 4.4% and 2008 when it was just 6.8%.  This year it doubled to 13.5%.    According to several people we have spoken with, Capps conditioning was an issue this season.

So why wasn’t Capps moved before the 2009 season?  We spoke about it in our spring training preview, but it fell on deaf ears.  Why not at the deadline?  Seriously, it’s just a waste of time asking questions. 

The bottom line, Capps was effective in his career.  A Pirates closer is very similiar to a Steelers QB in these sports crazed parts of the country.  The next guy in line certainly would be better.  It’s simply a bitter shame that a move couldn’t be made before it came to this. 

One thing we won’t miss however is this:

Tags: Matt Capps Phil Dumtrait

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