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Mark Madden

THE A'S DID; THE PIRATES WON'T

 

The Oakland A's got pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs. The A's are going for it.

The Pirates will never do that.

The low-budget, small-market A's are often used as an example for what the Pirates could be. But the Pirates won't swing a deal like the A's did. David Price and Jon Lester are out there. But the Pirates aren't interested.

The Pirates are about profit, and building for a future that never comes. The Pirates sell tomorrow. You pay today.

The Pirates currently have a good team. They might make the playoffs. They might not. But their billionaire owner won't spend enough to give them a proper chance to really break through.

It's laughable to debate who the Pirates can and can't "afford" to keep, or get. Bob Nutting is the ninth-richest owner in MLB. The Pirates can afford to keep or get whoever they want.

The goal is to win the World Series. The Pirates have been to three World Series in 87 years.

The Pirates' players deserve the utmost respect, as does manager Clint Hurdle. But I want better. Don't they? Don't you?

"Pirates management is on the right path." How often do you hear that? Yeah, the right path to profit.

What would be wrong with trading, say, OF prospect Josh Bell? He's 21. Bell was the Pirates' second-round pick in 2011 and is highly regarded. McCutchen, Marte, Polanco...the Pirates are not going to need an outfielder anytime soon. What's wrong with packaging Bell to get a pitcher that would help now?

Do you trust Brandon Cumpton, Jeff Locke and Vance Worley to hold up? Do you trust Francisco Liriano to bounce back?

Instead of always making excuses for the Pirates' profit-based way of doing business, why not just ask them to win?

You have set the bar SO LOW.

The Penguins have disappointed in recent years. But the Penguins won three playoff series in the last 14 months. The Pirates have won two playoff series in 43 years. But there's a perception that the Pirates are doing better than the Penguins. That's beyond stupid.


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