After yet another disappointing season that includes poor play and off-field problems, it’s time for the Pittsburgh Pirates to start over.
To say the Pittsburgh Pirates are having a nightmare season would be polite at this point. On the field, the Pirates have been dreadful, often looking disinterested and disheartened by the constant losing. Off the field, things have been even worse with pitcher Felipe Vazquez being arrested on disturbing charges. For a team that just a few short years ago was one of the most fun teams in the MLB, it has been quite a fall from grace. This team is a disaster in every sense of the word and it’s clear that it’s time to blow things up and start over.
When it comes to pitching, the Pirates are among the most hopeless teams in all of baseball. Entering Wednesday with a team ERA that ranks 27th in the majors according to the official MLB statistics website, it’s easy to see that this team has been hit hard. Outside of the surprising Joe Musgrove, there may not be a starting pitcher on the team that belongs in a professional rotation. Chris Archer, acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, showed a bit of promise before being put on the IL earlier this week but has been a disaster overall in a Pirates uniform. Throw in a group of relievers that has managed to blow 24 saves and it becomes easy to see how badly this team needs a reset in the pitching department.
As far as hitting is concerned, the team isn’t horrible, but there are some obvious problems there as well. In terms of hitting average, Pittsburgh ranks a respectable No. 6 overall in the MLB with a .267 average going into Wednesday. Unfortunately, at a time when there are more home runs than ever before, the Pirates have struggled to keep up, hitting only 159 long balls this season. With that said, there are at least some talented players in this lineup with Josh Bell, Bryan Reynolds and Starling Marte all having strong seasons at the plate.
Above all else, however, when it comes to the Pirates problems has been Clint Hurdle and his ineffective management this season. Too often, Hurdle puts his players, particularly his bullpen, in tough spots and it ends up hurting the team. It doesn’t end there either. Around the league teams seem to believe Hurdle encourages dirty play from his team. Remember the bench-clearing brawl earlier this season against the Cincinnati Reds? That caused Reds manager David Bell to say this about the Pirates:
Obviously, Bell was emotional following a contentious game, but it’s rare to see a manager throw a colleague under the bus like that. Between his in-game mistakes and the lack of control, he seems to have within the clubhouse, Hurdle’s time with Pittsburgh needs to come to an end, and soon.
Sometimes in sports, the best move is to tear it all apart and try to rebuild, and that’s exactly what the Pirates should be doing. From the off-the-field problems to the on-field sloppiness, this team cannot contend in its current form.
The time has come for the Pittsburgh Pirates to blow it up and try build a respectable team once again.