The Pittsburgh Pirates are not a great baseball team right now. However, the team shows some serious ability especially when a rookie takes on that stud filled lineup and puts up seven zeroes on the manual scoreboard in Wrigley. Each day there are several things that make me proud as hell to be a Pirates fan. Sure we poke some fun at the Bucs, but everyone at RumBunter feels rather good about where the club is headed.
The Chicago Cubs are everything I don’t want to see in a baseball organization. It’s a fly infested wasteland of $146 million dollars tied into seemingly dead-end contracts. Only the Yankees and Red Sox have invested more. Do you think the Cubs have enough players who give them anything but a glimmer of hope in providing this team with an opportunity at the post season?
After watching the Pirates Brad Lincoln pitch a solid game yesterday as the Pirates won 2-0, it says here, there is no possible way Chicago comes close to postseason play. They are a disaster.
Lincoln put the Pirates on his back by allowing just four hits and then the Pirates rookie waited patiently until Garrett Jones and the Pirates offense could scrap a few runs together for another victory over the Cubs.
The Cubs offense is horrendous. For a team built to hit home runs, they struggle to get base hits. Especially against the Pirates. And the Bucs pitching staff has been awful and pretty awful all season.
But take a quick look at the Cubs, seriously, the Cubs manager Lou Piniella said this today about ‘The Carlos Zambrano Situation.’
Time is a good way to heal wounds. The tongue is a small organ in your body, but it can cause a lot of pain and you’ve got to be able to control it.
Some sidewalk preacher type stuff isn’t it? Zambrano is this year’s Milton Bradley. The money invested in Zambrano would fund an entire Pirates pitching staff the past few years, one could even throw some position players in with that much cash. Pirates fans should be laughing like raging hulligans at their division foe. The Cubs are paying Zambrano something like $19 million a year. I think the big issue for Zambrano is he hasn’t pitched well–his velocity is down, too many walks, and he has been hit hard.
Now think about the Pirates public relations ‘nightmare.’ Give me a break. A pierogi writes some stupid stuff on Facebook. Yippee. He makes $25 bucks a game, not $19 million a year. The team can pay a guy like that, and his mother to go away, how do the Cubs get rid of Zambrano?
The Cubs third baseman is paid how much to hit well below the Mendoza line into July? The Pirates have a third baseman bubbling with talent and possible future third basemen in the wings should he need to move to first base. The Cubs don’t have a viable option if Ramirez continues to suck like a Liberty Avenue lady of the evening. If some desperate team would like to trade for Ramirez, the Cubs certainly would be on the hook for over $7 million in his salary.
The Cubs have a shortstop who is paid how much to slug a bit over .300 and carry an OPS around .620? The Pirates really need a legit shortstop. The Cubs Castro looks tough doesn’t he? The Bucs do have a young talent in waiting, Chase D’Arnaud leads the Eastern League in doubles, he is second in triples, and sixth in stolen bases and is finally hitting, with a .303 AVG in the month of June.
The Cubs have a left fielder who makes $19 million dollars this year. And next year. And the next year. And, yes, the next year. Who wants a player like Soriano, who is owed at least $70 million bucks? (Did I hear crickets?)
I will take my chances with the Pirates Jose Tabata and then look at the various options they are developing. Can Alex Presley stay hot? Will Milledge continue to hit like Ted Williams and force future playing time ? How long will it take for Starling Marte to rise through the system once recovered from his injury? The Pirates have numerous future options in LF. The Cubs have some outfield options as well, but remember the Cubs have one sure thing. The amount of paychecks owed to Soriano. What an insane contract.
The Cubs have a right fielder who is owed $12 million dollars next season. Kosuke Fukudome starts arguments quicker in Chicago than saying I wish Jack Wilson was still here in Pittsurgh. To move Fukudome out of Chicago would take the team putting some serious contract dollars in their mouth and chewing. What a mess.
The Bucs have serious pitching challenges. It’s a cause for concern. But at least there are some arms, just about a year away with September 2011 call-ups. There is some interesting talent at AAA Indianapolis. Also, the Curve leads the Eastern League in ERA with Bryan Morris (1.99ERA), Rudy Owens (2.74 ERA ) and Justin Wilson (2.87ERA) patiently improving. The scouts and writers say it will be difficult for Owens to provide depth for the Pirates, but all Owens has done in the minors is punch out opposing batters. Let’s trust that trend continues.
Pirates fans also have a slew of pitchers in Charlie Morton, Kevin Hart, Hayden Penn and others that might stick once some “issues” like finding the strike zone are fixed. Donnie Veal will have to return from surgery. But you know what? These pitchers are in AAA working on improvement, not placed on a restriced list at the age of 29. I can live with that. Especially over a guy like Zambarano getting paid millions to get hit hard and bitch.
So there you have our take on the Cubs. They have suddenly become old, and when they stop hitting homeruns it isn’t a very sexy team. Especially when starting to add up just how much money it is going to take to start winning again by trading/making players go away.