It seems that the national media has tagged the Pirates with the "losers" label in the annual "Screw Up Your Team for Years to Come" sweepstakes, a.k.a. the non-waiver trade deadline.
Losers? What team they been watchin' this year?
Norm Petersen of "Cheers" fame said it best when discussing how a company (or a small-market baseball franchise in this case) restructures: "First thing they do is get rid of the dead weight." When asked what happened next, he said, "Oh, I'm usually long gone after that."
So what's my point? I don't know. But Kip Wells is GONE. Now, my whiteness prohibits me from dancing in any public forum, but believe me, this is the biggest case of addition by subtraction since Boggs Diamond went upstate in the Shawshank Redemption. I know we basically got Shawn Chacon back in return through other deals, but Kip Wells and his 4.15 million had to go. And thankfully, it went far away.
Also, disgruntled bench player/outfielder Craig Wilson was shipped to the Yankees to be a ...disgruntled bench player/outfielder. Maybe Wilson got a raw deal in Pittsburgh (he did hit 29 homers in his only "full" season here), but he can take his strikeouts, hair (oh wait--he'll have to cut that in Georgeland), and whining to the Big Apple. Good luck to him.
Sean Casey to the Tigers was just a matter of "I'd rather not pay you to be on our roster when we lose 99 games." He'll be a free agent next year, so he was probably gone as it is.
Roberto Hernandez netted us a decent young player in Xavier Nady, so I don't see any problem; especially since the Pirates have an outstanding young nucleus in the bullpen already.
But what really makes me happy, what really makes me almost willing to suspend my white guy/no dancing rule is the jettisoning of Oliver Perez. He went to the Mets in the Hernandez/Nady deal and later to the Padres (why the hell would they give up Linebrink for him?). Perez lit it up in 2004, but has disappeared since. In an earlier post, I talked about how he lost his velocity and seemed unable to get it back. That's all he had. The kid has no clue how to pitch, he was just able to rear back and gun it 98 mph. Now that he can't do that, what good is he? Oh, well. Ollie was a real nice kid, and I wish him luck and hopes he turns it around. But I'm honestly tired of people in this organization banking on him doing it. I'm glad they realized the mistake they made. It only cost us countless horrible outings by Perez. And we also got Jason Bay in the original deal with Perez, so I can't be too greedy.
So now the Pirates finally look as if they're going to go with the young guys they have......
Hey, the Tigers did it a few years back, right?