Not what I was expecting

So, the non-waiver trade deadline has passed and Jack Wilson is still a Pirate. That’s a welcome surprise. What’s more, the Pirates added a veteran pitcher to their rotation. That’s an even more welcome surprise.

I was afraid that the Pirates’ absolutely terrible 2nd half so far would prompt what many in baseball refer to as a “fire sale”, which involves a team dumping all its expensive (read: experienced) players in exchange for prospects with which to rebuild the team the following year. Coming up to the trade deadline, all I heard was rumors about how teams were interested in Torres, Marte and Chacon. Writers kept saying that the Pirates had pitchers to spare. Were we watching the same team?

When my brother-in-law visited last week, he told me about a Pirates shirt he saw that said: “Pittsburgh Baseball: Rebuilding Since 1992.” That about sums up the last 15 years in Pirates history. So, when the Pirates actually traded a prospect for a veteran, I was surprised. I don’t think the season is a write-off yet and this move indicates to me that the Pirates ownership and general manager don’t either. As far as I’m concerned, the goal of this season is not to win the NL Central; rather, the goal is to break this embarrassing streak of losing seasons.

If the Pirates could put together a winning season — even something as meager as 82-80 — there would be a lot of celebrating in the ‘Burgh. In fact, a couple of months ago, I was wearing some Pirates stuff here in Boston and someone, evidently from Pittsburgh, passed me in a car and shouted something like, “This is the year we break the losing streak!” After so many years of losing, Pirates fans have learned to temper their dreams a little. Come on, Pirates, let’s turn around the second half, put an end to these losing seasons, and declare the team rebuilt. This trade seems like a step in the right direction.

2 Responses to “Not what I was expecting”

  1. 1 Rob
    August 4, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Hey Colin,

    So… I was equally surprised by the last minute Morris pick up. I just finish watching the game tonight. Morris’ first with the Pirates. Pretty great start for the guy really. I’m glad the Pirates decided to go after a power hitter. :)

    Nonetheless, even a veteran pitcher like Morris was still only able to provide the Pirates with opportunity and hope. They quickly set him straight though by blowing a no outs bases loaded situation. Yay buccos!

    I don’t know the ins and outs of Morris’ deal, but it leaves me wondering if managment wasn’t just after a nice bargaining chip for the winter. Now they can trade Jack Wilson AND Matt Morris in the off season.

  2. 2 Colin
    August 6, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    You’re right – a pitcher can’t win a game. He can just prevent the game from getting out of reach for the offense. For the Pirates, that often requires not giving up a single run…

    You may be right that the Pirates just acquired Morris as bargaining chip. On the other hand, it seemed like the Pirates were serious about trying to get Jeff Suppan over the winter last year. I think they’re aware that they can’t get by on young guys alone and that the young guys need some mentoring. In that regard, Morris seems like a pretty good fit.

    Also, from what I can tell, Jack Wilson may be gone before the season ends. I’m not sure how trades work after the non-waiver trade deadline, but it seems like stuff is still in the works. See:

    As much as I hate to say it, I think a winning season is out of the realm of possibility again this year. Well, I guess we can only hope that we can break the loss streak before it hits 16 years…

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