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Monday, August 10 2020 @ 03:41 pm UTC
An open letter to Mike Prisuta 12-11-05   
by Stephen Zielinski

The following letter responds to a recent Mike Prisuta article, “Casey's return proves Pirates are trying again”. An edited version of the letter appeared in the December 11, 2005 Letters to the Editor section of the Tribune-Review sports page. Mr. Prisuta, In regards to the Pirate’s recent moves, you wrote (December 8, 2005):

’And Casey will personify what is continuing to look suspiciously like a we’re-finally-getting-serious-again commitment on the part of Pirates management.’

Actually, the Casey trade demonstrates the opposite. He’s just an average firstbaseman and a well-known name; the Casey trade was driven by the team’s PR needs, as your article recognizes. If the Pirates were serious about putting a contender on the field, Littlefield would have traded Jack Wilson to the Braves for Andy Marte, the thirdbaseman. The opportunity was there. Marte might provide what the Pirates would have gotten from Aramis Ramirez if the McClatchy partnership hadn’t given Ramirez to the Cubs. Of course, Schuerholtz, the Braves GM, might be as dumb as the people staffing the McClatchy Pirates front office. If so, he might actually want to take on Renteria’s large contract and declining production at the plate and in the field because Renteria was once an All Star and a name Braves fans would know. But, Schuerholtz’s exceptional record as a GM suggests that he’s not so dumb that he’d trade an überprospect like Marte merely to help out his team’s PR department. Winning consistently – not making flashy but vacuous trades — is the surest path to gaining recognition in baseball as it is in most walks of life. Schuerholtz has gained just this kind of recognition, the kind of recognition he deserves. You also wrote:

‘Casey might even become the face of a franchise that apparently doesn’t want to be perceived as a laughingstock any more by the time it hosts the 2006 All-Star Game.’

I must ask how could the Casey trade fix the McClatchy partnership’s massive PR problems when he wont even be the best player on next year’s team, when he’s not even a superb player per se and when he’s entered the decline phase of his career? He wont if the people doing the perceiving are rational. The McClatchy Pirates are one of baseball’s laughingstock organizations because 1) the teams they field always stink and 2) they make so many stupid moves. The Casey trade really wont challenge either claim. In fact, it reinforces these perceptions. In sum, we can say that the Casey trade was just another ‘Drive for 75’ move.

Finally, I intend to post this letter at OnlyBucs.net in the hopes that it will contribute in a bit to the discussion surrounding the direction of the team.


Stephen Zielinski

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