My position on the Pirates’ roster bloodbath from a year ago is well-documented (meaning, documented in posts on this blog that like three humans accidentally saw while Googling whether or not Elvis was left-handed), but many of the principles I’ve argued about — in a nutshell, the merits of paying to keep an aging proven-noncompetitive baseball team together versus utilizing playing time as a resource to improve and evaluate players who may fit a longer-term plan — are extremely well articulated in this post by Joe Posnanski, one of the best baseball writers out there today.
Posnanski’s rational frustration in this post is specifically geared towards his hometown Royals, but it’s an equally applicable retort to the Pirate masses who were outraged at Neal Huntington a year ago (and continue to be).
Incidentally, the Pirates beat the Brewers tonight off another unexpectedly competent Brian Burres start, 6 RBI by 6 different players (including Burres), another solid bullpen performance, and a hilarious baserunning mistake in the 9th by Ryan Braun. The Pirates are currently sitting at 18-22, and are better than 8 other teams in baseball at the moment, though their astonishing -100 run differential (by far the worst in the majors) suggests their near-.500 record isn’t representative of their actual play and is likely to regress (even if the -100 is in itself also probably not representative of their play, as it includes a lot of piled-on blowouts and meltdowns by Charlie Morton and Hayden Penn).
My point is just, the Pirates are doing what the Posnanski article is saying and taking advantage of the time they have to evaluate players, and the team isn’t embarrassing itself in the process (and in fact, is playing about the same as it was a year ago). Isn’t this at least a little more refreshing than the hypothetical alternative of watching Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez (both DLed), Jason Bay (would’ve left regardless), Adam LaRoche, and Nate McLouth earning $50+ million between them and the Pirates being, like, 19-21?
Tags: Joe Posnanski