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    Default Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    By the time the end of April hit, the usual Mass Hysteria revolving the Pittsburgh Pirates plight began. It happens every year at different times. Depending on the season, the mass hysteria can occur almost monthly. You have the everything to do with how the team is performing, the draft, the trade deadline etc... Plain and simple, there's always something to find with the Pittsburgh Pirates to create Mass Hysteria.

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    This season has been no different even thought it's barely a month old. There's been people calling for Neal Huntington's head after 1 month of the season, there's been people questioning the scouting based on their personal opinions that Akinori Iwamura plays worse defensively at 2B than Delwyn Young (not making this stuff up either). I've read where Zach Duke has a higher .OPS than Lastings Milledge, Akinori Iwamura, Jeff Clement and Ronny Cedeno... There's more and it can all be packaged under the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates.

    The question remains though... How bad is this team? If you would read people's opinions on a Message Board or in Blogs you would think that by May 6 this team would be worse than the 2006 Jim Tracy lead team that was 9-23 at this point. Despite everything from the Massive blowouts handed to the Pirates by the Milwaukee Brewers, terrible looking stat lines everywhere and some poor defense and fundamentals at times the 2010 Pittsburgh Piratesare currently 12-15. That's not really that bad, not as bad as some people want to make this team and season out to be.

    A look at the Pittsburgh Pirates records at May 6th

    2009 : 12-15
    2008 : 13-19
    2007 : 13-17
    2006 : 9-23
    2005 : 11-17
    2004 : 12-14
    2003 : 14-18
    2002 : 16-14
    2001 : 12-17
    2000 : 13-16
    1999 : 14-13
    1998 : 14-18
    1997 : 16-15
    1996 : 15-16
    1995 : 12-15
    1994 : 13-13
    1993 : 13-14

    Nobody in their right mind felt that the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates were going to finish at or above .500. If someone really believes that it's because they are relying on hope and pure optimism, not realism which is fine. Nothing wrong with hope. 3 games under .500, who wouldn't be happy with the Pirates finishing off this season 79-83 or 80-82? After 62 wins last season and generally winning about 68-72 games per season this past decade, I'll take it.

    Another thing that is interesting is that despite the 5th Worst Team Batting Average, 3rd Fewest Runs Scored, Worst Team Pitching ERA and Allowing The Most Runs in the entire League by a margin of 17, we are just 3 games back of .500.

    If you are optimistic like me, you can look at the stat lines of this entire team and say that there's currently A LOT of players underachieving. There's a A LOT of players we saw perform better last season than they are right now. Far too many players not playing near their potential but if some start playing better, the Pirates could be fairly enjoyable to watch. Imagine if Charlie Morton pitches more like he has his past 2 outings, we get Ross Ohlendorf back, more quality starts which helps rest a worn out Bullpen (most IP in MLB), some bats start swinging better ... If we are 12-15 despite most of that, imagine what we could be with players producing closer to expectations?

    It's early in the season. It's easy to go over to Fangraphs and look at some stats and make posts and threads about this player or that player sucks and pointing fingers everywhere. It's easy to go gloom and doom, since we are talking about the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hell, somehow I'm sure someone has their tin-foil hat on proclaiming that this is all a conspiracy to line Bob Nuttings pockets. I wouldn't expect anything less. I do know that you can't judge a team and a player based on 1 month out of 6. 1 month doesn't even scratch the surface of a season
    Last edited by Kipper; Oct-09-2012 at 03:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    And last I looked, even after the record setting series in PGH, we have the same record as the Brewers. For whatever that's worth, albeit not much.

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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    And last I looked, even after the record setting series in PGH, we have the same record as the Brewers. For whatever that's worth, albeit not much.
    True. just means that it's very early in the season. I mean, we're currently 4.5GB of the wildcard
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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    Well, I don't know if the Pirates are actually as bad as people make them out to be, but they are decidedly much worse when playing away from PNC Park.... They are 7-4 at home and 5-11 on the road.
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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Well, I don't know if the Pirates are actually as bad as people make them out to be, but they are decidedly much worse when playing away from PNC Park.... They are 7-4 at home and 5-11 on the road.
    That's probably too small a group of games to draw any conclusions from, but that does seem to be the case every year. I think there's only been one season where they were above .500 at PNC, but they usually hang right around there.

    2009: 40-41 Home 22-58 Road
    2008: 39-42 Home 28-53 Road
    2007: 37-44 Home 31-50 Road
    2006: 43-38 Home 24-57 Road

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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Well, I don't know if the Pirates are actually as bad as people make them out to be, but they are decidedly much worse when playing away from PNC Park.... They are 7-4 at home and 5-11 on the road.
    Quote Originally Posted by jnn123 View Post
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    That's probably too small a group of games to draw any conclusions from, but that does seem to be the case every year. I think there's only been one season where they were above .500 at PNC, but they usually hang right around there.

    2009: 40-41 Home 22-58 Road
    2008: 39-42 Home 28-53 Road
    2007: 37-44 Home 31-50 Road
    2006: 43-38 Home 24-57 Road
    Pirates were definitely a horrible Road team last season and it appears to be the same thing year. However, the Pirates DID get bombed by the Brewers at Home.

    For the Pirates to ever turn it around they have to play much better on the Road than they have/do. Good teams win on the Road and teams that improve usually do it by getting better with their Road performances
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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by jnn123 View Post
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    That's probably too small a group of games to draw any conclusions from, but that does seem to be the case every year.
    Oh, I agree completely that it's still WAY too early to start drawing assumptions even though your stats show the season-ending results...

    ... I just came across the stat and decided to throw it out there...

    I agree with the attitude Kip was getting at with; "It's too early"... But the problem with repetitive bad seasons, losing streaks, and weak performances is that it will ALWAYS bring out the assumptions that they will continue or are about to do so... Here in Cincy, anytime the Bengals stumble it brings-out the question of integrity... If the Reds slide (as they are now), whether they are gonna fall-off by the All-Star break... It happened last season with the Steelers and their defense. During the GDTs folks would anticipate a defensive lapse, myself included, during the 2nd half of games... So it really stands to reason that some folks, and the media, are doing the same sort of things with the Bucs.

    Yes, there is alot of season left... Yes, I will enjoy it regardless... And unfortunately, yes, it is understandable that the media is jumping on this... Just my 2 cents.
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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    Even if the Pirates attained .500 and played at an even clip for another two months, the bad mouthing would continue. The run of the mill sports fan would not see any improvement.

    Me? I would start drinking the kool aid bigtime!

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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    Their record in 1 run games IS a sign of improvement imo. To be blown out by the Brewers like they were at home and then to go and take 2 out of 3 from them in Miller Park is a sign of improvement imo. The fact that they took that 3 game *** whoopin and kept going about their business without folding and finished off a sweep of the Cubs is a sign of improvement imo.
    To be 13-15 while posting some pretty bad offensive and pitching stats IS a positive thing.
    No!!! this Pirate team is not as bad as they are made out to be.
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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    13 and 15 without Olendorf, along with a very unstable 5th spot in the rotation... I'll take it.

    If we are hovering around .500 when we bring up Alvarez, Tabata, and Lincoln -- I think there just might be some excitement in Pittsburgh that we haven't seen in quite some time.

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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Oh, I agree completely that it's still WAY too early to start drawing assumptions even though your stats show the season-ending results...

    ... I just came across the stat and decided to throw it out there...

    I agree with the attitude Kip was getting at with; "It's too early"... But the problem with repetitive bad seasons, losing streaks, and weak performances is that it will ALWAYS bring out the assumptions that they will continue or are about to do so... Here in Cincy, anytime the Bengals stumble it brings-out the question of integrity... If the Reds slide (as they are now), whether they are gonna fall-off by the All-Star break... It happened last season with the Steelers and their defense. During the GDTs folks would anticipate a defensive lapse, myself included, during the 2nd half of games... So it really stands to reason that some folks, and the media, are doing the same sort of things with the Bucs.

    Yes, there is alot of season left... Yes, I will enjoy it regardless... And unfortunately, yes, it is understandable that the media is jumping on this... Just my 2 cents.
    Quote Originally Posted by WeAreFamily View Post
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    13 and 15 without Olendorf, along with a very unstable 5th spot in the rotation... I'll take it.

    If we are hovering around .500 when we bring up Alvarez, Tabata, and Lincoln -- I think there just might be some excitement in Pittsburgh that we haven't seen in quite some time.
    Thanks to Brian Burress's last 3 starts, the unstable 5th spot is looking like one of the more stable spots in the rotation . I'm not going to expect Burress to keep this up, but I'm rooting for it to last as long as possible
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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    ...there's been people questioning the scouting based on their personal opinions that Akinori Iwamura plays worse defensively at SS than Delwyn Young (not making this stuff up either).....
    Kipper, I see you neglected to answer on the other thread about Iwamura. You decided to start this new thread instead. If a fan criticizes a player (Iwamura etc) there is no need to invent a straw man argument about tin-foil hats and gloom and doom about the team. I am quite positive about this group of players and this season's team and think 81 wins is a possibility. OTH, Iwamura has been awful and he could be DFA'd by the trade deadline because at this rate there won't be any takers.

    BTW, Iwamura plays second base not SS.

    "I am not making this stuff up either."...

    ""Struggling Iwamura's future with Pirates murky
    Free agency, good alternatives point to eventual change at second
    Tuesday, May 04, 2010
    By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette....

    In the field, Iwamura's .971 fielding percentage, including three errors, ranks 21st among the league's 23 qualified second basemen. And his range, an element difficult to quantify but highly visible to professional scouts and casual fans alike, has been negligible to either side.

    There is this, too: The Pirates' infield as a whole has been laborious at turning double plays, and Iwamura has played a role in that even beyond mishaps like the one Sunday where he turned a routine pivot into a throw over the first baseman's head. No error was charged because the runner did not advance, but it later cost the team a run.

    According to the statistics-based Web site FanGraphs.com, Iwamura's minus-.5 rating in turning double plays is second-worst among all second basemen in the majors.

    The likely possible explanation for Iwamura's defensive regression is that he continues to wear a brace on the left knee that was injured in 2009 with Tampa Bay and cost him half the season. He gets little push off that leg when breaking for grounders, and he is slow on the basepaths, as was seen again Saturday when he failed to steal second despite a great jump on the Los Angeles pitcher...

    "But I could take this opportunity to underscore one additional point: When I was asking questions in Los Angeles about Iwamura’s inability to turn the double play, I was told by more than one person within the team that there was no such issue. Then, when the team returned to Pittsburgh, the coaching staff had Iwamura on the field doing extra drills aimed at turning the double play.

    I write this not as any gotcha sort of thing. Longtime readers know that’s not exactly a habit. Rather, it’s to point out that the Pirates -- and most teams – will attempt to protect a player against criticism, even when the point of that criticism is easily there for all to see."
    http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/i...why-not-walker
    Last edited by tocchet92; May-07-2010 at 12:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    I ignored the other thread and won't go into this much more than this rational explanation

    1st - Iwamura as I said in the other thread hasn't played great thusfar. Then again, outside of McCutchen, Laroche and Doumit, nobody else has either. It doesn't mean that the scouting department or Huntington did a bad job scouting Iwamura. As I said, the guy didn't play this bad after his injury last year. **** happens and this **** happens to every team, so spread the blame and ignorance around if you are going to go into threads and point fingers with error and venom. Maybe go see if you can get hired as a scout since you think you know how 2B's turn double plays

    3rd - There was always a question mark about Iwamura's injury and how he played with it. It was a risk, it is a risk. Any player with a previous injury is always a risk and every team signs them or trades for them and hope for the best. You can't accurately scout the affects an injury can have on a player. You can scout the skill level of a player and hope that injury affects don't play too much into it (pitchers are a different story).

    4th - Delwyn Young will never be as good as Iwamura

    5th - It's still early, Iwamura could get better as the comfort level regains (happens all of the time) and thenknee-jerk reactions a month into the season with the "sky-is-falling" wails look quite ridiculous.

    Quote Originally Posted by tocchet92 View Post
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    Kipper, I see you neglected to answer on the other thread about Iwamura. You decided to start this new thread instead. If a fan criticizes a player (Iwamura etc) there is no need to invent a straw man argument about tin-foil hats and gloom and doom about the team. I am quite positive about this group of players and this season's team and think 81 wins is a possibility. OTH, Iwamura has been awful and he could be DFA'd by the trade deadline because at this rate there won't be any takers.

    BTW, Iwamura plays second base not SS.

    "I am not making this stuff up either."...

    ""Struggling Iwamura's future with Pirates murky
    Free agency, good alternatives point to eventual change at second
    Tuesday, May 04, 2010
    By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette....

    In the field, Iwamura's .971 fielding percentage, including three errors, ranks 21st among the league's 23 qualified second basemen. And his range, an element difficult to quantify but highly visible to professional scouts and casual fans alike, has been negligible to either side.

    There is this, too: The Pirates' infield as a whole has been laborious at turning double plays, and Iwamura has played a role in that even beyond mishaps like the one Sunday where he turned a routine pivot into a throw over the first baseman's head. No error was charged because the runner did not advance, but it later cost the team a run.

    According to the statistics-based Web site FanGraphs.com, Iwamura's minus-.5 rating in turning double plays is second-worst among all second basemen in the majors.

    The likely possible explanation for Iwamura's defensive regression is that he continues to wear a brace on the left knee that was injured in 2009 with Tampa Bay and cost him half the season. He gets little push off that leg when breaking for grounders, and he is slow on the basepaths, as was seen again Saturday when he failed to steal second despite a great jump on the Los Angeles pitcher...

    "But I could take this opportunity to underscore one additional point: When I was asking questions in Los Angeles about Iwamura’s inability to turn the double play, I was told by more than one person within the team that there was no such issue. Then, when the team returned to Pittsburgh, the coaching staff had Iwamura on the field doing extra drills aimed at turning the double play.

    I write this not as any gotcha sort of thing. Longtime readers know that’s not exactly a habit. Rather, it’s to point out that the Pirates -- and most teams – will attempt to protect a player against criticism, even when the point of that criticism is easily there for all to see."
    http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/i...why-not-walker
    Last edited by Kipper; May-07-2010 at 01:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    I ignored the other thread and won't go into this much more than this rational explanation

    1st - Iwamura as I said in the other thread hasn't played great thusfar. Then again, outside of McCutchen, Laroche and Doumit, nobody else has either. It doesn't mean that the scouting department or Huntington did a bad job scouting Iwamura. As I said, the guy didn't play this bad after his injury last year. **** happens and this **** happens to every team, so spread the blame and ignorance around if you are going to go into threads and point fingers with error and venom. Maybe go see if you can get hired as a scout since you think you know how 2B's turn double plays

    3rd - There was always a question mark about Iwamura's injury and how he played with it. It was a risk, it is a risk. Any player with a previous injury is always a risk and every team signs them or trades for them and hope for the best. You can't accurately scout the affects an injury can have on a player. You can scout the skill level of a player and hope that injury affects don't play too much into it (pitchers are a different story).

    4th - Delwyn Young will never be as good as Iwamura

    5th - It's still early, Iwamura could get better as the comfort level regains (happens all of the time) and thenknee-jerk reactions a month into the season with the "sky-is-falling" wails look quite ridiculous.
    Criticizing a Pirates player on a Pirates message board is pretty commonplace and pretty reasonable. Calling the criticism of a player a "sky-is-falling wail" is an idiotic strawman.

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    Default Re: Are The Pirates As Bad As People Make Them Out To Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by tocchet92 View Post
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    Criticizing a Pirates player on a Pirates message board is pretty commonplace and pretty reasonable.

    Last I saw, it was also commonplace and pretty reasonable to criticize others "opinions" on a Message board too.

    Calling the criticism of a player a "sky-is-falling wail" is an idiotic strawman.

    Claiming that Iwamura will get DFA'd and blaming the scouts for Iwamura not playing well and assuming that you have some sort of understanding of how to turn a double play is "idiotic"

    We're barely a month into the season... PATIENCE. It's commonplace and pretty reasonable that players of every caliber can struggle to start off a season or in any month
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