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Pirates Conduct Urgent Team Meeting in Fancy Restaurant

Did you know that Octavio Dotel is rich?
Did you know that Octavio Dotel is rich?

Those of you who read BD regularly know I've become a cautious optimist about the Pirates, which is pretty dramatically different from what I was when Dave Littlefield ran the team. But even I, the sort of guy who sees these Pirates more as a 70-win team than a 58-win team, have to roll my eyes at stuff like this:

The scene was a downtown Philadelphia restaurant. The moment was late last Thursday night, after the Pirates flew north from Florida to finish out spring-training exhibitions at Citizens Bank Park.

The message?

Ryan Church, Octavio Dotel, Brendan Donnelly and Bobby Crosby -- still in their first few weeks as Pirates after arriving in the offseason -- had heard enough about the 17 years of losing. They had seen enough of a 7-21-1 spring record, the franchise's worst in 26 years. So they huddled their remaining teammates in the tony establishment under the shadows of Philadelphia's city hall and held a players-only meeting.

They made a declaration of Pirates independence: It was time to change, unify, act accountable. Now.

I don't know--the idea of a bad major league team sitting in a posh restaurant in Philadelphia and, after eating dinner, "declaring independence" like some bunch of latter-day Elbridge Gerrys is just hilarious to me. (And yeah, I realize that "declaring independence" is a liberty--tee hee--the writer took, and not anything anyone on the team said, but still, that's funny.) And the idea of the Pittsburgh Pirates using a "tony" restaurant as the site of an urgent team meeting about how they'd like to avoid an 18th consecutive losing season--is there anything that sums up the state of Major League Baseball in the 21st century better than that? Dear sirs, I daresay I'd quite enjoy avoiding 100 losses this year. Now please pass the caviar!

I say this as someone who doesn't believe that urgent team meetings are a bad thing, and who thinks that Octavio Dotel seems like a really cool guy. But still.