Man...I wish football season wasn't going on right now so I could have entered this "debate."
OK, so from what I'm reading, this Tracy guy isn't all that bad. Of course, all that I read from the Pirates' message boards is this:
1) Tracy was hired because Dave Littlefield used to have him as a manager on other teams (Expos I think). Macha didn't even get a fair chance to get the job because of this. People think that since this is a "do or die" year for DL that he went with the guy he trusted.
2) Tracy is a manager who likes to play "small ball" and is big on veterans. Unfortuantely, the latter is something that I don't want to venture into considering the Pirates have been doing it for 8+ years...it obviously hasn't worked. Other than Bay, no one on this team runs, and when they do, they normally are caught stealing or are tagged out on a stupid baserunning error.
It's probably a product of the fans being very bitter over the last 13 years, but they probably know more than me. I know nothing of Tracy's ability other than he had a winning record in LA for 4 of 5 years. That's OK by me. Another plus is that he wasn't brought up in this organization that has only known losing for over a decade. Maybe a new attitude will help things.
What WittyC said is pretty much dead on. There's no chance the Pirates contend this year, especially with the teams in our division.
All I'm looking for is constant competent play and improvement of the young players. We will still need a RF and 3B most likely, though. Where do they come from? It's going to take a heck of a lot for any player that is on a winning team to come to Pittsburgh to play...or the Pirates will have to trade away quite a few of their young arms to bring them in.
JTWood wrote:They do have the talent to be a .500+ team in the next two years, but ownership needs to commit to a few players to make that happen. Like I said above, they are a good team as long as the ownership doesn't screw them over.
McClatchy says that the payroll will increase 30% this year...of course, this is owner-speak. That essentially means that instead of spending $38 million, we're going to spend about $50 million. Wow, that still puts us near the bottom of the ladder in team spending.
There are some Pittsburgh fans blaming the Nuttings & McClatchy for creating our problems. Their contention is that the owners field a cruddy team but offer little trinkets and all-star game perks to get people into the stadium, and the fans keep buying it. In these fans' view, the owners are just trying to make money and aren't trying to win. 1.8 million fans attended home games this year. That's a lot of people coming to see a team that lost 95 games. Personally, I think we just have a lot of loyal fans that like to watch baseball, and we had some new players that look promising enough for people to watch.
We need to lock Bay, Perez (hold out hope), and Duke down for a long time, and it would be pretty smart to get rid of guys like Mark Redman and Wells that are obvious money-eaters. Redman was crap after the first 10 games, and Wells is just another one of those guys that we turn into slop that will inevitably do better somewhere else.
I am still pretty excited to see these younger players, and I would really like to see them improve under Tracy. Hopefully he can do that for us since it was obvious that it wasn't going to happen after the first few years of Lloyd.