Only The Pittsburgh Pirates Could Ruin Arrival of Gregory Polanco

Feb 27, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco (62) at bat against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Gregory Polanco is being called up to the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Rejoice!  Sing from the bridges, Gregory Polanco is coming to the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The minor league wonder child that has destroyed Triple-A pitching and has earned his way to the big leagues.

Wait!  Gregory Polanco is not coming to Pittsburgh.  Stop rejoicing!  Stop singing!

Wait!  Gregory Polanco is coming to Pittsburgh, but only when the powers that be say he is coming to Pittsburgh!

Gregory Polanco should be a celebration about everything the Pirates are doing right as an organization.  It should be a time the Pirates can tell the baseball world, we did something none of you could do.

But instead it’s now a mystery.  Twitter has created a new sports new cycle that is hilarious to watch unfold and allows rampant speculation.  It’s something that the Bucs could have controlled right from the beginning of the season, but instead it’s turned into a wave of indecision, mistrust and makes the Pirates look just plain ridiculous.

Is it money?  Is it ticket sales?  Is it that Gregory Polanco doesn’t like fireworks?  Is it cheaper to buy a plane ticket for Monday rather than Friday?

You know what it is?  It’s sad.  Sad for fans of the Pirates.  And most importantly sad for the game of baseball.

Only the Pittsburgh Pirates could make a mess out of something as special as Polanco’s arrival in the big leagues.  Polanco was passed over by every other team in the big leagues.  Super scout Rene Gayo saw something others did not see.  The Pirates authorized the cash needed to sign him when nobody else thought he was going to be able to make it as a pro ball player.

Now after the ball club has done what they have been ridiculed as not being able to do, develop a uber-talented position player, the club kept him in the minors because of money or because of his own abilities based on who you speak to on the subject.  And since it’s not actually money, it’s simply the thought of having to possibly invest more money in the future, it seems even more ridiculous.

But this is the way the Pirates have always done it when players reach the AAA level.  The team has come a long, long way over the Frank Coonelly/Neal Huntington regime.  Kudos to both of them for what they have done under the tight thumbs of owner Bob Nutting.

But doesn’t the ball club need to work on letting things go?   The powers that lead decisions seem to have a fascination with micro-management.  If a report comes out about one of their most talented players, a player that has created more buzz  while not even playing in the big leagues, why kill the buzz?  Of course, they have been killing the buzz all season surrounding Polanco, but maybe that’s the plan?  Keeping Polanco in the minors well after Super Two shows everyone that he just wasn’t ready.  It covers Polanco when he doesn’t set the National League on fire.

The powers at work right now for the Bucs have such thin skin that the Pirates will never be the big team in Pittsburgh.

And that my beloved readers is a shame.  A sin.

Very soon the Pittsburgh Pirates will have the talent on the field and on their bench to demand the city’s attention.   But under the current owner and their organizational chart, it will never have the city’s respect.

The Pirates have started to see a return in partnerships with the corporate world in the Pittsburgh region and even nationally.  The money and partners that are vital to becoming a powerhouse while operating in a small market are crucial.  But the Pirates will never engender the trust of the business world with how they currently operate.  That trust is what’s needed to make something truly special happen at PNC Park.

The Pirates have the talent to sell well over 3 million tickets annually.  PNC Park should be packed consistently season after season.

But just like Polanco’s arrival,  it won’t happen anytime soon.

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Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Eric Scot

    I absolutely agree that Pirates management loves to micro-manage and almost seemingly that if the reports about Polanco wasnt announced, he probably would be up Friday but instead will be Monday or even next Friday. Huntington likes to be the guy calling the shots, not someone who cracks under the pressure of the public or media to make decisions. I think its a good thing, however, if that ego and sensibility is as such to not call up Polanco because Huntington didnt get to tell the world first, thats a big problem. Dont be surprised if Polanco came up on a Saturday or a Tuesday just so Huntington can be the guy to announce it.

    • marcorincon

      Your damn right – I want someone micro-managing when it comes to people, salaries, etc. Just leaving it to the whim of the guy over in the corner who has very little skin in the game is no way to run an organization.

  • Tony Canella

    Who cares when he comes up.. Pirates are playing good baseball. No need to rock the boat when they almost won 6 of the last 7 games on the road. They’re hot. Let them ride out the hot streak then bring Polanco up when they cool down. No hurry in my opinion.

  • Eric Scot

    I disagree with that Tony because its a good chance that Polanco could struggle a little bit when he first comes up. When I say struggle, I mean taking more walks or only hitting singles, maybe striking out a little bit more than he has in the minors. The hope is that he can figure things out pretty quick and be an impact player through September. Get it out of the way ASAP.

  • JBubs

    Twitter is “a news sports cycle”? Man, you are either attempting satire or you are unbelievably credulous. I am inclined to think the latter. Rule Number One: Do not believe everything you read on the internet, particularly in a vacuous social-media site like Twitter. Rule Number Two: As a journalist, you are required to check your sources before you write. If you can’t, “can it”. If you don’t, you will be like all the opinion-mongers online and will quickly lose credibility. FYI, Nutting’s approach has always been short-term sacrifices for long-term gain. It is the correct approach for a small-market ball club. It is also working.

  • erik

    Whoever wrote this kniw nothing about Pittsburgh or the Pirates. We just had our first winning season in 20+ years and the Bucs are doing as well as ever. Why dont people discussvthe real problem. Teams can buy a Championship in baseball. They need better profit sharing to let smaller market teams have a chance. Furthermore anyone who would ever doubt the the Steelers will ever cease to be the citys #1 team never spent 5 minutes here or doesnt have a brain in their head.

    This city loves the Bucs but lives for the Steeler far as sports are concerned. Simple fact.

    Go BUCS!!!

  • tillzen

    Those who report sport serve three masters; their readers, the athletes they need for content and the the teams they need for access (and buffet tickets). Rumbunter is no different as they report a scoop on June 4 and then when they are wrong, suddenly they are bold enough to attack the eye-patched beast who feeds them. Sadly, however your “attack” rings as hollow as your “outrage” as again you straddle the line between legitimate journalism and being fed by the industry you serve.

    ” The team has come a long, long way over the Frank Coonelly/Neal Huntington regime. Kudos to both of them for what they have done under the tight thumbs of owner Bob Nutting.”

    Perhaps, the “real” story lives in the notion that MLB is a genuine business and that from Spud Selig on down these paper executives are “businessmen” in name alone.

    MLB as a trust / monopoly has none of the physics that rule free markets. TV money and the fan / consumers enable MLB to pretend they are a genuine business in ascension. We hear this in the Polanco story as the player refused to sign for chump change and the team is willing to use the rules to warn future generations of talent who is pretending to be in charge here. What if MLB is in decline and their business model’s center can not hold? How would executives act or declare then? Might we be seeing this bluster currently? What if each time you hear an MLB executive (or ANY once powerful institution) declare that “we are in charge here” that between the lines, the emperor is naked and his castle is crumbling.

    The good news is that MLB and baseball in general can survive and even thrive if they would stop pretending that as the game is now, that they are viable. Were they to contract, from salaries to a 154 game schedule(amongst a million smaller things)they could be wildly successful. Instead, they continue to exert their fake authority on talent yet overpay a week later for that veteran they must have. Rumbunter could be holding the Pirates feet to the fire or they could continue to serve 3 masters and let the fans starve.

    I’m tillzen on Twitter and I approved this lengthy dirge.