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Monday, January 30 2023 @ 08:38 am UTC
Minicamp - Day One  View Printable Version 
By Jim Sullivan

Though the early morning began a little chilly, by the time practice started it was already up in the low sixties, and anyway the first day of baseball is always bright and shiny in my eyes.

Though there's not a lot to report on during Minicamp, it was an opportunity to renew my friendship with the General Manager. Neal Huntington is good enough to let me pick his brain on occasion, and I was perplexed on the Craig Monroe signing, and the GM's thinking on Steve Pearce.
Onlybucs Has Moved!  View Printable Version 
We are happy to announce that Onlybucs has moved to a new host. We have also reverted back to the onlybucs.net domain. Please update your bookmarks!

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Littlefield's Ghost  View Printable Version 
By Wilbur Miller

In the January 6 entry on his blog at the Post-Gazette, Dejan Kovacevic reprints a letter from a season ticket holder to the Pirates explaining why he’s decided not to renew for 2009. The fan’s primary stated reason is the trades of Jason Bay and Xavier Nady. Kovacevic then adds:

“All I will add to this is that anyone who fails to see the importance of winning in 2009 -- or some of the intangible impact of the Jason Bay trade -- also fails to understand that the true lifeblood of any sports franchise is its season-ticket base. That is not hyperbole. Nor is it pandering to those among you readers who might fit this category. It is cold, hard fact. Without the people who care the most being on board, nothing else matters.”
Grading the GM  View Printable Version 
By Wilbur Miller

With nothing going on in the Pirate baseball world, this seems like a good time to grade Neal Huntington on his first year as the team’s GM. I tried to break things down into logical portions of the baseball operations. I’ve made no attempt to distinguish Huntington from Frank Coonelly and John Russell, so if you think one of those two should get credit or blame for some of the things discussed below, feel free to assign responsibility as you see fit.
Upcoming Roster Issues  View Printable Version 
By Wilbur Miller

With the Pirates’ remaining September games holding their usual lack of interest, the minor league season over, and the Pedro Alvarez situation likely to drag on for at least several more months, what is there to do except take an updated look at the Pirates’ 40-man roster and possible off-season moves? Or transition to the Steelers . . . .
2008 Trades/Draft Signing = Best Management Team in MLB?  View Printable Version 
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.
The Credibility Gap  View Printable Version 
By Wilbur Miller

After signing Pedro Alvarez, the Pirates have a credibility gap? Sure they do, and it’s growing. Not in a bad way, though. The gap is between the new regime and the people they replaced. Pirate fans have grown cynical for a reason. Kevin McClatchy and Dave Littlefield maintained for years that they were committed to building up the farm system, but we can see now that they made no sincere effort to do so. When they ventured into Latin America, it wasn’t to sign real prospects; you know, those sixteen-year-old kids who take years to reach the majors, if they ever do, and who attract no attention among all but the most hardcore fans. Instead it was to make a PR splash with Yoslan Herrera and Serguey Linares, at best fringe prospects who supposedly could be in the majors soon and who had the attention-getting title of “Cuban defectors.” When Littlefield maintained he would take the best player available in the 2007 draft, he proceeded to do just the opposite.
Pirates Plunderd in Nady/Marte Deal, Only Time will Tell  View Printable Version 

By Richard A. Mathews

While calmer viewpoints have been exhibited throughout the Pirate Nation among multiple Message Boards, the number of e-mails I received requesting my out of touch view on the recent trade moving Nady and Marte to the Yankees for four prospects carried the tone of those who might wish to consider the following as evidence only time will tell if this transaction becomes a long-term benefit to the team;

“Was anybody excited to see Giles moved for three guys named Perez, Bay and Stewart?”
Something New and Different  View Printable Version 
By Wilbur Miller

After six years of being bystanders at events reserved for fans of major league teams, Pirate fans have suddenly been thrust into the real world of major league baseball. Their team actually made a deadline deal that didn’t involve a fungible AAA reliever or an injured outfielder. Well, OK, it did involve an injured outfielder, but this at least is an extremely interesting one. If the internet traffic is anything to go by, most Pirate fans hated the deal, but that’s to be expected when established players are traded for unknown quantities.
Prospect Grades at the Midway Point  View Printable Version 
By Wilbur Miller

The minor leagues are starting to hold All-Star games, which means it's roughly halfway through the season for the full-season teams. Time to grade the Pirates' top 30 prospects, using Baseball America's list plus a few additions.