Thursday, June 07, 2007

Thursday, June 7, 2007

-- Pirates brain trust screws the draft pooch yet again.

-- The Ducks are the Champions. How ridiculous does that sound?

-- Broadcast reminder.

---Frugality Rules the Day---

I don't know why any of us continue to be surprised by the players the Pittsburgh Pirates select in the annual Amateur Draft. Pat Lackey, my guest this coming Saturday during my 12:05PM - 12:40PM show, wrote a short play back in April that pretty much defines how the Pirate front office is run.

High school and college players are people I haven't really paid much attention to, so I can't claim any real insight of my own, but I highly recommend reading WHYGAVS and Honest Wagner for thoughts and comments. Steve at The Parrot isn't a happy camper either.

And even couldn't really sugarcoat the pick:

The Pirates used their top pick in the First-Year Player Draft, No. 4 overall, to select Clemson Tigers closer Daniel Moskos on Thursday. The southpaw has potential as a starter, but Moskos' big-league future likely lies in the back end of the bullpen.

I wonder if the most-projected and wished-for pick, high school 3B Josh Vitters, had not been picked up by Chicago in the round before if the Pirates would have still made the same selection.

So, the Pirates first pick is a left-handed relief pitcher, spot-starter at best.

In the second round, they take a right-handed starting pitcher, Matthew Welker, out of Arkansas/Fayetteville.

In the next three rounds, they selected three right-handed hitters...a shortstop, a centerfielder, and a catcher, respectively. By name, they are Brian Friday, Frederick Latimore, and Andrew Walker. I wonder if Creechlefield think that the 5th round pick is some kind of mixture of Neil Walker and Andrew McCutcheon.

Somehow, I think this was a Photoshop of Ed Creech
and DL in the War Room. Look at those game faces...

This seems to be the reason why there doesn't seem to be many options under the age of 25 to call up from the minors. The young stars-to-be are passed on in order to save a buck or million down the line.

Bryan Bullington, the top pick of the 2002 draft, has been universally evaluated as no better than a 3rd or 4th starter in a Major League rotation. Then he got hurt, but that's beside the point.

Seriously, if the front office is going to skimp on first round draft picks like this, they will truly never compete. They could at least be thinking about grooming a top prospect to at least trade for MLB-ready veterans if they want to avoid some kind of 2003 Aramis Ramirez "salary dump" situation.

Again, you get what you put into it. As the focus of the team is strictly on "profit", the status quo...the needle-eyed approach to the draft and the trade more than good enough.


The Anaheim Ducks are the 2006-2007 Stanley Cup Champions. It's no secret I am not a fan of this outcome. I feel, somewhere, some of the integrity of the game was lost when a team called the "Ducks" earned the right to have that moniker engraved on Lord Stanley's Holy Grail.

Some might argue that had Ottawa rallied, that the Alfredsson "kick" goal that pretty much would have started that hypothetical rally would have also demeaned the game. And having a player responsible for the death of a former Atlanta teammate on their roster...whose last name was briefly and comically censored by have done the same for the sport. To the first, I am forced to point out the Senators won that game by 2 (without the benefit of an empty-netter). To the second, well, I can't argue...he should be in jail. But he scored all of one goal and no assists.

I suppose I can sit back and concede that at least the Stanley Cup remains in the United States. And chuckle that Anaheim's victory was quickly overshadowed by a snooty heiress who lives nearby.

---Listen on Saturday---

I mentioned this earlier in the post, but if you live near the Pittsburgh area, there's a good chance you can pick up 590AM, WMBS out of Uniontown during the daylight hours. Mr. Lackey and I will sound off on all things Pirates that we can cram into, essentially, a half hour of air-time.

If you're out of the area, you can listen online through the station's website (works best with IE Explorer 6.0 or better) and selecting one of the two options under the "Listen Live" label on the left.

Steeltown Sports: Live! Saturday, June 9. Noon until 12:40PM.


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