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Easy Answers to Obvious Questions

Bob Smizik:

Why not offer Nady a long-term deal now?

For the same reason it was dumb to give a long-term deal to Kevin Young.


Why not show the fans of Pittsburgh there is a commitment to keeping good players?

Because they already did that with the Jason Kendall contract, and all that got them was Jonah Bayliss, six more losing seasons, and tendinitis from writing zeroes on checks.


So why gamble on unproven starting pitching, which is all the Pirates are likely to obtain, and disrupt the one proven aspect of the team: its offense?

Because if you're rebuilding and you don't trade your good veteran players, you get nothing for them.

I've been trying to avoid these editorials recently, going so far as to avoid reading them, but I couldn't help myself this time. I don't know what the excuse for them is. One need not advocate making all the mistakes the Pirates have made over and over again to write an interesting column.

I mean... wow:

The notion that prized prospect Andrew McCutcheon [SIC!] will make the departure of Nady bearable doesn't make a lot of sense. McCutcheon [SIC!] is going to be a good player, probably better than Nady, but it's doubtful he'll reach his peak in 2009 or even 2010. In Barry Bonds' first four seasons, his batting averages were .223, .261, .283 and .248.

I'll be kind and ignore the question of how likely it is that someone who doesn't know how to spell a player's name has any clue how good he's going to be. Still: what kind of argument is that? Bonds was a well above average hitter in three of the years Smizik mentions, and then he finished in the top two in MVP balloting in each of the next three seasons with the Pirates. Would he have been able to do that if the Pirates had gone with Joe Orsulak instead and had Bonds spend four years in Class AAA?

What difference does it make if McCutchen doesn't reach his peak next year? If McCutchen is ready next year, and he could well be, then of course he'll make the loss of Nady bearable, because playing in the majors will help him get better, and because we'll be able to watch a player who may honestly play a role on the next good Pirates team. Contrary to what Kevin McClatchy may have believed, most fans don't mind watching genuinely good youngsters, and playing them and taking some lumps is ultimately the best course to eventually getting better. Maybe McClatchy just read too many Bob Smizik columns.

I'm just amazed by the absences of logic and perspective here.