Found January 25, 2012 on isportsweb.com:
Mlb_jun_23_2ec5

Follow me on Twitter @jim_krug

Image credit amherst

I know the majority of my articles are about Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington, and the Pirates’ much-maligned ownership in general.  I honestly don’t set out to do so; I would love to write more positive stories about the Pirates, but:

1.  It can be trying to glean positivity from a team that’s a lock to lose for the 20th straight season in 2012.

2.  I’m fairly convinced Neal Huntington has no business GM’ing a Major League Baseball franchise, so tales of his never-ending follies aren’t hard to conceive.

 

Today, I want to point out a few things from the GM’s recent radio interview.  In fairness to Huntington, I’ll give the quote in question in as much entirety as its been transcribed.  When responding to rumors about Andrew McCutchen trade talks (bolding is my own), the GM stated:

Once it gets reported in the media, then the GM’s have to do their due diligence and they reach out and, ‘hey. I just wanted to put our name on your list if you’re talking about him.’ While no player is untouchable, we’re in a very different stage as to where we were when we got here. When we got here, it was all about acquiring talent, trying to accumulate as much as we could. We didn’t have very many good players. We needed to take a chance and see how many we could put together.

We’re in a different stage. We’re in a stage where we are looking to take this team and turn it into a winning team. Then try to take that and make it as consistent as we possibly can. So the motivation is very different. Never say never. If somebody wants to back up the truck and give us one of those organizational altering deals, it’s something we would have to listen to. But there are some players on our club that are extremely difficult to move and it would have to be a dramatic overpay on the part of the other club. We’ve got some guys that were are looking to build a club around as we go forward. We’ve got Andrew McCutchen under contract for the Pirates for four more seasons, and we expect to do some damage here during that time frame.

Image credit post-gazette

First, go ahead and look at the Major League club Neal Huntington inhereted when former GM Dave Littlefield (who was perhaps the worst MLB GM in recent history) was fired in September of 2007.  It’s not much worse- if any- than the team Huntington has spent the past 4 years “building.”  On won-loss record alone, the 2007 Pirates finished 68-94.  Huntington’s 2011 Pirates’ ended at 72-90.  At this average “improvement” of 1 game/year…Huntington will need to be on the job another 9 seasons just for the club to break even :)

Secondly, please examine Huntington’s last line about McCutchen.  As he’s already done multiple times, Huntington insinuates that the team will NOT extend their only legitimate top-tier player on the MLB roster.  And apparently, the spendthrift Pirates have ALREADY determined this.  Four YEARS in advance.

Bob Nutting; Image credit post-gazette

As long-suffering fans, this would be the last straw for many.  The Pirates will continue to cry poor at the question of signing marquee free agents, and raising payroll.  This much we know.  But if the club is incapable of even retaining what little marquee talent they DO develop internally, then folks, we might as well pack up and wait until the Nutting family sells the team.  If those are the groundrules with which the Pirates are playing, then they won’t win until new ownership is willing to invest in the team.

I don’t know Andrew McCutchen, but from his play on the field and relations with the fans and media, he seems like an absolute class act.  And he’s more than deserving of being a Pittsburgh Pirate for years to come.

 

Thanks for reading.  Go Andrew go.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

This Date in Pirates History: January 25

Only two former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, no major transactions and I even checked the minor league rosters for a birthday today and couldn’t find one, so today will be a light day. Pritchard pictured here on his 1958 Topps card Dan Serafini(1974) lefty pitcher for the 2000 Pirates. He was originally a 1st round draft pick of the Twins in 1992 and he averaged...

How good is the Pirates' minor league system?

Before I get into this post, I want to take a second to highly recommend Pirates Prospects' 2012 Prospect Guide. The 2011 version was invaluable to me when I was in Bradenton last spring and throughout the year as I tried to keep up with the Pirates' minor league system. The 2012 book is every bit as comprehensive. I can't imagine anyone anywhere knows more about the...

MLB Network: Pirates will have winning season in 2012

Here’s the proof: Whatever you say, guys. (via @Kristy_Robinson) ©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved..

Winter League Playoffs 1/24 — Homers By Gimenez and Cortes Not Enough

Not too many Pirates’ players and friends left in the mix, as the four Caribbean leagues continue their championship series:   DOMINICAN LEAGUE   (best of 9) Aguilas Cibaenas  1,  Leones del Escogido  0 Los Aguilas earned their first win of the championship series, and took only 2 hits to do it.  In the bottom of the 1st, with two out and a walk, a single by RF Brandon Moss...

4 prospects earn top status from MLB.com

Jonathan Mayo from MLB.com recently released his top 10 prospects lists for each position. 4 Pirates’ farmhands made the cut. When it came to naming the top 10 right handed pitchers, Mayo rated 2010 1st round pick Jameson Taillon #3 and 2011 1st rounder Gerrit Cole #6. Taillon is expected to start off the season for Bradenton in the Florida State League after completing his first...

Prospect love

It’s been a slow week for Pirates news and discussion, but the Bucs’ minor league system has been getting some attention lately…and there’s nothing else to talk about…so here goes: John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com ranked the Pirates’ overall minor league system 12th in MLB. That’s obviously not where we want it to be, but it is still a vast improvement over past...

Player Profile #128: Neil Walker | 2B | PIT

Don’t look now, but second base is deep. Even with a disappointing 2011 season that still saw Neil Walker rank as the 119th best player overall, we didn’t elect to rank him inside the top 125. That’s not a knock on Walker, but rather an affirmation of the other talent at the position. Consider that this is the same position where you could draft Dustin Pedroia, Robinson Cano...

White Sox Sign Scott Olsen

The White Sox signed left-hander Scott Olsen to a minor league contract, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick tweets. The deal includes a 2013 option on Olsen, a Sosnick/Cobbe client. Olsen, 28, signed with the Pirates last offseason, but he had shoulder problems and they released him in May. He was a serviceable starter for the Marlins from 2006-08, when he posted a 4.65 ERA with 6...

Inbox: Why did Bucs tab Bedard, not Maholm?

Jenifer Langosch examines the Bucs signing Erik Bedard, but not Paul Maholm, who would close if Joel Hanrahan was hurt, and more in her final Pirates Inbox.

Pittsburgh Pirates: GM Huntington’s Offseason “Portfolio”

Pirates' Offseason Explained Here’s a hilarious GM Neal Huntington quote pointed out to me by a friend, from an interview during the Winter Meetings: “We could have invested everything in one big blue-chip stock, or we could have invested it in a portfolio,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “We decided to take the portfolio approach. Again, we wanted to fill the...
Pirates 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!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
Help
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.