Just When You Thought The Pirates Columns Couldn’t Get Worse, Jay Mariotti Joins The Fray

I thought no pandering Pirates piece would ever top the uninformed vague-anger that was last week’s P-G editorial, but once again, I have underestimated Fanhouse’s Jay Mariotti. The following column is absolutely unbelievable, in every possible sense of the word (except any connotations of smartness).

Selig Must Investigate ‘Quittsburgh’ Mess

Pace yourself, people, it’s gonna be a long one.

The other night in Pittsburgh, where the city really is named after William Pitt and not its pits-of-the-world baseball franchise…

Ohhhh…snap? I think?

…a phenom named Andrew McCutchen hit three home runs… It’s the sort of drop-dead brilliance envisioned when they summoned the dreadlocked stud from the minors in June.

“Summoned the dreadlocked stud” makes it sound like Neal Huntington was some sort of wizard conjuring up a mythical beast from another dimension. Maybe a slightly dramatic way of saying “Called up the prospect…”

Yet rather than quiver in anticipation, fans of this ballclub — assuming any are left — sit paralyzed in fear.

Oh crap – we do?

Because when it comes time to reward McCutchen with a contract commensurate to his abilities and numbers, or when it’s clear the Pirates still can’t win even with his everyday presence, won’t management coldly turn around and trade him away? Just as the Pirates did with Morgan, Jason Bay, Nate McLouth, Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Adam LaRoche, Ian Snell, Xavier Nady, Jose Bautista, Ronny Paulino, John Grabow and, dating back to earlier this decade, the likes of Aramis Ramirez, Jason Schmidt and Brian Giles?

Wowowowow, we’re off to a terrifically insane start. Let’s try to digest this paragraph of random names.

I was unaware that the trades of Nyjer Morgan, Ian Snell, Jose Bautista, and Ronny Paulino were all salary dumps. I mean, the Pirates were crazy to let building blocks like Jose Bautista slip away, but I’m pretty sure most of those dudes were pretty crappy.

Great point about Brian Giles, though — as soon as he got good, the Pirates’ cheap, short-sighted management had the audacity to sign him to a 5-year, $45 million extension. Wait, what? Ok, fine, so they signed Giles, but then they COLDLY TRADED HIM AWAY!!! …For Jason Bay and Oliver Perez. And Bay immediately began outperforming Giles, who was clearly past his prime. NOTE TO MARIOTTI: Leave all of this out of a column ripping on Pirates management, because it is a complete counterexample to the point you are trying to make.

Aramis Ramirez was a straight-up salary dump, no one’s arguing that. And this detail affects Neal Huntington…how, exactly? Also, note that Mariotti shamelessly engages in my new favorite Pirate-column cop-out: Lumping the Xavier Nady trade in there with all the other moves, even though he’s played seven games this year and is a free agent in two months, and thus is a stellar example of the Pirates’ current strategy working.

No reason to get too angry yet, plenty more insanity yet to come…

They aren’t operating a major-league franchise in western Pennsylvania. They’re running the Quittsburgh Pirates, a perpetual surrender shop, a feeder system for legit teams, a bush-league train wreck in a waterfront ballpark much too beautiful for such a vicious, endless cycle of consumer fraud.

“Quit” rhymes with “Pitt!” At least we’re not the New York SPANK-ees!!! Rhyming a thing makes it true. Now the Yankees are masturbators.

And for the record, the Quittsburgh Bush-League Train Wreck Surrender Shop Of Doodooheads have a better run differential than 10 other teams in MLB. Those teams must play in cities that rhyme with even worse words than “quit.”

If Clemente were alive, he’d want his statue removed from the premises.

Seems awfully presumptuous to assume Clemente wouldn’t understand the current regime’s need to rebuild their core of talent. I’m pretty sure Clemente wouldn’t want the Bucs to throw money at Jeromy Burnitz and trade for Matt Morris again, but unlike the author of this column, I don’t speak on dead Roberto Clemente’s behalf.

The general manager of this fiasco is Neal Huntington, who was hired late in the 2007 season [Ed Note: 2007 was not 17 years ago] from the Cleveland organization — which, by the way, has traded away back-to-back reigning Cy Young Award winners in successive summers (Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia) and is the American League’s version of Quittsburgh.

American League Quittsburgh won 97 games and was one win away from the World Series in 2007.

His plan is to rebuild a bad farm system, but in the process, he has traded off a group of respectable, and, in some cases, quality major-leaguers. Bay, McLouth and Morgan would comprise one of the best outfields in the game if still together. Wilson and Sanchez were huge fan favorites and best friends who worked well as a double-play combination. Snell was a 14-game winner at one point.

Jesus Christ, Mariotti, you’re making Huntington’s argument for him. Here, by your own estimation, is the collection of talent the Pirates had last season:

1) Good-hitting outfield.

2) Infielders were fan favorites, best friends, and turned double plays.

3) Ian Snell won 14 games in 2006.

If those are the three most positive things you can say about a baseball franchise, how is your instant reaction anything other than “HOLY SHIT, THEY NEED TO REBUILD THE FUCK OUT OF THAT TEAM!”

Yes, Pittsburgh is a smaller-market club. But so, for instance, is Minnesota, which at least milks its best homegrown players and remains highly competitive until they leave for monster money (Johan Santana, Torii Hunter).

What the hell? You were just ripping on the Indians for trading away C.C. Sabathia in his contract year when they were out of contention, and now you’re praising the Twins for trading Johan Santana in the offseason before his contract year? You’re interpreting identical courses of action in two completely opposite ways in one paragraph! You realize that we can scroll back up on the page, re-read what you said about the Indians trading Sabathia, then scroll back down again an infinite number of times, right? We don’t just forget the crap you say right after you say it (unfortunately). Wait, lemmie scroll up again and make sure that Cleveland thing is still in your column.

…the Cleveland organization — which, by the way, has traded away back-to-back reigning Cy Young Award winners in successive summers (Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia) and is the American League’s version of Quittsburgh.

Yep, still there. You realize that you can decide on a point before typing English words randomly, right?

“We don’t feel like we’ve broken up the ’27 Yankees,” Huntington said. “It’s not like we’ve taken something on the rise and tore it down.”

But how would he know if he doesn’t give it all a chance, if he refuses to augment talent with more talent, if he dumps all but four of the 25 players he inherited in 2007?


Jay Mariotti. Is saying. Hang on a sec. [STABS PEN THROUGH OWN EYE TO FEEL PAIN TO MAKE SURE I AM STILL OF THIS WORLD] Jay Mariotti is saying that we’ll never know if the Pirates were the ’27 Yankees because Neal Huntington never game them the chance to prove it.

Here were the MLB Standings on July 31st, 2008. Note that the Pirates — with a healthy Bay, Nady, McLouth, LaRoche, Wilson, Sanchez, Snell, and Gorzellany — were 50-58, 14.5 games out of first, trailed 7 teams in the Wildcard race, and had been outscored by 69 runs, 46 runs WORSE than their current 2009 mark. They lost 94 games in 2007, 95 in 2006 (the year of Snell’s magical 14 wins!), and 95 in 2005.

These Pirates had their chances. I am gonna go waaaaaaay out on a limb here — and I may regret taking this blasphemous stand, and if it backfires, I apologize — but personally, I believe that the 2008 Pittsburgh Pirates were not, in fact, the 1927 Yankees. But Mariotti is right — now that Nyjer Morgan is gone, we will never know.

But integrity is integrity. Know how the fire sale impacts the National League pennant race? The Pirates still have nine games left against the Chicago Cubs, seven against the Los Angeles Dodgers and six against the St. Louis Cardinals. If they were a respectable team, they could be a factor as a spoiler. No chance of that now.

One more time, ladies and gentlemen, because you’ve been such a great audience: Your 2009 MLB Standings!

The Nationals and Padres = Not impacting the integrity of the game whatsoever.

The Pirates = Digging up Abner Doubleday’s corpse and raping it.

…It’s no longer his problem, but the sickness remains. When Wilson shed tears the day he was traded, Pirates fans surely wanted to join him. There is no present. There is no future. So why have a team in Pittsburgh if there is no hope?

Mariotti had to duck out for a sec, so he let Roger from Rent write this paragraph for him.

“People might wonder what we’re doing, but if you keep looking at all the names we’re getting and all the premier talent we’re getting, it’s going to equate to a very solid, very good ballclub in Pittsburgh,” Russell said. “We have big names all over the diamond. That’s where we’re headed.”

Until everyone wakes up some summer day and sees one of those names, Andrew McCutchen, traded for two or three prospects. That will be the day when baseball in Pittsburgh dies, assuming it hasn’t already.

DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nothing like driving your point home with a theoretical example that may or may not happen in the indefinite future.

My. Lord. There are no words. Except all the ones I used already.


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20 Responses to “Just When You Thought The Pirates Columns Couldn’t Get Worse, Jay Mariotti Joins The Fray”

  1. Tim Says:

    Mariotti is a nimrod. This post is right on. Two thumbs up!

  2. Jimbo Says:

    I’ve been reading this blog on and off for a while and this post was fantastic. I’ll now be adding Elvis has Left to my RSS. Keep up the great work.

  3. Van Slick Says:

    I bask in you rationale thought in a time of ill-informed national screamers … thank you.

  4. King Says:


  5. sharky Says:

    The one point he made that was true was McCutchen. McCutchen will be traded for “prospects” by 2012 because he will be too expensive for the Nutting Pirates. Mark my words. It will happen.

    This cycle is never ending.

  6. Hicktown Says:

    Great post and terrificly to the point. I don’t get King’s response. Who did you want to stay? What statistic can you point to that any of the players that left helped the Pirates win any friggin games? They are in 17 straight losing seasons. You want to bring in big names, who??? Before we received all these prospects in the trade who would you have given to get anyone? Do you think any organization wanted anybody in our minor league system besides McCutchen?

    I hate the losing, but the half assed approach to rebuilding that went on before Huntington and Coonley got here did nothing other than extend the perpetual losing.

    Now, if we get to 2012 and we are not signing the prospects to longterm deals, then I will be done with the Pirates and then you can be pissed at the ownership.

  7. Mr. Kennedy Says:

    The Pirates are a never ending cycle and only shmucks still follow them.

  8. yinzer b Says:

    Well done. Mariotti is an insult to Pittsburgh

  9. MattB Says:

    Yep, that’s right, Jay. Trading Nyjer, Bautista and Paulino were clearly salary dumps. I mean, they were in the middle of giant contracts, right? No?

  10. Steve Says:

    Sharky, you are a ruh-tard.

    Of COURSE the cycle is neverending. Do you know baseball players are not good forever? It is infinitely better practice to extract as much value from them prior to the point at which they become overpaid. And McCutchen will be a Pirate until at LEAST the trading deadline of 2015, as he will be elgible for free agency in 2016. Who knows, he will be 28 years old, and they may sign him to a contract as they did with Giles, ORRRR, they could trade him as an impending free agent and get back another player or two of his pedigree. Would that be such a bad thing?

    I am tired of hearing the ramblings of people who are under the assumption that each player can be kept, and will keep performing, for an indefinite period of time. It doesn’t work that way.

    Hell, this stupid article by Mariotti mentions Jason Schmidt. Yeah! He’d have made the 2009 Pirates better! Why didn’t we keep him! /ends Marrioti-idiocy

  11. sharky Says:


    Since instead of having a good discussion you had to start with an insult, I will act in kind.

    The cycle I refer to, since you are obviously too stupid to understand, is the cycle of dumping players for minor leaguers that rarely pan out. To the Pirates front office, McCutchen is someone who they could get a bunch of border-line prospects, that is it. They are content with putting together a AAA team at the major league level as long as they still get their welfare check from the Yankees and Red Sox. There is no incentive for them to improve the team as they are turning a nice profit the way it is.

    You are probably dumb enough to still believe in the front office when they dump the entire roster again in 2 or 3 years when they get too expensive (for Nutting but not any of the other 29 teams) and the team still is below .500.

    And the cycle will continue until there is a new ownership, or until mental midgets like you finally get it and stop supporting the ownership.

    Aren’t you sick of having a farm team for the rest of the League?


  12. Kevin in ABQ Says:

    Precisely the king of writing logic one would expect from the man who makes Woody Paige look like a Mensa scholar.

  13. Opie Knows Best Says:

    Sharky…your post, as well as the article by Mariotti, would have been well placed at around the time of the Aram deal or the Moskos drafting. As of right now, there simply is no other way for there to be sustainable winning in Pittsburgh other than to have a great farm system. It was so barren going into 2008 that even after all of these trades, it is still about average.

    Let me ask you. What should Opie have done? What were his options?

    If your beef is with Nutting it is well placed. His feet should be held to the fire continuously until the farm system has been paid for with tons of high schoolers signed away from attending college and international signings. But if you want him to sign the next round of Bu-rand-ez…I’m sorry. That’s just not the way to have a sustainable, competitive team over the long haul.

    It’s not Opie’s fault that the only way for this team to be relevant year upon year is to replenish a depleted farm system left to him by the Littlebrain regime.

    This blow up needed to be done. If it gets you more angry at the Nuttings then be my guest. Just be sure to ask them to spend their money on draft picks and international signings over the next 2+ years so that we can continue to compete year upon year.

  14. Steve Says:

    LOL, wow you are clueless. Its tough to have an intelligent conversation with someone who has no idea how the system works and thinks that you can keep baseball players performing at their maximum performance level into perpetuity.

    “McCutchen is someone who they could get a bunch of border-line prospects”

    He will be here until the 2015 season at the very least. Are you really so dumb as to think they will trade one of the top prospects in all of baseball? They are buildling around cheap, high-end talent, so they can accumulate as much as possible of it. If you build around expensive high-end talent, you will 1. get burned with injuries or 2. only be able to afford a certain number of those players.

    “when they dump the entire roster again in 2 or 3 years”

    Only Duke, Capps, and Cedeno will be eligible for free agency in the next 2-3 years. Again, get a clue.

    It is abundantly clear have no idea how the MLB salary structure works, how arbitration works, or how to build a team. If you want to see how this method has been successfully implemented, please go see the 2007 Indians, the 2009 Rays, and both Marlins World Series winners. For that matter, please refer yourself to the 1990s Yankees dynasty that was built almost exclusively through drafting their own players. It is not a coincidence that they have failed to win a World Series since they began the practice of trading any prospect that was anywhere near good for overpriced veterans.

    Now, revert to your mindless and irrelevant Nutting-bashing within your own mind.

  15. NEWS AND NOTES | Football Blog Says:

    […] Mariotti wrote about the Pirates, which means we should all duck for cover. Thankfully, Elvis Has Left has taken Mariotti to task on […]

  16. Top Posts « WordPress.com Says:

    […] Just When You Thought The Pirates Columns Couldn’t Get Worse, Jay Mariotti Joins The Fray I thought no pandering Pirates piece would ever top the uninformed vague-anger that was last week’s P-G […] […]

  17. aewriteon Says:

    Love this post. Great blog!

  18. Bones Says:


  19. King Says:

    You are truly an idiot if you “believe” in the Pirates ownership… They start the year off with 50 million before selling one ticket and they throw a team on the field which has a payroll of what 28 mil? Come on that’s a joke! The only reason I will attend one game this year is because OAR is playing! Mariotti is a top notch reporter who shouldn’t have to waste his time reporting on this garbage but thank god someone is drawing attention to it because I honestly think some of you tards enjoy the sucko’s and how they lose all the time and only post one hit against a guy who only had 1 win all year… JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE!!!!

  20. Brian Says:

    Fanhouse is great except for all the celebrity writers they brought in. I like reading writers who don’t have to paragraph every damn sentence, and who can make sentences longer than ten words.

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