11-23-22 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter
As we prepare to roast the turkey, chop the veggies, stir the casseroles and mix up the cocktails for Thanksgiving dinner, there is another thing a dude like me simply has to add to my plate.
Everyone in my family or friend group knows all about the Pirates work I do, and the questions I’ll get every year are pretty predictable. So predictable that I can actually answer them now, lol.
Let’s go through some of them, and for the sake of effect, I’m going to try as hard as possible to phrase them exactly as I’ll get them. This is every gathering, 4th of July, Birthdays, dinner just to catch up, it hardly matters.
1. Saw they traded Newman, when will they stop trading all their stars?
Stars, AKA Guys I’ve heard of.
Newman will be the topic this year, last year it was Frazier, or Joe. Regardless, my choices are simple. If it’s someone who I know just wants to bust my balls, my answer is just “never”. If it’s someone who genuinely thought trading Newman is about dumping salary (yes, they exist), I might take a swing at explaining why Newman was easily expendable. Most of the time though, my answer is that there will never be a year, no matter how good they get where someone isn’t a trade candidate.
Without extensions, Mitch Keller will be on the block as early as next off season, Brubaker too. You have to understand when explaining this stuff to people who don’t follow it as closely as you all do, that all the underlying stuff you don’t feel like you have to explain anymore, is 100% not known by whomever asked it. If you open this can of worms, prepare to not taste your turkey for a minute.
2. Gar, Why don’t you just tell people they’ll never win with Nutting?
For one thing, it’s sports, anything can happen. This is my favorite go to if I’m honest. Then if pushed I’ll say, even if that were true, why would anyone listen or read what I have to say if the conclusion is already written?
If you want a real answer, 2013-2015. It may be nothing more than blind squirrel finding a nut, but it happened, and 2 of those teams were good enough to make it happen if things had fallen right. Even with this crappy owner. Kinda hard for me to say it’s impossible when it literally came close to happening not a decade ago.
Bottom line, the market isn’t great for the structure of the game, and the owner makes it even harder, but it can still happen. If it was completely out of the question, I’d quit doing what I do, and probably stop watching. For instance, if MLB ever went to a soccer style relegation style where they broke into two leagues of the haves and have nots, I’m out. No shot at glory, no shot I’m watching.
3. I mean, Gar, they’ve been rebuilding since 1980
Most of the time I just say yes. That usually let’s them have their moment of trying to get under my skin and shortens the exchange. A really froggy inquisitor will follow that after sensing my sarcasm with tell me when they weren’t rebuilding then!
I mean, it really is simple. From 80-84 they were trying to just introduce new players into a shell of few remaining champions. 85-89 full rebuild which resulted in 90-93. 94 they thought they still had enough to try and learned they didn’t. 95-2007 a rebuild was attempted a couple times, then simply signing competent players was tried, neither got them anywhere.
2008-2012, full rebuild that resulted in 2013-2015. Much like 94 they thought they had enough to make a go of 2016, and were wrong. 2017-2018, a retool was attempted, but simply wasn’t happening. 2019-Now, full rebuild.
So yes, most of the time they’ve been rebuilding. It sucks. Any other questions?
It’s like, I don’t want to just say wrong, but technically, it’s wrong. Let me eat my pie!
4. This Cruz guy reminds me of Polanco
Here’s the truth, he’s tall and Dominican, aside from that, not a whole lot of tangible things to compare.
He’s not the “baby giraffe” you saw in the outfield. He’s not a lock to be a short stop his entire career either, but my goodness, look around this league, if you can manage to have a freak like that at SS, a whole lot starts to come together.
He’s a genuine reason to be excited. Watch him play one game, you’ll see him do something you haven’t seen done.
Cruz will come up a whole lot. I went with comparing him to Polanco, but just as easily I’ll get asked when he’s getting traded.
The best answer to that is not yet. But being a Pirates fan you know the answer. He either gets extended or he’s on the block come 2027, if they’re in the race they let him walk after he runs through his team control.
Yea, I know, rinse and repeat right? Here’s the deal, you say that you help with the dishes alright?
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Stay safe and enjoy your loved ones, even if they try to bust your balls.
3 thoughts on “Pirates Questions From the Fam & How I’ll Answer Them”
I love this! I’ve got family at my house right now. Father in law is a fair weather pessimist who loves taking his shots… there is a lot of wisdom here that avoids rolling in the mud and is a humble reminder of maintaining the priority of relationships even when frustrating sports topics remain on the table. Thank you!
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Glad you liked it Benjamin! Have a great holiday.
I don’t get what people don’t understand?
Teams like the Pirates just can’t go out and sign big UFA’s and live on the free agent market like say NY, Boston, LA, Philly, Chicago.
In order to get a player to Pittsburgh right now, it’s needs to be an older veteran, a reclamation project, or the Pirates have to majorly overpay in either AAV or term; which isn’t likely.
Signing a UFA isn’t just as easy as, pay him the same amount he got from another team. The player has to want to sign and play here. Josh Bell wasn’t coming back. Cody Bellinger was not signing to play here either.
Although, imo, no veteran should be taking AB/PT away from the players or prospects the Pirates have at the major league or AAA level; just yet.
Except at 1B, where they needed a stop gap at the major league level. Exactly what Santana and Choi are; stop gaps that can be flipped at the deadline. I doubt, even the Pirates, see them as long term solutions at 1B.
Will Meyers, Luke Voit are probably gonna get multi year deals. Pirates did what they should have done. Sign a 1B to a one year deal. Again, a stop gap.
Pirates need to start winning first. No one expects the Pirates to win a WS next season, right? The expectations should be a winning team(.500 or better). Just like Baltimore this last season. Then expectations for the next season grow. Then the expectations on UFA signings will grow. Then players would be more inclined to sign and play here.
And It’s not just the Pirates either. Many MLB teams have to build from the draft and make sure they sign their homegrown players. Like Cleveland and Jose Rameriez.
It’s more important to draft well, develop, sign and retain your homegrown talent right now.
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