Darkness Falls

Thursday, September 27th, 2007, 5:45 pm

The Pirates got shellacked by the D-Backs, in what was almost certainly John Van Benschoten’s last game as a Pirate. Former first-round pick, mutliple arm surgeries, and here’s the kicker–when Van Benschoten went into the draft, he was considered the premiere power prospect that year. The Pirates made him a pitcher. This year he was 0-7 with an ERA around 10.00. Great.

Also great is the story in today’s Post-Gazette about how new GM Neal Huntington plans to rebuild the rubble that is the Pirate organization. The word used was "reallocate", which probably means moving funds from the major league roster to the minor and try to build from within. Nice concept, maybe we should’ve tried that 10 or so years ago. Anyway, that probably means some trades are coming–maybe even a trade of Jason Bay, who was considered the cornerstone of the last Pirate reclaimation. I’m all in favor of that–the Pirates have no chance of winning next year (nor probably the year after that) and Bay seems a decent guy who deserves a chance to play for a major-league team.

The last three paragraphs of the P-G story are profoundly depressing if you’re a Pirate fan:


For the Pirates to keep their roster intact in 2008, it will cost an estimated $51 million, even if reliever Shawn Chacon, starter Tony Armas and infielder Cesar Izturis are allowed to leave. The most expensive salaries will be starter Matt Morris’ $9.5 million, shortstop Jack Wilson’s $6.5 million, Bay’s $5.75 million and reliever Salomon Torres’ $3.2 million. Second baseman Freddy Sanchez, first baseman Adam LaRoche and outfielder Xavier Nady all will top $3 million through arbitration.

Morris is the most obvious candidate to be traded, based on his salary, but the chances of another team assuming it seem even slimmer now than when former general manager Dave Littlefield did so two months ago, given that Morris finished with three victories in his last 19 starts.

"I don’t know what’s going to happen," Morris said. "But I’m looking forward to next year, and I’d like to be part of this team."

Morris is the most obvious candidate to be traded, based on his salary??? Are you frickin’ kidding me? As I wrote not so long ago, the Morris trade was one of the worst in Pirate history, and that’s saying something. The Pirates, with no chance to make the playoffs, took on the full $10 million salary of a guy who is at best a #5 starter…and two months later we’re looking to get rid of him? Dejan Kovacevic I think shows superhuman restraint when he writes that that chances of the Pirates making something out of Matt Morris are "even slimmer" than the Giants’ hopes were when Littlefield called and made Brian Sabean’s year. Can we fire Littlefield again?

Ten million bucks for three victories in 19 starts. Oh, and Cesar Izturis, who apparently will be allowed to leave? Yeah, we traded for him on July 10th. Maybe in the future the Pirates can trade for a player and then give that player his outright release the same day. It would save time for all involved.

Pirates will have a losing season next year, that’s inevitable. The following year, when they’ve traded Bay and LaRoche and Wilson and Gorzelanny for nickels on the dollar, they’ll probably finish with the worst record in the league. Figure two or three years for the prospects we acquire to develop…by my calculations the next potential Pirate winning season is 2010. And that’s if everything goes according to plan. I teem with confidence.

In my previous post I mentioned that U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo didn’t look happy as she walked off the field following Brazil’s 4-0 shellacking. Uh, did you see what she had to say afterwards? I hope she didn’t hurt her back after throwing both her coach AND her teammate under the bus. In Solo’s defense, she had reason to be royally pissed off. Then again, no way she stops the own goal, and I don’t think she gets the 3rd or 4th ones either. Still, it’s rare that you see an athlete be that pissed off and that candid at the same time. Gonna be an uncomfortable flight home from China.

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One Response to “Darkness Falls”

  1. The Brother Says:

    I cared for a minute. Then I remembered that it was woman’s soccer. Which is on the same caliber of me and my dog kicking the soccer ball around the yard.

    Im sure its ok now, because as I KNOW from popular movies (porn) these chicks are all making out in the shower right now.

    I care less about womens soccer (not in a porn movie) then I do about the Pirates and that is hard to do in Pittsburgh in late September.

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