Monday, June 12, 2006

The earth is shifting under our feet

Odd headline to Pirates Notebook today: "GM will eye trades if team fails to contend." This is still in question? Who knew?

Although it is always a challenging exercise to figure out exactly what Littlefield is saying--he is a master of obscurity, ambiguity, equivocation, and shameless spin--as near as I can tell, he is getting ready to do something, and he's beginning to build a case for why he did it.
Littlefield said in an interview that the team must show dramatic improvement soon for him to consider keeping it intact.
And who was it, exactly, who constructed this aggregation of players and believed that it would contend? Well, that doesn't matter, I guess. The point is that, if they want to stay intact, they'd damn well better show some dramatic improvement. You have to admire such courageous commitment to excellence in a leader.
"We're going to have to make some very serious strides for what I would characterize as doing something, meaning getting into the playoff hunt," he said. "The idea is that we want to get better, and I think we're showing that. We've been competitive all year. Unfortunately, we've lost a lot of one-run games, and the record is not good."
Umm...what? Does this guy just put a bunch of cliches into a blender and press "blend" when he gives an interview?
"But the idea of what takes place at the trading deadline ... there's always a balance you have to strike as you get closer to it. We'll see how it unfolds, but you have to have legitimate options to play certain positions."

"We're in a much, much different position now. If you look at the team, we had a couple of holes coming into the season that we filled with veterans. With Freddy playing the way he has, that looks like less of a hole for the future. Obviously, Bautista has done a nice job, and we'll see where he fits in. But a high percentage of our guys are going to be around for the next 3-5 years, and we have much better options if we were to trade a veteran player."
So, we didn't have a legitimate option at third base during the winter, and that's why we acquired Joe Randa? Is Freddy's performance this year that much of a surprise and a revelation? What team was Littlefield watching last year?

And then there's right field. Bautista might be a legitimate option out there, so now we may be able to afford to unload Jeromy Burnitz and some of that $7M contract. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that that $7M contract was a damned expensive insurance policy, with a damned small payoff, for a small market team to be able to afford. But then that wasn't the point, was it? That money was spent to send a message to the fans: We Will (spend money).

Craig who? Please don't bring that name up again. We don't talk about him around here.

In the end, unloading the veterans is exactly what I would like to see Mr. Littlefield do. I won't have any problem with the unloading; in fact, I welcome it. It's the loading that I had a problem with.

Update: Great minds think alike.


Anonymous bucdaddy said...

This is about the fourth time I've read those DL quotes, and I still can't make much sense of them.

9:31 AM  

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