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| Jul 29, 2015 - 11:41 AM
Have fun out there in Social Media and in the break rooms at work because the 2nd best team in baseball suddenly got run by the most incompetent Front Office in MLB.
That is how it is every July.
Every "know-it-all" basement GM comes out and whines and cries about the Pittsburgh Pirates not doing this or that. It's been an ongoing epidemic for years, yet despite all of this, a miracle has happened in Pittsburgh...
..the Pittsburgh Pirates have qualified for the Playoffs for the past 2 seasons.
Meanwhile, all of these other teams continue to make these big trades and aren't any better than the Pittsburgh Pirates have been.
What big trade did the San Francisco Giants and St.Louis Cardinals make the past 2 seasons?
There's a collective internet erection occurring for the Pirates to trade for Phillies pitcher Cole Hammels.
It's not going to happen.
That's not how this Front Office operates and to continuously whine about it not happening is borderline stupidity and ignorance. It's like waiting for Donald Trump to say something sensible. It won't happen. Don't expect it. Don't complain.
What we can and should expect from the Pittsburgh Pirates is to see the middle/long relief get stronger by addition. We should expect perhaps bench depth. We shouldn't expect the Front Office to trade it's future prospects for 1 player. It's not a proven guarantee for winning, just ask Ray Shero and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Do you think Cole Hammels out duels Madison Bumgarner last year? The best teams in MLB couldn't win with their best against Madison Bumgarner.
So, relax Pittsburgh and Pirates fans. Stop crying and whining every single year at the trade deadline for a MLB The Show-esque type trade. Show some faith in a front office and an owner that have brought this organization back from the depths of hell, to being the 2nd best team in MLB that competes annually for the Playoffs.
| Jul 23, 2015 - 4:41 PM
12 years after shipping him off to the Cubs for Bobby Hill, the Pirates have required Ramirez for a minor league player and cash.
Through out the first forty years of their existence, the Pittsburgh Steelers experienced just about everything. They merged with the Eagles and the Chicago Cardinals, just so they could field teams during World War II, and for a brief moment, they were even owned by Bert Bell instead of the Rooney's, but what they never seemed to experience was winning. They had plenty of stars throughout the early years, like Bobby Layne, Jack Butler, Ernie Stautner and John Henry Johnson, and they played a physical brand of defense, but they were always an old team full of Veterans. For years, the Steelers way was to trade off draft picks for proven veterans whose best days were behind them. Coaches like Walt Kiesling didn't believe in wasting time coaching young players because "you can't win with them", and consequently, players like Johnny Unitas and Len Dawson were cut. The constant hiring, firing and recycling of head coaches, combined with the annual tradeoff of draft picks kept the Steelers old and regularly among the worst teams in the NFL. In their first thirty-six seasons, the Steelers had thirteen head coaches, leaving Art Rooney frustrated and desperate to win. After the 1968 season the Chief made a decision on a head coach that would alter the course of his franchise.
Art Rooney's first choice to coach the Steelers in 1969 was his personal friend and Penn State coach, Joe Paterno. Paterno, however, was more interested in remaining a college coach, so the search continued. Rooney then chose Baltimore Colts defensive coordinator Charles Henry Noll to be his next head coach, and on January 27, 1969, Chuck Noll became the fourteenth head coach in team history. He is considered to be part of the Sid Gillman coaching tree and during his time as a defensive assistant for the Chargers, they were a participant in five AFL Championship games. As the Defensive Coordinator with the Colts in 1968, Baltimore finished with a 13-1 record and ultimately lost to the Jets in Super Bowl III. Noll developed a reputation for his attention to detail and meticulous note taking to help develop his players. The way he interacted with players and got the most out of them is what got him recommended to Art Rooney. His plan for building a winner in Pittsburgh is what got him the head coaching job for the Steelers and that included building the team through the draft and starting with the defense. His very first pick in 1969 was *DT Mean Joe Green out of North Texas... [Read More]
Disclaimer: I am in no way shape or form qualified to evaluate baseball players so the below constitutes just my personal opinion from reading a bunch of scouting reports, watching videos and attending a handful of live minor league games. You should take nothing I write as having much more substance than just entertainment value and if you do well you've been warned.
The All Star break law provided me with an opportunity to really dig into some players and try to update my Top 30 Pirates prospects list and that is what you will see below. As the disclaimer above states I am not really qualified to do this but I am entitled to an opinion and that is pretty much all this is. My rankings near the top will probably mostly conform to the typical industry standards but I like to think as we go down that will diverge a bit as I have a tendency to latch on to certain players. Sometimes this works out but most of the time it fails fairly miserably. Without further ado the list ...
1. Tyler Glasnow: There can be no debate who the top prospect in the Pirates system is. Glasnow is a beast and is tearing up the AA level with eye popping numbers. He has even shown strides on improving his control which was always considered his big weakness. I like to say Glasnow is the kind of player who really has no ceiling he legitimately has a shot at being the best pitcher in the game but of course the odds are he falls short of that insane level.
2. Josh Bell: The second and third spots are interchangeable to me but Bell gets the nod mostly due to be farther along in his development process. The bat is there for him to be a well above average hitter and I think the power will eventually come even if the home runs do end up being a little lacking I see him hitting enough doubles to make up for it. However there are legitimate concerns about him including his right handed swing which could possibly make his susceptible to left handed pitching which could ultimately lead to him being a platoon player. He also has a long ways to go defensively at 1B though from what I have seen the reports that state he makes Pedro Alvarez look good are overblown. I think Bell's biggest issue at 1B is going to be just getting reps and in time I think he'll become an average defender there.
3. Austin Meadows: As stated this could really be 2 and 2a as Meadows is right there with Bell. Some people are concerned with the... [Read More]
Daniel McCullers looks to engulf the competition in 2015. Photo courtesy of www.reddit.com
Much of the defensive talk regarding the Steelers this offseason centers around Jarvis Jones and Ryan Shazier reaching their potential, and their need to remain healthy in order for the defense to take a step forward. While that is a very valid point, that is just one of the issues that Keith Butler needs to resolve in order for the Steelers’ defense to evolve into part of the solution to bringing a seventh Super Bowl title back to Pittsburgh. Age and injuries have surely gone hand in hand with the reduction in the ability of the defense to create the big plays that Steelernation is accustomed to seeing. But as the defense transitions to life under new defensive coordinator Keith Butler, there is comfort in knowing that the continuity of the system remains and that there is plenty of talent available to develop going forward.
Since 1992, when the Steelers converted to a 3-4 defense under Bill Cowher and Dom Capers, the main function of the defensive line has been to occupy blockers, plug up the running lanes and to keep the linebackers freed up to make plays and to get pressure on the quarterback, which they have done very well throughout the years. From Greg Lloyd and Kevin Greene, to Joey Porter and Clark Hagans, to James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, Steelers’ outside linebackers have been bringing nightmarish pressure for the last 23 years. The one constant in all that success at getting to the quarterback has been a stout defensive tackle that can occupy multiple blockers. First it was Joel Steed, drafted out of Colorado in 1992, followed by Casey Hampton who was the Steelers’ first pick out of Texas in 2001. It’s no coincidence that the Steelers’ sack numbers have dropped since “Big Snack” wandered off into the sunset after the 2012 season. Perhaps the next Steed/Hampton type defensive tackle just might already be on the current roster and... [Read More]