Welcome to the North Shore Nine! I know what you’re thinking, just what the world needed—another Pirates website. Well, this one will be different, more old school if you will. I stray away from the public’s opinion and usually have a different viewpoint on things than the media and general fans. I’m usually not buying into the yinzers narrative that every move the Pirates make is the wrong one. That was years ago.
Say what you will about Bob Nutting, but the current management in the front office has turned this franchise around. There’s no arguing against that. When Neal Huntington took over after the 2007 season, the minor league system was a joke, top prospects were bare, the international signings were non-existent and even mentioning the playoffs was laughable. That has all changed. The Pirates have one of the best minor league systems in the majors with five players in the top 100 overall. They’ve made the postseason the past three seasons, even if two of them were the dreaded wildcard game, and they’re set up to win for the next couple years thanks to development of their own prospects and international signings like Jung-ho Kang with more prospects on the way in Tyler Glasnow, Josh Bell, Austin Meadows, Jameson Taillon and more. It’s fun to watch this team play. All in all, these aren’t your 2005 Buccos. Things are trending upward.
Yet somewhere along the line, the old narrative rises up again that’s built on years of frustrating losing: “The Pirates will never spend!” “They just want to run a business and make money!” “They traded a great a fan favorite for some bums!” “Who cares that they won 98 games, they still didn’t win the division!” The Pirates have a hard time kicking that opinion that every move they make is based on money and probably the wrong one. I understand that after watching this organization lose a record for most consecutive losing seasons, but with what they’ve done in the past five to seven years, I think this team and management group has earned, at the very least, the benefit of the doubt. Limitations on the payroll aside, this group is doing what they have to do to compete year in and year out. Good drafting, key international signings and making the tough but necessary trade to acquire more talent when the right deal is on the table.
Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be defending every move the Pirates make, but for now this team deserves the benefit of the doubt from the fans and local media. And we’ll be here to tell you all about it all season long, so buckle up and try to enjoy the ride.