As the Pirates played the Toronto Blue Jays tonight, I began to think of how good Jose Bautista is doing for about the millionth time. I don't blame Neal for dealing him and I am not upset at what he got back, but the fact that he was ours and let him go just bothers me. A similar situation would be having a decent looking girlfriend who has been disappointing in the relationship and dumping her because of the problems at the time. Is it your fault, if after 2 or so years, you find out that she has become a Victoria's Secret underwear model? Not at all. But are you disappointed that it could have been yours if you had stuck with her and worked out the problems? You would be lying if you said no, but you shouldn't blame yourself because you could have never known it would happen.
Now during this break up, you have gotten a new woman who you are happy with. She is not what as amazing as the model, but she makes you happy. However, even though you are currently happy, dreaming about not breaking up with the ex-girlfriend still occurs. How great would it be if you were still with her? Who knows; but if you could, would you go back and never end the relationship because it could be better? Many would say yes, but they fail to realize how everything would change. It’s possible it may work out better for you than the mere “average” joy you experience with your new girl, but it could also end up worse. In case you haven’t noticed, the model represents the Pirates never trading Bautista and the new girl represents the current Pirate team.
Would you give up guaranteed success for the possibility it could be better even though there is an even greater possibility the relationship ends yet again (free agency) or something even worse occurs (Bautista gets hurt)? Or do you stay happy, denying yourself the chance at something better? Bautista could have put the Bucs in a similar situation to the one they are in now, but that is not a guarantee. Because of Bautista's breakout, the Pirates may have been forced to sign him to a huge deal that kept them from constructing the team the way it currently is. Potential problems in the clubhouse from Bautista or one of the different players that would have likely been on the team may have lead to guys like Morton and McCutchen being lame ducks instead of stars. A slightly better record the past few years could have lead to more John Russell and no Clint Hurdle. Good things that may have happened would be Bautista attracting other free agents, the Pirates get an increase in attendance and pay roll, and other moves that improve the club. Whether good or bad, keeping Bautista would have made the Pirates a different team.
The point of the post is to think. Keeping Bautista doesn’t automatically lead to a better team. If we were to add him to the current team it would, but that is sadly not one of the two choices. In a Bautista breaks out with the Pirates alternate universe, the team would have been vastly different because it would have had different needs and different strengths. They may have traded Bautista by now for prospects. Who knows; but would any of you fellow fans go back and prevent Neal from doing the trade if you could? I wouldn’t. I like the team the way it is and even though it may have worked out better for the Bucs, it could have been much worse and this season is giving my hope even more strength. This team, filled with guts and heart, is doing something a Jose Bautista led team may have never done, and that is compete.
PS. I edited it. Spent a little more time. Hope it is more clear. Sorry about previous one