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 Post subject: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:32 pm 
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Wow!

One month ago I revled in a Bucco sweep of the Houston Astros in Minute Maid Park, proudly wearing my colors. I watched Jason Bay and Xavier Nady power the offense and Damaso Marte nail the door shut. The Bucs were hanging in and the Astros were dead in the water at nine games under .500. The local media down here were like jackals at a hyena carcass, criticizing management, their bloated payroll, their under-performing lineup and their miserable starting pitching, which includes Roy Oswalt and........uh.......um......

And then to top off the hilarity, the Astros actually went out and got pitching at the deadline. The sports talk guys laughed their heads off as they brought in Randy Wolf. Randy Wolf? And then they picked up some reliever off the waiver wire. The derision down here was palpable. "Do they really think they are in this thing?" Cecil Cooper kept talking about keeping their heads and keep grinding and keep the faith etc. etc.

And you know what, since that sweep by the Bucs, the Astros have gone something like 26-8, have roared passed the .500 mark and are mathematically in the wild card hunt.

And the Bucs? Well Nady and Marte went, no biggie there, but then the Bay trade. Yes, I admit I was grudgingly for it, if we got value back at the Major League level. Well it looks like we failed again, and here we are back in the same position. Twenty plus games under .500 and a life-less lineup and lousy pitching.

And I am sick and tired of hearing about "prospects" and "stocking the organization!" THis team need to reach .500 this year. I believe that was a major existential, philosophical goal for this team and, we its long suffering fans. We actually had a team that was fun to watch and was as close to a winning record as we have seen since 1999. And they blow the whole thing up? Trading for fourth outfielders injury prone infielders and potential fourth starters. And what did this new team prove?

Nothing! As they went out and played utterly miserable baseball against the best teams in the NL, all they did was prove that we are nowhere close to the elite teams of this league and will not be there next season, or even the next. No real free agent is going to come here; they are not going to get a blockbuster trade for Jack Wilson and I can't wait for next year's spring training meme was we hand an outfield job to the next Chad Hermensen/JJ Davis/Trey Beamon etc. etc. etc. only to watch him go out and hit .198 in April and May. Can't wait for Pirate management to sell us on being patient in 09 as the team plays 20 games under break-even again (but they are learning) and then we will be a playoff contender in 2011, maybe.

And, in that 20/20 hindsight I can't help but think back a month ago and think "What if?" Astros owener Drayton McClain did not give up on the season and allowed his staff to add a pitcher at the deadline for a sub .500 team, much to the scorn and derision of the local media and fans, while the Bucs went out and blew up the best team we have seen in a decade, in order to "build the organization" and yadda yadda yadda.......(we could recite this one in our sleep) I can't help but think, why couldn't the Bucs have only traded Nady and Marte and maybe picked up a borderline major league arm? No they decide to castrate the most productive outfield in baseball, but don't worry fans, we are on the right track, ready to turn the corner etc. etc. etc. They were only six games or so under .500, not the pathetic level of last' year's team when Littlefield acquired Matt Morris, in the move that finally earned him his long-overdue pink slip. Six games, oh so close!

A 500 season! My God that is all any of us want! After last winning during the first Bush Administration, after five managers, five general managers, one puppet owner and numerous summers of life-less, utterly meaningless August and September baseball, all we wanted was one winning season. So close and then they blow it all to Hell.

From what I understand the attendence is pathetic and I will be willing to bet a l,ot of their season ticket holders will walk next year, and I don't blame them.

And, as I pointed out before boys and girls, just think Nutting will clear around 50 million dollars next year! Amazing.

I am actually sending him a "Congratulations card" (no kidding) I am spending the twelve bucks to send it registered mail, so only he can open it, not his secretary!

Yeah, that may be the last twelve bucks I spend on this ball club for quite sometime.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 2:04 pm 
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bye bye


glad u are leaving

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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 2:10 pm 
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PiratesFan.from.NL wrote:
bye bye


glad u are leaving


Never said that. And BTW with your roughly fifteen minutes of longevity in this community, you are in no position to call out anyone!


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:20 pm 
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Corsair wrote:
PiratesFan.from.NL wrote:
bye bye


glad u are leaving


Never said that. And BTW with your roughly fifteen minutes of longevity in this community, you are in no position to call out anyone!


Does the longevity count? wow.. does that make u a better fan? wow..

true i maybe found this site later then u did ( a crazy 44 days later), fair if my input here is less ( where were u since i joined).. but i can give my opinion about it...
and it is just as equal or good or bad as yours.... escpecially when your topic is a topic in a long line of negative thoughts.. Maybe if u read the threads more often then u could better reply on those then start a new..

your topic is not fresh.. new.. and wow.. think negative is the easiest thing too.. and everybody of us has those thoughts.. moments... but to tell it over and over and over again..
man your topic is like a copycat-selection of the real enforcer Bullishhitter and thats waaaaaay enough ;)
and if u dislike everything then yeah hell.. i will say bye bye..

bye bye... get some tea

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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:21 pm 
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With all due respect to our colleague in Holland, Corsair has been associated with this board for abut 10 years. Just wanted to clear that technicality up.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:04 pm 
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does that make the thread any difference..????

Its all old news we all allready know.. how long corsair is on this board, or how nice he is..
i have heard enough about how bad the bucs are.. how terrible.. how ugly.. but still.. if the things
will turn around.. i can already see all the cheers from these posters who continiously are negative..

maybe that is normal with u guys.. just not my kind of soup


just like this thread.. at its not personal... like i already said

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=823

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New Amsterdam was a Dutch settlement est. at the southern tip of Manhattan Island which served as seat of the colonial government in the New Dutch territory. It was renamed New York in honor of the then Duke of York.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:55 pm 
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Corsair:

The Astros are not going to make the playoffs this year. They may have the personel and asssets to spend this season to try and make a run at the playoffs - a futile run, even when going 26-8, but a run nonetheless.

The Pirates, on the other hand, had absolutely no pitching in AAA or AA that was worth anything. Their pitching was soo abysmal that John Van Benschoten and Brian Bullington anchored the AAA staff. Now, the Pirates have power arms (Ohlendorf, McCutchen, Morris, Hansen) either on the team or working their way up in the minors.

Further, the hitters they received in trade including one who has hit more home runs since the trade than Jason Bay - that guy is Brandon Moss. Those players also include a 20-year old who is already in AA and has an OPS over .900. That is incredibly rare - players that young are almost never in AA, and if they are, it is only at the end of the saason, and then they do not hit, get on base, and hit for extra-base power. Finally, the hitters obtained in trade also incolude a player who was ranked in 2006 as the 24th best prospect in all baseball. A guy with remarkable plate discipline and power. A player who projects as a 25 HR, 75 walk, .850 OPS player.

Those kind of players make a major league team good. Finally, these players will be here when Andrew McCutchen, Brad Lincoln, and (I hope) Pedro Alvarez reach the majors for the Pirates and become big-time contributors.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:09 am 
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Bucfan said it as well as it can be put. I used to be on board with this "just get to .500 thing"... until I realized that it was worthless and would keep the team from actual contention. For all the noise that the Astros are making, they will have exactly as much to show for it as the Pirates at the end of the year and no one will remember what they did. Corsair, please speak for yourself as a fan, because I want more than just a .500 team. I want what the Pirates had in the early '90s again, and those teams were a lot better than .500.

The Pirates weren't anywhere close to a contending team this year, and had they kept Bay and Nady, maybe they would have put up gaudy offensive numbers again next year, but the pitching still would have stunk. They still would have been bringing up the rear in the NL Central. We weren't "so close" to anything except maybe fourth place in the division.

Also, can we please stop talking about "credibility" on this board? I still can't really figure out what it means. It seems that if you've been a member of this board for a long time, you have "credibility," unless other posters have perceived a bias in your past messages, in which case you lose your credibility. Conversely, if you haven't been a member of this specific forum of Pirates fans for long enough, it seems that you're not allowed to call older members out on anything. However, Pirates fandom exists outside of this board, and it's possible for a longtime fan to have stumbled across this board yesterday.

But honestly, I don't care if someone became a Pirates fan yesterday as long as they're making cohesive, intelligent points that are well thought out and are supported by a modicum of evidence. Even Bullish's posts meet these criteria from time to time. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:43 am 
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Corsair, is it really the goal of the organization to just make it above .500? I thought the goal was to reach the playoffs and win the World Series. If the goal was to reach .500, then yes, the Pirates made all of the wrong moves. But reaching .500 is a pretty piss-poor goal for a baseball team. The goal is to reach the playoffs and win the World Series, and without better players, that was not going to happen.

This is the first honest effort at rebuilding a team the Pirates have seen in a decade, and all people do is poo-poo it because they think they've seen this before. Guess what people: the rebuilding efforts of Huntington and Coonelly are nothing like we've seen before. We're actually receiving good prospects now, as opposed to mediocrities like Ty Wigginton, Matt Peterson, Jody Gerut, and Ryan Vogelsong. If past trades were just like the ones of this year, we would not be in a 16-year winning drought.

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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:47 pm 
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Willton wrote:
Corsair, is it really the goal of the organization to just make it above .500? I thought the goal was to reach the playoffs and win the World Series. If the goal was to reach .500, then yes, the Pirates made all of the wrong moves. But reaching .500 is a pretty piss-poor goal for a baseball team. The goal is to reach the playoffs and win the World Series, and without better players, that was not going to happen.

This is the first honest effort at rebuilding a team the Pirates have seen in a decade, and all people do is poo-poo it because they think they've seen this before. Guess what people: the rebuilding efforts of Huntington and Coonelly are nothing like we've seen before. We're actually receiving good prospects now, as opposed to mediocrities like Ty Wigginton, Matt Peterson, Jody Gerut, and Ryan Vogelsong. If past trades were just like the ones of this year, we would not be in a 16-year winning drought.


You need to get to 500 before reaching the playoffs or world series!

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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 3:45 pm 
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Ryann wrote:
Willton wrote:
Corsair, is it really the goal of the organization to just make it above .500? I thought the goal was to reach the playoffs and win the World Series. If the goal was to reach .500, then yes, the Pirates made all of the wrong moves. But reaching .500 is a pretty piss-poor goal for a baseball team. The goal is to reach the playoffs and win the World Series, and without better players, that was not going to happen.

This is the first honest effort at rebuilding a team the Pirates have seen in a decade, and all people do is poo-poo it because they think they've seen this before. Guess what people: the rebuilding efforts of Huntington and Coonelly are nothing like we've seen before. We're actually receiving good prospects now, as opposed to mediocrities like Ty Wigginton, Matt Peterson, Jody Gerut, and Ryan Vogelsong. If past trades were just like the ones of this year, we would not be in a 16-year winning drought.


You need to get to 500 before reaching the playoffs or world series!


False.

See:

2008 Rays (66-96 in 2007)
2006 Tigers (71-91 in 2005)
2003 Florida Marlins (79-83 in 2002)
2002 Angels (75-87 in 2001)
1990 Pirates (74-88 in 1989)

Reaching .500 does not grant a team some kind of magical permission to begin serious playoff contention.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:24 pm 
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jaybee24 wrote:
Ryann wrote:
Willton wrote:
Corsair, is it really the goal of the organization to just make it above .500? I thought the goal was to reach the playoffs and win the World Series. If the goal was to reach .500, then yes, the Pirates made all of the wrong moves. But reaching .500 is a pretty piss-poor goal for a baseball team. The goal is to reach the playoffs and win the World Series, and without better players, that was not going to happen.

This is the first honest effort at rebuilding a team the Pirates have seen in a decade, and all people do is poo-poo it because they think they've seen this before. Guess what people: the rebuilding efforts of Huntington and Coonelly are nothing like we've seen before. We're actually receiving good prospects now, as opposed to mediocrities like Ty Wigginton, Matt Peterson, Jody Gerut, and Ryan Vogelsong. If past trades were just like the ones of this year, we would not be in a 16-year winning drought.


You need to get to 500 before reaching the playoffs or world series!


False.

See:

2008 Rays (66-96 in 2007)
2006 Tigers (71-91 in 2005)
2003 Florida Marlins (79-83 in 2002)
2002 Angels (75-87 in 2001)
1990 Pirates (74-88 in 1989)

Reaching .500 does not grant a team some kind of magical permission to begin serious playoff contention.


Correct, but this recent month of getting ass-raped by the best in the National League has not done any wonders for team morale or, for that matter, hope for long suffering fans.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:53 pm 
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Language there HC? :) Aren't you one of the guys who usually monitors the propriety around here?

BTW Welcome back! :D


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:46 pm 
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I don't care how all the "let's trade for prospects crowd" sugarcoat things, the simple fact is that they are still charging major league prices for a ticket, and advertising themselves as a major league ball club.

Look, I hope all of this stuff works....I really, really, do. But, if I drive to Pittsburgh to see a major league baseball game tomorrow, it would be great to see major ball players. I can drive over to Altoona to watch "prospects" play.

I love the bucs, I have for most all of my childhood and adult life. But, I do think you've got to learn how to play .500 before you can think about playoffs or world series.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:56 pm 
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I honestly don't think morale has a thing to do with it. If the Rays can rebound after an entire existence of horrid play, a terrible fan base, and a stadium that can be condemned, so can the Pirates. Starting 0-0 in April does wonders for morale.

If you don't think management is fielding an acceptable major league team, then save your money and don't go to see them play. But the Pirates had to spend the last two months of this season seeing what they had, and everyone knew it was going to be ugly, especially after trading away their two best offensive players. It's probably going to be the same in August and September next year.

If I was in Pirates management, I really wouldn't be worried about the fans not coming in. It's not exactly like they were selling out with one of the best offensive teams in the majors earlier this year. In the long term, if they concentrate on playoff contention, attendance will take care of itself.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:13 am 
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One things for sure, thank god Steeler season is finally here and we can all stop caring about the atrocious group that plays at PNC.

If that's not a contrast, I don't know what is. We have one team on one side of the street that gets it right year after year after year after year, that has management who actually knows how to build a team, that has legions of loyal fans nationwide because of a winning tradition and another team across the street that couldn't get anything right if they tried, that have a few loyal fans, but mostly fans like myself who are so beat down from the constant ineptitude that they are totally apathetic in regards to the team come mid August. I maintain my position that this current group of Pirates quit on the season shortly after the Bay trade. We were what, something like 7 games around the Bay trade and now we're 22? Quitters. I was actually going to go to the game on the 20th in part because I haven't been to PNC since April and in part to see Skynrd, but I don't want to waste my money for a product, (the Pirates not Skynrd) that would make me angry and depressed on a normally enjoyable evening out.

In closing, I say, relax, forget about the Pirates til next spring, and enjoy the Pittsburgh team currently playing who have actual leadership and have players that take some pride in their work. Besides, Tom Brady is out for the year, and Peyton Manning and the Colts looked like shit, so we might have the team to beat in the AFC this year.

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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:52 am 
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Lynard Skynard hasn't had a hit in 30 years. That's a longer losing streak than even the Bucs. Sounds like a good double bill.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:28 pm 
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You're right, they're perfect for each other. I'm not a fan or anything, but its impossible not to know their hits, so I figured what the hell. This was before the Pirates played like a Double A team since the Bay trade and ruined whatever enthusiasm I had for them earlier in the year when they were playing respectably, which the geniuses on here attribute to them playing over their heads. I guess a team playing respectable baseball is a team playing over its head here in Pittsburgh. sigh.

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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:54 pm 
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Its easy to say they "played respectably" during the month of July, when they went 12-14. Only 2 games under .500, right? But don't forget to mention that was the softest schedule we've seen in some time. We played 2 games under .500 against teams like the Stros, Pads, and Rox.

I see no reason to believe that a team that performed at that level against those clubs would have continued to "play respectably" in August against the Cubs and Brewers, Phils and Mets, D'Backs and Cardinals. In fact, the pre-trade Pirates were a combined 14-25 against these teams for a 0.359 winning percentage. Any reason to doubt that's what we would have done in August had the trades not been made? Would playing 0.359 baseball make you happy?

I remember posting as early as June that the month of August was going to be a bloodbath, even with the club we had at the time. Our disappointing record against the bottom teams of the NL in July was no reason for optimism.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a month makes?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:58 pm 
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omgardd wrote:
You're right, they're perfect for each other. I'm not a fan or anything, but its impossible not to know their hits, so I figured what the hell. This was before the Pirates played like a Double A team since the Bay trade and ruined whatever enthusiasm I had for them earlier in the year when they were playing respectably, which the geniuses on here attribute to them playing over their heads. I guess a team playing respectable baseball is a team playing over its head here in Pittsburgh. sigh.


Were you even paying attention to the Pirates before Bay and Nady got traded, or did you just assume since they were scoring a lot of runs that they were playing "respectable" ball?

News flash: The Pirates were 50-58 through the end of July, right when Bay and Nady got traded. They were on pace for 87 losses. If that's respectable to you, you're a lot more easily pleased than I am.

There's no difference in the Pirates season before and after Bay and Nady. They were impossibly out of playoff contention in both cases. You don't get bonus points for finishing only 12 games under .500 as opposed to twenty games under.


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