Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Defending the Pirates trades
Now it's blatantly obvious that the Pittsburgh Pirates are absolutely crapticular. However, as of late, I've been hearing people bash the tandem of CEO Frank Coonelly and GM Neil Huntington. I, for one, happen to be completely on board with what they are trying to do. I will now explain to you all why I agree with what they are doing with our beloved Pirates.
1. The Bay and Nady trades
This seems to the the hot button issue amongst Pirate fans. People have told me, "Bones, if we would have kept those two and our pitching wasn't awful we might make a run at .500." Let's face it, if there was a perfect storm for the Pirates this season (Bay, Nady, Doumit, etc hitting like they were, Snell and Gorzo didn't have their heads up their asses, and so on) they would still be behind the Brewers and Cubs. Might make a run at .500 but aside from that nothing special. I don't want a run at .500. I want a consistant winner. Coonelly and Huntington aren't striving for mediocrity.
The past GM was criticized for buying high and selling low. I'm not going to mention his name because he was so god damn horrible at his job but wikipedia has all of his failures in one nice neat little package. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Littlefield.
The values of Bay and Nady weren't going to get any higher. Especially that of Nady who was hitting way past his career numbers and considering he hasn't played more than 120 games in a season.
In return for these trades, they received a plethora of pitchers (in case none of you have noticed the pitching has been horrible). Maybe none of these pitchers will be all-stars but the lack of pitching depth in the organization is pathetic. Huntington is trying his damndest to restock the cupboard that the prior GM (who shall still remain nameless) left bare.
They also acquired Jose Tabata, a 20 year old, ultimate boom or bust prospect. However, he has hit the ball extremely well down in Altoona since his arrival. In one trade, he became the second best prospect in the Pirates system. Players like Tabata are sorely lacking in the Pirates system. His ceiling is higher than Ricky Williams and Matt Jones.
Brandon Moss and Andy LaRoche came over in the Bay trade. Also coming along was pitcher Bryan Morris (according to some sources he is one of our top pitching prospects now). Moss and LaRoche have had a rough go of it so far, as do most young baseball players. They have the potential to succeed.
What it comes down to in my mind with the trades is this: Were the Pirates going to get over the top with Bay and Nady? The answer is no.
The mess with top choice, Pedro Alvarez, not withstanding the new regime did excellent in the draft. The prior GM wouldn't have had the nuts to draft Alvarez because of signability issues. We'll wait and see what happens with Pedro and his "advisor" Scott BorASS to pass final judgement.
After the Moskos/Wieters abortion (which still pisses me off to this very day), they had to make a statement that we aren't cheap and this isn't the same old shit. For your own perusal I'll give you Moskos's stats http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/M/daniel-moskos.shtml and those of Mr. Wieters http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/W/matt-wieters.shtml. Comforting thought isn't it? I'm going to go on to something else before I puke all over the keyboard.
They signed great talent above slot such as Robby Grossman, Quinton Miller, and Wesley Freeman. They've built an baseball academy in the Dominican and signed some players from Latin America. The past GM didn't get the memo that high quality talent comes from Latin America. They weren't able to come to terms with second round pick Tanner Scheppers but he wanted first round money with a bum shoulder. They'll now have two second round picks in next year's draft.
They are finally spending money in the right places. Putting it into the farm system as opposed to washed up/end of the line/re-tread losers. I'm not going name these bums because there are way too many and I don't feel like it. The owner Bob Nutting is actually opening up his wallet to help develop young talent. They have to build from the ground up. If Tampa Bay, the Brewers, Twins, A's can do it, then why can't the Pirates?
The Post-Gazette recently ranked the Pirates top 10 prospects (not counting Pedro) http://postgazette.com/pg/08246/908643-63.stm. The new regime has brought in 4 out of the 10 in just this season. This isn't counting Moss or LaRoche either.
In closing, I can definitely understand the Pirates fans who don't want to sit through another rebuilding project. We've all heard this same song and dance before. 16 losing seasons in a row is inexcusable and embarrassing. The rebuilding wasn't done right under Cam Bonerfay and the nameless GM. I'm convinced that Coonelly and Huntington are going about it correctly. It's going to take time and it's not going to happen overnight but stick with these guys. They'll have the Pirates back to contention.
On a totally unrelated note, I would like to thank Bice for giving me the chance to write here even though he shits all over me. Not literally because that would be weird and gross. How is he in position to give fantasy football tips? Just look who wins. I still haven't figured out how I was responsible for Katrina and AIDS.
Until next time kids....