For the 17th straight season, the Pirates are on a collision course with a losing record. For the fourth straight campaign, they could finish in last place. And for the second year in a row, they have dealt a quality player to the Red Sox in July.
Last year, Jason Bay was the prize. Despite a midsummer slump, the move has worked out better than many expected.
This year, it’s Adam LaRoche. He only hit .247 with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs in 87 games with the Bucs this season, but this is a guy who blasted 32 jacks with 90 RBIs in 2006 with Braves. According to baseballreference.com, players with similar career stats when they were the same age as LaRoche (29) include Tino Martinez, Mo Vaughn and David Ortiz. That’s not bad company.
The Pirates must enjoy watching the Red Sox contend because the team by the Alleghany is making a habit of helping Boston — and every other major league club with a pulse — get better.
Need a bat? Call the Pirates.
Short an arm? Take two from Pittsburgh.
Want a quality glove? The Bucs don’t.
They get rid of talent faster than a chop shop unloads stolen car parts.
That’s the most reassuring part of having any talent and calling Pittsburgh home — the stay in the Steel City won’t be long.
Nate McLouth. Good luck in Atlanta.
Nyjer Morgan. Use that speed somewhere else.
Jason Kendall. All-Star catching is overrated.
Aramis Ramirez. Save the Cubs.
Xavier Nady. Thanks for the memories.
Jason Schmidt, Kris Benson and Jon Lieber. Take the quality starts, innings and wins. Leave the garbage.
Freddy Sanchez could be next to hit the road for greener pastures.
The Red Sox had Babe Ruth to blame for decades of misery. Having any of baseball’s five tools is a curse for the Pirates.
Although the Red Sox have limped out of the gate to open the second half, it’s not in their DNA to sit on their hands when things aren’t going according to plan. The same cannot be said for the Pirates.
The LaRoche move is only the beginning for the Red Sox. They aren’t going to go down without a fight. Now is the time the Red Sox call in the reinforcements for the stretch drive, and the Pirates get ready for a fire sale.
It’s easy to forget how the other half lives. The Bucs make it easy to remember.
At least they have a nice park where they can lose. It’s one asset they can’t trade.