Will Pittsburgh Pirates’ ban on Mark Madden continue in 2015?


Pittsburgh media member Mark Madden has easily been the most outspoken critic of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ leadership over the years.   The self-proclaimed ‘super genius’ has rode the wave of public distaste for the Pirates management and he’s gained accolades for bashing the organization at every possible turn.

Neal Huntington has been square in the cross-hairs from day 1, as Madden has consistently laid down the hammer on practically every trade that Huntington engineered throughout his magnificent tenure.  Madden’s mantra consisted of the fact that the ownership and current GM didn’t care about winning and only cared about making money.   He drilled that sentiment into the minds of his listeners and he swore that the Pirates would never win.  There was only one problem.

Should I remind Mr. Madden what the starting rotation looked like going into the 2013 season compared to what it looks like now?  I’m sure he has no clue, so I guess I should.  Prepare to laugh at the notion this group translated into a better roster.

He was dead wrong.

Despite his claims of sports-knowledge superiority, the radio host showed  little to no real baseball analytic foresight during the entire Huntington era.  The keen baseball minds within Pittsburgh, and believe me there aren’t many, understood that in order to turn around the worst franchise in sport it was absolutely necessary to blow the team up and start from scratch.  Huntington did exactly what was necessary.  He sold off the high priced veterans, used the money to sign young talent including top draft picks, and focused on building a sustainable franchise.  This is without even mentioning the investments that Bob Nutting has made into improving the team’s infrastructure from top to bottom.

No matter how blatantly obvious Huntington’s plan was, for some reason the sheer concept completely evaded the allegedly massive brain of “Double M” and he continued his assault on the Pirates well through the winning seasons of 2013 and 2014.

Smart move, Mark.

So it should come to no surprise that as a result of the repeated, yet horribly inaccurate criticism of the organization as a whole, Madden claimed the Pirates directed all personnel to not appear as guests on the show last year.  My only question is:

What took so long?

It is bad enough that he blindly dragged arguably the most talented GM in the league through the mud every chance he could, but what’s worse is that he offered up zero credible baseball insight in the process.  Madden is to educated Pirate fans  as Jamal Mayers is to Mark Madden.    Someone who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with a prediction and who is so consistently wrong when they discuss the sport that listening to the commentary for any extended period of time will make you immediately want to veer off the road into the nearest bridge embankment just to escape the shortsightedness.  What real value did Madden bring to Pirate organization in order to justify appearances?  He ridiculed fans for being idiots for nothing more than wanting to go cheer for their favorite team while they powered through the best resurrection in the history of professional sport.  He chastised the players on the field for not being good enough to win ball games even while they were literally…..winning ballgames.  He marauded the organizational leadership for never spending any money and for not wanting to win even while they were…spending money and trying to win.

So why would the Pirates give back with ratings?

The answer is they shouldn’t and I would be surprised if they ever will again.  As recently as this week Madden has said on air that the Pirates are worse this year than they were last year and that 2013 was the best roster the Pirates had.

Should I remind Mr. Madden what the starting rotation looked like going into the 2013 season compared to what it looks like now?  I’m sure he has no clue, so I guess I should.  Prepare to laugh at the notion this group translated into a better roster.

Behold the nonsense:

Hmm yes, I can see his point.

Well, to Madden’s credit maybe he was talking about the players in the field.  So just for fun, let’s look all the way around the diamond and see if we’re in better shape this year than we were in 2013.

Aside from the Catcher position, I think it’s hard to argue against the fact that there are CLEAR upgrades at first, short stop, and right field, and Josh Harrison is a massive defensive upgrade at the hot corner.  So please, look at the starting rosters for both seasons and tell me with a straight face that the 2013 roster was better.

Exactly. You can’t.

Pirate fans, it appears as if this is the type of ingenious commentary we could look forward to on the airwaves this upcoming season.  It truly is unfortunate that in a town that is literally craving any sort of resemblance to meaningful and creative baseball insight that this is what we are forced to listen to.

For real Pirate insight all season long follow me on twitter @TheBigTuna66

Next: Tyler Glassnow a future ace for the Pittsburgh Pirates