When the Pittsburgh Pirates started writing checks
this offseason, most Pirates fans had an opinion. Some were positive, but most were questionable at best. It hasn’t stopped there as the acquistions have been written about by numerous national writers. Again, some of the reviews have been positive, while most question their moves, some even the motives.
It’s the nature of the beast.
What the Pirates are doing confuses people. We think they are scared, fearful even. Spending money scares the shit out of some people, especially when it’s a franchise like the Bucs.
The article at Call To The Pen focused on Pirates GM Neal Huntington, as a writer that was once confident in Huntington, now has questions. But be sure of one thing, Neal Huntington and Frank Coonelly aren’t scared of shit.
As a reader of RumBunter, you know how we feel about this offseason. Especially the acquisition of cult hero Matt Diaz. Based on career numbers alone, Diaz, when combined in a platoon with Garrett Jones, should produce a .300/.360/.500 line with 30 bombs.
Why wouldn’t a team like the Pirates do that? That’s All-Star shit. If only the games were played on paper of course, but the alternative, the Pirates internal candidates simply aren’t quite ready. Remember last year when a back-up plan didn’t exist? Yeh, that shit is over.
So after reading the article, we scrolled down to offer our take in the comments section, we found that MarkinDallas had beat us to the punch. Listed below are his outstanding comments. Enjoy.
"“Sadly, messes like this are tough to undo, and then the next GM has tons of work cut out for him, making the cycle start all over again.”How in the world can you justify this statement? There aren’t any long term commitments being tossed at these players. $4M or $5M per year for a year or two is practically peanuts to any MLB club, including the Pirates.Did Iwamura’s contract last year cripple the Pirates next GM? I don’t think so.$4M to $5M is supposed to buy you a 1 WAR player, and it’s quite likely they will produce as such.Why should the Pirates just simply assume that they are going to suck, so why try to stop the roof from completely caving in? I mean, if the Pirates are ever going to be good with this core group of players, the big improvement has to come from Alvarez, McCutchen, Tabata, Walker and maybe McDonald and Morton.What if those guys have phenomenal breakout years, but the Pirates still do nothing because they are throwing out Brian Burres every 5th day and they are suffering through John Bowker hitting grounder after grounder to the second baseman?Why shouldn’t the Pirates at least try to field a team that doesn’t completely suck at any one position? Is Lyle Overbay a great player? No, but what he might be is a baseline below which the Pirates can not fall. If someone like Pearce wrests the position away from him, then great! But Pearce is the best “prospect” the Pirates have at this point for that position, and he could actually be a nice compliment to Overbay in a platoon.Then you complain that the Pirates are using a platoon in right field – “As if they need to worry about that”. Wha?????? That’s exactly what teams SHOULD do that don’t have one good all around player at a position. You say they should “scour Triple-A for potential contributors”? Again… Wha???? I’m sorry, do you not understand how teams generally protect their AAA players likely to hit better than Matt Diaz? I mean, finding Garrett Jones was one heck of a story for just that reason. If you happen to run across a Nelson Cruz, that’s great (who cleared waivers in 2008 and played in the All Star game the next year). That just better not be your number one strategy with no backup plan. And, BTW, the Pirates are already doing that.The point here is that it is perfectly acceptable for the Pirates to attempt to avoid another historically rotten season. I truly don’t understand this attitude of “Oh well, we’re not going to win the division so we might as well just suck the life completely out of all our young and developing players by losing as many games as possible.”"
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