Every now and then I read an article about the Pittsburgh Pirates that makes me smile from ear to ear.
Dejan Kovacevic’s article in DKPittsburghSports.com “The Great Regression? Maybe not, but maybe” is one of these articles.
It’s a pretty common theme here at RumBunter that our readers and staffers were pretty underwhelmed by the acquisitions of pitchers Jon Niese and Ryan Vogelsong. Were the Pirates just inexplicably giving up on this season? What was Neal Huntington thinking? Had we all drunk too much Ray Searage Kool-Aid believing too much in the Wizard of Brandenton?
But, alas…something sweet was dangled in front of us today:
A remote possibility.
Read this little Kovacevic nugget on the starting rotation and tell me it does not make you feel warm and fuzzy:
“Hey, there remains the real — the very real, I’m told — possibility that Neal Huntington could still address his inexplicable hibernation on this critical matter. And yes, that means before the opener.”
It signals to me that the Pirates organization might feel like there is still more than can do. Moves are still possible. That’s encouraging. This team needs to try hard to win a World Series before the window closes.
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Kovacevic is down in Florida at spring training covering the team this week – joining regular beat writer Matt Gajtka. They’re like a tag team of fun – crushing out articles, conducting interviews, shooting video.
Kovacevic really flays the starting rotation woes with logic that is unassailable. It’s possible this group can come close to last year’s performance, but it is highly unlikely. It’s a long shot. Against all odds. Everything would need to break the teams way: Cole/Liriano both stay healthy, Niese turns it around, Vogelsong has a late career comeback and Jeff Locke finds a way to consistently make it to the 6th inning every night.
The state of the rotation is just one of many parts of the story. None of the themes are totally new – but they’re just presented in a fun exciting way that I appreciate. If I didn’t read this today, I’d be reading about John Jaso’s lack of a childhood endowed with cable television or David Freese’s offseason media consumption habits. Not that these are bad stories, I read all of Travis Sawchick’s stuff everyday and enjoy it immensely. They’re just not the story: what about this team would lead any reasonable follower to believe they will be the same or better than last year.