Pittsburgh Pirates: A Message to Disgruntled Fans

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Neal Huntington deserves better.

The Pittsburgh Pirates GM has built this club from rock bottom in 2007 to a perennial playoff contender, and yet no matter how good or bad the team has been; he has never received the credit that he deserves for his work. Huntington is taking a lot of heat for his decisions at the trade deadline, and will take even more heat if the Pittsburgh Pirates do not make the playoffs. And it won’t be fair.

By getting rid of John Niese and Papa Fransucko (and Papa Fransucko’s contract), and acquiring Antonio Bastardo, Felipe Rivero, and Ivan Nova, Huntington made the roster better than it was on July 31st. Trading All-Star closer Mark Melancon is the one that fans gripe the most about, and I certainly see where the anger is. But in dealing Melancon, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Felipe Rivero, who has been lights out as the 7th inning man, and who also could develop into a premier reliever within the next three years. If the Pirates miss the playoffs, there will be plenty of reasons why, and the loss of Mark Melancon will not be one of them.

Clint Hurdle deserves better.

Sure, the team’s performance is often a reflection on their manager, but I don’t believe that to be the case with the 2016 Pirates. Hurdle is by no means perfect; his overall on-field decision making has always been suspect, but there is no denying the Hurdle’s greatest gift is his ability to motivate. I don’t think he has lost that gift in 2016, as the fact that he has kept the ship afloat for this long is impressive considering all that has gone wrong this season.

I can’t say anything for certain, as I am never in the Pittsburgh Pirates clubhouse, but I refuse to believe that #13 suddenly forgot how to rally his troops. For whatever reason, his players may have quit on him, and Hurdle has done too much good for this franchise and for this city to deserve the effort that his players are giving him right now.

Greg Brown, Bob Walk, Joe Block, Steve Blass and John Wehner all deserve better.

Some people may look at broadcasters as glorified fans, but the work they do in preparing for a broadcast, traveling with the team and sticking it out through blowouts such as the games on Sunday and Monday deserves respect. The Pittsburgh Pirates broadcast team works as hard for this ball-club as anybody, and they mean more to this franchise than Andrew from Bridgeville does. If a fan doesn’t like the way a game is going, they can leave the stadium or shut off the television. Broadcasters don’t have that option. If you heard Bob Walk’s voice through the radio towards the end of Monday’s atrocity against the Cardinals, you know that these type of stretches can take quite a toll on the men who call the game.

Next: The Fans Deserve Better