5-9-22 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter
Not a good week for the Pirates, and it won’t be the last time we feel that this season, but the Pirates often seem to take a bad situation and compound it with poor decisions or overt stubbornness.
1. At Some Point, Can We Manage to Win?
Derek Shelton seems like a really nice guy. I bet he’d be a blast to have a beer with, but at some point, he’s here to be a baseball manager, not a nice guy who yells from the dugout on occasion.
I don’t mean that every decision he makes is going to be agreed with, that’s not realistic but there are just some general sense of urgency things I’m just not seeing.
Let’s take resting players. I’ve covered in this space before that this team makes out their lineup well in advance, and I don’t expect anyone to like it when I explain it. That said, I don’t understand why a manager can’t have a bit of flexibility in implementation.
The Pirates had 2 scheduled off days last week, and another via rain delay, so when it came to Sunday, let’s just say the last thing I expected to see was Ke’Bryan Hayes getting ANOTHER rest day, you know by now, because it was scheduled.
Dude, enough of this BS.
Even Dad doesn’t get it.
I mean, you split a double header with a team that had 3 wins heading into this series, you’ve had nothing but rest prior, why the hell does Hayes need to sit? Why can’t we just once see this team look like getting the W is as important as making sure the preordained rest day upheld?
Why can’t you just take your best 9 or 10 separate them and say, ok, there’s the lion’s share of at bats. You other guys, well these saps get tired and broken down then you show us what you got. Just once in a while allow a little rhythm to develop there.
Man harmony in a lineup isn’t something I knew I’d miss until I missed it.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
2. Frame Job
The umpiring has been awful lately. I can’t even say it’s not true right? Ha, well, no, it’s been pitiful. Something early in the season struck me, and I’m not sure if it was intentional or not but most of games that strike zone graphic wasn’t there on the broadcast I was watching. And I mean during a game it would both be there and then not in the next inning.
OK so maybe it’s the Oliver Stone Movie fan in me, but what if they were guinea piggying’ us to measure how much umpire hate increases when they show the box vs when they don’t. I do remember a couple years back the system being down that produces is but then nobody else really seemed to care either.
Makes ya think doesn’t it?. Like how often do you see those umpire report cards dude’s tweet barrage in the morning and you’re like “96% My Ass!”.
Listen, I want the calls right, and certainly some umpires are worse than others, but I’ll miss the impassioned arguments we all got to have in good nature about these dumb umpires when the robots take over and begin the phase of life on the way to proving Futurama prophetic Play Blernsball!
3. Hindsight is a Hell of a Thing
It serves a bunch of purposes right? I mean if you don’t practice some hindsight, how do you ever learn from mistakes? Of course you have to. The best of the best use it to constantly improve themselves. But there’s a fine line between improvement and Nit picking yourself to death.
Everyone does it is what I’m saying. Just, differently.
Some use it to praise their prognostication skills, who among us are’t at least a little guilty of that right? “I said it way back then!!!” Others will use it to sell their vague opinion at the time is actually what they meant is now the popular opinion.
It’s really funny, because all we have behind us is verifiably true 99% of the time yet we still argue, simply because so many just would rather have “I was Right!” as the outcome of any story than to actually just sit back and watch the story, while being perfectly happy to be wrong about how or why things happen. So long as it benefits the ballclub, great.
I say all this because man your experience watching how baseball teams actually do things is so much more interesting than just blindly hearing catchphrases or believing the day they start trying is the day they start winning.
4. This Team Will Never Win With All Prospects
This is a true statement. I promise you, when this team wins, it won’t be all kids that pull it off. Before you go off and pound salt about that big dummy from the internet who’s as bad as whomever bigger name you hate most.
No matter who says it, no matter their intention for a conversation may be, this is a very true statement.
It’s just not how it works. Some of this young class will stick. And I mean contractually young more than anything when i reference age in this context.
Hayes will be here, Reynolds will be here, Diego Castillo might be, too early to say. Cruz could be, Maybe Suwinski. Hey if I have my way they should extend either Gamel or Marisnick for a season or two just to keep that veteran presence around.
That’s the key, I don’t expect them to sit around and wait for the entire team to be fully built together on all Pirates internally developed prospects before they add, I expect them to really spend the rest of this season locking in answers. Hayes, Reynolds, Bednar, are in a rare air, keep category. Next are the maybes and they’re guys like Suwinski, Chavis, Castillo, Take your pick of the starters, any of them is a maybe if they take hold save Quintana.
See what I mean?
They have guys actually getting here soon. Roansy Contreras, Max Kranick, Oneil Cruz, and I’d think Cody Bolton is going to force it on the team. By the end of this year, all of these questions need to have shown and contributed to this club. then they need to augment it. Must have a competent and veteran player everywhere by then.
Now that can be Hayes, Reynolds, Bednar, say they hold onto wiley old Ben Gamel, Chavis locks in a bench role or Jhay like set up, Brubaker arrives and so does Roansy. Those count too. Those guys will all be part of that “veteran” leadership.
That’s how this works. Grab some glue guys like Gamel, or Marisnick, a Quintana type they won’t turn their nose up at I’d imagine and we’ll see how the 5 or 6 that look good this year feel to us before we call for a blockbuster for Sebastian Gore.
All I’m saying is, of course they’ll have to go outside the organization for help when they’re close, and improvement comes a bit easier when you reach the depths this team did. Catching BS aside, I still like where most of this is headed.
5. Why Didn’t the Pirates Just Keep Colin Moran?
It’s a valid question. He would have been cheaper than Yoshi Tsutsugo, more costly than Daniel Voglebach, but not by all that much. So clearly, the team didn’t like what he was doing, felt he hat reached his ceiling and that they would prefer to go outside the organization to fill the role.
They did. Well, what we kinda always say we want them to do, they just didn’t really do it well. Now I toss Voglebach in there because they basically snuck in a can’t miss pick up of the option on Voglebach meaning if they liked what he did, he’s a no haggle keeper at worst bench piece who can hang at 1st in a pinch.If not, so long. Yoshi is one year, and since he and his camp reportedly wanted multi-year, and the Pirates would only go 1, well that should show you he was worth the gamble but not in the long term plans.
Voglebach is insurance for Chavis and to a degree Mason Martin. Now, that may or may not sound appealing to you. You may say why not just keep Moran who they had control over cheap than get Yoshi. The answer is really simple, they simply didn’t want to spend any more time or energy on a guy who they felt was going to top out at well, Colin Moran. The same guy who has gotten a ton of at bats in Great American Ballpark this year and just popped his first 2 dingers against the Pirates. Raising his .192 average to .208 to which you’d all be screaming I can’t believe these idiots kept this guy!
Oh I almost forgot he’s such a superior fielder!!!! Is he though? He’s ok, certainly better than Yoshi but my god we don’t have to pretend he was Mark Grace over there. I mean even the Reds don’t want to start him over there.
This isn’t to speak ill of the recently departed, this is to just say, yeah, I probably could go either way, in fact I initially did think they’d keep both. But they liked what Vogelbach brought to the table and felt they’d get more production with two years of him than two of Moran. I have a hard time saying they’ve been wrong at the plate.
The emotion of being beaten by a former player is always extra hard. But as the team improves, so too will the cast offs and traded bits that start cropping up. Think the White Sox fans don’t hate seeing Madrigal in a Cubs uniform getting hits? It sucks but you can’t keep everyone, and having successful players who couldn’t cut it with you is supposed to happen.
To be clear, that’s not Moran. He’s probably at the peak of his career in the next couple years, the problem is the peak isn’t much more, if any above where he is right now.
And that’s why move on from Moran.
He isn’t someone to be hated, or pined for, he’s just a dude, we have some fun memories of who ultimately isn’t part of the answer here and needed moved out of the way.
Wish him well, and welcome him back to visit.
Have a great week everyone, and don’t watch the Pirates get beaten to hell by the Dodgers, watch the Pirates try like hell to go toe to toe with a team they know they have no business beating. See who looks like that’s what they have in mind. Pray one of them is the manager for once. Teach them to win Skip, or they never friggin’ will.