With the quick turnaround from a Wednesday night game to a Thursday matinee, my mind has been on the Pirates a little bit more than usual; which is really saying something because if you ask my wife I rarely take the opportunity to rest and recharge when it comes to the Buccos. Most of this is probably due to the almost constant discussions about the #1 Overall Pick in the MLB July Amateur Draft, Ke’Bryan Hayes near historic start to his career and the impending roster decisions that will certainly come in the off-season. As I sat down to watch yesterday afternoon’s game against the Cubs I started to wonder which Pirates players would be taking the field or had already done so for their final time at PNC Park; at least in a Pittsburgh uniform, if I was going to be able to step through the gates, guarded by many of the former greats of the game, in 2021 and mostly importantly, how am I still a Pirates fan after all these years.
As these thoughts and many others passed through my mind during the afternoon, evening and into the early morning hours, I decided to write some of them down for what could be the final Five Pirates Thoughts at Five…AM of the regular season.
1) Why does it seem that am one of the only human beings alive questioning the #TankforKumar movement? Yes I want the #1 Overall Pick. It’s much better to be in control of your own destiny, rather than relying on the possible leftovers when the guy you really wanted isn’t on the board anymore. But why the rush to judgement. We have already heard one expert report that Rocker doesn’t have a defined third pitch and someone that has watched him play on a regular basis said his fastball control is an issue. I am not saying that the Pirates won’t pick him or that they shouldn’t. All I want is for everyone to step back, take a breath and wait to see what unfolds in the coming days and months. The draft isn’t for another 10 months and if 2020 has taught us anything, a lot can happen in that amount of time.
2) General Manager Ben Cherington should contact Ke’Bryan Hayes and his agent to discuss a contract extension. This isn’t an original idea from me. I wrote about it after the first game of his career. It had been also been brought up by others prior to the season. This is not an overreaction to his hot start, but more of a simplified reaction as we look forward to the when the next window of competitive baseball will open for the Pirates.
3) The Pirates most likely trade pieces this off-season are Adam Frazier, Colin Moran and Joe Musgrove. I am not saying these guys will be traded. that they have to be traded or that no other Pirate will be traded; I just think they are the ones that have the best chance not to be back in Pittsburgh next year.
4) GMBC needs to make one at least one “big” acquisition before 2021. We all know that the Pirates are not going to bring in any of the top tier, high priced free agents. I am just asking for something more than Luke Maile, Guillermo Heredia, JT Riddle and Jarrod Dyson type signings.
5) I really hope to be able to attend a Pirates game, and some MiLB action, with my friends and family in 2021. Going to PNC Park, and Three Rivers Staduim before that, has become a part of who I am. Whenever I go on vacations and day trips with my family, we always check out the local Minor League team, especially the Altoona Curve and Bradenton Marauders. I miss all of this more than I could ever have imagined.
In narrowing it all down to just five thoughts, I know I missed some stuff and had to leave others out. Let me know what you are thinking and what I may have left out!