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 Post subject: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:37 pm 
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I read today with interest on the piece in the PG on Jack Wilson. This is my take.

Although I do realize that the Buccos are certainly in a youth movement, you do need some seasoned guys around as a steadying influence on these kids. I still don't see a legitimate replacement for Wilson at SS, at least for a couple of years. It will take a couple of years for the young guys to develop to a major league level.

Wilson has also said, on occasion, that he probably wouldn't play much past ten years. He also would like to retire a bucco. Well, ten years is pretty close to being up, I think next year is it.

When I was a kid, in the days of Bob Veale, Bob Freind, Stargell and Clemente, there were guys that were Pirates, and you could count on them being there year and year out. Blass and Bob Walk are like that. I realize the days of keeping a team together are past, but it seems to me that there need to be one or two exceptions.

I would also like to see them sign Dougie M, and keep him around for a while, and possibly Jason Michaels. Those guys still have the fire, and you can't underestimate the impact they have on the young guys.

I'm not trying to start a fight here, but I seriously would like everyone's opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:48 pm 
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Maybe they will keep him but I doubt it.

He makes a big salary for a defensive ss on a team that won't make a run at the play-offs next year. And the real issue is that he'll be a free agant in another year and gone with little return. As popular as he is, I think management will shop him in the off season.

I know that will upset many, but is it in the best interest of the team in the long run? If not, keep him.

Doug on the other hand is an inspirational player and big help to young kids. Plus he's much cheaper. They should give him a raise and keep him if he'll stay.

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 Post subject: Re: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:29 pm 
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I agree that it's important to keep one or two veterans on a team to be "mentors" or role models for the young guys. I think most successful teams do keep a couple of their vets, and I hope the Pirates do also. But, as NH has said, the Bucs need quantity and quality young players, and if Jack Wilson can bring 2 or 3 prospects, that would be hard to pass up. I think it will depend on what they can get for Jack. I certainly wouldn't give him away, but maybe would trade him for a couple or three "quality" prospects. However, who on earth will play short? That's a very important position, and Jack plays it very well. Who????


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 Post subject: Re: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:35 pm 
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Great, this thread is going to get 14 pages worth of replies...

:roll: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:35 pm 
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DocJeanO wrote:
I agree that it's important to keep one or two veterans on a team to be "mentors" or role models for the young guys. I think most successful teams do keep a couple of their vets, and I hope the Pirates do also. But, as NH has said, the Bucs need quantity and quality young players, and if Jack Wilson can bring 2 or 3 prospects, that would be hard to pass up. I think it will depend on what they can get for Jack. I certainly wouldn't give him away, but maybe would trade him for a couple or three "quality" prospects. However, who on earth will play short? That's a very important position, and Jack plays it very well. Who????


I can't believe I'm letting myself get dragged into this conversation again, but...

It does not matter who plays short for the Pirates for at least the next couple years. Without Jack, maybe they lose 95 games. With him, they still lose 85-90. In either case they finish second to last or last in their division.

By the time the Pirates are in a position to contend, which will be in at least three years, Jack Wilson will be well entrenched in his mid 30s. His defensive and offensive skills will have deteriorated past the point where he will be able to contribute anyway.

He makes over $7 million next year. It is pointless to keep around a player like that in a losing situation when the Pirates are trying to rebuild and can spend the money on draft picks.

If it gets to the point where the team is contending and still needs a SS, they can get an average to above average fill-in on the free agent market. Jack will be done by then either way.

The options are simple...
1. Spend $7+ mil next year on Jack's salary during a throwaway season and have absolutely nothing to show for it afterwards.
2. Save the money, put a total scrub in at short, and continue with the rebuilding process that's already begun by signing premium draft picks.

I understand the attachment to Jack. He's been around for a while, plays hard, and wants to be in Pittsburgh. But the era during which management decisions are made based on loyalty to players was over at least 30 years ago. The only reason to keep Jack is emotional attachment.


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 Post subject: Re: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:32 am 
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Steve1118 wrote:
I read today with interest on the piece in the PG on Jack Wilson. This is my take.

Although I do realize that the Buccos are certainly in a youth movement, you do need some seasoned guys around as a steadying influence on these kids.[/quote}
Why Wilson? Why not cheap seasoned backup players like Gomez or Minky instead of mediocre overpaid starters?

Quote:
I still don't see a legitimate replacement for Wilson at SS, at least for a couple of years. It will take a couple of years for the young guys to develop to a major league level.

I agree with that, but we don't know who we might get for Wilson.

Quote:
Wilson has also said, on occasion, that he probably wouldn't play much past ten years. He also would like to retire a bucco. Well, ten years is pretty close to being up, I think next year is it.

When I was a kid, in the days of Bob Veale, Bob Freind, Stargell and Clemente, there were guys that were Pirates, and you could count on them being there year and year out.

You could count on them being there year in and year out because they were virtual slaves who had no choice in the matter.

Quote:
Blass and Bob Walk are like that. I realize the days of keeping a team together are past, but it seems to me that there need to be one or two exceptions.

Nothing wrong with that, but at what cost? Wilson is no Stargell or Clemente.

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 Post subject: Re: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:43 am 
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jaybee24 wrote:
DocJeanO wrote:
I agree that it's important to keep one or two veterans on a team to be "mentors" or role models for the young guys. I think most successful teams do keep a couple of their vets, and I hope the Pirates do also. But, as NH has said, the Bucs need quantity and quality young players, and if Jack Wilson can bring 2 or 3 prospects, that would be hard to pass up. I think it will depend on what they can get for Jack. I certainly wouldn't give him away, but maybe would trade him for a couple or three "quality" prospects. However, who on earth will play short? That's a very important position, and Jack plays it very well. Who????


I can't believe I'm letting myself get dragged into this conversation again, but...

It does not matter who plays short for the Pirates for at least the next couple years. Without Jack, maybe they lose 95 games. With him, they still lose 85-90. In either case they finish second to last or last in their division.

By the time the Pirates are in a position to contend, which will be in at least three years, Jack Wilson will be well entrenched in his mid 30s. His defensive and offensive skills will have deteriorated past the point where he will be able to contribute anyway.

He makes over $7 million next year. It is pointless to keep around a player like that in a losing situation when the Pirates are trying to rebuild and can spend the money on draft picks.

If it gets to the point where the team is contending and still needs a SS, they can get an average to above average fill-in on the free agent market. Jack will be done by then either way.

The options are simple...
1. Spend $7+ mil next year on Jack's salary during a throwaway season and have absolutely nothing to show for it afterwards.
2. Save the money, put a total scrub in at short, and continue with the rebuilding process that's already begun by signing premium draft picks.

I understand the attachment to Jack. He's been around for a while, plays hard, and wants to be in Pittsburgh. But the era during which management decisions are made based on loyalty to players was over at least 30 years ago. The only reason to keep Jack is emotional attachment.


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 Post subject: Re: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:53 pm 
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I do understand the need for prospects....but, it gets pretty doggone depressing when this team won't even TRY to win, using the "need for prospects" as an excuse.

We've thrown away the chance of a semi-decent year this year, and everyone seems to willing to do that for the next three or four years, betting that these "prospects" will pan out. Well, that may or may not happen.

Although I realize the imperative nature of getting "prospects", there is also somewhat of an urgency to put a competitive group on the field in the interim. Otherwise, why not just take a "leave of absence" from major league baseball for three years, put the franchise on ice, and wait until you think you are competitive.

It's not the losing that bothers me, totally, it is the total lack of effort by management to be at all entertaining the next couple of years. They think attendance is bad now, it will get worse if the fans who buy tickets figure out that they have thrown in the towel on the immediate future.

Keep Wilson.


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 Post subject: Re: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:25 pm 
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Steve1118 wrote:
I do understand the need for prospects....but, it gets pretty doggone depressing when this team won't even TRY to win, using the "need for prospects" as an excuse.

They try to win every time they take the field. They don't have players who are good enough to win more than they lose, and the same was true before they started the rebuild. Obtaining good prospects and developing them into good players is the only way that they'll ever have players who ARE good enough to win.

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We've thrown away the chance of a semi-decent year this year, and everyone seems to willing to do that for the next three or four years, betting that these "prospects" will pan out. Well, that may or may not happen.

Screw semi-decent. The goal is to contend for a playoff spot as often as possible. You're not going to contend for a playoff spot by winning 75 games, and that's the pace the Pirates were on when they traded Nady. A pace that would have left them 20 games out of first place. You're not going to take a 75 win team and turn it into a 95 win team by signing a couple of free agents, either.

Quote:
Although I realize the imperative nature of getting "prospects", there is also somewhat of an urgency to put a competitive group on the field in the interim.

It would be stupid to reduce the chance of meeting your long term goal, contention, in order to meet a short term goal of a .500 season.

Quote:
Otherwise, why not just take a "leave of absence" from major league baseball for three years, put the franchise on ice, and wait until you think you are competitive.

The Pirates can't make that choice, but you can. Just blow off following baseball for a few years, then jump on the bandwagon when you hear that the Pirates are starting to win.

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It's not the losing that bothers me, totally, it is the total lack of effort by management to be at all entertaining the next couple of years.

Bullshit. It's the losing that bothers you.

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They think attendance is bad now, it will get worse if the fans who buy tickets figure out that they have thrown in the towel on the immediate future.

Care to make a bet on that?

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Keep Wilson.

...and keep losing.

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 Post subject: Re: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:22 pm 
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You can't tell me that the average guy is going to be content for paying his hard earned to sit in the bleachers over the next couple of years and watch the buccos get their butts blown off day in and day out. You can't tell me that that same guy is going to be appeased by the fact that "one day" they will stop losing, because now we have "prospects".

That same guy is convinced that the Pirate way is to develop those "prospects" and then trade them off for more "prospects".

You might believe that, and we all hope for that, but seeing is believing.

One of the biggest factors that I have been concerned about since the trades is attitude. So much of success in sports comes from attitude. I saw, for half a season, a glimmer of feistiness and attitude that had been a trademark of this team in the past. Now, that attitude is gone, replaced by the "what the heck, we're going to lose anyway" attitude that I have watched over the last sixteen years. The more you lose, the more pervasive that attitude becomes.

Then you've got to trade your "prospects" because they have developed that attitude.

I'm a bucco fan, through and through. I have been since the late 1950's.

The message to the Pirates is this.....don't tell me. Show me.


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 Post subject: Re: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:55 pm 
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Steve1118 wrote:

One of the biggest factors that I have been concerned about since the trades is attitude. So much of success in sports comes from attitude. I saw, for half a season, a glimmer of feistiness and attitude that had been a trademark of this team in the past. Now, that attitude is gone, replaced by the "what the heck, we're going to lose anyway" attitude that I have watched over the last sixteen years. The more you lose, the more pervasive that attitude becomes.


It might be attitude, or it might be the fact that they traded away their two most productive offensive players. I'll chalk it up to the latter.

I used to be on board with this "go for .500" thing too, but Sisyphus is exactly right. You don't get any prizes for a winning season, you get prizes for contending, and keeping Bay/Nady would have hurt the Pirates' ability to win in the future.

As for the whole concept of constant losing breeding an attitude that will result in an eternally losing franchise, I think the quick turnarounds of the 2006 Tigers, 2008 Rays, and 2007-2008 Brewers debunk that myth.

And as for attendance, it follows wins. Now, someone who didn't know anything about baseball might point the the Rays' continued anemic attendance and say that the "attitude" persists among the fans despite the winning. But Tampa is an aberration -- it has a horrid stadium, a population of retirees that go to bed when the game starts, and no real baseball history of which to speak. Detroit is much closer to what Pittsburgh can expect when the Pirates start winning (great stadium, good baseball tradition, avid fan base), and the Tigers have the 3rd highest attendance in the AL this year despite having a season well below expectations.


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 Post subject: Re: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:23 pm 
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Steve1118 wrote:
You can't tell me that the average guy is going to be content for paying his hard earned to sit in the bleachers over the next couple of years and watch the buccos get their butts blown off day in and day out. You can't tell me that that same guy is going to be appeased by the fact that "one day" they will stop losing, because now we have "prospects".

I'm telling you that I do not expect to see a significant drop in attendance over the next couple of years, barring a horrendous PR debacle like McClatchy's ill advised price hike after the move to PNC.

Quote:
That same guy is convinced that the Pirate way is to develop those "prospects" and then trade them off for more "prospects".

No, that isn't what the Pirates are doing. I think that the average guy who is going to Pirate games now will continue to do so because he likes baseball.

Quote:
You might believe that, and we all hope for that, but seeing is believing.

I believe it enough to put my money where my mouth is.

Quote:
One of the biggest factors that I have been concerned about since the trades is attitude. So much of success in sports comes from attitude.

Baloney. Success comes from talent. If success came from attitude then Minky would be headed to the Hall of Fame when he retires.

Quote:
I saw, for half a season, a glimmer of feistiness and attitude that had been a trademark of this team in the past. Now, that attitude is gone, replaced by the "what the heck, we're going to lose anyway" attitude that I have watched over the last sixteen years. The more you lose, the more pervasive that attitude becomes.

I've seen more hustle from this team than I've seen from any Pirate team in the last 15 years or so, both before and after the trades. Like it or not, though, attitude doesn't win games. Talent wins games.

Quote:
Then you've got to trade your "prospects" because they have developed that attitude.

I'm a bucco fan, through and through. I have been since the late 1950's.

The message to the Pirates is this.....don't tell me. Show me.

That's fair enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:45 pm 
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I for one agree that Jack, although not having a good season (albeit injuries do that) should stay in Pittsburgh. I also agree that Dougie M should be signed for at least two more years as well as Jason Michaels. Moss and Andy LaRoche should be kept around at least one more season just to to see if they work out, if not dump them. The Pirates have a long reputation of keeping players who do not produce i.e. Joey Bass, however there has not been anyone that I can think of that can fill in for Jack at short.


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 Post subject: Re: Keep Wilson
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:25 pm 
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huntingdonbuccofan wrote:
I for one agree that Jack, although not having a good season (albeit injuries do that) should stay in Pittsburgh. I also agree that Dougie M should be signed for at least two more years as well as Jason Michaels. Moss and Andy LaRoche should be kept around at least one more season just to to see if they work out, if not dump them. The Pirates have a long reputation of keeping players who do not produce i.e. Joey Bass, however there has not been anyone that I can think of that can fill in for Jack at short.


Yes, that sounds like a plan. Allow Moss and LaRoche one year to prove themselves, then cut them. Instead, prioritize and keep Michaels and Doug. Sounds terrific. :roll:

'Fess up...you are Dave Littlefield, aren't you?!


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