Eh - I'm not really sure what to say about this. It's been in the works for a long time. There was an interesting conversation here a couple weeks ago about a separate conversation we had last fall, about why it is generally unwise to predict a team will lose 110 games. 110-loss seasons are historically rare, and it's unwise to predict historically rare occurrences without having very good reasons for doing so. As it turns out, while the Bucs won't lose 110 this year, they'll get close.
In fact, the 2010 Pirates will be the worst team in the franchise's 18-year losing streak, and that's saying a ton. I haven't been terribly burned up about it, in part because this team, while obviously very bad, hasn't felt like the worst - so many of those Littlefield-era teams, like 2005, won more games than the 2010 edition will, but were much worse from the perspective of sheer Waiting-for-Godot absurdity and pointlessness. At least the 2010 team saw the debuts of Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata and Neil Walker, alongside the first full year from Andrew McCutchen.
What's funny about all this is that, way back in 2007, I mentioned the possibility that the Pirates would lose 110 games in 2010. The idea was that Littlefield's negligence toward the Pirates' future was so brazen that there would be few useful players left at all if he were allowed to continue. After Neal Huntington traded the Pirates' core, much of which would have been eligible for free agency after 2009, I thought it might be time to take a few steps back from the cliff.
Well, maybe not. Charlie Morton, Jeff Clement and Andy LaRoche, three key players from those trades, turned out to be far worse than even replacement level, Brian Burres types of players. Akinori Iwamura and Ryan Church did too. And, although I knew the decline of the Pirates' defense from 2009 to 2010 would be a problem, I may have underestimated how big that problem would be.