Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/16/14

I often get accused of apologizing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sometimes that’s because I prefer to take a patient approach, rather than rushing to make a judgement. Sometimes that’s because I put out a lofty projection for a player. Usually it’s ignored that I’ve got a pretty good track record, and that I also can be lower on some players than others.

What I find funny about this year is the evolution of the “apologist”. The team is 11 games over .500 right now. The farm system is looking pretty strong, with some major league ready talent in Triple-A, and a lot of guys on hot streaks. In the past, when the Pirates were losing, and didn’t have big breakout performances from unexpected prospects like Alen Hanson and Gregory Polanco, I felt the “apologist” line made sense. I felt it was usually code for “I’m right, and the only way you can think otherwise is if you’re just trying to defend someone”. But I understood how people could see it that way, considering the team was horrible the last few years, giving little reason for anything other than doom and gloom.

So what is there to apologize for now that the team is winning, and being talked about nationally as a legit contender? Well, here are my mid-season apologies for this team as we head in to the second half.

**I apologize for saying Gregg Ritchie should have been fired. That came in mid-May, right before the Pirates’ offense turned in to one of the best in the league. I don’t know if that offense will stay the best in the league, but it’s not looking like the hitting coach should be fired any time soon.

**I apologize for saying two years ago that James McDonald was more likely to be a number two starter, rather than a top of the rotation guy. I should have just said top of the rotation guy.

**I apologize to Kevin Correia for saying on a weekly basis that he should be removed from the rotation. Do I believe that a regression is coming? Yes. Am I a slave to the advanced metrics that say Correia isn’t this good? Absolutely. But the truth is that Correia isn’t a bad number five starter, even with his xFIP numbers. Look around the league. The Pirates could do worse. Although I believe they could do better, which brings me to…

**I apologize to the Indianapolis left-handers. We called you the Altoona Four for way too long. Bryan Morris moving to the bullpen really helped with this new nickname. Plus it avoids the dilemma I have of always wondering what order to list you guys in. The truth is, you all have the same potential, unless Justin Wilson’s new found control is legit.

**I apologize to my Twitter followers for having to read the weekly Starling Marte discussions with the other Twitter followers who think my opinion on his promotion impacts the decision of the Pirates.

**I apologize to those same Twitter followers for all discussions about how I wouldn’t trade prospects.

**I apologize to Charlie Morton for putting the jinx on your arm. One day after talking about how the Pirates have done well avoiding major arm injuries, you went down with Tommy John surgery. In my defense, your elbow was shredded long before I made that post.

**I apologize to anyone who missed my pre-season article about the emerging international hitters in the lower levels. It would have probably saved you a lot of “where did these guys come from?” questions. I also apologize for ranking Jose Osuna ahead of the other international hitters. I usually don’t rate first basemen that high. I got too caught up in his power, which hasn’t been as good this year.

**I apologize to anyone who caught my pre-season article about Stetson Allie, talking about his improved command and how he had a shot at being a starter. His command was improved in Spring Training, as you can see in the videos in that article. However, I didn’t focus enough on the bolded part below, which ended up being the bigger problem.

So does this mean that Allie is destined to be a closer? Not quite. All it takes is for him to find a way to harness his aggression, and avoid losing his composure when things start to spin out of control. We’ve already seen some improvements in that area.

**I apologize for wanting Clint Barmes over the off-season. His defense has been good this year, but the bat has been weak, making him an expensive version of Cesar Izturis.

**I apologize for saying this team was a 72-75 win team. Looking at their easy schedule to start the second half, they could reach that by the end of August.

Links and Notes

**Only one day left to join the Draft Street free roll. It’s a one day fantasy baseball contest with $350 in cash prizes. Best of all, it’s FREE to join! Click here to join.

**Prospect Watch: Grossman Has Been on Fire Since Suspension.

**Indians Earn Double Header Split On Navarro’s Clutch Hit.

**Spikes Rally Behind Yhonathan Barrios, Bullpen for 5-3 Win.

**Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Draft Pick Signing Deadline Preview.

**Prospect Notebook: Baker Enjoying Move To Pen; McPherson Trying to Get Back on Track.

**Can the Pirates Sustain First Half Success?

**Keith Law Has Three Pirates in His Mid-Season Top 50.

**Pirates Have Had Very Few Conversations About Upton.

**Kevin Goldstein predicted the 2013 Future’s rosters at ESPN. For the Pirates, he had Luis Heredia and Alen Hanson making the game.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Metta World Peace expresses interest to coach St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback


Howard willing to make 'ultimate sacrifice' to help Rockets

Pacquiao bought P. Diddy’s house for $12.5M, fight tickets

The Seahawks are already winning the NFL Draft

Fiancée takes stand at Aaron Hernandez's murder trial

Thunder announce Kevin Durant to miss rest of season

Jeremy Maclin says he still believes in Chip Kelly

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Twins to offer $19 Bloody Mary with pizza slice garnish

Ranking the NBA's hottest coaching seats

The beginning of the end for Notre Dame

An identity in flux: Harden and the collective consciousness

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Five under-the-radar AL MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit's GF a letter

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.