Monday, June 28, 2010
A Plea to Pirates Fans Everywhere
The Pittsburgh Pirates recently celebrated the anniversary of the 1960 World Series win over the New York Yankees. The Pirates marked the occasion by adding another loss to their streak. They did eventually win, ending something around a 13 game loosing streak. Last night the Pirates lost 3-2 to the Oakland Athletics, marking their 14th straight rode loss. While the score was a far cry from the 12-4 debacle they had the night before, a loss is a loss. So staring in the face of what surely will be another (18th) loosing season, why should anyone have faith in this team?
The sad truth is that in the sport of baseball, as most of you know, there is no salary cap. Because of this lack of a cap teams like the Yankies and Red Soxs can afford to buy talent. I mean New York's salary matches that of a developing country. Teams like Pittsburgh however, cannot afford to spend money on big names and thus are forced to scout out hot rookie talent.
A problem is caused there when your scouting team sucks. Since the drafting of Barry Bonds (who at the time was as skinny as a twig, wonder why?) the Pirates have failed to draft any real talent. The only contradiction to that statement was the drafting of catcher Jason Kendall. The only problem with Kendall was the fact that after a certain amount of time he just stopped caring about his team, which was ever so apparently doomed to failure. As of late rookies like Garret Jones (who is in his first full season in the majors) and Andrew McCutchen (Also in his first full season) along with call ups Jose Tabata, Brad Lincoln, and Pedro Alvarez have but a new vibe to the team. Local boy Neil Walker shows promise at second base. The youth is there, the talent is growing, but a few pieces of the puzzle are missing.
While youth is a good thing, it has it's problems. With any rookie comes rookie mistakes, when you have solid starters to play around and make up for those mistakes it evens out, but when you have a team full of rookies you have a team full of rookie mistakes. The trade of Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, and Tony Sanchez basically wiped any experience from the team. The Pirates have stated that they will spend money on bringing in experience and talent when the time comes. I for one say that time is this off season. What we have is a powder geg of talent that needs a spark of experience to egnite it.
In short my message to the few true Pirates fans out there is this: See what they do this off season, if they make good draft picks and spend money on at least some experienced players to guide this young talent we have there may be some hope for the future of this team. On a side not let me mention the fact that it took like 80 years for the Red Sox to break the curse of the Bambino, and the Phillies lost 18 straight seasons before coming back to win the pennent. Keep the faith Pirate fans, keep the faith.