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  1. To be fair to the Nationals, they do have the money to spend, a large yet mostly untapped market, and truly believe they are 1 star player away from being a relevant team in 2012 (yes, ‘12 not ‘11).

    Making a splash for a player like Lee or Crawford could start a chain reaction with the Nationals creeping towards .500, the fans finally showing some steady interest, money flowing into the coffers, etc. Then they get back Strasburg, add another free agent, wait one more year on Harper…and bam, they have a full house, a motivated fanbase, and an 85-90 win team.

    Growing up a fan of the Phillies, I watched just such a process unfold. The Phillies were able to leverage a Jim Thome signing and a couple up and coming studs into their current 4 year playoff run and meaty payroll.

  2. How was it uninformed?
    What did he say that was wrong?

    I agree with the Nats, but the Pirates have had since 1992… more than enough time to draft a team and trade for at least one good team

  3. I can appreciate pointed, well researched and well written critique of organizations. I can even appreciate some barbed humor in taking shots at current management and ownership.In the case of this article, it misses on every front.

    Would love to see someone really put the work into trying to study the model the Pirates are using to rebuild from the bottom up, after years of trying to patch the top, the middle and the bottom. This article’s attempt was a swing and miss.

  4. ecp,

    It’s true that even a top offer to Lee or Crawford from the Nats probably wouldn’t be enough to coerce them into signing. However, the Nats do have the pieces in place to be able to say to them “we believe you are the key component to resurrecting our franchise.” They can make a unique offer to these top free agents – sign with us and we’ll not only pay you commensurate to your skills, but if you continue to play at this level you will make a place for yourself in history. Lee or Crawford might not be the players who get sold on this point, but they will eventually get someone over the next two seasons.

  5. How did it miss on every front?

    Have they drafted well? Clearly not, they’ve wasted their first round picks over and over. And the guy showed his work

    Have they traded their veterans well? Clearly not. And again, whoever wrote this showed that.

    Clearly they are a team who keeps changing managers and changing strategies and nothing has seemed to work because they are still the worst team in baseball with no end in sight.

    Plus I thought it was kind of funny

  6. It’s not mutually exclusive. We could be 2 people but I could be schizo

    I thought the same thing.

    I am Mark from Florida. Not sure who the other Mark is.

  7. There are two Pirates organizational models, the 1993-2007 model and the 2008 – present. I think that Joe Sheehan gave the fairest assessment, both good and bad, that I’ve seen written in years. The Pirates deserve no credit for what they did to this organization for 15 years, but to not understand what has taken place in the last three years is another thing.

    Read this link to Sheehan’s article and tell me is you think it’s fair, accurate and on point.

  8. Just guessing here, but, if you’re going to dump veterans like Nady, Bay, McLouth, Sanchez, Jack Wilson, and even Nyger Morgan, I believe you have to have a better return than merely reduced payroll. 105 loss seasons don’t really help increase your season ticket holder fan base….

    thank god for revenue sharing

  9. Of course, of those players, only Nady, Bay, and McLouth had any real value at all. The Bay deal was a disaster, but Nady hooked them another decent role player in Tabata. It’s hard to criticize the Bucs for picking up a post-hype toolsy player like Milledge for Morgan (who’s really barely better than a 4th OF). I recall the Sanchez trade was universally considered a huge win until Tim Alderson fizzled this year.

    People criticize Huntington for not getting back more, but these were generally really mediocre players (aside from Bay). I doubt there’s a team in the world who would have traded more valuable parts for any of those players.

  10. And yet other teams can get at least serviceable big leaguers in trades and draft quality players in the draft.

    I find the whole “Hey Dave Littlefield was awful!” argument to be as tiresome as “Hey look at how bad Bush left the country.”

    We know… start turning it around.

    3 years isn’t enough to turn the Pirates from a terrible team to a contender… but it is long enough to put a .500 team on the field.

    Right now the team is worse on the field than when Littlefield was in charge and even the most optimistic appraisals have it be 2 or 3 years before the team is mediocre.

    Yet they always draft in the top 10, they have dealt away players at the trading deadline who had enough value to at least get someone on the 25 man roster.

  11. You have to have pieces with value to get returns via trade. Or you have to play the prospect lottery by trading for a toolsy long shot. As for the draft, I think that’s the whole point being made, Huntington has done pretty well for himself via the draft.

    If you’re tired of the Dave Littlefield was awful approach, you probably don’t appreciate just how epically terrible he really was. Huntington inherited a 25 man roster of mostly below average players and a farm system as barren as the Sahara. He has tried to rebuild via the draft and international efforts, but prospects usually take a solid 3-5 years to develop. The earliest fruits are just now nearing readiness.

    The Pirates shouldn’t even try to be competitive for the next 3 years. They need more elite draft picks to help rescue the franchise.

  12. At the time Nate McLouth was 26 years old, coming off a Gold Glove season where he led the league in doubles and was a 20-20 HR stolen base guy.

    And a year and a half later, the bounty for a chip like that is two 26 year old pitchers who are awful and Gorkys Hernandez who MIGHT be good but hasn’t played a game above AA yet.

    Freddy Sanchez was a consistent hitter, albeit with injury issues, who gave pop in the middle of the infield.

    Jason Bay was an All Star that the Red Sox felt would be a worthy replacement for Manny Ramirez.

    Dave Littlefield didn’t trade them.
    If they got back, not a star, but a decent big leaguer for each one of them, they would be three players closer to being OK.

    Instead they basically traded Jason Bay, Freddy Sanchez and Nate McLouth for Andy LaRoche

    Now Tim Alderson might turn out to be OK… but like Gorkys, he hasn’t even made it to AAA.

  13. The McLouth trade did seem light/rushed. I’ll agree with that.

    I will not under any circumstance allow that Sanchez was worth more than a declining Tim Alderson. Just sending Sanchez’s paycheck elsewhere was a heist.

    And while the Bay deal turned out awful, at the time it looked like they got a decent if uninspired return. The Red Sox held all the leverage in such a deal so it’s not surprising the Bucs were left wanting.

    I agree that Huntington has done poorly in the trade market, I think he’s hurt his own image with a willingness to take the best offer even if it doesn’t feel “fair.” GM’s pick up on this and will continue to lowball him until he makes a stand. Unfortunately, I don’t think that was ever an option with any of these players. They basically all had to be traded when they were traded (aside from McLouth).

  14. Wait a second?
    The RED SOX held the leverage in the Bay trade?
    That was a joke, right?

    The Red Sox were in a position where they HAD to deal Ramirez, which is why the Dodgers got him for practically nothing.

    People were killing the Red Sox giving up Ramirez plus other players for Bay.

    The Red Sox got a player who excelled in the 2008 post season

    The Dodgers got a reason to show up to the park

    The Pirates got hosed… like they get hosed in every other trade… like they pass on great players in the draft… which I think was the point of this post

  15. Ok I suppose I could have explained that part of it, but it’s a needless complication. Functionally it’s the same, the Pirates basically needed to deal Bay there. The fact that the Red Sox absolutely had to deal Manny did not improve the Pirates leverage with the Red Sox because that wasn’t their end of the deal.

    The Dodgers had leverage on the Red Sox, the Red Sox had leverage on the Pirates, it’s not hard to see why the Pirates caught the light end of the trade.

  16. The Pirates could have let Bay walk and pick up two first round picks. That would have been more valuable than the junk they got back

    Either way, it’s funny how the Pirates keep getting the light end of a deal over and over again.

    I like the Pirates.
    I want to see them win.

    But when can the scouts say “Hey! There’s a good player we can get back for this chip”? Why does it always have to end “Well, I guess we have to get nothing back”?

    Other teams can get the Dan Ugglas and Carlos Gonzalez and Andre Ethiers of the world as minor leaguers and the Pirates always shrug and say “Oh well, guess we’ll get hosed again.”

  17. There’s a great deal of…shall we say luck…involved in getting a guy like that. In fact I would suggest that Huntington has tried to maximize his chances of digging up just such a treasure. Either his scouts have failed him or luck hasn’t swung his way.

    Dan Uggla was a Rule V pick and there was some talk of Cargo never being more than a 4th OF after his brief stay in Oakland.

    Again, we can say the scouting department needs to be improved, they’ve failed with luck, or it’s some combination of the two. Personally I applaud him for trying.

    It’s not that I’m saying the Pirates have done a particularly good job, I just don’t think you can make much ado about the poor returns to trade.

  18. Granted, the near term pitching is what has caused such horrible MLB results, but one can argue that no organization in baseball has three young arms with the ceiling of Taillon, Allie and Heredia.If they can be developed as well as Alvarez, McCutchen, Tabata and Walker were, this team is going to be good.

    I can’t think of the last time this organization was relevant from the bottom to the top. I think it’s getting pretty close to being able to say that.

    McCutchen, Alvarez, Walker, Tabata, Taillon, Allie, Heredia, Sanchez, Rendon (likely added this year),Colton Cain and Zack Von Rosenberg have all been drafted, traded for, or developed by the current staff.

    When you think about how the former regime destroyed this organization, this is a quick reversal. If (that’s the question) this ownership is willing to open the coffers to supplement that talent, it’s worth waiting for.

  19. Everyone has bad luck
    But when they NEVER get it right, you have to look beyond luck.

    The Padres can get quality players back for a broken down Jake Peavy but the Bucs consistently can’t even get someone to crack the worst 25 man roster in the bigs.

    Sorry… when it is always “Hey we were on the short end of the stick!” and “Getting good players is luck!” and “Look how bad things were 3 years ago!” it sounds like a lot of excuses and no responsibility is taken.

    The Expos put a winning team on the field in 2002 and 2003… they didn’t have an OWNER! They didn’t have the money to recall players in September. They had no stadium or TV deal.

    Yet somehow they won more than they lost those 2 years.

    Was it ALL luck?

  20. To be fair Mark NOT in Florida, I agree that with some of the players on the field, they have at least the potential for a decent lineup.

    But haven’t we heard this before?
    Won’t Alvarez, Tabata et al be traded away for pennies on the dollar and we’ll just hear “Oh it is so hard to draft well”?

    Again… I am ROOTING for the Pirates. I’ve liked the Pirates ever since they wore the Yellow helmets.

  21. Well Mark, I would say that’s when Huntington should be sent packing, if he can’t build a strong core and has to deal away Alvarez, etc. Honestly, I would leave it to the next GM to deal this round of prospects.

    You can only applaud a process for so long, I think a GM who’s handed an organization as totally bereft as the Pirates should be given seven years to climb back within striking distance, especially if his plan of attack makes sense. Then ownership must assess whether the org will continue to grow or if it’s plateaued.

  22. 7 years.

    OK… and I were ownership, you say to the Pirate fans “Hey! By 2014, we’ll be in striking distance!”

    Thanks for waiting 22 years for a winning team.
    There would be 30 year olds in Pittsburgh with no real memory of a relevant Pirate team.

    And you can look to teams that have worse stadiums, smaller revenues, less passionate fanbases and horrible foundations turn things around in 3 or 4 years… but the Pirates will take nearly a quarter of a century to put a mediocre product on the field?

    Again, the article isn’t talking about a World Series winner… it’s saying a .500 team.

    If a GM can’t put a .500 team on the field in 4 years, that’s pretty sad.

  23. But they don’t want a .500 team, they want a playoff contender. It’s easy to get to 81 wins, even on a tight budget. It’s much tougher to get to 94 wins, especially with that tight budget. If Huntington could pull a Hendry and just engage in a spending spree, it would be much easier. Maybe the article isn’t talking about a playoff team, but it should be. Fighting for .500 is a futile exercise.

    It’s relatively rare for a GM to inherit an empty franchise. I think the comps you need to be working with are teams like the Royals and the post-‘93 Phillies. The Pirates should be about 2 seasons behind the Royals (they of the best farm system in baseball) current development path.

  24. The Royals at least had a contending season in 2003.

    Royal fans who are younger than 30 have a memory of an exciting season.

    The post 1993 Phillies are a great example because they had 13 out of 14 losing seasons… but that one winning season was a trip to the World Series.

    For the sake of building at least some positive memories for the fan base, as the children born in 1992 are at the legal age of consent, to put SOMETHING on the field that isn’t god awful?

  25. Now you’re just being contrary. What I mean is it’s easy to get to 81 wins if that’s your goal. You go out and sign league average free agents, trade buckets of prospects for guys like Prince Fielder who will be gone before you know it and poof, you get some 80-83 win seasons without ever having the chance to break the 90 win ceiling.

    If you want to get to 94 wins and you’re handed a futile franchise with perhaps one quality player and a no-more-than-$60-million budget, the only plan of attack is to target some draft picks in the 1-5 range. Probably about 5 of them. Which means fielding more really bad teams. It doesn’t matter that the franchise previously received similar picks because they were squandered.

  26. They HAVE been drafting in the 1-5 range! And I am not ready to bust out the champagne and congratulate them on their success until they have developed some steady big leaguers.

    Alvarez is a start but even he has only 1/2 a season more in the bigs than my dog.

  27. “The Pirates have flopped in draft after draft, blowing #1 overall picks on Kris Benson and Bryan Bullington, and taking non-entities like Mark Farris, J. J. Davis, Bobby Bradley, John Van Benschoten and Brad Lincoln while passing on Tim Lincecum, David Wright, Prince Fielder, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Nomar Garciaparra (among others.)”

    Wow. Kris Benson, Mark Farris, JJ Davis, Bobby Bradley and John Van Benschoten all happened two General Managers and several scouting directors ago. Bullington and Lincoln happened on Littlefield/Creech’s watch. The Pirates can rebuild through the draft and have been doing a fairly credible job doing so, so far. It’s just gonna take time in which the Pirates have plenty of it…

  28. “I agree that Huntington has done poorly in the trade market.”

    Ehhh…more of a mixed bag.

    The Bay trade gets bad reviews, and perhaps deservedly so, but it was his first big trade, and there are players that are still in the Pirates’ system. That stinker of a trade the Marlins made for Cabrera and Willis(with Larry Beinfest and Michael Hill as co-GMs, apparently) was much worse, considering the caliber of player they gave up in Miguel Cabrera now vs. the caliber of player that is Jason Bay now.

    The Nady trade was good…nay, great.  Everyone thought the Sanchez deal went in the Pirates favor until the Giants went and won the World Series this year with Sanchez, while Tim Alderson fizzled(as was already pointed out.)

    The Octavio Dotel trade this season was a small masterpiece, netting the Pirates both James McDonald and Andrew Lambo.  Kudos to Huntington on that.

    I would now, however, like to see him go the other way and deal some of their mid-to-low Top 10 or Top 20 prospects for a decent player who’s under team control for a few years.  Also, explore the bin of non-tendered players in December and come away with a gem(perhaps a 1B, like James Loney, should the Dodgers non-tender him.)

    With the top draft pick in 2011, they could get Anthony Rendon, which could move Alvarez to 1B eventually, so a fill-in 1B for the next 2-3 years would be ideal.

    And contrary to the tone of most of the comments and the article itself, pursuing a bunch of free agents to build a .500 team could easily be done, but wouldn’t be too wise.  Heck, they had much the same type of team back in 2007 and 2008 before Huntington began the tearing down and rebuilding.  Guys like LaRoche, Sanchez, Wilson, Bay, and McLouth might have gotten you 81-83 wins once or twice, but that would be about it.

  29. “They’ve made horrible trades, dumping players like Jason Bay, Nate McClouth and Freddy Sanchez in recent years when they had trade value. Who did they get in return? Andy LaRoche? Charlie Morton? Craig Hansen? Gorkys Hernandez?”

    This is an incredibly misleading paragraph.  You can make any point you want, if you simply throw out a bunch of cherry-picked names as evidence.  The Pirates received some quality players in those trades, none of whom are mentioned for some reason.  And do people not realize how poorly Bay and McLouth played in 2010?

    It is also weird that the Nady and Dotel trades are not mentioned at all.  I guess it was easier to just pick the worst players received in the least successful trades and make the claim that all the trades were horrible.

  30. Matt, can you please tell me how many serviceable major leaguers were acquired in the Jason Bay, Nate McClouth and Freddy Sanchez trades?

  31. Sorry, worded that poorly.  They received quality minor leaguers for Bay and McLouth, players who have a chance to impact the team in 2011 or 2012.

  32. @Mark

    i would rather have charlie morton, jeff locke, and gorkys hernandez than nate mclouth. bucs sold high. B+

    bay trade defintely looks bad, but bryan morris could salvage some value. D

    alderson for sanchez looked ok at the time, aldersons velocity took a big hit last year. he is still only 21 so there is time for him to improve. jury is still out C

    nady and marte for tabata, ohlendorf, karstens, d. mccutchen. tabata projects to be a .300/.360/.450 solid defender in LF. ohlendorf is a very decent #3/#4 pitcher. big fat A+

  33. As I said… I am a Pirates fan.
    And I’ve heard the song and dance before of HEY! We got a great draft and if you just wait 4 years, maybe 3 of them will be Pirates long enough to be traded for 5 cents on the dollar.

    I’m not ready to celebrate the brilliant work of Huntington building the worst team in baseball, trading away veterans for junk and having people say “MAYBE by 2020 you’ll have a watchable product.”

    Meanwhile the Tigers can go from 119 wins to the World Series
    Meanwhile the Marlins who DIDN’T EXIST in 1992 can win a World Series… tear it down… win another one… tear it down and put together ANOTHER winning team before my team can put a team together that doesn’t suck.

    Meanwhile the Rays can draft players and make the World Series

    Meanwhile the A’s can put together playoff teams in an awful stadium and no TV deal

    Meanwhile the Padres can contend with a small payroll.

    They can all do it. But the Pirates? I have to listen to people like you saying “HEY! Just wait 5 more years and you’ll have the outside remote chance to have a team that is only mildly terrible” and I’m supposed honor the Pirates front office for acquiring a decent AA player while I see the players dealt away winning World Series titles.

    Sorry… until proven otherwise, it is Littlefield all over again.

    Think that is harsh? It’s been 3 years, the team is worse and there is no hope for next year of the year after that.

    But you are right… they’ve done a bang up job

    I want ONE YEAR where my team isn’t a punching bag.

    How many fans are going to wait 4 more years until they MIGHT become mediocre?

    I love PNC park.
    There’s always a lot of room to stretch out.

    But seriously, why can other teams rebuild but the Pirates can’t do it.

    We used to have the Brewers as our partners in futility, but they had a playoff series a couple of years ago and a fun finish?

    What do we get?
    Hey! The Dotel trade wasn’t a disaster! WOW! When do we schedule the parade?

  34. Jobu, I assume that was a joke about the McClouth trade.

    He was a solid young trade chip

    They got Charlie Morton who is dreadful and on the wrong side of 25.

    And they got Locke who was good at Single A.
    They got Hernandez who was OK in Double A.

    How can I possibly give a trade an B+ when none of the players are contributing on the big league level.

    I’m a Pirates fan. I’ve seen a lot of players put up good numbers in AA and never produce in the show.

    Bobby Bradley anyone?
    Oh remember how awesome Duaner Sanchez was supposed to be?

    I don’t three years is asking a lot to have a product that is closer to .500 than when they started.

    So the McClouth trade is incomplete at best.
    And yeah they sold high… as in they were high

  35. Mark,

    None of those teams were put together overnight.  Here are the best players on the teams you mentioned that reached the World Series.

    Tigers – Reached World Series in 2006
    Carlos Guillen – acquired in trade before 2004
    Brandon Inge – drafted in 1998
    Curtis Granderson – drafted in 2002
    Ivan Rodriguez – signed as a free agent before 2004
    Jeremy Bonderman – acquired in trade in late 2002
    Justin Verlander – drafted in 2004

    Marlins – Won World Series in 2003
    Ivan Rodriguez – signed as free agent before 2003
    Luis Castillo – signed as an amateur free agent in 1996
    Juan Pierre – acquired in trade before 2003
    Mike Lowell – acquired in trade before 1999
    Derek Lee – acquired in trade before 1998
    Josh Beckett – drafted in 1999
    Mark Redman – acquired in trade before 2003
    Carl Pavano – acquired in trade in mid-2002
    Dontrelle Willis – acquired in trade before 2002

    Rays – Reached World Series in 2008
    Evan Longoria – drafted in 2006
    B.J. Upton – drafted in 2002
    Carlos Pena – signed as a free agent before 2007
    Dioner Navarro – acquired in trade in mid-2006
    James Shields – drafted in 2000
    Andy Sonnanstine – drafted in 2004


    We’ve been waiting 18 years!
    I can sleep with a girl who was born in 1992! (OK, my wife might object)

    And your chart kind of makes Huntington look WORSE

    You have a bunch of players all acquired within 3 or 4 years of the pennants… and going into the 4th year of Huntington I am supposed to praise him for…….?

    I’ve heard “It’s a great draft” already
    Until they become big league players, this is Littlefield Part 2

  37. “We’ve been waiting 18 years!”

    I thought we were talking about Huntington? He’s been around for 3 years.

    “You have a bunch of players all acquired within 3 or 4 years of the pennants”

    There are also several players acquired 5, 6, 7, 8 years beforehand.

  38. We Pirate fans have been waiting 18 years…
    And so far Huntington has shown that at BEST he is subpar at trading players, his draft picks are unproven and he has made a bad team worse

    You will forgive me if I am not going to praise him until he does ANYTHING

    Having a club that only loses 89 games would be a nice step in the right direction.

    Now do you see this team NOT losing 90 games in 2011?

    OF COURSE they are going to lose 90 games in 2011.

    So that will be 4 years of dreadful baseball to go along with the lousy trades.

    Exactly how many years of putting together teams that are Godawful is he going to get before, oh I don’t know… ANYTHING positive happens?

    And don’t insult me by saying “Hey! You’ll get a good pick.”

    I’ve seen pick after pick get wasted.
    Again… I know he isn’t Littlefield.
    But until the product reaches the unreachable star of “OK”, why would I praise Huntington until he produces something worth watching.

    I know you think he should win GM of the year because he has done one good trade in 3 full seasons.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing progress.

    And I watch the Pirates.
    Don’t tell me about patience.
    Don’t tell me about draft picks and trading for prospects. The praise some of you lavish on the team is over a bunch of guys who aren’t even in AAA.

    3 seasons should show progress.

    I guess I am demanding.
    I guess I am crazy to think that in 3 years the team wouldn’t be WORSE than when he found it.

  39. “I guess I am crazy to think that in 3 years the team wouldn’t be WORSE than when he found it.”

    Mark, you should look at the following article by Charlie Wilmoth:

    He points out that as far back as 2007, it was obvious that the Pirates would be horrible in 2010, because Littlefield had constructed a time-bomb of a roster. Almost all the key players were scheduled to be free agents in 2010, and there were very few decent minor leaguers on the way to replace them. So yeah, it’s crazy to think that Huntington would’ve been able to improve the major league team in three years. The point is that he’s done a lot for the minor leagues, so the future looks better than it did when Littlefield was in charge.

    (And this isn’t just hindsight; he provides links where he was already saying in 2007 that the Pirates would be horrible in 2010.)

    Also, the Pirates didn’t get two 26-year-olds back for McLouth; Jeff Locke is 23. Are you thinking of Craig Hansen? Anyway, you have to be joking if you think they didn’t sell high on McLouth; if they hadn’t traded him when they did, they’d be paying someone to take him off their hands.

  40. Did I say they got two 26 year olds for McLouth?
    If I did I was wrong. I know who they got… the future.

    The same future that’s been sold to us since Barry Bonds left.

    Look, I know it is chic to look down on fans as silly and reactionary and I guess you are saying that “Hey, you’ve sucked this long. What’s 5 more years?”

    But it will be 1/5 of a century that the Pirates haven’t been able to be mediocre. And I’m sorry, I am so sick of hearing about “this prospect will be good” and “we’ve got a plan” that I am saying “ENOUGH WITH BLATHERING ABOUT 3 OR 4 YEAR PLANS! Enough with the lame excuses!”

    The Pirates had to trade McLouth. Fine… but how about getting ONE player back?

    Why can the Padres deal a broken down Jake Peavy and get some good players back and we have to constantly hear “Aw, it is hard to make a good trade”?

    Why can other teams have players come up from the minors who “play hard beyond their abilities” and the Pirates can never do it.

    3 years is too long to improve?
    They are WORSE! This was the worst Pirate team in 58 years! GREAT JOB!

    And they will suck next year.
    And the year after that.

    Healthy people only have four 20 year periods in their life.

    Sorry, all I’ve heard on this board is a bunch of people saying “Oh it’s harrrrrrd to draft players… it’s harrrrrd to make a trade… it takes DECADES to be mediocre.”

    I still wear my Pirates hat.
    They are my team.
    I know for a lot of you people that’s silly and who cares?

    But I am guessing you’ve had years since before Clinton was elected to cheer for YOUR team.

    Until he proves otherwise Huntington is just Littlefield Part 2.

    Can he make a trade? Nope.
    Can he put players on the field who can at least play? Obviously not.
    Can he draft? Maybe.
    Is the team worse since he got there? Well they are the worst team in baseball… which I guess for you guys is satisfactory, but it’s not your team.

    Heard that before. Been fooled before.
    Heard about great prospects and long term plans.

    Want to have a seat at PNC? Good seats are available.

    3 years is more than enough time to make your team NOT the worst in baseball. I know that is a crazy statement, but I stand by it.

  41. Hey, I’m a Pirates fan too. I wouldn’t care about this if I weren’t.

    Anyway, Peavy >> McLouth. McLouth was one of the worst players in the majors this year, when he was in the majors.

  42. Hindsight being 20/20 about McLouth

    At the time he was a young All Star with power, speed and a gold glove.

    That is worth… oh I don’t know… ANYTHING

    Yeah yeah yeah, I know. We got some GREAT minor leaguers.

    I’ve heard this story since the great rebuilding of 1993.

    Until I see some results, this is the same old story:

    They’ll stink… they’ll develop 1 or 2 decent players… they’ll trade them for 30 cents on the dollar… they’ll whine about how hard it is to reach .500 (even though teams with smaller payrolls find a way to win.)

    Nobody wants to see the Pirates win more than me.
    But I’ve been fooled too many times.

    this is rebuilding #4 or #5.

    How’s about some improvement before I praise anyone?

  43. It’s all moot… they are in rebuilding mode #5 and I guess I am in “I won’t get excited until I see some results” and “Worst team in baseball with no hope for the next 2 seasons” doesn’t qualify as results for me.

    I would love to be proven wrong.
    But I’ve been burned too many times

  44. boys & girls, the pirates have had 4 winning seasons in 27.
    winning average: .148
    eddie gaedel’s on-base per centage: 1.000
    last pirate manager with a career winning record: chuck tanner
    though i wonder about huntington’s intelligence—the colorado catcher & blue jay twixt, (no one in the pirate front office understands what that means even now)—, it is a bit comforting to believe that the organization’s philosophy won’t necessarily be a roach on a hot plate.
    the scouting staff remains as it has, with replacements due to death, not lack of actionable observations.
    the head of the scouting has changed in name, but when a disciple follows a master, change is apt to be gradual.
    sadly, what has been missing for decades is a person who simply is responsible for baseball—from top to bottom, and who doesn’t need to refer to notes about a single a infielder, or walker’s contract, or what the reds might have available in aa for left handed pitching, or what have you.
    no one has been responsible for a long, long, time
    and it shows.

  45. It could be worse Pirates fans.  You could be the Cubs or the current Astros with the worst farm system in all of baseball.  I bet Tim Purpura ranks right up there with Littlefield.

  46. Sorry… I would LOVE to have had the Cubs luck since 1992.

    They’ve made the playoffs and had exciting teams.

    The Astros? They won a pennant!

    Nick Jonas was born the same year Francisco Cabrera got that hit and he’s already over the hill

  47. Uhh Mark your just a miserable old fan who is fed up with all the losing its understandable…But you really have no clue what your talking about in terms of what is going on today…How can you say that the Nate McLouth trade was bad? he couldn’t even stick in the majors this year, apparently Neal and Frank knew that he wasn’t as good as believed and shipped him out at the perfect time, oh and we didnt get back “two 26 year old pitchers” for him, Charlie Morton was 25, Gorkys Hernandez was a top 10 prospect and still is a very good prospect, and Jeff Locke LHP is going to be a very very good major league starting pitcher who’s in AA right now in case you didn’t know go look him up and the rest of that AA staff that Neal Huntington totally rebuilt and overhauled and turned into relevance again, Bryan Morris (Bay Trade), Jeff Locke (McLouth Trade), Rudy Owens LHP, Justin Wilson(Neal Huntington Draft pick)…you keep saying same old same old, well it isn’t and you will see its not as soon as this year, whens the last time Pirates have spent money on the draft like they have? and whens the last time the Pirates have had a minor league system that is considered above average? Its been a long time Littlefield put this organization back for years and years…Are you too blind to see the emerging stars that are all under contract until 2015 in Andrew McCutchen? Pedro Alvarez? Neil Walker? Jose Tabata? Hmm i sure as hell do, and a lot of people that know baseball do too…Anyways this article was poorly written and one sided, only mentioning the bad when its the easiest thing to do, piss poor.

  48. “How can you say that the Nate McLouth trade was bad?”

    It is incomplete.

    When the trade was made he was a young player coming off of a Gold Glove season with power and speed.

    As for the prospects… fine. If they pan out, then great. If they pan out then I will be the first to sing Huntington’s praises.

    But I’ve heard this song before. I’ve seen lots of prospects. I will declare it a good trade when they come through. But I think we can all agree it can at best be labeled “Wait and see.”

    “Are you too blind to see the emerging stars that are all under contract”

    Um… are you under the impression that I don’t watch this team?

    Yes. They have some good players who could very well emerge. I love Pedro. I like Neil and Jose.

    And while I’ll forgive your snotty attitude to me, I will humbly point out… “Been here done that.”

    I’ve seen teams wearing my Pirate uniform be really terrible with great prospects that are being trumpeted as the next great class of Pirates.

    And I see other teams put together winners and my team is still the worst in baseball and will remain so for a few more years.

    So no… I am not showering Huntington with praise until they actually show RESULTS.

    I am sure if you were on this board back in the early 90s, you’d be praising the Mets and how great Generation K was. Or telling me how Kris Benson was going to be a dominating starter.

    So can the attitude. I show loyalty to a team that you couldn’t understand in 18 years.

    I’ve been sold this bill of goods.

    I agree with the article. Let’s have a sense of urgency. Healthy people only have 4 1/2 cycles of 18 years in their lives.