Friday, April 21, 2006

The start

Dejan has a big feature on the fans' reaction (or lack thereof) to the Pirates ugly start (featuring a quote from yours truly). I actually kind of thought that the fans were actually too angry about it after the venemous questions that landed in the Q&A last week (I think that my quote in the article kind of bears that out), if only because I sort of expected the young pitching to struggle a bit in the early going and wasn't expecting a Mets-like start or anything. I'll admit, I don't watch much of the Nightly Sports Talk stuff on UPN and I've only been to the ballpark twice so far this year (mostly as a function of schoolwork, so that will change) so I suppose I wouldn't notice much if things were quieter than expected.

I guess anytime a team with a small budget goes out and spends the kind of money DL spent this offseason, better results than 5-12 are certainly expected, but to be perfectly honest this start hasn't been much worse than I expected. I figured that we'd be better than 5-12 right now, that's for sure, but I also didn't see us being much better than 7-10 or 8-9 right now, either. We opened this season up with our most two proven starters being Victor Santos and Oliver Perez. That simply does not bode well for a great start to a season. I'm certainly angry about the way the team is run, but I'm no more angry that DL got a hankering to start a money-fire this offseason by signing Burnitz, Randa, Hernandez, etc. now than I was when it happened. I'm not pleased that to this point I was more or less right about those signings being bad ones (Hernandez has pitched well, but do we really NEED a 40+ year old set-up man on this team for almost $3 million? I mean he's not helping us get to the playoffs or anything), but it's not surprising to me. And I do think that we're better than we're playing, I mean the pitching is going to come around and there's nothing but help on the way for the rotation in the form of Gorzellany, Burnett, and (in my opinion at least) Kip Wells.

So I guess the question is, should I be angrier? Have I been so jaded by this team that a 5-12 start after an offseason spending spree doesn't even faze me? Are they winning by lowering my expectations? Is it wrong that everytime we lose part of me says "Well, if we're really awful this year maybe Littlefield will get the axe and good things will come out of it," hoping for a new GM and a new rebuilding period, because what's a few more years at this point? I don't really know the answer to those questions, and I'm not so sure I want to either.