Saturday, July 22, 2006

More of the same

The Pittsburgh Pirates are *this* close to losing a fan. Honestly, articles like this one via OnlyBucs make me consider finding a new team to root for. This organization is just clueless from the bottom to the top.
The Dodgers are one of several NL West teams interested in LHP Mike Gonzalez, though the Pirates would have to be blown away by an offer before dealing their closer...
The Pirates likely have fallen from the pack of teams trying to pry 1B Ryan Shealy from Colorado. The Rockies are believed to be seeking a young relief pitcher for Shealy, but the Pirates are unwilling to pay that price, especially in the form of rookie RHP Matt Capps.

When will Littlefield realize that relief pitching is the most expendable part of a team? For him, it's the most precious. I mean, it's obvious we need to DO SOMETHING. The only way we're going to find talent is by trading talent, and it's always better to trade relief pitching talent than other talent. The fact is, relief pitching affects a game much, much less often than the starting lineup, the starting rotation, or the defense does. And relief pitchers are much more erratic than other components of a team-- they're failed starters. So far this year, it looks like we may have plenty of those. So why not trade our talented failed starters (read: Matt Capps and Mike Gonzales) to other teams for talented starting players, and replace them with failed starters inside our system (read: John Van Benschoten, Kip Wells, Oliver Perez), without losing a penny? This is a process that Littlefield shouldn't even think about. Billy Beane has proven that it's how small market teams get ahead. DL has yet to win more than 75 games with his strategy of building from relief. Give it up, you dumb son of a bitch.
The Pirates are thought to be interested in Dodgers SS Cesar Izturis, who could replace Jack Wilson if the current Pirates shortstop is shipped out of Pittsburgh at or before the trade deadline or during the offseason. Izturis was a favorite of manager Jim Tracy when Tracy managed in Los Angeles.

Let me start off by saying that Izturis is three years younger than Jack Wilson. And yes, dad, think of the vast number of times we can do our cheesy,
"Hey, is this guy from around here?"
"No, he Izturis."

dialogue! But his career OBP (.296!) is 8 points lower than Jack Wilson's (.304!). There's no defending that. This is an example of classic Jim Tracy idiocy. He's the most complexly stupid man I've ever studied, and his man-love for players he's managed before is all too familiar to fans of Tracy's teams. But, even with one of the highest payrolls in baseball, he only won one division title in one of the worst in baseball. So why should the Pirates sign players he has managed before? Perhaps if he had some kind of a track record of, let's say, 10 STRAIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, then maybe it would make some shred of sense. But, no, he doesn't have that kind of track record. Once his contract is up with us, with a little luck on his side, he'll have a track record that will ensure him a bullpen coaching spot somewhere.

And all of this aside, if we deal Jack, why wouldn't we just START THE MAN WHO LEADS THE LEAGUE IN BATTING AVERAGE -- AND WHOSE NATURAL POSITION IS SHORTSTOP -- AT SHORTSTOP? *throws chair threw window*
Colorado also remains interested in RHPs Salomon Torres and Roberto Hernandez and LHP Damaso Marte, but any possible dealings with the Pirates have apparently been put on the backburner.

Juxtaposed with stories of the Yankees organization's absolute weariness with Littlfield, this is almost comical. When major league GMs see "Incoming call from David Littlefield" on their cell phones, they send it straight to voice-mail.

I'm thinking about taking my number out of the phonebook.


Blogger Billy said...

I'm with you, Cal. Izturus would make me ill. All the dithering from Littlefield is going to yield us nothing in the end. It's infuriating.

And we've now dithered our way out of the possibility of unloading Casey to the Giants now that they have picked up Shea Hillenbrand.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous bucdaddy said...

Well, you might wait and see who the Rockies end up getting for Shealey. They hold the cards, and they have plenty of suiters, they can be choosy. If they can get a better deal than the Pirates offer, then they have to take it. It takes two to tango.

But anyway ... I'm generally in accord with you on middle relievers, but as a Pirates fan who had to sit through years of Mike Williams and Jose Mesa walking the bases full in the ninth inning night after night, I might be hesitant to part with a guy who 1) throws gas, 2) throws strikes and 3) I have real cheap for a few more years. I'd be fine if they dealt Gonzo and handed Capps the closer's job next year. Yeah, I know we need a real first baseman, but there's no guarantee Shealey would be a huge improvement on (am I really saying this?) Casey, escept he'd be a lot cheaper.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Steeltown Mike said...

Izturis would only make sense if the Pirates can also deal Joe Randa. I like Freddy at the Hot Corner.

Capps is the only bona-fide strike thrower on the team, and one of the precious few not tainted by the shadow of Spin Williams (due to his rookie status), which Jim Colborn cannot seem to exorcise from the rest of the team.

And why is everyone obsessed with trading Casey? Do we really want the Pirates to continue their streak of right-handed first basemen in the mold of Kevin Young? C.Wilson, J.Hernandez, and even B.Eldred are all righties.

Given Casey's roots, if there's no trade, the Pirates will likely be able to sign him to a (comparitively speaking) small one-year deal. A three-year deal is not an automatic thing.

8:30 PM  

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