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The W - Baseball - Are the Pirates Contenders?
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redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

Since last post: 513 days
Last activity: 513 days
#1 Posted on
Considering the mediocrity that is the N.L. Central (at this point, 85 wins looks like a good bet to win the division), are the Pirates now one of the 5 contenders for the divison. Despite playing bad ball the first half, they are now only 5 out in the loss column, thus closer to first than either the Dodgers, Phillies, A's or D-Backs in their respective divisons. If Benson gets on a roll and with Williams closing, the Pirates might be able to keep things interesting in the Central.



If Vince would just hire Dick Dastardly and Muttly and tell them to Catch the Pigeon, it would draw at least an 8 rating.
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darkdragoon
Bockwurst








Since: 26.8.02

Since last post: 3730 days
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#2 Posted on
Sure why not? The cards are basically outslugging people while harping on how great their fans are and that their manager is a genius, cubs are starting to play like the cubs, Cincy can come back but that's about it, houston seems lost with oswalt and miller are struggling.

(edited by darkdragoon on 5.7.03 2127)
PeterStork
Sujuk








Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

Since last post: 75 days
Last activity: 1 day
#3 Posted on

    Originally posted by darkdragoon
    The cards are basically outslugging people while harping on how great their fans are and that their manager is a genius


What do the Cards' fans, and how great they are (MLB players voted them the best by a nice margin, around 25% more than the second and third place teams, the BoSox and Yankees,) have to do with the subject? While you're at it, why not take a shot at HHH?

The Pirates are good but not in the race just yet. St. Louis will continue to outslug, and blow a game or two...a week...thanks to the weak pen (Estaban Yan my ass.) Speaking of, Yan showed us today a good example of why the Cubs aren't being the normal Cubs just yet: they can still win ballgames. As much as I hate them, Houston's not out of it either. And Cincinnati could come back down fifty runs in the bottom of the ninth if they wanted.

Pittsburgh might get into the race, but they're not in it yet. Too soon to think about 2004, though.



exit 670 dot com

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darkdragoon
Bockwurst








Since: 26.8.02

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#4 Posted on
Because it's being driven more as a "we're better than you" thing. until they start winning more than one of the weakest divisions in baseball, I'm not buying it.
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
It's more likely you'll see Brian Giles get dealt than you will see the Pirates in contention.



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PeterStork
Sujuk








Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

Since last post: 75 days
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#6 Posted on

    Originally posted by darkdragoon
    Because it's being driven more as a "we're better than you" thing. until they start winning more than one of the weakest divisions in baseball, I'm not buying it.


Again, I don't see your correlation between the fans and this race, other than your need to get in a cheap shot. Don't cry because it's true.

As for the Central being weak, that's a 2003 thing, not an annual thing. Twice in the past five years the division has produced the Wild Card winner, and though it has more weak teams than any other division, well, it has more TEAMS than any other division so that's going to be a big possibility any season.

And the Cardinals, when winning their "weak division," have a nine-and-oh record in the NLDS (with a 2-3 record the year they were co-winners/WC champs.) So after they won their "weak division" they went out and made either the champion of the stronger West or East division (the Padres, Braves and D-Backs respectively) their bitch.



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darkdragoon
Bockwurst








Since: 26.8.02

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#7 Posted on
An actual pennant race between great teams is very draining--what's going on in the central is more like who isn't terrible today. As you got a pretty good look last year, the Giants were actually a better team than we were, yet they ended up being the wild card.

Yeah, the Braves are in a similar situation, minus the Phillies run in '93 and the Mets in 2000, but they won it all once. Torre's won 4 rings since LaRussa's arrived. Even when he was with the A's, a sure dynasty, apparently Lasorda and Pinella are up there in the genius manager book.
TheCow
Landjager








Since: 3.1.02
From: Knoxville, TN

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#8 Posted on
For some reason, the NL Central reminds me somewhat of the NFL. The teams are incredibly evenly matched (except for, of course, the Brewers (the who?)), and when they play each other, there's a good chance that the outcome won't be predetermined (see Tigers v. anyone). Besides, what can the Cards do about the other 5 teams in the division? The Brewers sure don't look like they're making an effort to improve, the Pirates have been rebuilding since '93, the Reds are young, but need pitching, Houston's off and on again, and the Cubs are ....well.... they've got a lot of talent, but they're still ....the Cubs. Don't get me wrong, I love (beating) 'em, but they've still got that whole haven't-won-in-100-years stigma going for 'em. (And yes, I hate Esteban Yan too.)

(Besides, should Cards fans have a "we're worse than you" stigma? That doesn't make any sense.)

As for the Pirates ....probably not. Either Lofton, Giles, or both will get dealt before the deadline, probably Lofton.







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skorpio17
Morcilla








Since: 11.7.02
From: New Jersey

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#9 Posted on
NO!

The best the Pirates can hope for is that they don't finish in last place.

St. Louis is a great team on paper. They have 3 starting All-Stars, a great lineup, and 2 ace starters: Morris and Williams starting pitchers. There's no reason they shouldn't win that division.

LaRussa got voted in the top 5 of both best managers and worst managers. He hasn't done much since leaving Oakland. I agree more with the latter group. I don't like how he handles his pitchers. In a game this year against the Yankees, he left Simontachi in after he gave up 12 runs in 3 innings just to send a message.

The Reds should trade Guillen to the Dodgers for a starter like O. Perez. The Dodgers need a bat, they can't hit Good.
JayJayDean
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

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#10 Posted on
According to Las Vegas odds, the answer is NO. Unless you consider 75-1 that they'll be winning the pennant as validation of them being a contender.



Washington Huskies, 2003 Pac-10 football champs. Coming soon.
darkdragoon
Bockwurst








Since: 26.8.02

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#11 Posted on
    Originally posted by skorpio17
    NO!

    The best the Pirates can hope for is that they don't finish in last place.

    St. Louis is a great team on paper. They have 3 starting All-Stars, a great lineup, and 2 ace starters: Morris and Williams starting pitchers. There's no reason they shouldn't win that division.

    LaRussa got voted in the top 5 of both best managers and worst managers. He hasn't done much since leaving Oakland. I agree more with the latter group. I don't like how he handles his pitchers. In a game this year against the Yankees, he left Simontachi in after he gave up 12 runs in 3 innings just to send a message.

    The Reds should trade Guillen to the Dodgers for a starter like O. Perez. The Dodgers need a bat, they can't hit Good.



That's the thing--morris and woody haven't been healthy all that long, and even then so, Morris gets a lot of run support. The lineup is scary put together, but if you can keep at least Pujols down, you have a much better shot. I just think it's a shame Kata is right up there with Hart, but only got noticed last week.

Guillen didn't do well for some reason out here in AZ, I dunno if he could take LalaLand.

(edited by darkdragoon on 7.7.03 1853)
HitTheSnoozeButton
Boudin rouge








Since: 2.1.02
From: Pittsburgh PA

Since last post: 2123 days
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#12 Posted on
Back to the original "Are the Pirates contenders" question; The simple answer is that the next 20 games against division opponents will determine whether they stick around. As a Pittsburgher and an optimist, I think they'll have jumped to at least fourth and be about 3 1/2 games out by the end of that stretch (even though they got killed by the Brewers last night). If Benson ever starts throwing inside and Wells ever gets a decision, things could get very, very interesting, because believe it or not, the offense is there.



spf2119 is the smartest wiener of them all, and I should have never doubted him about HHH.
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Let's face it, with as bungled together as the NL Central is, are the Brewers still in the hunt?!? They're as realtviely close to first as Toronto, Oakland, and LA...



""I haven't seen a starting nine like that since the '62 Mets"
- Dennis Miller on the Democratic Presidential Candidates
PeterStork
Sujuk








Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

Since last post: 75 days
Last activity: 1 day
#14 Posted on
I think the difference here is the caliber of those teams only a few games out: I have no doubt that LA could run off a winning streak if San Fran or 'Zona decided to tank, but I don't think the same would happen with the Brewers.



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StaggerLee
Scrapple








Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#15 Posted on
Plus, why is evenly matched equated to midiocre? (Christ can I spell ANYTHING?)

I think the Cubs are playing above themselves, the Cards are below what they should be, and Cincy and Houston are doing just fine. All are quality teams, but none are gonna blow the rest away. It isnt that they all suck, its that they are all good.
TheCow
Landjager








Since: 3.1.02
From: Knoxville, TN

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#16 Posted on
I'm not sure I agree with that entirely. The Cards and Cubs are playing just about where I expect, the Astros are playing a bit under where I'd see them, and Cincy should be better than where they're at, although if any team was to slip, it'd be them.







Which Neglected Mario Character Are You?

redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

Since last post: 513 days
Last activity: 513 days
#17 Posted on

    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    Plus, why is evenly matched equated to midiocre? (Christ can I spell ANYTHING?)

    I think the Cubs are playing above themselves, the Cards are below what they should be, and Cincy and Houston are doing just fine. All are quality teams, but none are gonna blow the rest away. It isnt that they all suck, its that they are all good.







Cincy is 9 under .500. How is that a quality team?
The division is mediocre (much as the AL Central) because no one seems able to get more than a few games over .500. If Houston/Chicago/St. Louis were in the 9-12 game over category, then it wouldn't be considered mediocrity. When everyone is sinking towards a point where teams 8-10 games under .500 are within striking distance, then mediocrity might actually be a compliment.



If Vince would just hire Dick Dastardly and Muttly and tell them to Catch the Pigeon, it would draw at least an 8 rating.
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