Your 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates...

The Pirates are geared up for another year of sub-.500 baseball, so to get you super excited about watching a team lose night-in-night-out let's get you caught up on all thing Buccos:

I have a buddy who is a die-hard Pittsburgh Pirates fan and he still lives and works in the city. The other day he told me that they're going to win 85 games this season and should be in contention for the NL Wild Card. I laughed so hard I nearly passed out. Right now before doing any analysis I am going to tell you that the Pirates are not going to be winning 81 games (the perennially listed goal of .500 ball) let alone enough to be “in contention for the NL Wild Card.” So let's take a look at what the Buccos are going to put on the beautiful grass that is PNC Park this season and see if coming anywhere close to .500 ball is plausible.

(*2008 stats listed)
The Pirates lone star Nate McLouth (.276/.853, 26 hr, 23 SB). He's a Gold Glove center fielder with speed and power and can be considered all-around threat. After dumping half of the recognizable names from the line up last year the Pirates were forced to actually spend some money and agreed to a three-year contract with a club option on a fourth year. Backing him up are switch hitting catcher (is that two gay references?) Ryan Doumit (.318/.858, 15 hr) and 1st baseman Adam “I can’t hit in April, May or June” LaRoche (.270/.841, 25 hr). Doumit can hit, but needs to find a way to keep in the lineup (only 86 games in '07 and 116 in '08). To say that LaRoche is a glacially slow starter is an insult to glaciers. Both of these men need to produce in the early going should the Pirates want to keep from being mathematically eliminated prior to the All-Star break.

The rest of the lineup is unproven, mediocre, or fugly. Unproven: Left fielder Nyjer Morgan (.294/.720, 9 SB, in 58 games) time to drop the prospect tag and get things going (I actually like this kid and am glass half full on him). On the other side of the outfield another prospect (how many fucking prospects does this team have?) with a lot to prove in Brandon Moss (.246/.741, 8 hr in 79 games). Mediocre: Xavier Nady and Jason Bay are gone, yet shortstop Jack Wilson (.272/.659) remains. Which tells you something about Jack Wilson... he is always discussed as a possible trade come the middle of the season but no one wants this guy. Why? Because Wilson is incredibly overpaid for being a barely league average SS...thank you Pirates management. 2nd baseman Freddy “Dirty” Sanchez (.271/.669) runs like a turtle on Quaaludes has no power or on base skills… fuck…I’m moving him to the Fugly category. Fugly: The Other Sister …I mean the other brother 3rd baseman Andy LaRoche (.166/.508) has been called a prospect by Pirate Kool-Aid drinkers, but after 111 games in the majors and only a .184 batting average you get called "ass hat" in my book.

The bench consists of human backstop I mean…backup catcher/Phillies castoff Jason Jaramillo or Robinzon Diaz (.300/.600), Brad Lidge’s final out of the World Series strikeout victim Eric Hinske (.247/.798) that means playoff experience, Tigers/Cubs/Twins cast off Craig Monroe (.202/.679), and baby faces Brian Bixler (.157/.423), Steven Pearce (.248/.716), Neil Walker “Texas Ranger” (no MLB time), and Luis “Don’t call me Tom” Cruz (.224/.546), infielder Ramon Vazquez (.290/.795) coming off a career year with Texas (that’s right career year baby! It can only go down from here.), and outfielder Jeff Salazar (.211/.675) not to be confused with Ken Salazar.

There's a chance this offense could be middle-of-the-road, but Wilson and Dirty Sanchez don't help the cause. If LaRoche, Doumit, and McLouth can remain healthy and produce like they did last season that's a good start, but at least 2 others need to step up to make this team have any offense over the long grind of the MLB season.

Paul Maholm (9-9, 3.71 era, 1.28 whip) is the ace, but only has one season of success thus far so things could go down hill quickly. Dead Man Walking in after him is some combination of the fugly cast of Zach Duke (5-14, 4.82, 1.50), Tom Gorzelanny (6-9, 6.66, 1.80), Ian Snell (7-12, 5.42, 1.76), Jeff Karstens (2-6, 4.03, 1.34), and Ross Ohlendorf (1-4, 6.46, 1.87). I feel like handing this rotation a blind fold and a cigarette. I mean look at those numbers again...this is going to hurt. It is going to hurt 162 times.

Bucco management has always stated that it was going to be their much hyped young pitching that was going to lead us out of the rebuilding phase. See how great that worked out…

Closer Matt Capps (3.02 era, 0.97 whip, 21 saves) is solid, but needs to stay healthy. Lefty John Grabow (6-3, 4 s, 2.84, 1.23) will be useful. Tyler Yates (6-3, 4.66, 1.54) was good one night and a complete disaster the next last season, but can get guys out and should be a set up man. The rest of the bullpen will be a Dagwood style turd sandwich of Craig Hansen (6.22, 1.79), Sean Burnett (4.76, 1.61), Jesse Chavez (6.60, 1.93), Phil Dumatrait (5.26, 1.58), Romulo Sanchez (4.05, 1.50), Donnie Veal (no MLB time), Daniel Meek (6.92, 1.77), or Denny Bautista (5.22, 1.71).

Dagwood style turd sandwich might be too nice…these guys are a fucking mess. After the starters get murdered the bull pen should pull the blind folds off the bodies and get in line for their execution. Frankly, if you are in a slump and the Pirates are in town then just leave the gold thong you borrowed from Jason Giambi at home. You’re going 4-5 with a chance at hitting for the cycle.

How bad is the prognosis Doc?:
The offense won't score enough runs and the pitching will give up way too many runs. (For you not so bright readers, this is not how you win baseball games.) The offense has a chance to at least become National League average if a couple players breakout (which crappy team can’t say this?). However, the rotation is infused with high eras and can get shelled on any night, same for the bullpen. I honestly feel they may have the worst pitching staff in the majors. Therefore, 85 wins are a wet dream, but I seriously doubt they will lose 100 games. I just feel like they are going to be able to pull together some wins here and there in order to stay out of DFL by the end of the season. So I am going to guess they will win 74 games. So there you have it your 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates.

A quick aside... yesterday was a huge day for DSB. We had 117 unique readers visit the site; by far a record for this blog. If you are coming back again today, please take the time to comment below and let us know what you think of the place. Also a special thanks to all those that visited yesterday.

Thanks for coming and suckling on Daddy's Sugar Ball.



  1. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4013539

    Jose Tabata's wife is 43 (23 years older than him)? That's more screwed up than her taking a baby...

    Ladies and Gentlemen...your 2009 Pirates!!!

  2. What no live from ZJ on the old school Pirate logo? I thought he would love that.