As an ardent fan of loveable losers one finds the tattered cause of the Pittsburgh Pirates especially intriguing. Can the Bucs, proudly represented over the eons by the august likes of Wagner and the Waner's, Kiner, Maz and the Great Roberto, establish the all-time standard for inept performance not just in baseball but in all sport by grandly producing a losing season for the 20th consecutive year?
Think of it. George Bush the elder was still running the country when the Pirates last had a winning season. They almost busted out of it last year, actually entering August with a winning record before regaining their senses and flopping with glorious misery the last two months. We trust there will be no such anxieties this year. Is a 30-year run of uninterrupted losing within reach? You can count on this much. There will be no lack of effort from the old Bucko's.
We hereabouts should find monitoring the works of the defected Theo Epstein amusing. It might even become the favored game within the game if the Red Sox continue to founder while our ex-Boy Wonder suddenly regains his magic touch in Chicago. It's not likely given that the Red Sox can't possibly be that bad nor are the Cubs remotely capable of being any better. But free of the inherent zaniness of the Fenway scene an older and wiser Epstein can methodically re-build that historically haunted franchise brick by brick without being lashed every inch of the way by the frenzied get-a-lifers of Red Sox Nation.
In the era of big money and ridiculous contracts the competition for the booby prize as the year's biggest bust has become a particular interest here. Last year's co-winners were Jayson Werth of the Nationals and your very own Carl Crawford, both of whom interestingly look capable of repeating their folly this year.
So who gets crushed by the overwhelming weight of idiotic expectations in 2012? It's not likely to be Albert Pujols who has long been a great player, although to justify his 10-year, quarter of a billion dollar pact with the Angels he must be even better through 2022. Highly unlikely!
The burden is even greater on Joey Votto having just landed a 12-year, $251 million pact with Cincinnati after just four nice seasons that in no way compare with what Lou Gehrig once did. Yet as one of the weakest of the ever financially-strapped small market teams the Reds can't afford for Votto to be much less than as good as Gehrig. Good Luck!
But the pick for this year's honors is the Rangers' $112 million international prize, Yu Darvish. Call it Daisuke redux!
|Page 2 of 2
If you found this article interesting please consider helping us continue to spread the Good News.