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A little gallows humor down the home stretch 9-30-05  View Printable Version 
by Stephen Zielinski

It’s the last weekend of the season. At least five teams have something to play for.


The Pirates are playing for the right to pick second in the 2006 Draft. The race has tightened a bit as the season has drawn to a close.

Recent observations XII (and Addendum) 9-30-05  View Printable Version 
by Stephen Zielinski

Every so often I’ll write a few pertinent — or useless — comments for the Front Page. It keeps me out of trouble. The twelfth installment:


He’s taller, and bigger, and...he’s got a suitable name for a baseball player

Meet Kip Wells. ‘How do you do!’

Next, consider his bona fides. Do so with Littlefield’s eyes. Finally, ponder the fact that the Pirates recently gave Wells two more starts this season but gave Ian Snell only one before shutting him down for the year.

Recent observations XI 9-23-05  View Printable Version 
by Stephen Zielinski

Every so often I’ll write a few pertinent — or useless — comments for the Front Page. It keeps me out of trouble. The eleventh installment:


They just can’t help but to win a few games

The Pirates might drop out of the top (bottom) five if they continue to beat up on their betters. Thanks to their recent surge, the Pirates, Rockies and Devil Rays are neck-in-neck as the three teams enter the final turn of the 2005 season. Still, they’ve dropped their last three games.

Recent observations X 9-19-05  View Printable Version 
by Stephen Zielinski

Every so often I’ll write a few pertinent — or useless — comments for the Front Page. It keeps me out of trouble. The tenth installment:


Shazaam!

A three-game winning streak! With it, the Pirates are again threatening to push the Rockies out of third place in the race for the booby prize.

Bay Watch 9-16-05  View Printable Version 
by Stephen Zielinski

Jason Bay is a pretty good player, isn’t he? He’s been so good this season that he’s taken the place of Brian Giles as the most underrated player in Major League Baseball.

(I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has referred to Jason Bay with the title I’ve given to this article!)


It’s not at all difficult to prove my claim. Consider, Bay’s ranking among all major leaguers when we measure their offensive production with the Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) metric.

The race to the top (bottom) 9-15-05  View Printable Version 
by Stephen Zielinski

Dumping Lloyd McClendon for Pete Mackanin and Dave Littlefield did nothing to reverse the Pirates’ downward slide in 2005. In fact, the change quickened the team’s descent. The Pirates currently project to end the season with a 64-98 (.396) record. They ought to have another chance to draft an impact player because of their recent play.

Surprise, surprise: Captain Blood’s crew strikes again! 9-12-05  View Printable Version 
by Stephen Zielinski

Gee a Cardinal pitcher — Crazy Julian Tavarez — bounces a pitch off Mike Piazza’s head. How could that have happened? Isn’t Tavarez a sinkerball pitcher with excellent command of his pitches? Hasn’t La Russa shown concern for the welfare of his players? I wonder if McClendon feels vindicated because of this?


Unsurprisingly, Piazza was seething, according to one report, and seems unwilling to put the incident behind him, according to another report:

Recent observations VIII 9-5-05  View Printable Version 
by Stephen Zielinski

Every so often I’ll write a few pertinent — or useless — comments for the Front Page. It keeps me out of trouble. The eighth installment:


This one has been a bit rushed, as one might expect given the fact that the Pirates have just sacked McClendon.

9.5.2005

It’s Labor Day! Do we know where our Pirates are?

Well, we certainly know that they aren’t playing baseball today at PNC!

Myth-Building and the Pirates August 29, 2005  View Printable Version 
AS the 2005 season enters its final stages, the Pirates are rapidly sinking toward what could be baseball’s worst won-loss record other than Kansas City. If there’s one certainty for Bucs’ fans, it’s that the spin, which is the only real talent the team’s management possesses, will come fast and furiously. We’ll hear all about how difficult it is to win games when a team is breaking in young players. The team’s unofficial slogan since the 100-loss fiasco of 2001 has been, “Young = Losing, Veteran = Winning.” But how much truth is there to the Bucco Mantra?
Recent observations VII 9-4-05  View Printable Version 

By Stephen Zielinski

Every so often I’ll write a few pertinent — or useless — comments for the Front Page. It keeps me out of trouble. The seventh installment:


The Pirates current record

Things haven’t been looking good for McClendon’s boys. The 2005 Pirates have lost twelve of their last sixteen games. They have already tallied three months in which they won less than 40% of their games. They had another month with a .407 winning percentage. They exceeded the .500 line only once this season (May). In fact, McClendon’s 2005 squad has played so poorly that the Pirates are now vying with the Devil Rays and the Rockies for second pick in the 2006 Draft, as shown by the following table.