Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Joey Porter's Pit Bulls can see some semblance of logic in the trading of Jason Bay, Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte. Still, it is deflating – once again – to be a fan of the Pirates.

In retrospect, we're okay with the Jason Bay trade. We have modest hopes for Brandon Moss (our version of a latter-day Paul O'Neill?), but we have a feeling Moss will soon end up in a right-field platoon with Steve Pearce, and Jason Michaels in left field. It all feels very patchwork. Not sold on either Craig Hansen or Andy LaRoche. Bryan Morris looks very promising, but he is at least two years from reaching the majors.

As for the trade with the Yankees, we hate it. Still. The Bucs didn't get enough in return. Nady and Marte should have been dealt separately. Even Yanks GM Brian Cashman said he was pleasantly surprised he was able to acquire both players in the same deal.

"We were concerned right up until the deal was eventually finalized that Pittsburgh would end up trying to split Nady and Marte into separate deals," Cashman said. "Getting them both in the same trade is something that, at the beginning, we viewed as probably a little wishful thinking."

Anyway, here's a brief re-cap from the Boston Herald, for what it's worth (with editorial emphasis in bold courtesy of JPPBs):

The Pirates were the most active team at the trade deadline, making deals with the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox.

They traded outfielders Xavier Nady and Jason Bay, and lefthanded reliever Damaso Marte, three big players from the Dave Littlefield era and three players the fans enjoyed watching. They got in return righthanders Jeff Karstens, Daniel McCutcheon, Ross Ohlendorf, Craig Hansen, and Bryan Morris, outfielders Jose Tabata and Brandon Moss, and third baseman Andy LaRoche.

The good news for guys like Karstens, Ohlendorf, and Hansen, who have not made their marks in the majors, is they'll likely get plenty of opportunities. Tabata is only 19, and while he needs to mature, he has talent. Moss should be a steady player who likely will emerge. But none of the players the Pirates got was considered "untouchable" by the Dodgers, Red Sox, or Yankees.

LaRoche is a third baseman the Red Sox once coveted, but he is hitting .214 in 159 major league at-bats. Ohlendorf, who will turn 26 Friday, is the oldest of the eight players the Pirates acquired. Hansen might get the chance to close, and with less pressure he may come into his own.

One baseball executive's take on the Pirates' moves: "Moss might be the most impactful major leaguer they got. They got upper-level prospects, but no one of major impact. Hansen has a good arm. LaRoche has good power, but I don't like him defensively and he won't hit enough.

"I think for the players they traded, they didn't get enough impact back."


Time for football season.

On this date in history ...

Lest we forget, on this date in history ...

"What is this terrible new weapon,
which the War Department
also calls the 'Cosmic Bomb'?"

About Jack Wilson

From today's Post-Gazette:

Of note: Since 2001, the year PNC Park opened, Jack Wilson has turned more double plays (756) and recorded more assists (3,368) than any National League shortstop. His 1,137 appearances in that span rank second to Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins (1,176).

I've always thought Jack Wilson was an under-rated shortstop, and I've always been puzzled why so many bloggers, pundits and media types are so quick to dismiss his contributions. That, and $1.87 will get you a cup of coffee.

More to come on the recent trades and, of course, Steelers training camp. Busy with work (and other life-stuff) lately.