Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Hey Pirates.... why not go all in?
OK, I have vowed to write at least one post about every team in the major leagues.
Obviously I have the Red Sox covered... and I have written probably too much about the Yankees.
I've talked about Benitez and Bonds, but I have a Giants post I am thinking up...
I've talked Devil Rays... because somebody has to.
And I tried to remind you that the power of the smiling bird will make the Orioles winners again.
So not counting the Giants that is 4 teams covered.. 26 to go.
Let's talk Pirates baseball!
When was the last time anyone said that?
Has anyone since Sid Bream slid across home plate to end the Pirates hope to go to the 1992 World Series?
Have the Pirates been relevant since Barry Bonds was skinny?
The answer is "no."
They haven't had a winning season since that same year, 1992.
And there is no excuse for that.
Or you will HEAR lots of excuses, but there are none that are relevant.
It used to be that they played in a lousy stadium.
And they did.
Three Rivers Stadium was a terrible place to see a ballgame. I went there in 1993 with my dad and it felt like the Steelers were graciously letting the Pirates play in their park.
Guess what?They blew it up!
And they replaced it with a beautiful new tax payer subsidized stadium.
Try again, apologists!
Oh the payroll is too high!
They can't afford the players.
Who are the big spenders in that division? The penny pinching Cardinals? The notoriously cheap Cubs? The Astros? The Brewers? The Reds? Seriously, it's not like they have the Red Sox and Yankees devouring all the players in that division!
Plus players who come up through the farm aren't that expensive!
Just look at the two reigning MVPs, Ryan Howard and Justin Morneau make less than $800,000 COMBINED
We're trying to rebuild!
They'd be better off rebuilding Three Rivers Stadium.
How long will this rebuilding go on?
Let me put it to you this way...
When the Pirates were last good (1992), the Marlins didn't exist yet.
Since then they were formed (1993), built a World Champion (1997), tore it down (1998), built another World Champion (2003), tore it down (2006) and have a brand new core of young talent.
And note that they STILL play in an ugly football stadium... and they can pull it off.
So do the Oakland A's! My god they have the worst stadium in baseball and 1/3 of their games aren't even on TV! Yet they are in the playoffs almost every year.
Same with the Twins who play in a gigantic cream puff and were about to be contracted!
Heck even the Montreal Expos had winning seasons in 2002 and 2003... AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE AN OWNER!
So here we are... kids who were born the same year Cabrera's single went into left field will be getting their driver's license next year. The Pirates have been completely irrelevant their whole 15 year lives.
And what do we have now in their division?
The Brewers (also 15 years since their last winner) is in first place, but starting to sink.
The Cardinals are a sad sad mess.
The Cubs pitching staff resembles the waiting room in Beetlejuice.
The Reds stink and the Astros just lost 10 in a row.
So, Pirates... why not make a run at it?
You've got Jason Bay and Freddie Sanchez and Xavier Nady.
You've got Gorezelanny and Snell in the rotation and Duke might turn it around.
Torres, Caps, Marte and Chacon all have some ability in the bullpen.
Why not trade away some prospects and get a bat? Mark Teixeira is available... make an offer!
Get another starter. Freddie Garcia is available too. See what they want!
The Pirates are only 5 1/2 games back a sinking Brewers team.
You've got a whole generation of kids in Pittsburgh who have never seen a winner, let alone a playoff series.
Come on! Cue up "We Are Family", make some deals and make a run!
I saw what the Warriors run did for Bay Area basketball fans. It was electric. It was as if the fans said "I didn't know I could feel this way about the Warriors!"
Make a run before you deal away Jason Bay for prospects who will grow up and get traded for more prospects.
You've got the stadium and the winnable division.
You've had 15 seasons to rebuild.
Make a run or those kids will get their drivers licenses and never drive to PNC Park.