Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Revisionist history from former skipper

Don't miss this interview with our former skipper, in which he refers to Aramis Ramirez as a "franchise player" who was given away for nothing. A lot better than Joe Randa, Ty Wigginton, and Jose Hernandez, yes. Franchise player? No. That would be Jason Bay.

Having said that, though, that trade was one of the low points of the past 13 years for the Bucs. I remember coming back to Pittsburgh from a trip to Belgium in 2003, pulling up ESPN on my cell phone to get the news I had missed, and staring at the thing in disbelief. Ramirez and Lofton for Hernandez, Bruback, and a player to be named later? That can't possibly be right.

The way it was handled, from ownership on down, was simply a disgrace. Ownership put Littlefield in the position of Elliot Richardson when he was told to fire Archibald Cox, but unlike Richardson, Littlefield didn't resign. His last shred of integrity hinged on the slim chance that Jose Hernandez would hit a bunch of home runs and not strike out with historic frequency; and that Ramirez would continue to gain weight and never improve at the hot corner.

Lloyd was a dreadful manager, now matriculating for his master's in baseball under the tutelage of Jim Leyland, going directly from the GED; but his bitterness is understandable. I also feel kind of bad that Lloyd had to read those comments from Duke and Snell about how much they prefer the new regime's encouragement to the negative reinforcement they got from Lloyd and Spin. Young guys would be wise to keep their mouths shut.

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