Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Pittsburgh Pirates Are Dead from the Neck Up

Just when I thought it was safe to go back to PNC Park, when I thought it was okay to peek over my morning coffee into the baseball scores. I crunched the numbers and saw progress, real for real progress, in a lot of areas. So just when I thought it was okay to care, just an eentsie bit, the Pirates became the Pirates. Stupid is as stupid does.

You have to ask: Do they want to lose?

Secondly: Are they trying to kill me?

I don't buy the ruse that they're making room for Andrew McCutchen. As Danny Murtaugh once said, a McLouth batting in the three hole is worth a McCutchen in the minors. Unless they got the second coming of John Smoltz in this deal, they were outplayed at the bargaining table. Again.

I knew this guy when I was a kid, George the Greek. That's what everybody called him. I have no idea what his surname was. He did light construction work. I think he worked for the Borough's municipal works crew or something. I remember him pouring a sidewalk at my childhood home. That's what George the Greek was -- a basic guy who knew how to fix a few things, was good with his hands and lived pretty simply. I don't mean to say he was dumb, but he saw the world in simple terms. Something worked or it didn't. Certain foods tasted good and others didn't. Working hard and having a couple of beers at the end of the day was a good thing. Being paid to loaf and having a few beers at the end of the day was an even better thing.

What I'm getting at is that even George the Greek would have known to hang on to Nate McClouth. Not only that, he's the kind of player you can start building the franchise around.

We've all had this conversation about and with Pirates management for years. My uncle recently reminded me of something George the Greek used to say that is particularly applicable here.

Ah, what's the use of talkin'.

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