8-12-21 – By Gary Morgan – @Garymo2007 on Twitter
Let’s start there, because at some point it doesn’t matter if you believe in what this team is doing or not, nobody likes watching losing baseball.
Look, I expected it, almost everyone did, but that doesn’t make it fun. Not fun, but part of the process. A painful process, one that this club has stopped short before.
It certainly doesn’t need to be this bad, at least not moving forward, 2021 has been what I hope represents the basement of the rebuild.
Every piece I write about this club is an opportunity to read your comments. Not the comments from folks who don’t bother to read looking for a place to tell everyone how much they hate the team, or my personal favorite, I’ve been a Pirates fan since…. insert date here that always wraps in a World Series win…. and I won’t see another before I die.
Your comments tell me where fans that are actually following the club are. They show me if you are still dealing with the down time with the promise of better baseball on the way or if you’re just about out of patience.
Since the trade deadline, I’ve seen a shift much more toward sentiments like this team better come out of this next year.
Good, you should feel that way.
If you didn’t think it was time to start seeing something trend toward good, I’m not sure what that would say about you.
From the beginning of this, I’ve told you I saw this year being bad, next year starting to be more fun, and 2023 starting to at least have us thinking about plugging holes rather than burning the ship to the ground.
By fun, I mean I hope they’ll hit better. And I have a hard time believing that will happen with this hitting coach.
The approach at the plate has been a season long problem and the only guys who managed to rise above it have been around long enough to do things their way. Now, that’s my assumption, you could see it another way too, maybe those guys have been around this hitting coach long enough that his lessons finally started paying dividends.
If that’s the case, boy I can’t say that’s a good fit for a constant flow of youngsters that are going to head this way over the next couple years, so I still land on this not being a good fit anymore.
I’m not here to tell you you shouldn’t be skeptical, watching these guys hit has been very difficult, and imagining any of them will improve has been even harder.
You can see there is something there with Hoy Park, Reynolds, Castro, Hayes (ok we’ve seen it anyway), Stallings has been pretty good, Moran can hit, maybe not like a star but he can hit. Bottom line, there are enough players here to not be going stretches of 5-6 games scoring a run or two.
Again, not enough to win most nights, but surely better than this.
I wish I could give you more to restore faith. Help tide you over, but honestly, that’s not my job, that’s on the Pirates.
The best I can say is this wasn’t the same old rebuild we’ve seen, and it takes longer than just getting some prospects and flipping a switch a year or two later. But when the stated goal is to “improve the players that are here” in addition to bringing in more talent, my question is when do we get to see that part?
Unless we’re to believe everyone in the organization from Altoona on up to MLB in 2019 was absolute trash, at what point do you get permission to question the staff?
Time for former hitting coach Derek Shelton to make sure Ben Cherington knows he’s seen enough of the method being employed by Mr. Eckstein. Even if his methods work, these guys aren’t listening anymore.
The reasons to make a change have piled up, and it’s time for action.