Yeah Pirates… the problem was Joe and Gary

The Pirates have 52 games left and if they lose 11 of them, they will clinch their 18th straight losing season… a pretty safe bet I would say.

Well finally the Pirates are saying “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH” and diagnosed the problem as being pitching coach Joe Kerrigan and bench coach Gary Varsho. So they were fired.

A couple of baseball lifers (who each served as an interim manager in the big leagues) are shown the door… and not a minute too soon.

Clearly THEY were what was keeping the Pirates down. They are one Orioles winning streak from being the worst team in baseball, but with all the talent on this roster, it is clearly the COACHING staff’s fault.

I mean with such pitching studs as Charlie Morton, Brad Lincoln and Brian Burres in the staff, they should be shutting down opponents left and right. It’s kind of like looking at the Braves staff in the early 1990s… so much talent that it isn’t even fair.

And they have veterans to give the team some stability. Heck they just brought in Chan Ho Park. He’s always good.

Meanwhile the line up… wow! When you have Ronny Cedeno, Andy LaRoche and Jeff Clement coming up to bat, who can you pitch around?

Clearly the talent is there… and the front office has done all they can to make the team better. Last year I pointed out all of their recent first round pick disasters… and GM Neal Huntington has managed to trade the likes of Jason Pay, Nate McLouth, Adam LaRoche and Freddy Sanchez and get virtually nothing in return…

And the Pirates non tendered Matt Capps, who went on to be an All Star for the Nationals and netted a great catching prospect in Wilson Ramos for Washington while the Pirates go exactly gotch.

But those are flukes. It’s obvious the talent is there and the GM has done THEIR job.

So let’s shake up the coaching staff!

No doubt this will help lead the Pirates to the promise land.
(But not to .500… let’s not go crazy here.)
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Hey Bryce Harper… put away the catchers gear

The trade deadline flurry is continuing in baseball and one of the most interesting moves took place between the Twins and Nationals tonight.
Minnesota trails the White Sox by a game and a half and looked to make their pitching staff deep. The Twins strengthened their bullpen with Nats All Star closer Matt Capps. Granted he was an All Star simply because Stephen Strasburg wasn’t selected… but the Capps deal may affect Strasburg and his fellow #1 pick overall Bryce Harper in the long and short term.
The Twins shipped off Wilson Ramos, one of the best catching prospects in baseball, to Washington and frankly that is much more interesting than the Twins pen getting deep.
The Twins have no room for Ramos with Mauer signed to a long term deal and he was worth more as a trade chip. (They tried to use him to pick up Cliff Lee.)
The Nationals got a major league ready catcher who can move right into the big club and learn from Pudge Rodriguez, one of the best ever, for this season and next.
By the time the 2011 season ends, he’ll have a season and a half under Pudge’s wing and be only 23 years old.
When 2012 rolls around (assuming the world won’t be ending) Ramos will probably be the starting catcher. Stephen Strasburg will be at full strength.
And maybe Bryce Harper will be ready.
Now Harper, who was drafted as a catcher, doesn’t need the tools of ignorance. Forget learning to catch and handle a pitching staff… just learn to hit and be as advertised at the plate.
If Harper is as good as promised (or even remotely as good) then the development of Ramos might add 5 years to Harper’s career.
It’s a ripple effect and Washington could very well be an exciting baseball town in 2012 when Obama is up for reelection.
And all of this because they signed Matt Capps, a non tendered free agent from Pittsburgh, who cost the Nationals no draft pick compensation.
Not a bad off season move.
Now all Strasburg, Ramos and Harper have to do is be awesome and Hall of Fame caliber in their career.
No pressure.