McLouth and Coonelly enjoy flight to Phoenix


Nate said he had a gut feeling and he was right.  (So much for my dumb dream).  Nate has been signed to a multi-year deal and now the pressure really mounts.  He was a steal making roughly $425K, now he is in the millionare club.  Those expectations can have an impact on a player.  The Pirates and the faithful fans trust it will only make him play harder.  Coming off a career year, it is a lot of trust.

So, I wonder how the flight to Phoenix was? I am sure the pilot was aware of how important this flight was for Nate and calmed his nerves with some of the following…Mr. McLouth on the left we are passing over the ocean…. below you is the Sonoran Desert, and Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the….

Nate of course had to go because it was going to be the first arbitration hearing since 2004. The premise of arbitration was as follows.  Nate defends his case for a large number.  Nate pulls the Golden Glove out of his carry on, he shows pictures of all those home runs, doubles, the ads he is featured in all over Pittsburgh.  The Pirates defend their case for a slightly less, but still very large number.  The Pirates argue a little bit about the lack of range our center fielder has, or something about a one year wonder, I don’t know what the Pirates arguement was going to be…

Then a judge decides what McLouth gets paid and its back on the plane to Florida for McLouth and Coonelly.

Except the arguing didn’t happen. Arbitration was avoided.  The plane rides weren’t avoided, but they say Phoenix is nice this time of year.  Did Nates agent forget to tell him?  Were the Pirates playing a practical joke on Coonelly to get him out of the office?

What a great story. GOOD FOR THE PIRATES.  I LOVE IT.

DETAILS FROM PIRATES PRESS RELEASE: “We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Nate on a multi-year contract that gives us the ability to keep him in a Pirates uniform through at least the 2012 season,” said Huntington.  “Nate is a quality person off the field and a talented, intelligent player that plays the game the right way on the field.  His dedication, work ethic and commitment should serve as an example on how to approach the game.”

Score one for the fans.  Now please go buy some tickets, we’re going to have a ball this year at PNC.