Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Preview a Day Keeps the Winter Away, #20

For the month of March I will be doing a season preview, with a new team each day, going in alphabetical order by team so I can save the Yankees for last, because I am, in fact, that devious.

As this is a Yankees' blog, the previews for AL East teams will be more detailed than those of AL Central and AL West teams, and any AL team previews will be more detailed than NL team previews, save maybe for the Mets. Each preview will involve consideration of how much 'threat' a team is to the Yankees, for fairly obvious reasons.

Up today: The Pittsburgh Pirates

Go on and name me five players on the Pirates. Can you do it?

I don't know if there's no better hallmark of a team that hasn't had a winning season in fifteen years than being, generally, irrelevant. In the NL Central, probably the weakest division in the Majors, it can easily be argued that only the Pirates can't realistically entertain hopes of winning the division.

The Pirates aren't the worst team in the majors; they're not even the worst team in the National League, but they aren't a good team, at least, not yet. Perhaps starters Tom Gorzelanny and Ian Snell can significantly distance themselves from the pack, and Damaso Marte might be the most sought-after bullpen lefty specialist, but there's no one on team that immediately grabs your eye, with the possible exception of Xavier Nady who just has a really, really cool name.

Don't get me wrong, the Pirates have some solid athletes--like Freddie Sanchez--but there's still something missing. They'll be better than San Francisco, and possibly the Marlins and the Nats, but it's a long way to go before they're truly ready to compete at the top level.

Threat to the Yankees: Green, Proceed Normally.

Well, we did sweep them last year, and we get the luxury of trying it again this June, though hopefully this time we won't be distracted by Roger Clemens un-retiring for the fourth, fifth or sixth time.

1 comment:

  1. Doug Mientkiewicz
    Tom Gorzelanny (does spelling count?)
    Jason Bay
    Jack Wilson
    one of the LeRoches. Adam?

    And just in case you don't accept Dougie Fresh because he's only signed a minor league deal, Xavier Nady

    That so counts.

    I did it before I read the rest of your post.

    And now that I did that, I'm a little ashamed that I know 5 1/2 Pirates, the 1/2 being Dougie Fresh.