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Rob Rossi: Shameless Propagandist, or Just Clueless?

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Seriously, stuff like this has to stop. The Pirates have been mediocre, but better than expected, recently. Rossi seems to be writing a series of articles drawing every possible foolishly rosy conclusion from that fact. This time, he's writing about the Florida Marlins:

"They received great return for the players they traded," said Cox. "They were able to pick other organizations' best prospects ... and those are the kids you see leading them today.

"All of a sudden it's, like, 'Wow, look at them!' "

The Pirates, no doubt, are hoping people will be saying something similar about them next season.

They can hope all they want, but until I see the Pirates land the equivalent of Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco, Renyel Pinto, Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit, Miguel Olivo, and Dan Uggla this offseason, I'm not holding my breath.

"They've done it with great pitching... and we compare very favorably in that category," Pirates starter Zach Duke said.

No, you don't, Zach.

PLAYER AGE* ERA
Ian Snell 24 4.83
Paul Maholm 24 4.91
Zach Duke 23 4.78
Tom Gorzelanny 23 3.74
PLAYER AGE* ERA
Anibal Sanchez 22 2.89
Josh Johnson 22 2.99
Dontrelle Willis 24 3.93
Scott Olsen 22 4.04
Ricky Nolasco 23 4.75

(*in baseball years)

Not only are the Marlins' young pitchers younger and better, there are more of them.

"We used this season to get used to the big leagues, both as a starting staff and, as a unit, the bullpen," Duke said. "The key will be learning from this season, remembering what came of it and coming into next season having made the adjustments necessary to take a big step forward."

Florida's baseball club took that step sooner than anybody expected...

Yeah, well, Florida's baseball club seems to have skipped that intermediate step of, y'know, stinking for a year. If you want to keep seeing parallels, go right ahead, but there aren't really any important ones, beyond both teams being young. The Marlins are good because they wanted to be good and they took bold steps to make that happen. The boldest thing the Pirates have done with regard to young talent recently is to lose much of it in the 2003 Rule 5 draft. That was utterly the wrong move, and it was three years ago. If the Pirates want to be like the Marlins, they need to take decisive action. Otherwise, there will continue to be no important similarities between the two franchises, at least not outside Rossi's warped mind.**