This is not good news

I got an email yesterday from Pirates.com about how the Pirates had received shortstop Cesar Izturis and cash from the Cubs in exchange for a player to be named later.  I’m always nervous about trades involving a player to be named later, but let’s forget about that for a minute.  You might be asking why the Pirates would trade for a shortstop when they already have Jack Wilson as their starter and a number of others capable of playing shortstop, including Jose Castillo, Jose Bautista and Freddy Sanchez.  Well, it looks like Wilson’s loyalty to the Pirates is coming back to bite him in the butt.  Before last season, he approached the Pirates ownership about a contract extension, which was ultimately agreed upon and signed.  Now, evidently, the Pirates are looking to dump payroll and Jack’s contract is the place where they’re likely to start now that they have a replacement for him.

I’ll concede that, offensively,  Jack is not one of the Pirates’ most potent contributors.  However, his defense is outstanding.  Probably twice a week he is featured in highlight reels on MLB.com making plays that no human being should be able to make.  So, while he isn’t scoring lots of runs or producing lots of R’sBI (aka RBIs), he is saving the Pirates lots of runs through his tremendous defense.  Finally, even if he weren’t doing much to affect the outcomes of games, he makes the games fun to watch.  For a team that doesn’t win a lot of games, this is crucial.  If a team wants fans to come to games, they either need to a) win lots of games, or b) be fun to watch.  I’m afraid that a trade involving Jack Wilson will not help the Pirates to win any more games and it will make them a lot less fun to watch.

Finally, I’d just hate to see Jack go because of his loyalty to the Pirates.  In an age when any good player the Pirates have inevitably leaves once their contract expires for a club that can pay more, Jack took the initiative with the Pirates ownership to work out a contract extension.  He likes living in Pittsburgh and wanted to keep his family there.  I have tremendous respect for someone who could’ve got more money elsewhere but chose to stay with the Pirates because of loyalty to the fans and to the city.  It is for this reason that I bought a Jack Wilson shirt last season.  It would be a shame to see the Pirates trade away one of the few players who wanted to stay enough to put his money where his mouth is.

3 Responses to “This is not good news”

  1. July 20, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    If you’re going to be correct about your abbreviation for runs batted in, I think it’d be RsBI (no apostrophe).

  2. July 20, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Here, here! Wilson should stay!! … What can we do?!

  3. 3 Colin
    July 20, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Adrian, I know. I wrote it that way first, but it seems more clear with the apostrophe. Sometimes clarity trumps strict correctness, at least in my book. The press routinely abbreviates Attorney General as AG. Has anyone ever seen this acronym in plural form? Did they write AsG or AGs. I’m betting on AGs or AG’s.

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