“I thought this was the year.” When most baseball fans say this, they mean, “the year we’d win a World Series.” For Pirates fans, it means, “the year we’d have a winning record.”
The new management seemed like the kind of guys who got it, who realized they couldn’t continue to have losing seasons and expect to maintain a fan base. This was the year to make a push for 500.
Then last weekend the Pirates traded Xavier Nady for a handful of magic beans. Nady is notable for being a magic bean himself. Every successful Pirate is traded with the promise that, in five years, the trade will really pay off. That’s been happening for 16 years.
There’s talk today of trading Jason Bay in a round-about way for some kid named Jeremy Hermida from Florida. But Hermida is a free agent at the end of the year, and Bay has a year left on his contract. The Pirates are about to unload talent for nothing in return, which has been their forte these past 16 years. A few years ago the highest-paid player in the organization was the Oakland Athletics’ catcher Jason Kendall. With a little luck, maybe I can end up being the highest-paid Pirate.
When Neal Huntington was announced as the new Pirates GM, I read an article on mlb.com about how embarrassing the old management had been. Now Huntington has his own Aramis Ramirez trade under his belt. He’s well on his way to the special level of failure for which the Pirates own a patent.