Out With The Crowd: "These guys are idiots"
Pirates fan Kevin Gray is pretty bitter about Bucs ownership. He's also pretty funny on the subject. Gray spoke to me last week about the "moron" bagging on Pirate prospect Gerrit Cole, missing the closer, and whether he'd cheat with the Reds.
Kevin Gray: Howdy.
Sarah D. Bunting: Howdy! Thanks for participating.
No problem. I'm the last Pirates fan.
I'm a McCutchen fan, does that count?
[It'll] count more when he's a Yankee in three years.
I'm a Mets fan. I do a lot of rooting for random other players to pass the time. Anyway, let's get rolling here.
Who's your favorite new Pirate in 2013?
I'm not real fond of any of the offseason additions to the big-league club. I am super-high on Gerrit Cole. Actually going to see him pitch tomorrow night in Indianapolis.
What's his big-club ETA?
June perhaps. Depends on how things go in Triple A. Won't be any sooner because the Pirates want to maintain an extra year of control.
Right. And who's your least favorite addition?
To the big club? I'm absolutely befuddled as to why they'd sign Francisco Liriano. He had a broken arm and they offered him a two-year deal. Fortunately the geniuses were able to spot that in the physical and he ended up with an incentive-laden deal; still really stupid.
Anyone you were happy to see go? Who's the best departure for Pittsburgh?
Rod Barajas. Threw out 6 percent of base stealers last year. I could do that from my desk.
HA HA, yeah, we spent a year or two with that. Good old "Lightning" Rod. Emphasis on "old." Anyone you're sad is gone from last year?
Joel Hanrahan. Closers are most definitely overvalued, but he was a nice security blanket at the end of games.
What's your biggest worry for the team in 2013?
That they rack up their 21st straight losing season and don't fire the entire front office. More status-quo bullshit.
Any sense that the managing is the issue, or it's front-office flailing strictly?
It's the ownership. The owner doesn't have the knowledge, or desire to spend money on, good front-office people. We've had three of the most incompetent general managers consecutively.
Where do you see the team finishing this year? Standings or wins.
74-88. Fourth place.
Any surprises since pitchers and catchers reported? Pleasant or otherwise.
Not really. I was a little bit shocked that our GM Neal Huntington, when asked why he was sending Cole to AAA, beat the hell out of him and said Cole had gotten bombed last year in Triple A and was clearly not ready for the big leagues. He had one bad start (out of two) at AAA. Why throw your top prospect under the bus? He's a moron.
But not totally shocked, I'm sure. (see: Liriano)
Not at all. These guys are idiots.
If you could tell Hurdle one thing, what would it be?
Ease up on the gum, it never did anything to you.
I'd tell him to start looking for another gig. He's too good a manager to work for these clowns.
Anything else getting on your nerves? Pirates, other players, headlines? Mine today: "A perfecto against the Astros doesn't count." 'Cause Darvish is such a chump. Sigh.
Not particularly. I've started taking interest in the Reds this year. I may cheat on the Pirates if this continues. …Yeah, Darvish looked pretty good. Interesting to see if he fizzles like all the other Japanese pitchers have.
Or Fukudome did. I didn't even realize he'd packed it in and gone back to Japan. He was so fun for like two months and then he vanished.
Other than Ichiro and Hideki [Matsui] the Japanese thing has been a failure.
Kevin Gray hails from Indianapolis (originally from Pittsburgh), where he watches the next generation of Pirates flops hone their failures with the Indianapolis Indians. During his 36 years, the Bucs have turned in ten winning seasons, all but three coming before he was out of the second grade. The highlights of his fandom in no particular order include the Pittsburgh Drug Trials and conviction of the Pirate Parrot for narcotics sales; Sid Bream's winning run on two broken legs in the 1992 NLCS; and the free-agent signings of Derek Bell, Pat Meares, and Walt Terrell.
Tags: AJ Burnett Andrew McCutchen Cincinnati Reds Clint Hurdle Derek Bell Francisco Liriano Gerrit Cole Hideki Matsui Ichiro! Joel Hanrahan Kevin Gray Kosuke Fukudome Neal Huntington New York Mets Out With The Crowd Pat Meares Pittsburgh Pirates Rod Barajas Sid Bream Walt Terrell Yu Darvish