The Pittsburgh Pirates sit a game and a half out of first place. It’s July 4, 2011. If you’re reading this you aren’t dead. It’s real.
Where is Bob Nutting’s head at right now?
Our first big question we have is will Bob Nutting be on the same page as Clint Hurdle and Neal Huntington in regards to making the current roster better? It’s an unknown. Where does Bob Nutting stand in all of this scoreboard watching, BucTown mania, and Hurdlemania insanity?
At the 4:04 mark Nutting says the franchise won’t be handcuffed, so let’s believe that Nutting will be behind decisions that Neal and Frank think are good for the team.
Nutting has talked a big game in the past, let’s trust Frank Coonelly can work some magic to get some more cash from his coffers. The man with the cash gets disturbed numerous times in the video when speaking about the financial condition of the team.
So do you trust Nutting to deliver when Neal and Frank ask for millions of dollars to improve the roster, to win the championship as he said? It’s a big question and could impact whether this team gets a little bit better at the deadline or takes a significant step forward toward the goal of winning.
Nutting has put his money where his mouth is in regard to the draft, and recent international signings. Now let’s see how it works toward a pennant race.
Will the Pirates deal Paul Maholm?
Pittsburgh is on fire with Pirates talk. Fans are developing wild trade ideas. Blogs are cranking numerous trade scenarios. Talk shows are pulling big numbers. Hell, Mark Madden is talking Pirates baseball for God’s sake I just think I saw locust swarming in the backyard. Oh it is bad, but oh so enjoyable. Just admit it.
The most talked about Pirates player being looked at regarding the pending July 31 trade deadline is starter Paul Maholm.
If it was my money and my team, I would keep Paul Maholm. He’s left handed. It’s important to remember the importance of a left hander at PNC Park. He devours innings and lately, he does a very nice job while doing so. He doesn’t do mini-camp, but when he performs like he has in 2011, he proved we don’t know shit.
There wouldn’t be too many players around the Major Leagues that would interest me in return for Maholm as we sit here today.
Can the Pirates fill up PNC Park during the week?
We predicted the Pirates would start filling up PNC Park. In fact on May 26, we said the Bucs would sell out eight consecutive Saturdays. It will happen.
All of the Pirates fans and the Phillies fans, and the Red Sox fans coming to PNC Park is paying off. The Bucs have been filling up PNC Park. We think today against the Astros will be a near sellout. Just watch.
It doesn’t add up to a lot of cash right now for the team, but is it a sign of the future? Are the Pirates confident that it can carry over to next season when it’s highly likely the schedule won’t be as favorable as it was this year?
If the Pirates can continue to leverage the success of this season into sales for next year, hell why wouldn’t the Pirates take a shot on a rental player that would impact the ultimate goal of winning a championship. A player like Carlos Pena perhaps?
Can the Pirates continue to overcome injuries?
How are the Pittsburgh Pirates doing this in 2011? Seriously. Just stare at that disabled list. We looked at all of the numbers, the WAR, the fWAR, it just doesn’t make sense.
But maybe Hurdle said it best, every player that has come up and played has put something in the bucket. The players aren’t coming up and hoping to do good. It’s damn refreshing. Frankly, it blows my mind.
As the team nears the All-Star break, it is becoming very cool to think about getting talented players back in this lineup. Nothing against eighth string catchers, but my fingernails are gone.
Will the Bucs clean house against the NL Central in their next 15 games?
One hell of an opportunity is staring the Pirates directly in the face. Three games with Houston. Three games against Chicago. And then following the break, three games with Houston, three games with the Reds, three with St. Louis.
The answer the Bucs provide in the next 15 games should shape what happens before the All-Star break. The team can essentially force Nutting’s hand on the trigger. Buckle up.