Bad boys, bad boys, what cha gonna, do? What cha gonna do when they come for you? (Theme from “Cops”)
Now citing the lyrics from “Cops” may be a bit extreme regarding this piece of work but some of the things that I am about to say will almost certainly prove that just because you cannot be prosecuted doesn’t mean that the act is not criminal.
Recently it was revealed that Pirates skipper John Russell and GM Neil Huntington had covertly been given contract extensions ’way back in October 2009. In my opinion that is sort of like giving the CEO of BP a huge bonus and a spanking brand new contract.
The bloodletting at PNC Park is still continuing. How in the hell can this be explained? The deal was signed after the Pirates had once again finished far below .500 and management again proved for the umpteenth year that no management is “good” management. It is offensive that anyone should be rewarded for the Pirates performance of 2010, especially signing new deals before the season started. The Pirates reportedly committed to raising payroll by an undisclosed amount for 2010. Well, we’re still waiting.
This manager and general manager have to be two of the worst evaluators of pitching talent in MLB history. Remember it takes pitching to win. I don’t care how much offense a squad has if their pitching is weak, oh well, you know the rest. By the way, I never thought that I would miss Pirates ex-VP, GM Dave Littlefield but damn, I would take Littlefield over Huntington right now, posthaste. At least under “Daring” Dave there were times that the Pirates had three decent starters in their rotation. What is up with extending the contracts of losing managers and coaches?
I feel empathy for the people who have to be the public face (at least as far as the media is concerned) of the franchise on a daily basis. Pirates vice president of Community and Public Affairs Patty Paytas, director of Media Relations Jim Trdinich and manager of Media Relations Dan Hart are three perfect examples of exuding dignity and class when the on the field product and some of the management by-products seem to be totally clueless and classless. These individuals are a credit to MLB and Pirates. Do you suppose it might be torture on a regular basis for Paytas, Trdinich and Hart to face the public? My hat goes off to them but what is is. No one seems to come for the incompetent coaches and managers very often. They just keep on getting paid.
Take the case of ex-Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis. Weis only coached seven games before he was given a new contract. Notre Dame tore up his original deal and signed him to a new 10-year deal. At the time the deal was signed it made him the highest paid coach in college football. The extension was reported to have been between $30 and $40 million.
In 2004 Weis originally had signed a six-year contract through the 2010. The new deal for the deposed coach had been scheduled to run through 2015.
News flash—2009 SOUTH BEND, IN.—Charlie Weis arrived at Notre Dame flashing Super Bowl rings and talking about out-scheming opponents. He leaves one of college football’s most prestigious programs without even matching the records of the two men who were fired before him. (ESPN)
Notre Dame (6-6) finished the 2009 season on a four-game losing streak with a team that was vastly talented. That made Weis’ firing seem inevitable, though the athletic director insisted it wasn’t.
“For many of you who may have thought that was a foregone conclusion, I would say to you that the decision was harder than you might have thought, principally because of the man it involved.“ Hmm……very interesting.
Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt signed his first contract extension in 2007 and inked another one in 2010. He is a great recruiter but his only method of coaching seems to be to run the wheels off his running back and play defense. Do any of you remember the old Aubrey Bruce saying? “It takes players to make a coach because you can’t coach if you do not have the players.”
If Wannstedt had not been gifted with players such as LeSean “Shady” McCoy (who almost beat WVU singlehandedly) and Dion Lewis, (who almost beat everybody singlehandedly) there is no telling what the win-loss column would be for Pitt. The Pirates can sign all the managers and general managers their heart desire but until they sign some players and spend some loot, they may as well be playing monopoly.
(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412.583.6741.)