...over the fact that that Neal Huntingdon dared break up The Big Yellow Machine in Pittsburgh is the fact that the organization has quietly been spending money. Specifically, they've been shelling out for above-slot bonuses for draft picks. In other words, they are - egads - investing in rebuilding the system. This, I think, is a slightly more worthwhile goal than striving for 83 wins with a bunch of soon-to-be-free-agents.
To be fair, this is the model the team was building toward a couple of years ago, only to have Jim Tracy systematically wreck the promising young rotation of Duke, Snell, Gorzelanny, and friends. With the pitching those guys could have provided, a team with LaRoche, Wilson, Sanchez, et alia might have been close enough to the wild card to consider adding pieces. Without them, fuggedabout it. Time to tear it down and start over, and to their credit, the Pirates aren't just sitting on the money the trades freed up. That, more than anything else, seems indicative of brighter days ahead in Pittsburgh.
And as Tracy closes in on the permanent job in Colorado (largely by virtue of not being Clint Hurdle), I weep for Jhoulys Chacin's shoulder.