The Pittsburgh Pirates continued to push the limits of how much bad baseball one city can tolerate with a 14-2 loss last night in Chicago, highlighted by a home run from Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano.
It's been weeks like this when I wonder why people are Pirate fans at all anymore. The players certainly don't look like they care, the manager clearly doesn't look like he cares, the front office isn't doing anything to stop the bleeding...as a fan, why get worked up?
Last night was the latest embarrassment to the city, a 12-run defeat started by Paul Maholm with the exact same pitching line put up by Charlie Morton's Great Stuff the day before: eight runs, nine hits, a walk and a hit batsman over 3 1/3 inning. The batting was bad (six hits), the fielding was awful, the baserunning was lackluster and the manager sat in a daze on the bench at the end of the game. It was all the usual components of a 2010 Pirates game rolled into one.
There are calls to can Russell, and while it's certainly not all his fault, he's done absolutely zero to make this team any better. Their play is not acceptable and their body language and effort indicate that they've mailed it in. That's not the proper atmosphere in which to raise a stable of your best prospects, and someone should take the fall. It's not going to be Neal Huntington, so the next on the firing block would be Russell, breaking up "the best management team in baseball" in the process. I guess the start of the dynasty will have to wait a while, but that's a price the Pirates should be willing to pay.
Mondesi's House: The Director's Cut (more links, commentary, etc): twitter.com/mondesishouse