Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Adam LaRoche Absconds With Pirates Gold Again, Dr. Evil Outraged

Above: Dr. Evil says, "Throw me a frickin' bone here."

I'm sure that I'm going to get emails from local Pirate Kool-Aid afficionados as well as Pirate Caravan attendees on this commentary, but I don't care. I have to speak what's truly on my mind: Major League Baseball has to have the biggest collection of sub-morons on the face of the planet and I'm not referring to the ballplayers. No, this honor has to go to the geniuses who keep handing out these ridiculous contracts.

First you have those perennial economic stimulators the New York Yankees. I'm not going to even get into who they signed. But a half billion dollars worth of talent? Do you Steinbrenners know that there's a recession/depression going on? Do you really feel that your fans are going to be able to attend games as often because of the financial binds that people are finding themselves in today? Have you given any thought to this whatsoever? If not, well that's your problem. Don't think that I'm going to be sitting up tonight worrying about your excesses.

While they're not even in the same galaxy with the Yankees, does it surprise you that our wonderful Pirates nevertheless feel compelled to lavish money on their own stiffs, er players, even if it does happen to be one Adam LaRoche?


Above: Inside of this special security glass sits $1 million dollars. The Pirates are giving seven of these to Adam LaRoche. Symbolically, the glass is half empty, as is half of each LaRoche season.

So that you don't think that I'm being completely unfair, let me say that the ADD afflicted elder LaRoche brother is one of the better fielding first basemen that yer Buccos have had in quite some time. Maybe even one of their best ever. But how can you pay a man $7 mllion for only hitting for about half of the season. It would be one thing if he started hitting after the All Star break and that surge was enough to propel us into the post season, but by the time old Adam commences to seeing the ball onto his bat, the Bucs are usually already mired in last place and safely out of any chance at the playoffs. This is a good signal that it's time for Adam to then start hitting the cover off the ball...in meaningless games. But with this version of the Pirates even that won't matter, not while having one arm and two legs tied behind our backs.

$7 million being lavished on a player who only contributes at the plate for half of a season is a luxury that the Pirates simply can't afford. I would have rather seen them sign a washed-up Pedro Martinez to see if he could show this pitching staff how to break a batter's helmet than to waste these payroll dollars on a guy who rarely ever shows any emotion at all.

Above: Adam (left) with baby brother Andy prior to the infamous trade that made both brothers Buccaneers. The Pirates were apparently so impressed with Adam that they thought they couldn't go wrong with Andy. Unlike Adam who suffers with attention deficit disorder, Andy is perfectly healthy, just lazy. Yes, the Pirates have always been astute judges of talent.

While I'm on a rant about Adam LaRoche, can you believe that after disappointing the team as much as he has, that the Pirates would go out and get his underachieving younger brother Andy too? The other day I read where the Pirates are saying that there won't be a competition for the third base job. It's Adam's job to lose. Oh really? I thought the Pirates would have learned something after having their pitching staff "set" going into last season? What a joke that turned out to be. What about Neal Walker? Is it safe to say that he's turning into the bust du jour since he's not even being considered for the job? How can a team that lost as many games as the Pirates did last season have any positions locked up??? Is that the question of the day?

Folks, I've never been known to be a pessimistic person. In fact, I've felt pretty good the last couple years that the Pirates were going to at least not be a complete embarassment and were on the road to becoming competitive.

Wrong.

Let me assure you, I have absolutely none of that feeling now and I wouldn't be surprised if this particular model won less games than any team in their entire history. They really could be that bad.

Lest you misunderstand me, I don't want these guys to struggle, I'd love to be able to write with the same enthusiasm that I currently do about the Steelers or Penguins, but as Dr Evil likes to say, "Throw me a frickin' bone here." If they continuously keep making boneheaded personnel moves like these, they'll never have a chance. Littlefield may have been the worst drafter and trade evaluator in their history and Cam Bonifay could dish out money with the best of them, but so far Neil Huntington hasn't done much to show that he's going to be much better. For example, shipping out our left and right fielders and a half decent third baseman for a couple good prospects and a several questionable ones isn't going to improve this team now or in the forseeable future. In fact, the only positive that I've seen in the last several years is the development of the baseball academy in Latin America. We should hopefully start seeing players coming out of there in, oh, about four or five years. But keep your chins up Bucco fans, as soon as this next rebuilding plan is over in another five years or so, this team will be there!
Below: This shaving cream pie should have been launched at one Neal Huntington.