Pittsburgh Pirates: Derek Shelton Shows Backbone for Young Bucs

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates - Game Two
Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates - Game Two / Justin Berl/GettyImages

One thing that has frustrated fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates this season, outside of the rapid fall off of the team, has been the way the team has been seemingly treated. It seems like every game there are multiple missed ball-strike calls that end up costing the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs are a young team and do not need the umpires working against them. This seems to be the case.

While this has been frustrating, what also seemed to be an issue was the fact the manager was letting it occur. Shelton had a blow up early in the season at Tampa Bay but since then has not really shown much fire. In fact, other coaches have gotten into it with the Umpires before Shelton at times.

The game below is a bit of an anomaly because the Bucs still won this game despite the calls favoring the Mets. According to Umpire Scorecards on Twitter, the Mets actually gained nearly a 2-run advantage from the strike zone being called. This is just one example of a scorecard that completely goes against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On August 13th, things started to change in the Pittsburgh Pirates dugout. In a close game against the Cincinatti Reds, Shelton finally snapped on a close pitch that ended up being a fourth ball. This had been happening all game and Shelton finally erupted. After Shelton, pitching coach Oscar Morin and bench coach Don Kelly were also tossed.

It is good to see this from the manager. Shelton seemed to quiet down after that Tampa series. Now, it seems like he no longer is worried about the idea of getting thrown out if he feels like he is in the right. This is crucial for young players and their development. It shows that their coach has their back and that alone should give confidence in their play. However, it is also important for the young players on the Pittsburgh Pirates to get legitimate chances at the plate and on the mound.

We once again saw Derek Shelton step into action on Friday night against the Minnesota Twins. Catcher Endy Rodriguez was unhappy with the home plate umpire Andy Fletcher and let him know that. However, the plate umpire can be seen getting pretty tense with Endy. After the inning, Shelton is seen talking to Endy which then prompts the manager to go out and get into it with the home plate umpire. Again, it is good to see Shelton not worrying about getting tossed but rather trying to prove a point that this type of stuff is happening to much to his team