HT Baseball Preview: Ryan Stasik’s Pirates

I am excited to watch our best players Freddy Sanchez and Jason Bay become consistent scorers and defensive players. We exchanged our closer Mike Gonzalez for first baseman Adam LaRoche (32 HR, 90 RBI, .561 SLG), who I hope has a great season and melds well into the world of the black and gold. Jack Wilson is a good shortstop and decent hitter, but I have problems with second baseman Jose Castillo. I think he sucks quite frankly and would rather see Jose Bautista take third base while Freddy Sanchez gets action at second.

The outfield is strong with all-star Jason Bay and a talented Xavier Nady. Not much arm strength out there, but we are the Pirates and we take what we can get. Chris Duffy will get the start in center and he has the speed to steal over 50 bases this season in the leadoff spot.

Photo by Matt Ziegler

Pitching?!? Oh no! Well, we will need big seasons out of our so-called star Zach Duke, as well as Ian Snell, Tom Gorzelanny, and Paul Maholm. Not much to say in the pitching department except cross your fingers and pray for a lot of defense.

Overall the offense looks all right, Brad Eldred is a nice addition but what I really care about is finishing higher than the Cubs. Lets go Bucs!!! Who knows maybe this year we can finish over .500? Doubt it. But I know one thing for sure: I will be at Wrigley wearing my Roberto Clemente jersey and ol’ Kent Tekulve hat cheering on the Bucs to beat the Cubs during there visit here in May.

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14 Responses

  1. Anyone who counts Andy van Slyke as a hero is a friend of mine…his was the first baseball card I had as a kid that I thought was awesome. van Slyke might be one of the cooler last names of all-time.

    I’ve got Zach Duke as one of my starters on my fantasy team (late-round pickup, not bad for an Opening Day starter), and I’d love for him to pan out this year. He had it in 2005, but I’m not sure he coulda been more disappointing last year. I’m anxious to see Gorzelanny throw…hear great things.

    Thanks for the preview, Ryan. Not get back to the bass!

  2. I can’t imagine being a Pirates fan, that must be painful. At the same time is it better to never be in it, or to lose late in the playoffs every year?

    I’ll have to ask a Braves fan.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to write the column, Ryan (great idea, Scotty). You clearly have been keeping up with the Buccos a bit more than I have. After fifteen years of futility, my far-fetched hopes are usually crashed early into June if not earlier. Lets hope we have something good to talk about later this summer . . . (See you on Friday the 13th.)

  4. Fantastic idea gents. Doug Drabek’s son is playing for the ‘Claws this year so we’ll see if any of his Pop’s talent rubbed off on him…or something.

  5. It’s a good thing he’s a bass player. That means he can grab a random Pirates fan, take his ticket to the game, put the fan on stage with the bass, and we’d all be none the wiser.

  6. Sisto… you must be more of a baseball fan than a music fan. Trust me WE would all be much WISER… there’s no replacing Stasik on the bassik;)

  7. Thanks for putting this together Scotty B! Stasik sure has lots of love for his Pirates! (Maybe someday he will see the light and convert to a Cubs fan!)Also, I couldn’t help but remember some MLB trivia: Stasik mentioned that he was going to wear his Roberto Clemente jersey to a Cubs vs. Pirates game. Well, if Cubs fans will remember, I believe Clemente hit the farthest Home Run in Wrigley Field history. If I am not mistaken, it sailed just to the left of the centerfield scoreboard and out of the park! Let’s unite, Cubs fans, and make sure we heckle Stasik if he is so bold as to wear that jersey! 😉

    -b

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