Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Note on the Charlie Brown Pittsburgh Pirates

Joey Porter's Pit Bulls haven't had much to say about the Pirates this season. What's there to say? They have the second-worst record in the major leagues. They have a few bright spots -- Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, Ross Ohlendorf, PNC Park -- and the front office finally seems committed to building the franchise's scouting, development, minor league and international operations.

But, man, the current major league squad is tough to watch. It's painful. They've just worn us out. That's why, unlike the 2008 season, we haven't summoned the energy this year even to express outrage at the various foibles, follies and blunders routinely committed by the Bucs on and off the field. Plus, it's football season now, and there are other things to discuss, and hockey's just around the corner.

We still follow "The Battling Buccos," though. Never mind the 17 consecutive losing seasons, the .382 winning percentage, the 55-89 record, or the fact they're again in last place, 28-1/2 games out of first place. Joey Porter's Pit Bulls still doggedly watch 'em when we can -- we know we'll see at least one major-league team when the Buccos are playing.

Anyway, we missed yesterday afternoon's game in Los Angeles, thankfully. Hearing the post-game wrap-up, we couldn't help but be struck by one salient point: That lineup the jerk Joe Torre put out on the field for yesterday afternoon's game was an insult, a slap in the face. Granted, the Pirates, with a 2009 winning percentage of .382 (!) are in a 2-16 slump (!!), but still, it showed a total lack of respect for the Pirates -- and justifiably so, as it turned out.

It was if Torre was saying, "I know the Pirates won't score more than one run, so I'm going to sit five of my usual starting eight field-position players: Manny Ramirez, Russell Martin, Orlando Hudson, Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake. It won't matter. We'll still win."

And the Dodgers did! Final Score: Dodgers 3, Pirates 1.

As Charlie Brown himself might say, "Sigh."

Unrelated Link to ...

A nice profile of "The Toy Cannon" -- retired outfielder Jimmy Wynn, who had a fine career with the Astros and Dodgers in the '60s and '70s -- in the Los Angeles Times: New Country for Old Man

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