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 Post subject: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:14 am 
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I thought he hit this column out of the park today. I agree with most of his points in it and the examples back him up. It's amazing to see the pitchers the Pirates have gotten back in trades in the last few years. Sad. I know it's a different regime now but it's still a dicey situation.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08198/897218-63.stm

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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:10 am 
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Can't say I agree all that much. Here's the problem. If we keep the current group together and project what Nady might get in arbitration, along with raises for the other players, our payroll will be topping $60 mil already, and that's assuming you let Gomez, Minky, etc. walk and replace them with guys in the minors, not signing another free agent. Now, if you project that the Pirates can afford a payroll of $70-75, you are looking to sign a pitcher for $10 mil or so.

Anyone want to look at what Carlos Friggin Silva got as a free agent?

My point is that any quality free agent pitcher could drive payroll well over $80, and even Nutting's most ardent bashers would probably admit that it is not necessarily affordable.

And just because Littlefield never got a quality pitcher in return doesn't mean another GM couldn't. SD got a pretty decent pitching prospect from Milwaukee last year in exchange for a setup guy (blanking on the name...Inman maybe?). The Mets got Oliver Perez for Nady. There are plenty of other examples as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:09 pm 
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Sorry, but if we are still balking at a payroll of 60 million or (gasp) 70 - 80 then we truely don't belong in the Major Leagues and all of the organization's numerous national and local critics are right.

Nutting is a penny ante operator who is not committed to winning.

And let's not forget this little fact. Most of that payroll (if not all of it if Forbes is correct) comes from money they don't have to earn: luxury tax, revenue sharing, etc.

Attendence is already off, as Ron Cook pointed out, and the fans are sick of management playing these penny pinching tactics.

NOt saying we should start throwing money around like Angelos in Baltimore or the Rangers, but this organization WILL NEVER wins if it keeps thinking like this.

When the Yankees bump payroll up to 300 million in a few years, with those glorious revenue streams from that new ball park where will we be then?


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:19 pm 
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I have had a lot of bones to pick with Smizik in the past but I must say I agree with him down the line. We have two young and inexperienced pitchers who have just plain sucked. These guys will not be going anywhere nor should they. The team has made a comittment to them and with the lack of any good pitching below them, you have to hope for bounce back by those two. They have shown what they can do in the recent past and it is in there somewhere. With the offense the only real reliable piece of the puzzle, you hate to break that up to take a chance on an unproven player or players. Patience is a virtue in player development. Keep the faith.

And,... I agree completely with you too Corsair. It is time for ownership to step up and be willing to keep some players who have shown they can be a contributing player.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:54 pm 
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Corsair wrote:
And let's not forget this little fact. Most of that payroll (if not all of it if Forbes is correct) comes from money they don't have to earn: luxury tax, revenue sharing, etc.


Someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but I thought I heard Peter Gammons say on the radio recently that for 2009 and 2010 the pool of money from the luxury tax will shrink considerably. That's because teams that open new stadiums -- i.e., Yankees and Mets -- are granted a two-year exemption from having to pay up.

Haven't studied MLB payrolls lately, but if that information is correct, the only teams footing a tax bill could be the Red Sox and Angels. Uh-oh.

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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:02 pm 
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Bob in Boston wrote:
Corsair wrote:
And let's not forget this little fact. Most of that payroll (if not all of it if Forbes is correct) comes from money they don't have to earn: luxury tax, revenue sharing, etc.


Someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but I thought I heard Peter Gammons say on the radio recently that for 2009 and 2010 the pool of money from the luxury tax will shrink considerably. That's because teams that open new stadiums -- i.e., Yankees and Mets -- are granted a two-year exemption from having to pay up.

Haven't studied MLB payrolls lately, but if that information is correct, the only teams footing a tax bill could be the Red Sox and Angels. Uh-oh.


That is correct Bob.

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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:24 pm 
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Corsair wrote:
Sorry, but if we are still balking at a payroll of 60 million or (gasp) 70 - 80 then we truely don't belong in the Major Leagues and all of the organization's numerous national and local critics are right.

Nutting is a penny ante operator who is not committed to winning.

And let's not forget this little fact. Most of that payroll (if not all of it if Forbes is correct) comes from money they don't have to earn: luxury tax, revenue sharing, etc.

Attendence is already off, as Ron Cook pointed out, and the fans are sick of management playing these penny pinching tactics.

NOt saying we should start throwing money around like Angelos in Baltimore or the Rangers, but this organization WILL NEVER wins if it keeps thinking like this.

When the Yankees bump payroll up to 300 million in a few years, with those glorious revenue streams from that new ball park where will we be then?


And the Nutting family money has been the main influence since 96. Its why you should avoid the Pirates. Dont worry, you've been told when the time is right, ownership will spend. You hear how this team battles & competes. For what...staying out of last place? AZ says the team is fun to watch & plays the game the right way. When is losing fun & the right way?

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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:43 pm 
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Listen, I'm not saying I don't think Nutting shouldn't spend more. I'm saying there is a limit. If he spends above that limit, bad things happen. Ask Howard Baldwin. If Nutting was pocketing $20 mil when the payroll was under $50 mil, that means $70 mil is probably close to the magic number. Are you suggesting teams can't compete with that payroll, if it is spent wisely?

Also, don't forget, a pitcher of any worth is going to require a multi-year contract. You'll probably be talking 5 year, $15 mil or more per year for a top of the rotation guy. So even if Nutting can afford to go to $80 mil, what happens when McCutchen, Alvarez, or whomever reaches arbitration and you start having to pay for them? What happens if the pitcher blows a shoulder?

Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't be taking risks. I'm saying the smarter risk is to acquire that pitcher through a trade, when you have him for 6 years at a controllable cost.

Further, unless you plan on going to the playoffs NEXT YEAR, why keep Nady? Or do you think we can keep Bay and resign Nady AND bring in a free agent pitcher?

I want Nutting to spend just like everyone else does, but I'd rather see $75 mil spent wisely, with a core of young players to cheer for, than to see $85-90 mil thrown around to rental players.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:52 pm 
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Offer Nady a nice 2-3 year extension.

It is fun when they are competitive. And they are. If you watched you would see that.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:12 pm 
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Az Bucco fan wrote:
If you watched you would see that.


You are suggesting I don't watch? Or are you suggesting I wouldn't know what a competitive team looks like?

I do know that they will be more fun to watch when they win more often that they lose, and I want to see them take the smartest route to get to that point.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:35 pm 
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Again, we are here at the "money crossroads," throwing money at a problem doesn't make it go away. What many of you are not thinking about is the fact that we need a glut of talent in the minors so that we can go out at the deadline and aquire a big named player should we be in the hunt. Not trading Bay or Nady, does not help out the lack of talent in the minors. NH stated that he wants a competitve team that wins consistantly from year to year. Not to load up on overpriced guys for 1 year only to be back in the same boat we are now.

Of course BH would throw his crapy 2 cents in about Nutting keeping money(shoot, I'd keep the money hidden from Littlefield myself, obviously he doesn't spend wisely). Money buys you old talent, where we need young talent that is under our control for a number of years. Expensive free agents are best used as add-ons to a competitive team, not key components of team building.

This subject has been beat completely to death, unfortunately Smizik had nothing to write about so he figured he'd spin up the Nutting haters for a minute. I don't know who I can't stand more, Smizik, or Mark Madden.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:58 pm 
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Piratefan13 wrote:
This subject has been beat completely to death, unfortunately Smizik had nothing to write about so he figured he'd spin up the Nutting haters for a minute. I don't know who I can't stand more, Smizik, or Mark Madden.


The ironic twist being that should NH adopt the strategy recommended by Smizik in that article, Smizik would be the first one whining about a lack of minor league talent when the Pirates aren't playing up to expectations.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:21 pm 
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Sorry BBF, I was referring to the Bullish one.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:27 pm 
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Az Bucco fan wrote:
Sorry BBF, I was referring to the Bullish one.


Ah. Mea culpa, then. Didn't realize that.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:37 pm 
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Az Bucco fan wrote:
It is fun when they are competitive. And they are. If you watched you would see that.


Competitive? Fun? I guess you think its fun to lose. Every team competes. Even the bad teams win between 35-40% of their games....they compete. You can watch the Washington Wildthings and have fun...they compete too. Our views of fun must be from different perspectives.

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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:18 pm 
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Unless we ditch LaRoche, then Smizik's article misses one small detail. McCutcheon will be the starting CF beginning next season. Someone from the outfield must go. It is smart to trade players at their peak, and Nady won't get any higher. Unpopular trades sometimes have to be made(remember Tony Pena). Smizik writes specifically to stir the pot, regardless of what side of the fence he actually sits on. Anyone in their right mind knows they have to trade somebody to open up space for McCutcheon. And let's give Huntingdon a chance to make some trades before we automatically assume he will get DL type returns...nobody can be that bad.

And as for the money issue everyone knows that as well. The Nuttings are cheap and are making a profit. There is no reason for the Brewers to have a payroll somewhere between 30-40 million more than the Pirates(my figures could be off but you get the picture).


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:42 pm 
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[quote="PirateParrot"]Anyone in their right mind knows they have to trade somebody to open up space for McCutcheon. quote]

And why pray tell is that? I will take a productive Major League outfield at the right price anyday instead of waiting for the next "guatanteed can't miss Chad Hermensen, Trey Beamon, JJ Davis etc. etc.

I have seen nothing in McCuthchon that indicates he is ready to replace any of our outfielders.

This is the best outfield we have seen since Bond, Van Slyke and Bonilla. Let's enjoy it. I am with Smizik on this one.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:40 pm 
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Corsair wrote:
I have seen nothing in McCuthchon that indicates he is ready to replace any of our outfielders.

This is the best outfield we have seen since Bond, Van Slyke and Bonilla. Let's enjoy it. I am with Smizik on this one.


Gotta agree, Corsair. Every night, I check the Indy Indians website for the McCutchen offensive explosion that was supposed to happen this season. And every night: disappointment. That's an awfully quiet .282 he's hitting. Eight dingers, 19 doubles, and a .371 OBP in 351 at-bats don't suggest that he'll be special when he gets to the bigs -- not so far, anyway. I thought he was supposed to be blazing fast, but he's being thrown out more than once in every three steal attempts.

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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:54 pm 
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There are many more reasons that I watch the game other than who wins or loses. Your myopic view of the team is your business. It does not enter into mine. IF it is all about wins and losses for you, then you suffer in the long run. A bad day at the yard or watching a game on the satellite is better than not.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik today
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:04 pm 
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Az Bucco fan wrote:
There are many more reasons that I watch the game other than who wins or loses. Your myopic view of the team is your business. It does not enter into mine. IF it is all about wins and losses for you, then you suffer in the long run. A bad day at the yard or watching a game on the satellite is better than not.


Who was that aimed at AZ?


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