By Richard A. Mathews
In the after-glow of Bucco Ownership’s declaration, “I think we’ve proven we have the best management team in MLB,” this fan is left wondering,
“How stupid does Mr. Nothing think the Pirate Nation really is?”
Maybe Bob thinks Bucco fan were so thrilled with three nights of Sky Blast combined with the signing of Pedro that he really believes none of us can add or even subtract.
It doesn’t take much research to understand even $10,000,000 spent signing 2008 draft picks with that total to be paid basically over three years excluding bonus money and or college tuition perks, represent basically what the team threw away on the Matt Morris contract this year alone.
Oops, I meant to state invested in Matt Morris’ contract to insure the team made the minimum commitment to payroll to fully qualify for the maximum amount of shared MLB income distribution per the CBA.
Upper Management and the Nothings can “spin” the recent trades and promising draft signing which have substantially restocked the clubs inept farm system all they wish but the long and short of reality is, Huntington now has traded his way into potentially putting the least expensive Pirate club in this century on the field come Opening Day 2009.
As for the Bucs signing a high percentage of their actual draft picks, wasn’t it Huntington himself that noted this year’s draft was not considered to be particularly deep?
Didn’t Neil tell us all when the team was struggling to sign their picks we shouldn’t be concerned since this was a weak draft?
Weren’t both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus telling us, “Boras is going to have to cave in due to fact all his clients would be expected to be drafted lower in 2009 as that group is considered significantly deeper in both impact prospects and overall quality?”
While the club’s number one pick might be the best position player the team has selected since Barry Bonds, is there anyone out there other than Wilbur who has read Alvarez isn’t a lock to get the Majors faster than some of his own Vanderbilt team.
Junior shortstop, Ryan Flaherty who hit .324 this year could end up in the major even before Pedro. Flaherty a second team All American as a Sophomore was a first team pre-season All American as a Junior.
Ryan did nothing to tarnish his MLB prospect status this year. Flaherty who has been compared defensively to former Long Beach State All American Troy Tulowictzki due similarities in their size and athletic play at shortstop. Flaherty doesn’t have Tulowictzki’s power one major reason he wasn’t in MLB’s minor league system after his Sophomore year.
Add in Vanderbilt’s other, All American Don de la Osa who was the Tigers 10th round pick in 2007 with All SEC 1st or 2nd team member such as David Marcias and Andrew Giobbi nets you a very, very strong college lineup surrounding Alvarez. The old adage, hitting spawns hitting holds true at all levels of baseball even in the NCAA. None of the above is intended to put a damper on the signing of Pedro.
But remember Pedro is a year younger than former number 1 pick Neil Walker who skipped NCAA baseball to total over a 1,100 professional at bats from low A through AAA at the same age Alvarez resume holds basically 700 NCAA at bats. Reality is, the best NCAA baseball played at any conference level is rarely compared competitively to more than professional baseball’s full season lower A leagues.
The 2008 Bucs with Bay and Nady in the lineup were as a potent an offensive group as any in the National League. But before our eyes, Upper Management and Ownership sold off next season and probably 2010 wiping out over a third of big league level payroll to restock the organization with prospects. A small portion of what would have been needed to compensate Bay, Nady and Marte in 2009 has been allocated to sign this year’s draft picks.
Does any of the above make this the “Best Management Team in MLB, hardly.”
I admit I approved of the Nady/Marte deal. Even this die-hard Bucco fan admitted, that deal had to be done and done now making sure the team got as many plausible future big league prospects as possible.
Dealing Bay at the prime of his career for even four players that could be at least big league contributors brought me back to reality in a hurry. All Star players win games and last time I checked, they even helped put fans in the seats during losing seasons.
The Bay deal proved these are the Same Old Bucs new names.
Moss and LaRoche are not going to ever become Bay type offensive players. All the pitching in the world isn’t going to translate into the type of run production which an All Star caliber player develops over the average big league starter at the same position. Last time I checked, nobody has ever won a baseball game with scoring more runs than their opponents net a forfeit.
Nobody can expect this team to become competitive when it needs the best effort Paul Maholm or any other starting pitcher can deliver to overcome what is now an offense missing the heart of its order.
The Nothings have guaranteed themselves a place in Bucco History.
They will be remembered as the worst ownership group ever.
The only ownership group to fail to produce even one winner.
An ownership group which nets Bucks not Winners.
Thanks for Nothing Bob.