How many teams play in PA?

   A sportswriter recently commented on how Pedro Martinez, yet to play for the Phillies, was getting an excellent tour of Pennsylvania by pitching for the Double and Triple A affiliates.  Well, why not just have the Pirates sign him, start him, work him a bit and then waiver-trade him to the Phils?  After all, at this rate the Bucs are the best minor league team in PA, perhaps in baseball if you don’t count Oakland.

I’m not a Pirates fan.  Aside from the Braves (Boston connection) and the crashing Cirque De Mets I rarely pay ‘close’ attention to the senior circuit except for the LA games televised here in the Vegas market and what I absorb through MLB Network or ESPN.  But just what in the blue hell is going on in Pittsburgh?  They used to be a high class team in a high class sports/blue collar town.  Now, the Steelers opening camp and the Penguins ‘Hot Stove’ season is the going thing. 

International League.jpgThe Pirates play in what is deemed to be one of the best parks in all of baseball.  They are considered a small market (but don’t tell the NFL or now the NHL that) and have a payroll barely on the AL/NL East radar.  They have, over the last two seasons or so, traded away an All-Star roster of talent and what could easily have been a postseason roster of talent if they had been given a serious chance.  The GM, caretaker of the team and the fan-base laughs it off by saying “It’s not like we broke up the 1927 Yankees”… but how would he know and how can ownership (obviously holding the puppet’s strings) support it?

Yes, I get it.  They’re cheap.  So are the A’s and Marlins to an extent.  But while the Marlins have had flashes of brilliance before the firesales and Billy Beane has shown he can manipulate the food stamps he’s given to work with in Oakland in conjunction with the draft… what is Pittsburgh’s excuse.  Are they now just a horse farm?  Breed ’em, break ’em and sell ’em off to a buyer who can afford to race ’em?  At what point does Fearless Leader Selig decide that if the current ownership in the ‘Burg isn’t interested in winning (at all) that a new owner should be found? 

The Pirates, due to their schedule, could have easily served as spoilers (or contenders under other circumstances) this second half but instead influenced the races by selling off to the contenders all over the league. Now they have no influence at all… not to the division in which they play let alone the city.

For the integrity of the game, Fearless Leader, please find a way to at least address it if not change it.   


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