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Pirates Having Miserable Season, Even By Own Standards

Dejan Kovacevic has a good piece on exactly how bad the 2010 Bucs have been. There's been a fair amount of discussion on that particular topic here in the past couple of days. I haven't been too involved, mostly because I have complicated feelings about it. Yes, the Pirates have been horrible, but at least for the past few months they've been horrible with a lineup of players I'm mostly interested in. Yes, they're horrible, but that the 2010 season would be bad has been all but certain since 2006 or so. (Whether they would be this bad is another question.) And yes, they're bad, but up-and-coming teams do not always, or even usually, improve in a linear fashion. A terrible season in 2010 does not preclude a much better season two years for now. (Although it certainly doesn't make a good 2012 season more likely.)

If the take-home message you're getting from this season is simply "Yes, the Pirates are horrible" without all the caveats, then I guess I can't argue with that. To me, though, the most disappointing aspect of this season has been the poor play of most of the Pirates' reclamation projects - the high-upside guys who had serious flaws when they were acquired. Charlie Morton, Andy LaRoche and Jeff Clement have been awful; Lastings Milledge has been a bit better than that, but he hasn't exactly nailed down a starting spot for next year. Ross Ohlendorf had a pretty good year despite an entire career's worth of bad luck, and James McDonald could avoid the reclamation-project curse completely (if he and Ohlendorf are even reclamation projects anyway, which is debatable). But the Pirates could have taken a shortcut on the path toward contention if, say, two of Morton, LaRoche, Clement and Milledge had worked out, but they didn't.

Better to have those guys fail than Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata and Neil Walker, I guess.

Anyway, one more link for today: Ray Oaks has a nice article at SB Nation Pittsburgh about the press reaction to the Bucs' leaked financial documents.