Thursday, July 31, 2008

thinkin of a master plan

Thanks to years of mismanagement that would rival the early years of most newly independent African republics, it's been a long time since the Pirates came up anywhere near the trade deadline, except maybe to make some kind of pathetic, defiant statement of existence, like a toddler doodling on the wall with a marker, which is to art what the Matt Morris deal -- the deal which drove me to renounce my Pirates fandom last season -- is to smart general management of a professional baseball team.

So let's give Neil Huntington his propers. Whether you agree with the spoils, dealing Marte and Nady was the right thing to do. And stocking up on pitchers is a viable strategy when trying to improve on your team's pitching. This trade is, at worst, defensible, and at best pretty shrewd. And now we're in the thick of a strange group session in which the Buccos will play a role in deciding who gets one of the best hitters in all of baseball. WHAT.

The updates are pouring in sporadically and nobody really knows what's going on, but the working model is Jason Bay goes to the Marlins for prospects and Jeremy Hermida, then Bay gets flipped to the Red Sox for Manny Ramirez and, like, Theo Epstein's 300C with factory rims. The Marlins have prospects to spare and Hermida can slug for a couple years. I'm OK with this, especially considering Littlefield would have probably flipped Bay, Marte and Nady for Jason Giambi and the urinal from Yankee Stadium.

But mere relevance isn't enough here. As Pat points out, negotiations with Tampa Bay are ongoing and the whole Red Sox deal could be a charade to inflate the Rays' counteroffers. This is basic negotiation but when was the last time anything remotely this conniving came out of the Pirates front office?

Just sayin.

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