In today’s column, Gene Collier nails the fundamental problem with the trajectory of the Pirates:
Baseball’s Hall generates more than its share of controversy, which is why I think it would be useful to cite one aspect relative to Cooperstown on which we can all agree. So long as Bob Nutting owns the Pirates, there will never be another player enshrined wearing a Pirates hat on his plaque…
…Were he around today, Stargell would not be retiring as a Pirate. He was better than Josh Donaldson, who this week signed a $92 million contract with the Minnesota Twins, not the prototype of big market capability. Ninety-two-million would not get you Stargell for four more years.-Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 26, 2020.
This was the weekend for Pirate Fanfest. Want to get some autographs?
Find the Hall of Famer there.
There’s a limit to loyalty. Nearly the entire off season has passed, the Pirate payroll is going down after a last place finish and pathetic team last year. There is no major league quality starting catcher and few interesting pitchers. Is it compelling to see what prospects the Pirates get in return for Starling Marte? Vaguely. Worth buying a ticket for? in 2023 maybe.
The plate discipline of Bryan Reynolds was interesting to watch as he blossomed last year. A fun player to watch while giving a chase for the batting title…but is no Andrew McCutchen. Josh Bell has hot streaks and there are assorted other storylines that will just be storylines as the Pirates deliberately sink into the basement of the NL Central again. The fans don’t need to sink with them.
Can the “code be cracked” as other small market teams have – ones still willing to sign Josh Donaldson, or in our own division, Lorenzo Cain when need be? If so, it would be easier to unearth my childhood loyalty. Until then, there is the Penguins and Steelers.