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Jack Wilson never gets confused with Terrell Owens, so it's downright rare to hear the looooongtime Pirate mentioned in the same breath as an attack against the team's management. But that's exactly what happened in the wake of the recent Eric Hinske/Nyjer Morgan/Sean Burnett swaps on Tuesday. Jack was ticked, and he let his emotion get the best of him. If I may recap:

"The bottom line is, even if this trade does work out, it's not going to matter to 80 percent of the people in here," Wilson said. "And over the years, these trades haven't worked. Show me the ones that have worked."

Wilson described himself as "beyond, beyond tired" of such moves.

"We know that they're looking to the future, which doesn't say much about 2009," he continued. "That's probably what's so shocking. We're five games out, and we lost two or three of our everyday players. That's what hits us the most. You can understand if it's the end of July. You see that stuff coming. ... They're businessmen. They're trying to achieve winning baseball in Pittsburgh. The biggest question is: When is that going to be. When do things start turning around? It's just hard for guys who have been here and seen these exact same trades happen and seen it absolutely do nothing. I've been here nine years. I've seen these trades 2 or 3 times a year every year and still haven't had a winning season. You hope, eventually, some of these trades will work out. It's just they haven't yet. They think they're getting deals they can't pass up. I guess. I guess. I guess. Whatever."

They say time heals all wounds, and in this case, not much time had to pass before Wilson immediately regretted his words:

"I really didn't sleep last night, I think some of my comments were pretty harsh," Wilson said. "When you are here, and in the moment and you are talking to guys and everyone is bummed out, you tend to lose your head a little and vent. A lot of the things I said, I thought about last night talking to my wife and they were pretty inaccurate, I would say.

"I definitely don't want to be that guy who is butting heads with the organization or trying to cause any type of negativity, so, I apologize for that."

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Unknown said...

"But for some reason, I'm buying what Huntington is selling. He walked into a disastrous situation: the Major League team stunk, and there was a virtual bare cupboard in the minor leagues. This franchise needed rebuilt from top to bottom, and that is what Huntington is doing. With that comes hard decisions, like trading talented, popular players like Bay, Morgan, and Nate McLouth. But really, what did the Pirates ever win with them anyway? At this point in time, I'm a believer in tearing it down and starting anew, and that's what Huntington is trying to do."

EXACTLY. It's bad enough hearing every dumbass yinzer foaming at the mouth because the Pirates *shudder* traded Nyjer Morgan, but when I have to hear it from Bauman and Krenn in the morning and Paulson and Crow in the afternoon, it's enough to make a person pine for Cleveland. (Not really.)

I won't rehash what you said, which I quoted above, because it can't really be said any better than that. I'll only add that Huntington is doing everything right that Dave Littlefield did wrong, and you flippin' Yinzers are trashing him for it. Aargh.

Matt M. said...

Count me in as one of the seemingly few people who is cautiously optimistic of Neal's Kool-Aid. Like you said, it's not like this team was making leaps and bounds of progress with the guys who they had the last few years.

The only point I would argue is that of all the legit talent on the way. Aside from Pedro and maybe Lincoln, everyone else is still unproven; Milledge is a chance (albeit one worth taking), and Gorkys and Tabata are both hovering around .250 in Altoona. Not awful, but not enough to get called up anytime soon. With that being said, at least we have players to look forward to other than Brian Bixler, Rajai Davis, and Ty Taubenheim.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

It is always easy to look good next to Littlefield. Remember he traded for Giles and then Bay, etc.

There is one constant in this equation and that is the ownership, just beacuse McClatchy was out in front doesn't mean Nutting wasn't still pulling the strings. Let's see if Neal is better at talent evaluation.

Jeff_King_Fan said...

the only thing jack has won since being in pittsburgh is the top play on sportcenter's top 10. i understand his frustration. pirate fans are getting mad that he has spoken out, but wouldnt you? don't you? he's not really sorry for what he said, and everyone knows it. its different than a TO in the fact that he isnt trying to purposely tear down his teammates. he's just a veteran who wants to be apart of a playoff chase in sept./oct. i hope he does get moved to a contender because i think he does deserve it.

btw, who is a better all around player: Jack Wilson or former pirate Carlos Garcia?

The Mad Bubbler said...

What I find hilarious is that there are still people in this city that actually analyze what the Pirates do, and can't see what is so obvious, that they're just OUT TO MAKE MONEY!! That's like trying to analyze the latest actions by North Korea. They're just CRAZY!!

All the Succos care about is making money, and that attitude will never change so long as 20,000 idiots go to PNC Park every game to watch the pretty fireworks, get the useless bobbleheads, etc etc.

What I would like to know is who actually owns the Pirates. Every 5 years of so the Succos just throw a new face in the crowd as the next fall guy, the current one being Bob Nutting, who will surely be replaced once he trades Andrew McCutched in 3 years. McClatchy, Littlefield, have already had their name drug through the dirt, but hey, if I made millions of dollars through a scam like the Pirates, I would care less what a city thought of me.

People call the Yankees the Evil Empire, no no...the Pirates are the Evil Empire. At least the Yankees TRY to win.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

You guys both touch on the point that I was trying to make, but I should have said "let's see if Neal is better at evaluating talent because he will also have a shoe string budget to work with".

The truth is, the owners dont give a crap because more money is coming in than going out.Period.

Anybody who really thinks A.) Jack Wilson is really sorry and B.) he is not justified in his thoughts, probably belongs with the rest of the loonies over on PBC Blog who kneel at the feet of the Coonuttington Kool-Aid wielding propaganda machine.

The Pirates have apparently resorted to a point of removing fans who talk negatively and criticize the team at games, soon they will be giving out fines for good play a la the GM's sardonic interjection in 'Major League' (eerie how similar the Bucs are to that movie).

Of course Nyjer Morgan already saw that first hand, he played well enough to be sent to a team that is SOMEHOW?!?!? worse than the Pirates.

As far I am concernced,leave Jack Wilson alone. He puts it all out there every single play, he lives and dies for this poor excuse of a ball club. I really can't be downtrodden about a guy who wants to win. But since he is a Pirate, how dare he?

Jeff_King_Fan said...

every single team in sports is out to make money. the old cliche "it's a business" is true. but they try to win, they just suck at it. if they were in it just for the money, then a winning club should be a main concern. more important games means more people buying tickets, national tv exposure, and MLB bonus money for playoff appearences.

Dallas Mike said...

I am not justifying the ownership of the Pirates, but try to think like a business owner. If you had the choice of investing an extra $30M to finish in 3rd place or investing $2M in promotional events, you would be selling the ballpark experience as well. The Nuttings are in the newspaper industry at a time in which newspapers are hemorrhaging dollars. The Pirates are by far the most valuable jewel in the Nutting portfolio when you look at the newspaper and resort businesses. They simply can't take on the risk of investing huge dollars with no guarantee of success - or a filled PNC. Unfortunately, because the Pirates are the Nutting's best asset, it looks like a sale of the team is unlikely. Until an ownership group with real capital comes in, the viscious cycle will continue. Baseball is about 8 markets in the U.S.

Chip said...

That's actually not true. Winning team means higher payroll. In baseball, it actually pays to suck because you get all the shared revenue money and ticket sales and tv/radio rights fees and can still maintain a cheap roster.

And the idea we can't afford a roster is BS. Tampa and Milawaukee are cities the same size as us with owners about as rich as ours. Their payrolls are $30-40 million more than ours.

And yeah they want to make money but they have a responsibility to try and field a competitive team. WE (the taxpayers) built them PNC Park. It's a crime that they would then turn around and field a AAA team just to pocket the money.

Bottom line is the Pirates aren't trying to win. They hire stupid inept GMs (including this current turd who will be fired in 2012 and then we'll have Rebuilding Plan Part 6 that idiots in this city will believe in), they don't spend money, and they make no effort. It's an embarrassment to the city and sometimes I wish they'd just leave.

Matt M. said...

Anybody who says the Pirates should leave is kidding themselves. They are the same people who remember what the good times were like in the early 90's, and in some cases, even before that, and if they get good again -- whether it's 3 years from now or 13 -- these same people will be first in line to "raise the Jolly Roger."

How can anyone say with 100% certainty that the moves which have been made in the last 12 months are poor? You don't know that. As far as most people see it, Neal walked out of that Nady deal like a bandit, and it's way too early to criticize the others because most of those players are still too young.

If people want to take bets that by 2012 nothing will have changed? No one is stopping you. But to imply less than two seasons into Huntington's tenure that he's a joke isn't fair.

wvblueblackandgold said...

Some of you guys must be under 25. The last time the Pirates had a winning season, I was a freshman in high school. That was 17 years ago.

I remember the '85 season. Sammy Khalifa anyone? The first game I ever saw in person was that year, Big Daddy was dealing against the Giants and Candy Man saved the game. They won that day, one of the 57 times they did that in that year.

Later, I remember being glued to a local news replay of a presser that Jim Leyland was giving in a driving rain the day he was hired. Guess I remember that like some people remember world events.

In the past 17 years, this club has gone from just plain cheap, to cheap and bad, to cheap, bad and poorly managed... to no way out. It's been a spectacular spiral which is now out of control. More than anything, it's really sad. Sad for fans, sad for people who live in Pennsylvania who picked up the tab for the park, sad for people whose livelihoods depend on the club.

I don't know what the answer is, but what I take exception to is the constant spin machine that is the Pirates. At some point, candor and honesty has to prevail. How many times can you sell a player on broadcasts and in the media as a "cornerstone" or "building block" and trade him away for projects? How many times can you get away with promoting a plan and blowing it up midstream?

It's the constant bait-and-switch routine that is employed specifically to keep fannies in the seats which is the dishonest practice of this ownership/management.

Nutting has got rid of AP coverage for the Pirates in his out-of-town papers, no doubt because it wouldn't tow the party line, wouldn't engage in the spin.

Buy what they're selling all you want, you're gonna be broke.

The Mad Bubbler said...

Jeff King Fan: You couldn't be more wrong. The Pirates don't try to win. Teams like the Cleveland Browns try to win, THEY just suck at it. You don't see the Browns passing people up in the draft cause they don't wanna pay them. You don't see the Browns trading some of their best players for draft picks. The Pirates don't care about winning, just making money.

Matt M: You drank too much Kool-aid already to be saved...

I wish every team in this city would be championship caliber. But it won't happen with this ownership. I'll support the Pirates when a real owner buys them.

M_Shale said...

i am jack's inflamed sense of rejection.

You had to give it to him: he had a plan. And it started to make sense, in a Pirate sort of way. No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.