Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pirates In the NLDS

Pittsburgh won't be entirely shut out of the playoffs. As a popular refuge for the MLB's tired, poor, huddled masses, there are old Bucco's scattered all over baseball's landscape. Here's some guys that wore the Pirate colors that made it to the post season (though we can't guarantee they all make the roster):

Jason Kendall, C, Milwaukee Brewers - The Pirates traded Kendall to the A's in 2004 for Mark Redman, Arthur Rhodes, and cash. He signed with the Brew Crew as a free agent in 2008, and became their starting catcher, with a .248-2-49 line.

A number one draft pick in 1992, he played in Pittsburgh from 1996-2004. Kendall became the Pirates all-time leader in games caught, with over 1,200, and hit .306-67-471 in his nine year Buc career.

Jeff Suppan, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers - In one of their better deals, the Bucs shipped the dependable Suppan to Boston in 2003 at the deadline with two minor leaguers for Mike Gonzalez, Freddie Sanchez, and cash. He joined the Brewer staff in 2006 as a free agent. This year, he was 10-10 with a 4.96 ERA.

Suppan was 10-7 with a 3.57 ERA for Pittsburgh in 2003.

Solly Torres, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers - Torres, upset that the Pirates didn't pick his new camp for it's Latin America baseball academy, disgruntled his way into becoming the new suits first trade, getting sent to Miller Field for Marino Salas and Kevin Roberts. Sometimes it pays to rock the boat.

He became the Brewer closer by default, and put together a 7-5-28 record with a 3.49 ERA.

Torres was a Pirate from 2002-2007, compiling a 26-28-21, 3.40 line.

Brian Shouse, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers - Shouse was drafted by Pittsburgh in 1990, and pitched 4 innings in 1993 for the team. He was released in 1996.

He's a regular out of Milwaukee's bullpen, mostly as a match-up guy, with 69 appearances, a 5-1 record with 2 saves, and a 4.34 ERA.

Shouse came to the Brew Crew in 2006 from the Rangers in exchange for Enrique Cruz.

And let's not forget Milwaukee skipper Dale Sveum, who was part of 1997's Pirate "Freak Show."

Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Chicago Cubs - A-Ram's trade in 2003, along with Kenny Lofton and cash for Bobby Hill and Jose Hernandez was the darkest day of Pittsburgh's lurid salary-dumping history. The big guy kept mashing along the lakefront, hitting .287-27-111 this season.

He played in the 'Burgh from 1998-2003, and had a line of .261-76-309 in those six seasons.

Daryle Ward, 1B/OF, Chicago Cubs - Ward became a free agent in 2006, and signed on with Chicago in 2007 as their left-handed bat off the bench. He hit .216-4-17 in a pinch hitting role this season.

He was a platoon guy in Pittsburgh from 2004-2005, and got his fair share of AB's, putting together a .255-27-120 line during those two years.

Matt Stairs, 1B/OF, Philadelphia Phillies - The Pirates let Stairs go in 2003. The 16-year vet ended up with the Phils last month in a trade from Toronto, just in time to qualify for the playoff roster, for 23-year old LHP Fabio Castro. He hit a combined .252-13-49 for the Phils and Jays this year.

Stairs was solid for the Pirates in 2003, hitting .292-21-57 in 300 AB's.

Joe Beimel, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers - Beimel, Duquesne's only MLB player, was released by the hometown Bucs in 2004. He signed as a FA with LA in 2006, and has been their left-handed specialist since. The Bluff grad was 5-1 with a 2.03 ERA.

The St. Mary's native pitched in Pittsburgh from 2001-2003, where they changed him from a starter to a bullpen arm when someone noticed he was getting clobbered the second time around in the order. He was 10-19 with a 4.93 ERA in his Pirate career.


Deaner said...

I can't help but root for Kendall and the other Bucco/Brewers... but I'm gonna pass on the Cubs. I hope they have another 100 years without a World Series title - at least the Buccos have that advantage over them!

WilliamJPellas said...

Ya know, the thing that jumps out at me when I read the list of former Pirates in the 2008 playoffs is, there are some darned good players on that list. More than a few. One of the things that's always fascinated me about bad organizations is that even the worst of them somehow manage to develop at least a steady trickle of good players. I first noticed this some years ago when I was watching the Super Bowl and saw a number of former Arizona Cardinals in the game.

So, being a bad team and a bad organization does not always mean you have no good players. Usually, it means that you mismanage the good players you do have, and also that you never have enough good players on the same team in the same season at the same time.

Ron Ieraci said...

Well, Deaner, the goat curse is supposed to last as long as Wrigley stands. We'll see.
And Will, your point emphasizes the difference between a baseball deal and a salary dump.
The Suppan trade and Brain Giles deal worked out just fine. But for every step you move ahead, you fall that much further behind when you dump guys like A-Ram and Torres to save a few bucks.