I missed this article in, of all places, the Tribune-Review, about the Pirates' finances. Whether you've read it or not, you're probably familiar with the circumstantial evidence that the Pirates aren't handling their finances in good faith, and with Kevin McClatchy's dubious dodges. This one is especially odd:
"That, for us, is the side people don't see as much -- how much we spend there," McClatchy said. "We've been pretty active. That is our best chance of competing. The free-agent idea is not one that can make us competitive on a long-term basis."
What? I mean... what? How long has McClatchy known that free agents can't make the Pirates competitive long-term? If the answer is "longer than six months," why do we now have to watch Jeromy Burnitz? Why have we had to watch the endless parade of veteran free agents? Why has Dave Littlefield been allowed to trade young players like Chris Young and Leo Nunez for veterans? And why has he been allowed to dump or fail to protect players like Chris Shelton, Bronson Arroyo and Duaner Sanchez so that free agents could be signed and veterans could be protected?
And where is the evidence that money has been poured into the minor league system? Where are the large bonuses paid? Why are there about two prospects (both marginal) in the Bucs' minor league system from the Dominican or Venezuela?
WTM has an essay on the article up at IrateFans.