Sinking deeper and deeper into irrelevancy

I want what is best for my Pittsburgh Pirates. I’ve been here long enough and continue to support my favorite baseball team through the thick and thin. Over the weekend the Pirates announced they would non tender pitchers Phil Dumatrait and Matt Capps. Not that I totally support the decision but hey, maybe it is the right move. Dumatrait was injured all of last year and never really amounted to anything but a 5th starter or maybe a middle of the road reliever in the year before. The real kicker about this news is the loss of closer Matt Capps.

mattcapps.jpgCapps was a great guy and a joy to watch for the past five years. He was built from the ground up in the Pirates organization and did quite well in his time in Pittsburgh. He struggled last year, surrendering 12 home runs in just 54 innings pitched. He blew five saves but was still able to establish a career high in the SV department registering 27. Prior to last season Capps was regarded as one of the best closers in all of baseball. His 0.97 WHIP was among the leagues best and his speed pitches and accuracy were a thing of beauty. He only walked five batters in all of 2008 and in 2007 struck out 64 batters in a matter of 79 innings. He was indeed a “Big Bull Rider” and a force on the mound.

Now I never think one bad year can define a career for anybody in sports, baseball especially, a reliever especially as well. Coming out of the bullpen has to be one of the most overlooked aspects of the game of baseball. The tense warmup and spur of the moment action must be hard to jump into with every single fan expecting you to mow down each batter your facing.

The untimely, de-facto release of Capps sent shockwaves down the backs of most Pirate fans. Capps has been trade bait for quite some time and it painned the pundits to see Capps walk without anything in return. That I do agree with-this I do not.

                        Cook: Who cares what Pirates do any

                        Monday, December 14, 2009
                        By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ron Cook is one of the best sports writers in Western, PA. I am a big fan of his and respect his work handling all sports buzz occuring in Pittsburgh. Hoping to one day become a “Ron Cook” of the journalism buisiness I take heed in the words he writer for one of the best newspapers in all of America. article in today’s paper.

Thumbnail image for postgazettepirates.jpg

I can only dream the headline read something like that, instead the article was one of despair, dissapointment and just plain apathy. Those three feelings are not uncommon between Pittsburgh Pirates “fans” in this area. To hear Ron Cook, a Pittsburgh sports columnist who has been around for the past three decades and a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, say this about my beloved baseball team isn’t as disheartening as I hope it would be. In fact he is actually right.

“I guess that’s what really ticks me off most, that the Pirates have become so irrelevant in our sporting consciousness. Baseball is such a beautiful game and we’re stuck with the worst franchise with the worst ownership in the sport. What did we do so wrong?”

He is spot on. WIth the success of the other sports teams in Pittsburgh, who is left to actually care about the Pirates? Cook continues to state the obvious with this next quote, really raising my concern about the most pressing need for this team.

“Teams all over baseball are looking for relief pitching. That includes the Pirates, who, after releasing Capps and left-hander Phil Dumatrait over the weekend, are looking at a bullpen next season of Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek and what other low-priced stiffs they can find to put out there. Good luck with that.

I know Capps isn’t Mariano Rivera, but it is incomprehensible how the Pirates can give away one of their few commodities without getting anything in return.”

Cook gets it, but does the Pirates front office? I would think so and GM Neil Huntington somewhat agrees.

He said a return for Capps to Pittsburgh really could happen, and Matt himself wouldn’t rule it out either. However if I’m Capps I would want to move on and be with a team who trusts me.

Capps will be missed. Ryan Doumit, having been through the departure of many other teammates was shocked by the decision. He told the Post-Gazette that Capps was reliable and “one of the best around.”

I just want somebody to know that these kind of moves are talked about and dissected withing the strong community that are Pittsburgh Pirates fans. I trust in a turnaround and wait for that day to come, sooner than later. Most people in Pittsburgh, like Ron Cook, are tired of their patience running out any longer.

“You might care if the team loses 115 games next season.

I don’t.

I stopped caring a long time ago.”

 

 

8 Comments

the featured blog? whats that mean? sorry, rather new to this stuff.

RAMyankee

*First of all – I was definently angry to see Capps go. I agree with Doumit – he was a reliable closer. Hopefully he signs with another ballclub and makes regular appearances next year.

*As for Duke and Maholm being shipped out for a ‘better starter,’ – that would be terrible! Duke and Maholm are the heart of Pittsburgh’s rotation right now, (with Gorzalanny gone,) and Duke just made the all-star team LAST year. If I were the Pirates GM, (keep dreamin’…) – I could see myself sacrificing Maholm and some money for an ace, but Duke would absolutely stay put.

http://jquist.mlblogs.com/

thanks dude hey well give them time they come around but not now anyways

Hey man, thanks. I wouldnt have noticed if you didnt say anything. It does stink about Capps. With the little the Pirates have, it will hurt. But, always look up. I mean, 2 seasons ago, where in the hell did the rays come from? you know what I mean, nothing their entire franchise existence, then you wake up one morning and their in first place. crazy things happen…

Trying to make sense of the Pirates’ front office moves is a pointless feat. None of it makes sense. I feel your pain, man.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

That’s a really valid point that you and Mr. Cook have. It just doesn’t make sense how much the Pirates move around players. Do they think if 2 pieces don’t fit into their jigsaw puzzle or if one is missing that the whole thing is worthless and they need all new pieces?

Hey, man… I completely know how you feel! The Colorado Rockies announced that Garrett Atkins was a free agent. Just like Capps, Atkins has been apart of our organization for a number of years and its always hard to see guys that you are so used to having on your team be a free agent. And I can completely relate to having a writer in journalism that I look up to. Very nice entry, makes me see that I am not the only fan who is affected by free agency right now.
http://rockies2917.mlblogs.com

Nice post. It seems that half of the Dodgers are free agents. They look like a skeleton crew now. Hope you are well!!! Are you on holiday now?
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

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