We at RSBS often lament the chronic disgrace that the Pittsburgh Pirates organization has become. The home of players like Roberto Clemente not only continues to lose at an unfathomable rate, they also show no signs of turning it around anytime in the near future. Throw in the fact that they have basically resorted to reality TV contests to drum up interest and you almost feel embarrassed for them, mainly because they obviously don’t have the good sense to feel embarrassed for themselves.
What the Pirates need is a mentor, someone who can show them how to get back to their swashbuckling ways. Pirates used to strike fear in the hearts of sailors and the National League. That can happen again.
If I can be so bold as to make a suggestion: the Pirates need lessons from real pirates. And I’m not talking the Johnny Depp, cavorting around in makeup kind of buccaneer. I’m talking the armed to the teeth while hijacking a supertanker kind of pirate.
As luck would have it, The Atlantic recently provided a blueprint for what has made the Somali pirates successful and there are definitely some lessons the NL Pirates can take to heart. For instance, how about this truth-berry? “You don’t want your pirates running off with the loot! Be sure to
incentivize your workforce and set compensation levels fairly.” If history is any guide (Jason Bay, Nate McLouth, Aramis Ramirez), this might be a good place to start.
Or how about this? “Each pirate should bring his own firearm in exchange for a class A share
of the profits.” More firearms means more firepower. Which also means that bringing guys like Rinku and Dinesh on board probably isn’t going to cut it.
If all else fails the Pirates possess one final option, an option that frankly I’m a little surprised they haven’t already exercised. Why not do like their namesakes and just hijack the Yankees or Phillies, then hold them for ransom? “Sure, we’ll let you go. As soon as you give us Cliff Lee.” It’s something to think about and certainly couldn’t do them any worse than what they’ve done to themselves the past 17 years.
That’s right, dear readers, Albert Pujols is the National League MVP — again — and most deservedly, as this is the A.P. whom the critics said wouldn’t make it through 2008 without having season-ending surgery. This is the A.P. who, without much protection, rarely saw good pitches — ever. This is the A.P. who was forced to bear the enormous weight of a subpar bullpen with a penchant for blowing big leads late and an organization run by a pompous penny-pinching pariah pleasantly pleased with mediocrity.
While I am ecstatic for my man-crush’s crowning achievement, the nihilist in me cannot stop seeing this as yet another detrimental development in John Mozeliak’s quiet quest to do nothing in the way of spending dollars to put together a true contender in 2009.
But what do I know?
I certainly didn’t know that Nate McLouth had any business getting MVP votes, but some writer (most probably a pissed off Pittsburghian with a propensity for pot-smoking) thought it’d be a funny afterthought to include him in the big picture.
I found it… um… awkward.
Speaking of awkward, never before have I seen two grown men sit down together with such unease as I did today when the president-elect met with Sen. McCain for what appeared to be a publicity stunt meant to mend the dissonance between the two camps. Sure. Sounds good. But McCain had to go and bring up what is quickly becoming known as the Annhilation of the Bears, which immediately put Obama (and subsequently me) in a very, very uncomfortable place. I was sorta hoping that Barack would have had the good sense to remind the senator from Arizona about Dennis Green’s post-game meltdown a couple years ago after that torrid Monday Night game in which we all found out:
Well, the Bears still are who we thought they were: not good enough; but you didn’t have to go and bring it up, John McCain. You see, I thought this meeting was supposed to be about healing and planning and bipartisanship. But since you decided it wasn’t, how ’bout those ’08 Diamondbacks?
Regardless, I’m not going to let another Republican rain on my parade of good feelings abound.
Albert Pujols — the most fascinating man in sports — is the NL MVP.
So eat it!
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.