Go ahead and call me crazy, but at what point do the Pittsburgh Pirates do something considered risky? We put together 14 wacky ideas that make perfect sense, in our minds, for the 2014 season. Even if the team did something a little bit out of the norm, it would seem monumental.
With suckers like me buying (and selling) tickets at a record pace, the team is unlikely to do any of these things, but it’s still fun to think about spending some of Bob Nutting’s money, perhaps igniting a fanbase, or to some of us just acting like crazed lunatics.
If the team feels like Gregory Polanco is the real deal, offer him some money.
Same with Clint Hurdle, Neal Huntington and Frank Coonelly. Why haven’t these extensions been made by Nutting yet? Sure it’s been a great ski season, but isn’t it time to focus on baseball now?
Unload all of the fringy fourth outfielders and give Chris Dickerson a shot in right field. Rather than just spreading some rumors around to light a fire under Travis Snider and Jose Tabata in hopes that they act like they want the right field job.
How much improvement will Tony Sanchez need to make in order to get a shot? Russell Martin isn’t going to get an offer from the Pirates for future years, so with Chris Stewart out of commission give the backup job to Sanchez–he’s earned it. But figure out a creative way to let him play late in games. If that means Martin plays third or right field, roll with it. Or better yet, teach Sanchez how to play some other positions. Get creative, be aggressive.
As much as I would hate it, unload all of the fringy “third” first baseman types and give Gaby Sanchez the gig full time. Save a roster spot, just make Sanchez prove he can hit right handers. It probably won’t work, but the brass has considered it for most of the offseason. The Bucs brass went on record as saying Sanchez might have just needed more opportunties. So screw it, give it to him. Stop talking about it, call Lambo in and tell him the bad news. The kid feels it anyway, so just announce it.
After Edinson Volquez’s next start that ends in misery–should be in about three days–don’t send him back out for the second inning. Have Uncle Ray Searage look him in the eye and tell him his calf hurts. Cue the DL stint and allow him more time to figure it out. Award the fifth starter job to the pitcher that is deemed the most impressive in the final few Grapefruit League games. Because as skipper of the year Clint Hurdle says, we all know that these games matter.
If the team feels like Pedro Alvarez is going to take the next step, at least get Scott Boras on the phone and let him know you want to hear his contract demands. Of course, El Toro will ask for a Brinks truck. The deal won’t work out, the Bucs will low ball and Boras and El Toro will turn it down, but that’s their decision to make. Play the game.
Ditto for Gerrit Cole.
Write the next Moneyball . Call it Shiftball. Damn that’s close to a curse word–so that’s not going to work for a title. But whatever the title is, figure it out, blow our minds. Show us how much you want to repeat what happened last season in 30,000 words. Let Dan Fox write it, the book would be a freaking New York Times bestseller. The only hard part would be deciding who would play Frank Coonelly in the movie.
Get the Postseason ticket strategy set before May 1. The scramble last year was a mess.
If the goal is to get to 2.5 million tickets sold, it seems to me like the last 100,000 are going to be the hardest to sell. What incentives are set to ensure those last 100K happen? The worst thing would be to only get to 2.4 million.
Give the Pirates players the right to vote for player of the game. The winner gets Nutting’s parking spot the next home game. Yeh it’s complicated, but you can figure it out.
Trade Grilli now. Save the heartbreak later.
Do whatever needs done to be done to ensure that the team gets to keep those bullpen arms that have had a good spring. Something tells me the Shark Tank is going to spring a leak this year.
Double Jeff Banister’s salary.
Get that damn Rule 5 pitcher back from the dog saving Milwaukee Brewers. I never even saw him pitch, but to think he’s figured it out with those bastards makes my gut ache. What the hell is his name anyway? Not Hank, the pitcher! Damn, we hate the Brewers.
Stop all the ticket exchange nonsense. The list of benefits for being a season ticket holder made my head spin. I couldn’t even make it halfway through the list. Why in the world if a fan doesn’t attend a game is that fan allowed to trade the ticket in for another game? That’s freaking bad business. Very cool, but that won’t be a long term sustainable practice. At least we trust it isn’t.
The Pirates want to win the World Series. That’s cool. We find it unlikely, but we might be in the minority. We would shoot lower. Why not win be the World Series Champions of craft beer? Have the biggest craft beer list of any ballpark in the big leagues. Now, that’s an achievable goal.
Fix the damn wi-fi in PNC Park. I need to send selfies to my wife and buddies without staring at a circling globe all night.
Make more pissers in PNC Park.
There is still time.
Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates