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The Pirates' "Progress"

-P- Rowdy found this article on the Pirates' 40-48 record. The headline is "Pirates are 40-48 at the Break - and Happy About It."

"At this last year we were 30 (games) under, this year we're nine under," [Dave] Littlefield said. "The goal is to win a championship and we've got a ways to go there, but progress is being made and we've got to keep making progress."

Riiiight. Rowdy's reply:

Say that a man goes out and commits ten felonies. The next year, he commits eight misdemeanors. Would you be persuaded if he cited those numbers as evidence he is reforming?

I sure wouldn't. And here's an even better analogy. If a guy commits ten felonies in one year, and then only gets a misdemeanor or two the next year, and then commits three felonies in the next year after that, is he reforming?

The Pirates can't have it both ways. They can't cite their 37-35 record in the second half of last year as proof of their "progress" and then also cite the 40-48 record they've had since then as progress. It doesn't compute.

-P- Slider at OnlyBucs helpfully pointed out that the Bucs recently signed a couple of pitchers to fill out their rosters in the high minors. These guys have outside shots, at best, to pitch in the majors, but they're pretty colorful players, so they're still worth mentioning. One is Jose Paniagua, a reliever who had several semi-successful years with the Mariners nearly a decade ago. After bouncing around to the Rockies and then the Tigers, he was signed by the White Sox, but he only pitched a third of an inning for them before flipping off an umpire and being promptly released. He hasn't played for a big league organization since then.

The other guy is Ricardo Rodriguez, who was a very highly regarded prospect when he was with the Dodgers and Indians. He struggled some in 2003 and then had a terrible arm injury in 2004, and he's scuffled since then. He did have a pretty decent K/BB ratio (but a bad ERA) for the Marlins' AAA team this year, and no one's really tried using him as a reliever yet, so I guess he's worth a shot. Players Rodriguez has been traded for include Matt Diaz, Vicente Padilla, Ryan Ludwick and Paul Shuey.