Sports: Pirates, Management Team in Place, What’s Next.

Well, the Pirates have a manger, a general manager and a President, finally.  They shall remain nameless in this blog to protect their families.  The question now is, what are they going to do.  The consensus is that the Pirates need to tear it down and rebuild.  If you watch MLB Network, there doesn’t seem to be any other way for the Pirates to get back on top. Certainly, for the new management team, this is the safest way to go. If you are rebuilding you are going to get at least a 2 year reprieve on criticism and maybe even a third.  It is the cheapest way to go.  Even though the payroll of the Pirates is one of the smallest in baseball,  it can be pared down even further, by trading Starling Marte, Chris Archer, Gregory Polanco, and Keone Kela.  With the exception of Polanco, they should all bring back some good prospects and they are, by far,  making the most money.  Trading them would more than make up for the money be paid to Huntington and Hurdle over the next two years.  Polanco was called one of the most disappointing players in all of baseball, by Joel Sherman on MLB Now, the show for the thinking fan. Geeze, and I thought I was hard on Polanco. The point is, he probably is not going to get much of a return.  The rebuild proponents, which there are many, point to  the 93 losses the Pirates suffered this past year, as the reason this team needs to start over.   But let’s just wait one gall darn minute here.  At the All Star break this team was 44 and 45, and about 3 games out of first place.  Then they collapsed mightily, on and off the field.  So are you going to base a rebuild on just a 2 month bad stretch.  Granted, they have not come close to making the playoffs since 2015, but at least when they take the field this is not a bad or old team.

According to Baseball Reference, by measuring , Wins Above Replacement, a player value stat (WAR) the Pirates have 5 solid Major Leaguers in Josh Bell, Adam Frazier, Kevin Newman, Bryon Reynolds and Starling Marte.  WAR is a production number, so the more you play the more your WAR can go up. Jacob Stallings with only 71 games played and 210 plate appearances had a WAR of 1.4 with 2 being a Major League starter.  With more starts Stallings should be able to hit that 2 number easily. That would give the Pirates 6 position players considered Major League starters. Compare that with the rest of the NL Central at the moment.  The Cincinnati Reds have just one, the Milwaukee Brewers 3, the St. Louis Cardinals 5 and the Chicago Cubs 7.  I know that gives Stallings the benefit of the doubt on a small sample size but who cares.  The Pirates starting 8 is pretty good and the oldest member of the group is Marte at age 30.  The Pirates have 2 glaring weaknesses third base and right field.  How they will deal with that I have know idea and again I do not care.  I know the pitching is a mess but there is lot’s of pitching out there on the free agent market.  The management team has not really given us a clue on what they will do, but it will become evident, as this offseason moves along what’s going to happen.

Derek Shelton, the new Pirate manager, (sorry Derek I mentioned your name) said that this will be a fun clubhouse.  He may be the first manager to win Manager of Year and lose 95 to 100 games, if he can keep that promise.  I can hear Bob Walk saying after the 95th loss, ” This is the happiest I have ever seen the Pirate clubhouse since I have started broadcasting. They weren’t this happy when they first made the playoffs in 2013″.  Bringing happy and losing together, would be quite an accomplishment for the new Pirate manager. In case you haven’t figured it out, I am against the rebuild solution to the Pirate situation.  Have a 140 million dollar payroll,  make a few good trades, and this team can contend. What ever happened to that saying, the nucleus is there.  How big does a nucleus have to be for it to be significant.  The Pirates have 6 in the field and despite the pitching being such a disaster they have about 4 or 5 solid arms. In my view that’s enough to add on, not tear down and start over again.

The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

Doing a Saturday blog because yours truly has been felled by a cold flu virus, and there was no golf this week. I am feeling better and Sunday golf will be played, but rather than just write about one round, I thought I would take this unexpected time off to breeze through a few unrelated subjects that have caught my interest lately.

First off with a little more time on my hands I decided to check in on the Golf Channel, which I don’t watch much anymore, and holy shitballs do they have the good looking women on there, now. Who cares about the quality of instruction when you get to watch that from the mid thigh down. That may sound chauvinistic, but I didn’t make them put on those skirts and shorts.   I saw the  playing with pros with Graeme McDowell and I don’t even know how he could have hit one good shot. I would have died after she took 2 swings. I would have been carted off the course with that frozen smile on my face.

Then there’s the NFL. Even though this week’s arrest for murder is by far the worst, since the Super Bowl, there have been over 2 dozen players arrested, as reported by the Post Gazette. Just think, if they ever decide to do a third version of The Longest Yard it could be based on a true story. If a franchise ever gets into trouble they could move the team to San Quentin. I can see it now the San Quentin Seagulls.

The only good thing about this virus was, it gave me time to research some courses and I found some in Ohio within the 90 minute time frame, so now I have more choices to round out the 100. I guess another good thing about the virus is, it might help explain my horrible round on Sunday. By body and mind was being ravaged and destroyed by this horrible minute creature. See, I knew it wasn’t me.  I always said the yips were caused by a virus.

Finally I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about my beloved and up to now at least, pathetic Pittsburgh Pirates. As of June 29th 2013 they have the best record in all of baseball. However with 20 consecutive losing seasons under their belt, I for one do not think that the 82ond win is a given. I have nightmares about them being 80 and 75 and losing their last 7 in a row to sew up season number 21. Right now the city has got baseball fever and I am loving every minute of it. Last year the Pirates were the first team in baseball to be 16 games over 500 in  August and still did not finish over 500 and really weren’t even close. We will see if this will be collapse no 3.

Looking forward to playing tomorrow and continuing the search. This break has given me a lot of new ideas.  I am sure many of them will find the toilet, but it is sure fun trying them. This week, with July 4th I should be able to play 4 very nice rounds of golf.