Poof! There Goes Another Face Of The Franchise . . .
DO THE PITSBURGH PIRATES EVEN HAVE A FRANCHISE PLAYER? Sure, second baseman Freddy Sanchez won the National League batting title in 2006 – wait, you didn’t know a Pirate led the league in batting recently? Well, he did – but he never really stuck as “the guy”. And every year that management claims to have signed the “face of the franchise”, they turn around and trade him for minor league prospects and reep the ires of their tired fanbase. Pittsburgh’s once beloved Buccos have become faceless.
Just yesterday the Pirates traded freshly signed, All-Star centerfielder, Nate McClouth, who last year won the first gold glove for a Pirates’ player in ten years, to Atlanta for three prospects. Here are the details. The positive? The move makes way for celebrated centerfielder, Andrew McCuthchen, to play on the big stage. A consolation prize of sorts . . .
This follows the big splash move – well, not for Pittsburgh – of last season where the Pirates sent Jason Bay to the Red Sox to replace Manny Ramirez in Left Field as he escaped as far away as he could from Boston in a three way trade to Los Angeles. What did the Pirates get? Pieces for the “future”. And fans are waiting to see a glimmer of hope from Brandon Moss and Andy LaRoche, who are starting in the big leagues, but haven’t yet delivered in a way that replaces fan favorite, Jason Bay.
Outfielder Brandon Moss has 7 homeruns in the 90 games he’s played in Pittsburgh, is hitting .242 over that span and strikes out once every four at bats. His fielding is not terrible and he’ll pull out a gem every now and again, but he’s not the “amazing” player the management touted he would be. Not yet . . .
After a forgettable start to his Pirates career in 2008, Andy LaRoche is rounding into form so far this year, batting nearly .300 with 13 doubles and making some spectacular plays at the hot corner, not withstanding his terrible 3 error performance in the first two games of the season, of course . . .
With Jason Bay instrumental in the Red Sox playoff run last year and already totaling 16 dingers for Boston this season, Pittsburgh fans feel like they’ve just sucked on a bushel of lemons . . . SOUR.
There might be hope for the future, but the loyal fans that support the once proud participant in the “City of Champions” have been waiting 16 years for a winning team to cheer on.
Not for bobbleheads, fireworks and Styx concerts . . .
Yes, this is only the second year with new management, and President Frank Coonelly and GM Neal Huntington are focusing on the hated “future” during a season where it is imperative that the team gets to at least 81-81 or else they will hold the most dubious distinction of WORST FRANCHISE IN PRO SPORTS via their 17 consecutive losing seasons . . .
Haven’t the Bucco faithful been waiting long enough?