“Pittsburgh-Great City-Bad Baseball”
You fall in love with beautiful baseball stadiums.
Petco Park downtown..Camden Yards-Baltimore and its brick facade..PNC Park-Pittsburgh and its view of the city bridges-skyline.
You love the great old stadiums, Yankees-Fenway-Wrigley.
There are lots of nice places to live too, Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania included.
There are lots of fervent cities that root for their teams, and that includes people in the 412-area code.
That’s why what I see happening to Pirates baseball makes me mad, sickens me, and should be addressed by the media, the fans, and MLB.
The Pirates brought us the Lumber Company, ‘We are family’, Stargell-Oliver-Parker-Sanguillen.
We recall Roberto Clemente, Vernon Law, Bob Friend, Elroy Face and a World Series team.
And of course we all witnessed Barry Bonds and the Jim Leyland era.
Pittsburgh has given its fans some fabulous teams, but not recently, surely not now, and it’s about to continue..
Please don’t tell me about ‘small market baseball’, not when teams draw over 2M per year…get a nice chunk of TV revenue..and received 30-to-50M a year in revenue sharing.
Pittsburgh, don’t tell me small market, for if you win, you become a regional franchise and you draw, as witnessed by who-what the Steelers are to Western Pennsylvania.
I shook my head when the fans roared to PNC Park to see the Pirates drive into the playoffs. They looked as if the rebuilding was about to bear fruit.
And then ownership traded away star outfielder Andrew McCutchen just like that, and the floodgates opened.
And since then, it has been another downward plunge, a composite record of (323-383) since 2016.
And it has been a constant exit of quality players for a wide variety of reasons, most of them related to ownership not showing a willingness to pay to keep its best players.
Take a look at the box scores around baseball this week. Ex Buccos everywhere:
Tyler Glasnow-Tampa Bay..14-strikeout game this week
Gerrit Cole-Yankees..ace of the staff
Jameson Taillon-Yankees..part of the NY rotation
Joe Musgrove-Padres..No Hit-Joe
All could have been in the Pirates rotation if ownership wanted to compete rather than just put money in their pocket.
Chris Archer-Tampa Bay
Think they could have been valued pieces in the bullpen?
Guys who went other places and did pretty well after they moved out.
And it’s not just pitchers, though the Pirates may have the worst pitching staff in the game.
They dealt away Josh Bell..Starling Marte..Josh Harrison..Francisco Cervelli..Neil Walker and young prospect Austin Meadows. I’d take alot of those guys in place of whom I saw in the Bucs lineup on Tuesday night.
Of course a couple of players self destructed. Francisco Vasquez is in some jail somewhere on a child sexual abuse case. And Jung Ho-Kang was exiled after an ugly domestic abuse case.
All teams go thru bad times, but in Pittsburgh, it seems to be an on going story of lack of quality leadership and commitment from atop to what goes onto the roster, into the dugout and then on the field.
Anybody see a trend here in Pittsburgh? How they operate? What do they do with the money they get from fans, the networks, the league office? Surely not spend it correctly
Ben Cherrington, a former Red Sox executive, has taken over as GM. He is not going to fix Pirates baseball in 15 minutes. It’s been wrecked over the last five years.
This is painful to see what Pirates baseball has become over the years and I lay it at the front door of ownership. If you cannot afford to run a team in a beautiful city in a beautiful ballpark like PNC, then sell the franchise.
Pirates fans deserve better. Pittsburgh deserves better.