Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fooled again

When I read John Perrotto's speculation that Dave Littlefield was going to be fired at the end of the year and reported it here and here, I again allowed my emotions to cloud my reason. Dejan Kovacevic emphatically puts an end to any cause for optimism about the Pirates situation in an interview with Kevin McClatchy this morning.

Dejan's skepticism, clearly evident in the article, makes a line-by-line refutation of McClatchy's blather unnecessary. But I can't resist at least a few additional observations.
...anytime a sports executive goes so long without winning -- and, in Littlefield's case, the Pirates' record likely will have regressed each of the past four seasons by the time this one ends -- some doubt tends to be raised about whether the team will honor that contract in its entirety.
Yes, one would think.
McClatchy added that he is not satisfied with the outcome to date, though.
Well, that's a relief. A patient man, that McClatchy.
"Obviously, there's one piece that we have not accomplished, and that's to win. And Dave would tell you the same thing. His job is not done successfully until we win. But I think we're starting to see what I think is the framework we need to do that."
Whenever I hear the word "framework," my bullshit detector starts to beep. Dejan's seems to be beeping too, as he immediately examines the framework and finds it a bit rickety.
In addition to being the National League's worst team this season, the Pirates have a minor-league system nearly depleted of prospects at the top two levels, Class AAA Indianapolis and Class AA Altoona.
But of course, you know where this is going:
Littlefield's explanation has been that, because the Pirates have moved so many young players to the majors the past two years, a temporary void at those levels was inevitable. It is a view shared, apparently, by McClatchy.
That view simultaneously overvalues the young talent on the major league team, which does not appear to be strong enough to form the core of a winning team, and excuses Littlefield's staff for its desultory record in assessing talent, drafting, and developing players. But McClatchy shares that view not on its merits, but for a much simpler reason: 14 losing seasons are an insufficient motivator for change as long as the partnership is profitable. And it is.

The spinning and obfuscating will continue for another year, at least.


Anonymous bucdaddy said...

I haven't seen that much bullshit in one place since my last trip to a farm.

Does this make that season-ticket dilemma an easier decision?

1:33 PM  
Blogger Billy said...

My favorite comment on this comes from the comments thread for this post at Honest Wagner, from KPatrick: "I have to wonder how many times the Pirates can piss on my shoe and tell me it's raining before I just walk away."

10:07 AM  

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