Sunday, May 07, 2006

Today's outrage

The quote in today's Post-Gazette that will cause gnashing of teeth--there is usually at least one a day with our Pirates--is this one:
Asked why he would use Ryan Doumit at first base rather than right field -- a position he has played previously -- and supplant Jeromy Burnitz, who was batting .198, Tracy replied: "We need Jeromy Burnitz. We need him to do offensive things, and the only way to get that is to keep sending him out there."
What this tells us is that the Pirates organization is nowhere close to acknowledging the dreadful off-season signings of Casey, Burnitz, and Randa as a mistake. Those signings also effectively represented a decision to allow Craig Wilson to leave the team either this year in a trade or at the end of the season as a free agent, and again, despite what's happened in the first month of the season, the Pirates are not reconsidering. When Craig was hot a couple of weeks ago, many of us were hoping that the Pirates would approach Craig's agent and discuss a contract extension. I'm now convinced that there is no chance of that happening.

Putting Doumit at first base, not re-signing Wilson, is the Pirates' chosen solution to the lack of system depth at first base. Doumit may have helped to spark a win last night, but any idiot can see that doing so does not represent a net gain in offense, whereas putting him in right field in place of Burnitz and keeping Wilson at first base might. Dave Littlefield and Jim Tracy are not just any idiots, though.

This dogged persistance with a strategy that anyone can see is failing reminds me of something Groucho Marx once said: "Who are you going to believe? Me or your own eyes?"


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