Sunday, March 12, 2006

Here we go

When I talk to people who don't get most of their Pirates news on the internet (see the links at the right of the page), I realize how the expectations of casual fans diverge from those of the true fanatics. I was on the radio today with Rob Pratte of KDKA on Pirates Sunday, and it seemed as if I was the first person he had talked to all year who was not pumped up about the Pirates' acquisitions of Casey, Randa, and Burnitz.

I opined that although Casey's skills, such as they are, are probably well suited to the contours of PNC Park, he is slow, injury prone, and extraordinarily expensive for a first baseman who hit nine homers last year in a hitter's park; that if we were looking for a short-term stopgap for Eldred, which I do think we need, we could have found a better one for a lot less money; that all this talk about a long-term contract for the guy is terrifying; and that the move is, like many of the Pirates moves, more about PR than about baseball, and that that epitomizes what is and has been wrong with the Pirates for all the years in which we've been waiting for Romo to phone home.

We didn't talk much about Randa.

We talked a little bit about Burnitz and got into the Craig Wilson vs. Jeromy Burnitz arguments that rage on the internet in various places, with one caller bringing up the tired old argument about how Wilson is streaky and his homers usually come when it doesn't matter. I remembered an analysis that I think I read at Bucs Dugout to the contrary, so I told the guy about it and recommended that he search for it in Charlie's archives while Rob dumped the call. (People who are foolish enough to call talk shows are like people who spend their welfare checks playing slots, ignoring how heavily the odds are weighted with the house.)

I talked about how every year we try to find someone to replace Craig Wilson and how this has driven me to point of madness, citing the two acquisitions of Randall Simon. One caller mistook me to mean that I was saying that Burnitz was as bad as Simon. I replied that the class I was defining was not a class of "ballplayers who are as bad as Randall Simon," it was "ballplayers who aren't as good as Craig Wilson." The second class is a lot bigger than the first class and includes, in my opinion, Jeromy Burnitz. Although the caller, a Cubs fan, didn't agree, he was not an idiot.


Anonymous WTM said...

Not sure about Charlie's blog, but a poster called Vlad at Baseball Primer went thru Wilson's HRs (I think) for 2004 and found that almost all came while the game was close.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Billy said...

Ah!! That's it. I knew I read it somewhere.

8:37 PM  

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