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Old 03-03-2014, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Downtown Cranberry Twp.
41,018 posts, read 18,189,699 times
Reputation: 8528

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Quote:
Originally Posted by that412 View Post
This is actually what you said in that other thread:







And those were just the first three I found. There are pages and pages of these assertions.

Unless you consider anything less than 94 wins to be subpar, you're doing a wonderful job of moving the goalposts. Of course, it is what you do best.
Hmmm, you're moving the goalpost. I stand behind everything I said.

You're just scared because its likely to come true.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Crafton, PA
1,173 posts, read 2,186,159 times
Reputation: 623
Pirates will be fine in 2014. As good as 2013? Doubtful, but who knows. This team is setting up to really be something special in 2015 and beyond. By 2015, I'd expect we would see Tailion with a secure hold on a rotation spot. I wouldn't be surprised to see Kingham in the 2015 rotation as well, with Glasnow getting a mid-season call up. Add those three to Cole and Morton and things indeed look to improve. The offense will be pretty well filled out by then with the likes of Polanco and Hanson in the roster. I would like to see them convert Bell to 1B and try extend Russell Martin for another year or two until McGuire is ready. Trade Tony Sanchez to the Diamondbacks for one of their stellar young shortstops (Gregorious or Owings) and platoon Mercer at 2B with Walker. I doubt Pedro gets a huge payday here (and I don't think he should) so they may be looking to slide Mercer to 3B as well.

As for this year, I think the team is pretty well set. I'd like to see them swing for a platoon bat for Sanchez (prefer Carp or Smoak).

My estimate would be 87 wins, which I would be pretty happy with considering the question marks that exist with the starting rotation. People who say that anything other than the playoffs is a failure need to realize that our "sweet spot" will be 2015-2017 or so. Because of that, I'm glad the Pirates are staying the course and not selling the farm for a "win now" mentality.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:48 PM
 
814 posts, read 1,149,650 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erieguy View Post
Hmmm, you're moving the goalpost. I stand behind everything I said.

You're just scared because its likely to come true.
If you stand by everything you said in that thread, then the 2014 Pirates winning in the vicinity of 88 games doesn't make you right, as you've now tried to assert in this thread. It actually makes you quite wrong. Just so you know.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Downtown Cranberry Twp.
41,018 posts, read 18,189,699 times
Reputation: 8528
Nobody's suggesting selling the farm. With the money they're making and the payroll they have, they should be bringing in real MLB talent while the irons are hot. Waiting and hoping is ridiculous. However, when so many are content with that, they will stay the course and keep paying down the debt.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Downtown Cranberry Twp.
41,018 posts, read 18,189,699 times
Reputation: 8528
Quote:
Originally Posted by that412 View Post
If you stand by everything you said in that thread, then the 2014 Pirates winning in the vicinity of 88 games doesn't make you right, as you've now tried to assert in this thread. It actually makes you quite wrong. Just so you know.
Rationalize all you like...and don't be scared that what I said will come true until it actually happens. Keep on wishing and hoping another nut is/isnt found.

Have some confidence in them. The season hasn't even started.

Last edited by erieguy; 03-03-2014 at 04:03 PM..
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Brookline, PGH
876 posts, read 1,144,062 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moby Hick View Post
Are they going to go back to sucking this year or should I start paying attention before August?
Conventional wisdom says they won't be quite as good as last year, but there's also a chance they could be better.

The starting rotation should actually be stronger despite the loss of Burnett (who's ERA is going to skyrocket in Philly, in my humble opinion). Francisco Liriano had a low BAPIP last year that will likely go up, but if he stays healthy, he should have another strong season. Garrit Cole is one of the best young starters in the game. Charlie Morton is a highly underrated middle-of-the-rotation starter. Wandy Rodriguez will be a very strong number four if he's healthy. And Edison Volquez is an excellent bounce-back candidate who should benefit from the Buccos' emphasis on throwing sinkers for strikes, constant infield shifting, elite outfield range, and pitcher-friendly home park.

Beyond the starting five... and rotations never make it through the year with only five hurlers... the Buccos will have two serviceable starters in the bullpen in Jeanmar Gomez and talented rookie Stolmy Pimentel, and will have at least three respectable AAA call-up options in Jeff Locke, Brandon Cumpton, and Phil Irwin, plus Jamison Taillon, who could be this year's version of Garrit Cole.

The bullpen was historically excellent last year, and while they should again be one of the best in baseball, they'll be hard pressed to repeat last year's performance. There's a lot of luck involved in baseball, and if the other shoe is about to drop anywhere on this team, it's in the bullpen.

Defensively, the Buccos should be about the same as they were last year. The infield is mediocre, talent-wise, but the utilization of progressive shifts, thanks to unsung analytics guru Dan Fox, should make them statistically strong again. The outfield is already one of the best in baseball, and will only get better when Gregory Polanco gets called up.

The lineup is where the big question marks lie. Cutch is obviously one of the most dynamic offensive threats in the game (he was second in the majors last year in WAR). Starling Marte has an exciting combination of speed and power, but his poor plate discipline and likely BABIP regression from last year are concerning. Right field will be a question mark with Jose Tabata (who did post a strong OPS down the stretch last year) and Travis Snider battling for time until Gregory Polanco turns the position into an exclamation point sometime in mid-summer.

First base is probably the biggest question mark. Gaby Sanchez is a strong fielder and platoon option against lefties, but Andrew Lambo is a risky bet at the heavy side of the platoon. There's still a chance the Bucs could make a deal for a stronger platoon option or even an everyday first sacker, but I'm not holding my breath (and hey, Lambo could work out). Neil Walker should continue to be an above-average hitting second-basemen, and don't be surprised if he improves on last year's numbers, which were kept low by an unlucky BABIP and HR/FB ratio. Jordy Mercer should be a solid offensive short-stop while Clint Barmes, who has an excellent glove, will continue to strike out on balls in the dirt a lot. El Toro is obviously a great power threat at third, but I don't expect him to pull a Willie Stargell and figure out how to hit lefties all of a sudden, and that, along with his low walk rate, limits his value.

The catcher position should be very strong with Russell Martin, highly underrated Chris Stewart backing him up, and Tony Sanchez waiting in the wings at Indy.

So to answer your question, no, the Pirates won't suck unless they get really unlucky with injuries. Though they are probably still a few bats away from passing St. Louis in the division and making a serious run at the World Series, they should still be a solid wild card contender. And with one of the deepest farm systems in baseball, there appear to be bright days ahead.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Crafton, PA
1,173 posts, read 2,186,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erieguy View Post
Nobody's suggesting selling the farm. With the money they're making and the payroll they have, they should be bringing in real MLB talent while the irons are hot. Waiting and hoping is ridiculous. However, when so many are content with that, they will stay the course and keep paying down the debt.
I don't think we are blindly trusting management and hoping for the best. I'd just prefer they keep promoting from the farm and then make key trades and add payroll when they are within reasonable striking distance of the WS. I don't think you'll find many people who consider them a legitimate championship contender this year. In a few years they should have a much better chance. If we at the same point in two year than yes, I'd agree they have fleeced the fans and would deserve all the ire they get. The next year or two is critical to the direction of the franchise.

I look at the Milwaukee Brewers as a team who would spend big at the deadline but were never serious contenders. They would load up, make the playoffs, bow out early, and collapse the next year. They could never sustain success. I'd prefer the Bucs model their approach after the Rays. Develop talent from within, build around a young superstar (Longoria/McCutchen), and supplement where necessary with value. The Rays tend to be in the hunt every year and have the unfortunate luck to be stuck in the AL East with the Sox and Yankees. We may suffer a similar future being in the same division with the Cards and Reds, who knows.

Last edited by SlurmsMcKenzie; 03-03-2014 at 04:14 PM..
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Downtown Cranberry Twp.
41,018 posts, read 18,189,699 times
Reputation: 8528
If you dont think reasonable striking distance occurred last year and the irons werent hot to keep it going this year, you have a whole lot of patience thinking the Bucs are gonna sniff a another chance like last year in the near future...but that's why they will continue to do what they do. Cracks me up that people care what Nutting spends like its their own money and that its okay to stay the course. Neither 1/20 or 1/7 is a good course.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Crafton, PA
1,173 posts, read 2,186,159 times
Reputation: 623
I'm not an apologist for the Nuttings but it is what it is. I think they've proven that they are going to run the franchise based in value and cost control and try to win the WS the hard way. If that is the case, then I don't think adding 20-30 million to the payroll is really sustainable over the long-term. So, if we are going to be adding payroll, I'd rather they wait and do so during the right window of time. Anyone who thought Byrd and Morneau were the missing links last year was kidding themselves. In reality, the Pirates need the stars to align to win a WS, as would most small market teams. We need Marte to improve, McCutchen to sustain, and Polanco to fall somewhere between the two. We need Alvarez to continue to improve and Mercer, Walker, and Martin to all sustain average offensive production at their position. We need 1B to not be a black hole.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Downtown Cranberry Twp.
41,018 posts, read 18,189,699 times
Reputation: 8528
And that acceptance which is shared by many is why a below average franchise is an extremely profitible franchise.

This was/is certainly the right window of time.

Banking on 15/16 and passing to build on what they did last year is nothing but wishing and hoping. However, it does help in their ability to raise ticket prices, pocket $20 mill from tv revenue, cash in on merchandising, etc... But thats just another way for them to cash in on a product which is hot, rather than signing MLB talent to continue the run.

Last edited by erieguy; 03-03-2014 at 05:53 PM..
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