Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008, 10:19 am

The Pirates today bought out the contract of right-handed reliever Byung-Hyun Kim. This comes about a month after the Pirates signed Kim to that contract. That was in and of itself a bit of sketch comedy–the Bucs and Kim reached an agreement, but five days passed before Kim actually signed on the line which is dotted.  Maybe that should’ve given the Pirates an idea of how badly Kim wanted to play with them.

The deal was signed February 24th, just as Spring Training started. And you’d think that a professional pitcher looking for work would know that Spring has sprung and hone his skills to a razor’s edge, hoping to impress a potential employer. Ah, no–Kim required two weeks in Florida to get his arm ready to pitch. In other words, the Pirates signed Kim not knowing whether the guy could actually, you know, throw a baseball.

The good news is that Kim can still throw a baseball. The bad news is that Kim still has a hard time keeping baseballs from flying over the outfield walls. In five innings of work Kim gave up five homers and had an ERA of 14.40. I don’t know what the Korean word for shellacked is, but I’m betting it’s a word Kim is intimately familiar with.

Kim was scheduled to pitch yesterday, but said he wasn’t feeling good and was given permission to leave the park. Short of projectile vomiting in the bullpen, I’m not sure what manner of illness would move a professional athlete struggling to make the team ask to be excused. But I’m not a doctor so I won’t comment further.

Nor did new PIrate GM Neal Huntington, who wouldn’t speak about Kim’s status with reporters. The Pirates would’ve owed Kim $850,000 if they hadn’t bought him out by 2pm today, so the Bucs chose to hand him 300 dimes to make him go away. Three-hundred grand for basically throwing batting practice to a handful of Pirate opponents. This does not speak well to Mr. Huntington’s ability to find bargain-basement veterans who can still contribute in the major leagues.

Seriously, this Pirate season could end up being a ton of fun. They are gonna be AWFUL. Even in Pirate terms this year could be a fiasco. I think the goalposts have been moved–instead of meekly hoping for a .500 team, the best Bucco fans can root for is a team that doesn’t lose 100 games. The best-case scenario involves Jason Bay, Adam LaRoche and Zack Duke having huge comeback seasons…and then getting traded just after the All-Star break. That’s the only thing that could give Pirate fans hope–that the team’s few decent players will play with superhuman drive, focus and determination, knowing that this is their only hope of breaking out of this Purgatory. Can’t hardly wait for Opening Day!

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2 Responses to “Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss”

  1. Predator314 Says:

    Jason Bay is a stud and will have a 30+ HR season assuming they can find someone to put behind him in the order to protect him. Too bad all his HR’s will be solo shots though 😉

  2. Brother Anthony Says:

    I respectfully disagree, sir! Our Buccos will be a lot of fun because they will win more than they lose this season. Playoffs are just around the corner of another winter. Good times. Count on it.

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