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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 2:50 pm 
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Colin21 wrote:
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When a club makes two salary dump trades, and wants to spin it on the public, then they MUST play the minor league players they receive in the dump(trade).


Why not alternate Monroe, Hinske, and Moss like a fielder by committee until one of them catches fire then that one becomes the starter for now.



...Because neither Monroe, nor Hinske, arrived as a result of the salary dump(trade).

Moss did, therefore he must play. The last thing the ownership wants to do is admit the dump.


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 3:30 pm 
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How about the fact that Moss is much younger with much less service time? If he proves to be a capable everyday player, his long term value will greatly exceed that of Hinske or Monroe.


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 4:20 pm 
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Ralphie wrote:
How about the fact that Moss is much younger with much less service time? If he proves to be a capable everyday player, his long term value will greatly exceed that of Hinske or Monroe.


Ok, I'll accept that argument. The problem is that he had half of last year and over a month this year. How much longer do you give him? And do not tell me about how Andy LaRoche has proven this wrong. Andy is hitting just over .250 this year.


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 4:20 pm 
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Rod Serling wrote:
Colin21 wrote:
Quote:
When a club makes two salary dump trades, and wants to spin it on the public, then they MUST play the minor league players they receive in the dump(trade).


Why not alternate Monroe, Hinske, and Moss like a fielder by committee until one of them catches fire then that one becomes the starter for now.



...Because neither Monroe, nor Hinske, arrived as a result of the salary dump(trade).

Moss did, therefore he must play. The last thing the ownership wants to do is admit the dump.

What evidence do you have that the Bay trade was a salary dump?

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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Ralphie wrote:
How about the fact that Moss is much younger with much less service time? If he proves to be a capable everyday player, his long term value will greatly exceed that of Hinske or Monroe.

The problem with this assertion, which appears reasonable at first glance, is that it conflicts with the Unified Theory of Nutting Suckitude (UTNS) which is ultimate truth. Please try again.


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 4:48 pm 
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Willton wrote:
Rod Serling wrote:
[ ]When a club makes two salary dump trades, and wants to spin it on the public, then they MUST play the minor league players they receive in the dump(trade).


Why not alternate Monroe, Hinske, and Moss like a fielder by committee until one of them catches fire then that one becomes the starter for now.



...Because neither Monroe, nor Hinske, arrived as a result of the salary dump(trade).

Moss did, therefore he must play. The last thing the ownership wants to do is admit the dump.[/quote]
What evidence do you have that the Bay trade was a salary dump?[/quote]

What evidence do YOU have that it WASN'T.

How's Moss doing? How about those two pitchers? Is Andy LaRoche's 255 average and his two home runs stackin up to J Bay? How much are those players making in comparison to Bay? How much is it saving Bob Nutting? How is that "Quality Depth" translating into wins? Now? In three years?

Bob Nutting has an entire team of public relations spin doctors who work at FSN for him, you're not on the payroll, maybe you should re-examine your loyalty, unless your name is Bob Walk, Kent Tekulve, or Steve Blass, which I'm fairly certain it isn't, your not getting paid for lying like they are.


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 4:52 pm 
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This came out LAST YEAR before September, before Moss and his .200 this year, before Karstens and his gopher balls this year, before LaRoche's three errors and his mild comeback (two home runs, five less than Bay) this year....

After two crushing losses to Milwaukee, now is an appropriate time to examine whether the massive trade in which the Bucs stripped themselves of their offense to acquire what were supposed to be better hitters, and even a few good, young pitchers, was worth it. After all, the Pirates are 7 and 14 in the last 21 games since the July 31 trade deadline. And, as the Pirates continue to be in a freefall for last place in the NL Central (a position they would inevitably have occupied anyway, since they have not had a winning season in 15 years), Jason Bay and Xavier Nady, who combined had acquired 121 RBIs and 35 homeruns with the Pirates this season, seem to be performing as we expect they would. For his part, Bay, who is now with the Boston Red Sox, is batting an average of .342 since the deadline with 20 runs on 27 hits in 79 at bats. “X”, now marking the spot for the Bronx Bombers, has a .329 average and 17 RBIs. Therefore, the question of whether the trade was a good idea is a legitimate question.

So, what exactly did the Pirates get for this trade of power hitters? Well, while it’s difficult to know for sure this early, my first impressions are that the Pirates have engaged in yet another trademark Bob Nutting salary dump. Consider the following: Brandon Moss and Steve Pearce, both acquired in the trades for Nady and Bay, have combined only amassed 8 runs on 25 hits since the deadline that brought them to Pittsburgh. Of note is the fact that this statistic is the same for Nady alone, meaning of course that Pittsburgh acquired two players to do the job Nady could have done by himself. Additionally, on RBIs, Moss and Pearce have collected only 11 since the deadline, a far cry from Bay and Nady’s total of 35. Factoring in Andy LaRoche doesn’t make the picture any rosier. LaRoche only has a .138 average since going to Pittsburgh. Between Andy LaRoche, Moss and Pearce, the Pirates have only 13 runs on 33 hits and 16 RBIs. Indeed, even the Pirates themselves are so disappointed with Steve Pearce that the organization optioned him last week to Triple A Indianapolis. So, what advantage exactly did the Pirates gain in this deal?

The only possible buried treasure (yet another sad attempt to work that pirate angle for everything its worth, even a bad pun) I can find is the potential of new right-hander Jeff Karstens. Karstens has two wins and two losses since being acquired by the Pirates and has pitched a very impressive complete game shut-out victory (and near no-hitter) against Randy Johnson and Arizona that resulted in only one walk and two hits with Karstens even earning himself a double and a run. He has a total ERA since the trade of 2.25 with only 8 runs allowed on 23 hits, the runs all coming off his two losses against the Reds and Mets. Karstens dwarfs new acquisition Jason Davis who, in 22 innings, has allowed 24 runs on 14 hits. That said, Karstens does get jumpy when he is playing comeback baseball, and therefore a little sloppy. Nevertheless, while not a power pitcher by any stretch, he does have a good fast ball and a reliable changeup he likes to use when behind in the count, a strategy that has served him well so far. For his part, Damaso Marte, who had become a reliable reliever for the Pirates organization, had served his purpose and would have been lost to the Pirates in free agency next season, so getting Karstens was a major boost for Pirates pitching, which has suffered due to the exceptionally poor performances of Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny, both of whom were the two best pitchers in the rotation last season and, in fact, were among the top ten pitchers in the league last season. Indeed, the most consistent pitcher has been Paul Maholm, who is known to pitch deep into games, often into the sixth or seventh inning, allowing the bullpen to do its job.

Still, one good pitcher and three bad hitters for two offensive powerhouses does not make for a good trade for a baseball team whose fans grow ever more disgusted of seeing the team’s ownership and management make trades that do not benefit the team’s competitiveness, but do benefit ownership’s wallet. I know, I know, why should any of us baseball fans across the country care what Pittsburgh, perhaps the most irrelevant team in major league baseball, is doing? Pittsburgh has a long tradition of quality teams and quality players, such as Honus Wagner, Bill Mazeroski, Roberto Clemente and Barry Bonds. The Pirates are a team that has earned its place in history and deserves a ball club worthy of its fan base. For many years now, Pittsburgh fans have done without, even though their team has not, receiving a new ballpark when it did not deserve one. In fact, PNC Park is perhaps the only reason anyone goes to see the Pirates, since it is acclaimed as the best ballpark in baseball (or maybe it’s the opposing team’s fans who know a good bargain when they see one, as general admission seats are only $9.00—try getting that at Yankee Stadium). The lack of competitiveness of this Pirates ball club speaks to more than just a lack of ability, but a lack of desire on the part of ownership. Still, hope abounds in Pittsburgh that they will one day break the cycle and be a World Series caliber team again, a hope I and many other baseball fans would like to come to fruition. In the meantime, three cheers for Pirates fans for their loyalty. After all, their team certainly doesn’t deserve any cheers.


What say, Wilt?


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 5:21 pm 
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Who wrote this
Rod Serling wrote:
This came out LAST YEAR before September, before Moss and his .200 this year, before Karstens and his gopher balls this year, before LaRoche's three errors and his mild comeback (two home runs, five less than Bay) this year....

After two crushing losses to Milwaukee, blah, blah, blah

Well, I stopped reading after the gross factual errors in the second paragraph. Obviously you didn't specify who wrote this in order to avoid embarrassing the author. But after skimming the rest, here's my immediate response:

1. Pearce didn't come back as a result of the Nady trade so the entire second paragraph is invalid
2. This completely ignores Ohlendorf who has performed very well thus far this season
3. Does not mention the potentially high-impact minor leaguers also acquired
4. It assumes that a reinvirogated Bay would have put up the same numbers had he still been wallowing in Pittsburgh

But most importantly, this is all written based upon the premise that the trades were meant to improve the team right away which they weren't. 2008 Jason Bay is outplaying 2008 Brandon Moss, big surprise! Both trades were designed to improve the team over the long term, sacrificing the immediate for the future. That's what you do when you trade established veterans for prospects. You can argue whether the prospects that you got back have enough potential or that you should have held on to the veterans. Both of those are legitimate points to discuss. What you can't do is argue that it was a bad trade because it made the 2008 or 2009 Pirates worse because it wasn't intended to make them better. This was always sold as a trade for the future, for the years after JBay would have been long gone anyway.

BM


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 5:29 pm 
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@Rod: The fact that the article was written last year does not support your argument at all. At that time, no player attained in either trade had a statistically significant amount of playing time.

We've seen a little more at this point. Many of the players attained in the trade are playing poorly, but this in itself is not evidence that the only purpose of the trade was to lower the Pirates' payroll.

Firstly, we still have not seen enough from any of the players that were returned in the Bay/Nady trades to judge the value of those trades.

Secondly, even assuming that some of these players continue to perform poorly, it's still disingenuous to use the benefit of hindsight to judge whether the trades were salary dumps. This may just mean that they were bad trades.

The Pirates got back players and prospects who were highly touted within baseball at the time, and Peter Gammons (a guy who knows a lot more about baseball than anyone who contributes here) praised the trade from the Pirates' standpoint when it was made. These facts are evidence against the argument that the trades were salary dumps.

The Nady trade is looking good at this point, of course pending the performance of McCutchen and Tabata. Judgment of the Bay trade is pending the performance of Bryan Morris, but from the perspective of this year and this year alone, it's looking disastrous. Jason Bay's performance looks like it will be worth in the neighborhood of 10 wins above replacement level this year, whereas the returns from his trade (along with Nyjer Morgan, who is replacing Bay) project to be worth 2 wins BELOW replacement level. So if the Pirates are around 10 wins out of the wild card race by the end of the season, I'll wonder what could have been this year.

Again, this doesn't mean the trade was a salary dump, it just means that it would have been a horrible trade for this year. It can still be a positive in the long term, which I'm hoping it turns out to be.


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 5:33 pm 
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[quote="jaybee24"
it's looking disastrous. Jason Bay's performance looks like it will be worth in the neighborhood of 10 wins above replacement level this year, whereas the returns from his trade (along with Nyjer Morgan, who is replacing Bay) project to be worth 2 wins BELOW replacement level..[/quote]

Interesting, since the sabremetrics guys have put Morgan's defense vis a vis Bays to show that Bay cost the team about 4 wins with defense last year, and Morgan is worth about 2 wins plus, a change of plus 6 or, so.

I guess JBay's bat makes up for all that though.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 5:44 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
[quote="jaybee24"
it's looking disastrous. Jason Bay's performance looks like it will be worth in the neighborhood of 10 wins above replacement level this year, whereas the returns from his trade (along with Nyjer Morgan, who is replacing Bay) project to be worth 2 wins BELOW replacement level..


Interesting, since the sabremetrics guys have put Morgan's defense vis a vis Bays to show that Bay cost the team about 4 wins with defense last year, and Morgan is worth about 2 wins plus, a change of plus 6 or, so.

I guess JBay's bat makes up for all that though.

ZM[/quote]

Yeah, good point, I forgot to do fielding wins and was only looking at VORP which is offense only. So amend my previous statement to five or six wins out of the wild card from ten, which is a pretty significant difference.

I had no idea Bay was that bad in the field, by the way. BP had him at about 30 fielding runs below replacement level last year, which is about as bad as it gets. It looks like he's getting better this year, which is probably an indication that he's learned to play the Monster and is enjoying the fact that left fielders in Fenway don't need to have any kind of range whatsoever.


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 5:44 pm 
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jaybee24 wrote:
@Rod: The fact that the article was written last year does not support your argument at all. At that time, no player attained in either trade had a statistically significant amount of playing time.

We've seen a little more at this point. Many of the players attained in the trade are playing poorly, but this in itself is not evidence that the only purpose of the trade was to lower the Pirates' payroll.

Firstly, we still have not seen enough from any of the players that were returned in the Bay/Nady trades to judge the value of those trades.

Secondly, even assuming that some of these players continue to perform poorly, it's still disingenuous to use the benefit of hindsight to judge whether the trades were salary dumps. This may just mean that they were bad trades.

The Pirates got back players and prospects who were highly touted within baseball at the time, and Peter Gammons (a guy who knows a lot more about baseball than anyone who contributes here) praised the trade from the Pirates' standpoint when it was made. These facts are evidence against the argument that the trades were salary dumps.

The Nady trade is looking good at this point, of course pending the performance of McCutchen and Tabata. Judgment of the Bay trade is pending the performance of Bryan Morris, but from the perspective of this year and this year alone, it's looking disastrous. Jason Bay's performance looks like it will be worth in the neighborhood of 10 wins above replacement level this year, whereas the returns from his trade (along with Nyjer Morgan, who is replacing Bay) project to be worth 2 wins BELOW replacement level. So if the Pirates are around 10 wins out of the wild card race by the end of the season, I'll wonder what could have been this year.

Again, this doesn't mean the trade was a salary dump, it just means that it would have been a horrible trade for this year. It can still be a positive in the long term, which I'm hoping it turns out to be.


The Bay Trade was horrible LAST YEAR, is horrible THIS YEAR, and will be horrible THE YEAR AFTER THAT. Please tell me that we didn't make a trade with FIVE YEARS IN ADVANCE as the plan. It would be the first time in the history of the game this has happened.

At some point you must ADMIT two things:

1. A few MLB franchises exist for the sole purpose of losing, and making money.

2. The Pirates are one of those teams.


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 5:52 pm 
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jaybee24 wrote:
... which is probably an indication that he's learned to play the Monster and is enjoying the fact that left fielders in Fenway don't need to have any kind of range whatsoever.


Yep, that was the whole point. Bay's knees have deteriorated to the point that he cannot be a successful defensive outfielder at PNC with that span of green. However, his instincts are good enough to work just fine in the friendly confines of Fenway.

What I find most interesting in the defensive guys assessment (and believe me, I still have some reservations about a system that says Torii Hunter is below average, defensively)... is that the whole of the Pirates defense this year vis a vis last year is worth about a 10 to 12 game turnaround... pending things staying the same as now.

That would go a long way to why Morgan got a full shot at LF. I also think its why the are playing around with Delwyn at 2nd base. He is athletic enough to range far and wide and if he can be turned into Perry Hill project No. 3,572.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 6:06 pm 
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Rod Serling wrote:
Willton wrote:
What evidence do you have that the Bay trade was a salary dump?


What evidence do YOU have that it WASN'T.

You're asking me to prove a negative? Well, as poor form as that is, I can easily point to LaRoche's and Morris's high regards as prospects.

Rod Serling wrote:
How's Moss doing? How about those two pitchers? Is Andy LaRoche's 255 average and his two home runs stackin up to J Bay? How much are those players making in comparison to Bay? How much is it saving Bob Nutting? How is that "Quality Depth" translating into wins? Now? In three years?

Bob Nutting has an entire team of public relations spin doctors who work at FSN for him, you're not on the payroll, maybe you should re-examine your loyalty, unless your name is Bob Walk, Kent Tekulve, or Steve Blass, which I'm fairly certain it isn't, your not getting paid for lying like they are.

You're using hindsight bias. The only way to judge whether a trade is a salary dump is to use the information available at the time of the trade, not the information that's available over 6 months later.

No one is saying that LaRoche is as good or was supposed to be as good as Bay. What he was supposed to be is a building block for the team's future, which is something that Bay was never going to be post-2009. The same goes for Brian Morris.

If the only information you're using to support your theory is the salaries of the relevant players, then that's some pretty flimsy evidence to hang your hat on.

Lastly, I'll quote BP's Joe Sheehan, who had probably the best evaluation of the trade:
Quote:
If you throw out the three prospects, Bay for LaRoche is still a fair haul for the Pirates. They trade Bay at his peak, coming off of an injury, with just 800 PAs or so to free agency. LaRoche will be theirs through 2013, he plays a more important position and he is just coming into his prime.

It may be hard to understand that a team could trade Manny Ramirez for Jason Bay and win, while at the same time another team trades Jason Bay for Andy LaRoche and wins, but this is baseball in the modern era: the time you have left to control a player is extremely important, and can actually almost override the talent considerations. Five-plus years of LaRoche is a better option than one-plus years of Bay, which is a better option than two months of Manny Ramirez with an option on future services. The Pirates win, and unlike with the other two teams, my opinion of their work here is unchanged.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/artic ... cleid=7887

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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 6:23 pm 
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Rod Serling wrote:
This came out LAST YEAR before September, before Moss and his .200 this year, before Karstens and his gopher balls this year, before LaRoche's three errors and his mild comeback (two home runs, five less than Bay) this year....

After two crushing losses to Milwaukee, now is an appropriate time to examine whether the massive trade in which the Bucs stripped themselves of their offense to acquire what were supposed to be better hitters, and even a few good, young pitchers, was worth it. After all, the Pirates are 7 and 14 in the last 21 games since the July 31 trade deadline. And, as the Pirates continue to be in a freefall for last place in the NL Central (a position they would inevitably have occupied anyway, since they have not had a winning season in 15 years), Jason Bay and Xavier Nady, who combined had acquired 121 RBIs and 35 homeruns with the Pirates this season, seem to be performing as we expect they would. For his part, Bay, who is now with the Boston Red Sox, is batting an average of .342 since the deadline with 20 runs on 27 hits in 79 at bats. “X”, now marking the spot for the Bronx Bombers, has a .329 average and 17 RBIs. Therefore, the question of whether the trade was a good idea is a legitimate question.

So, what exactly did the Pirates get for this trade of power hitters? Well, while it’s difficult to know for sure this early, my first impressions are that the Pirates have engaged in yet another trademark Bob Nutting salary dump. Consider the following: Brandon Moss and Steve Pearce, both acquired in the trades for Nady and Bay, have combined only amassed 8 runs on 25 hits since the deadline that brought them to Pittsburgh. Of note is the fact that this statistic is the same for Nady alone, meaning of course that Pittsburgh acquired two players to do the job Nady could have done by himself. Additionally, on RBIs, Moss and Pearce have collected only 11 since the deadline, a far cry from Bay and Nady’s total of 35. Factoring in Andy LaRoche doesn’t make the picture any rosier. LaRoche only has a .138 average since going to Pittsburgh. Between Andy LaRoche, Moss and Pearce, the Pirates have only 13 runs on 33 hits and 16 RBIs. Indeed, even the Pirates themselves are so disappointed with Steve Pearce that the organization optioned him last week to Triple A Indianapolis. So, what advantage exactly did the Pirates gain in this deal?

The only possible buried treasure (yet another sad attempt to work that pirate angle for everything its worth, even a bad pun) I can find is the potential of new right-hander Jeff Karstens. Karstens has two wins and two losses since being acquired by the Pirates and has pitched a very impressive complete game shut-out victory (and near no-hitter) against Randy Johnson and Arizona that resulted in only one walk and two hits with Karstens even earning himself a double and a run. He has a total ERA since the trade of 2.25 with only 8 runs allowed on 23 hits, the runs all coming off his two losses against the Reds and Mets. Karstens dwarfs new acquisition Jason Davis who, in 22 innings, has allowed 24 runs on 14 hits. That said, Karstens does get jumpy when he is playing comeback baseball, and therefore a little sloppy. Nevertheless, while not a power pitcher by any stretch, he does have a good fast ball and a reliable changeup he likes to use when behind in the count, a strategy that has served him well so far. For his part, Damaso Marte, who had become a reliable reliever for the Pirates organization, had served his purpose and would have been lost to the Pirates in free agency next season, so getting Karstens was a major boost for Pirates pitching, which has suffered due to the exceptionally poor performances of Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny, both of whom were the two best pitchers in the rotation last season and, in fact, were among the top ten pitchers in the league last season. Indeed, the most consistent pitcher has been Paul Maholm, who is known to pitch deep into games, often into the sixth or seventh inning, allowing the bullpen to do its job.

Still, one good pitcher and three bad hitters for two offensive powerhouses does not make for a good trade for a baseball team whose fans grow ever more disgusted of seeing the team’s ownership and management make trades that do not benefit the team’s competitiveness, but do benefit ownership’s wallet. I know, I know, why should any of us baseball fans across the country care what Pittsburgh, perhaps the most irrelevant team in major league baseball, is doing? Pittsburgh has a long tradition of quality teams and quality players, such as Honus Wagner, Bill Mazeroski, Roberto Clemente and Barry Bonds. The Pirates are a team that has earned its place in history and deserves a ball club worthy of its fan base. For many years now, Pittsburgh fans have done without, even though their team has not, receiving a new ballpark when it did not deserve one. In fact, PNC Park is perhaps the only reason anyone goes to see the Pirates, since it is acclaimed as the best ballpark in baseball (or maybe it’s the opposing team’s fans who know a good bargain when they see one, as general admission seats are only $9.00—try getting that at Yankee Stadium). The lack of competitiveness of this Pirates ball club speaks to more than just a lack of ability, but a lack of desire on the part of ownership. Still, hope abounds in Pittsburgh that they will one day break the cycle and be a World Series caliber team again, a hope I and many other baseball fans would like to come to fruition. In the meantime, three cheers for Pirates fans for their loyalty. After all, their team certainly doesn’t deserve any cheers.


What say, Wilt?

I say that citing an "article" without providing the author or even a source as to where it can be found deserves ridicule. Not only does this article have numerous factual errors (Pearce was never acquired in a trade, much less a trade involving Bay or Nady; Davis was acquired at the beginning of the season and thus was not a "new" acquisition at the time; Bob Nutting was never a decision maker prior to 2007 and thus cannot have a "trademark" anything; etc.), but it is also quite possibly the most uneducated opinion of the trades that I have ever seen.

Your "evidence" is pure conjecture from an anonymous author who apparently writes for a fictitious publication. Color me unconvinced.

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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:02 pm 
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Willton wrote:
Rod Serling wrote:
This came out LAST YEAR before September, before Moss and his .200 this year, before Karstens and his gopher balls this year, before LaRoche's three errors and his mild comeback (two home runs, five less than Bay) this year....

After two crushing losses to Milwaukee, now is an appropriate time to examine whether the massive trade in which the Bucs stripped themselves of their offense to acquire what were supposed to be better hitters, and even a few good, young pitchers, was worth it. After all, the Pirates are 7 and 14 in the last 21 games since the July 31 trade deadline. And, as the Pirates continue to be in a freefall for last place in the NL Central (a position they would inevitably have occupied anyway, since they have not had a winning season in 15 years), Jason Bay and Xavier Nady, who combined had acquired 121 RBIs and 35 homeruns with the Pirates this season, seem to be performing as we expect they would. For his part, Bay, who is now with the Boston Red Sox, is batting an average of .342 since the deadline with 20 runs on 27 hits in 79 at bats. “X”, now marking the spot for the Bronx Bombers, has a .329 average and 17 RBIs. Therefore, the question of whether the trade was a good idea is a legitimate question.

So, what exactly did the Pirates get for this trade of power hitters? Well, while it’s difficult to know for sure this early, my first impressions are that the Pirates have engaged in yet another trademark Bob Nutting salary dump. Consider the following: Brandon Moss and Steve Pearce, both acquired in the trades for Nady and Bay, have combined only amassed 8 runs on 25 hits since the deadline that brought them to Pittsburgh. Of note is the fact that this statistic is the same for Nady alone, meaning of course that Pittsburgh acquired two players to do the job Nady could have done by himself. Additionally, on RBIs, Moss and Pearce have collected only 11 since the deadline, a far cry from Bay and Nady’s total of 35. Factoring in Andy LaRoche doesn’t make the picture any rosier. LaRoche only has a .138 average since going to Pittsburgh. Between Andy LaRoche, Moss and Pearce, the Pirates have only 13 runs on 33 hits and 16 RBIs. Indeed, even the Pirates themselves are so disappointed with Steve Pearce that the organization optioned him last week to Triple A Indianapolis. So, what advantage exactly did the Pirates gain in this deal?

The only possible buried treasure (yet another sad attempt to work that pirate angle for everything its worth, even a bad pun) I can find is the potential of new right-hander Jeff Karstens. Karstens has two wins and two losses since being acquired by the Pirates and has pitched a very impressive complete game shut-out victory (and near no-hitter) against Randy Johnson and Arizona that resulted in only one walk and two hits with Karstens even earning himself a double and a run. He has a total ERA since the trade of 2.25 with only 8 runs allowed on 23 hits, the runs all coming off his two losses against the Reds and Mets. Karstens dwarfs new acquisition Jason Davis who, in 22 innings, has allowed 24 runs on 14 hits. That said, Karstens does get jumpy when he is playing comeback baseball, and therefore a little sloppy. Nevertheless, while not a power pitcher by any stretch, he does have a good fast ball and a reliable changeup he likes to use when behind in the count, a strategy that has served him well so far. For his part, Damaso Marte, who had become a reliable reliever for the Pirates organization, had served his purpose and would have been lost to the Pirates in free agency next season, so getting Karstens was a major boost for Pirates pitching, which has suffered due to the exceptionally poor performances of Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny, both of whom were the two best pitchers in the rotation last season and, in fact, were among the top ten pitchers in the league last season. Indeed, the most consistent pitcher has been Paul Maholm, who is known to pitch deep into games, often into the sixth or seventh inning, allowing the bullpen to do its job.

Still, one good pitcher and three bad hitters for two offensive powerhouses does not make for a good trade for a baseball team whose fans grow ever more disgusted of seeing the team’s ownership and management make trades that do not benefit the team’s competitiveness, but do benefit ownership’s wallet. I know, I know, why should any of us baseball fans across the country care what Pittsburgh, perhaps the most irrelevant team in major league baseball, is doing? Pittsburgh has a long tradition of quality teams and quality players, such as Honus Wagner, Bill Mazeroski, Roberto Clemente and Barry Bonds. The Pirates are a team that has earned its place in history and deserves a ball club worthy of its fan base. For many years now, Pittsburgh fans have done without, even though their team has not, receiving a new ballpark when it did not deserve one. In fact, PNC Park is perhaps the only reason anyone goes to see the Pirates, since it is acclaimed as the best ballpark in baseball (or maybe it’s the opposing team’s fans who know a good bargain when they see one, as general admission seats are only $9.00—try getting that at Yankee Stadium). The lack of competitiveness of this Pirates ball club speaks to more than just a lack of ability, but a lack of desire on the part of ownership. Still, hope abounds in Pittsburgh that they will one day break the cycle and be a World Series caliber team again, a hope I and many other baseball fans would like to come to fruition. In the meantime, three cheers for Pirates fans for their loyalty. After all, their team certainly doesn’t deserve any cheers.


What say, Wilt?

I say that citing an "article" without providing the author or even a source as to where it can be found deserves ridicule. Not only does this article have numerous factual errors (Pearce was never acquired in a trade, much less a trade involving Bay or Nady; Davis was acquired at the beginning of the season and thus was not a "new" acquisition at the time; Bob Nutting was never a decision maker prior to 2007 and thus cannot have a "trademark" anything; etc.), but it is also quite possibly the most uneducated opinion of the trades that I have ever seen.

I don't need evidence, you need evidence.



Your "evidence" is pure conjecture from an anonymous author who apparently writes for a fictitious publication. Color me unconvinced.


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:18 pm 
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Rod Serling wrote:
I don't need evidence, you need evidence.

You cite a bogus article and then claim that you don't need evidence to support your opinion? "Hello, Leg Warehouse? My fellow poster Rod Serling needs something to stand on. .... Oh, you have nothing? Okay, thanks. Bye."

I notice that you still haven't produced a link to this apparent "article." Let me guess: you wrote it on a different message board? No wonder it had so many factual errors.

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"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."
~H. L. Mencken


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:35 pm 
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Willton wrote:
Rod Serling wrote:
I don't need evidence, you need evidence.

You cite a bogus article and then claim that you don't need evidence to support your opinion? "Hello, Leg Warehouse? My fellow poster Rod Serling needs something to stand on. .... Oh, you have nothing? Okay, thanks. Bye."

I notice that you still haven't produced a link to this apparent "article." Let me guess: you wrote it on a different message board? No wonder it had so many factual errors.



"SteelyMcBeamMustDie.com"... written by Curtis j. Patton.

You want to argue with Bob Smizik? He says it was a salary dump also.


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:46 pm 
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Rod Serling wrote:

You want to argue with Bob Smizik? He says it was a salary dump also.



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Oh, you were being serious about using Bob Smizik as a knowledgeable point of view?



:? :? :?


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 Post subject: Re: May 4, 2009 Brewers (13-12) at Pirates (12-12)
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:48 pm 
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Rod Serling wrote:
Willton wrote:
Rod Serling wrote:
I don't need evidence, you need evidence.

You cite a bogus article and then claim that you don't need evidence to support your opinion? "Hello, Leg Warehouse? My fellow poster Rod Serling needs something to stand on. .... Oh, you have nothing? Okay, thanks. Bye."

I notice that you still haven't produced a link to this apparent "article." Let me guess: you wrote it on a different message board? No wonder it had so many factual errors.



"SteelyMcBeamMustDie.com"... written by Curtis j. Patton.

And his opinion is clearly one that matters. Just look at his readership. (Note: he has not had one comment on the entire blog.)

Seriously? You get challenged to put forth evidence and you bring that weak sauce? Who the hell is Curtis J. Patton? You?

Rod Serling wrote:
You want to argue with Bob Smizik? He says it was a salary dump also.

I'd be happy to argue with Smizik, as Smizik has repeatedly shown himself to know very little about the game of baseball and the process of building a winner.

_________________
"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."
~H. L. Mencken


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