Not content with barraging their own respective audiences with dick jokery, the authors of Why's My Head Growing? and 3:10 To Joba are working together. The goal? To provide 30 team previews slathered in truth sauce and degrading humor. Yes, that is the world trembling. Previews will rotate weekly between sites. Wear a cup.
Today your author is H-Unit, read him during the week here.
2008 Record: 67-95
Last Season as an Allegory: You live in a shack out in the middle of the woods with your bassett hound Pogo. You have poor hygiene and smell atrocious. And all you do all day is eat cans of beans and listen to Jewel records on repeat.
Moves: Plucked Rinku and Dinesh from India, hilarity still ensuing, resigned Adam LaRoche
State of the Union:
This is a franchise that hasn't had a winning season since they joined the NL Central in 1994. They traded away their franchise player in Jason Bay and their most productive player, Xavier Nady, in July of last season. They have a jumbled mess of prospects and underacheivers to show for that (Brandon Moss, Craig Hansen, Andy LaRoche, Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf). Nate "The Colossus of" McClouth showed up randomly as a very good player and Paul Maholm had his best season to date last year.
But all of this and they don't have a guy in their lineup who will frighten pitchers. Their highest paid player is the defensively adequate, powerfully inept shortstop Jack Wilson. Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny both regressed after decent 2007 seasons. Matt Capps is a decent closer.
They hired John Russell as their manager this year who was the Phillies' Triple A manager the past 2 years. He has practically nothing to work with. A good move they made was signing Joe Kerrigan as their pitching coach. He has already started making Ross Ohlendorf a starter (don't really know why). Zach Duke has been a huge bust for them. Their three best pitchers (Snell, Maholm, and Gorzelanny) would be back end of the rotation guys on pretty much any other team. Their bullpen is just a bunch of young "talent" hoping to make it big for those 12 people who attend Pirates games weekly.
Unless by some miracle all of their younger players blossom into Hall of Famers this year, this team will not climb out of the basement that it's been camped in for more than a decade. The thing that to watch with this team is: can McClouth put together another good season or if he will go the route of Brady Anderson and have one good season and then never be heard from again?