Pirates must be kidding
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Bob Nutting, who says he's "absolutely" committed to winning, struck out looking.
The Pirates' principal owner watched a belt-high fastball -- otherwise known as Matt Wieters -- cut the middle of the plate.
His bat never moved.
With that, the Pirates should have lowered the Jolly Roger, raised the white flag and changed their silly slogan to, "We Won't."
When it was their turn to pick in the draft Thursday, the Pirates bypassed the best player on the board because they're too cheap. It's that simple.
Say this much, though: They issued a whale of a news release upon selecting Clemson pitcher Daniel Moskos.
Keep in mind, he was the fourth pick overall, the second pitcher taken.
The second paragraph of the release ended like this: "(Moskos) was ranked by Baseball America as the fifth-best pitcher available in the draft."
The fifth-best ?
And you thought nothing could top the time the Pirates drafted Bryan Bullington first overall and general manager Dave Littlefield said, "We feel comfortable projecting him as a No. 3 starter."
Moskos might turn out fine. He was Baseball America's eighth-ranked prospect.
But he was neither the highest-rated pitcher nor the highest-rated left-hander still available.
More to the point, Wieters, a switch-hitting catcher out of Georgia Tech, was by far the highest-rated position player available. Baseball America labeled him the best position player in the draft and quoted a scout as saying only Twins star Joe Mauer was better among the amateur catchers he had seen.
Keith Law, director of scouting for ESPN's Scouts Inc., and an analyst on ESPN2's draft coverage, calls Wieters a "once-in-a-decade kind of talent."
Kevin Goldstein of Baseballprospectus.com wrote Wednesday in his draft preview, which appeared on SI.com, "The Pirates would like to take Wieters, but a request submitted to ownership to spend big money was quickly denied."
Littlefield flatly denied the report yesterday.
The only hitters of Wieters' pedigree were high school third baseman Josh Vitters, who went third to the Chicago Cubs, and high school infielder Mike Moustakas, who went second to Kansas City.
That left Wieters as the obvious choice, but, alas, he's a Scott Boras client.
Boras is known for demanding huge signing bonuses and immediate major-league contracts.
Of course, that didn't scare the Royals from taking a Boras client (Moustakas) for the second consecutive year.
It didn't scare Milwaukee from taking a Boras client (Matt LaPorta, seventh overall), either.
And after Nutting whiffed, the Baltimore Orioles took Wieters at No. 5. The Orioles had a history of avoiding Boras.
The Detroit Tigers, who once shared baseball's low-rent district with the Pirates, snagged a consensus top-five talent and Boras client, pitcher Rick Porcello, at No. 27.
You can't get something for Nutting. What was it actor Michael Keaton famously said about his hometown Pirates?
"At some point, you have to write the check."
This was the perfect chance.
If you're grading the draft, give Kansas City, Baltimore and Detroit an A.
Give Bob Nutting a backward K.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates look to put more pressure on opposition with better baserunning
- Pirates notebook: Harrison’s day cut short by ankle injury
- Blue Jays’ Martin has ‘nothing but praise’ for former Pirates teammates
- Spring training breakdown: Blue Jays 4, Pirates 1
- Pirates notebook: Infield prospect Hanson used to playing elders
- Pirates special instructor Tekulve taking second chance to heart
- Pirates notebook: Hart ‘down a few days’ after cutting foot
- Surgeon to examine Pirates’ Cumpton after pitcher experienced elbow discomfort
- Pirates acquire ex-Marlins reliever
- Pirates’ Alvarez eager to prove he can play first, regain power stroke
- Sawchik: Should McCutchen really get a huge salary bump?