A Pirate Speaks!

Quite frankly, in most cases I believe players should keep their mouths shut and play the game.  I don’t like drama and I don’t think it’s a player’s place to comment about anything in the locker room or anything that the team’s management does.

HOWEVER, ESPN.com reported that Jack Wilson, longtime Pittsburgh Pirate (remember them?) has opened his mouth and let management know that the players are hungry to win.  In this instance, I am 100% behind Wilson and think he did the right thing by speaking up about the Pirates management not adequately preparing the club to compete.  Thank you!

The last time the Pirates made the playoffs was 1992 and the last time a Pirate spoke was probably about then, too.  This franchise has suffered  so much and hasn’t even flirted with being competitive since the  first term of the Clinton administration.  They have a beautiful stadium that no one goes to and especially with the trades of Jason Bay and Xavier Nady at last year’s trade deadline, can anyone name more than two Pirates?  Doubtful.  The Pirates have been an embarrassment to the league and to themselves.  Here’s an organization that has seen players like Roberto Clemente, Ralph Kiner, Willie Stargell and Honus Wagner don their jersey.  Over 40 individuals with ties to their organization are enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  The Pirate franchise ranks SEVENTH all-time with five World Championships – more than everyone except the Yankees, Cardinals, A’s, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Reds.

I’m glad Jack Wilson spoke up and called out the team’s management.  With small market teams such as the Rays reaching the World Series (in the American League, no less) with the league’s second-lowest payroll, there are no excuses for the Pirates.  I recognize that it may take a few years to rebuild the organization’s player development system and that’s ok, I just want to see the team make smart moves and show a desire to compete in a very winnable NL Central.  The Pirates just need to be smart with their draft picks and treat them like platinum.  The draft is how to build a competitive team, right Tampa?

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