June 4: Mets (28-23) @ Pirates (24-28)

I apologize for not blogging earlier, but I’ve been busy typing away at a whole bunch of “Nate McLouth trade, Day Two stories” up until this point. You’ll find a player reaction piece on the site shortly, though plain and simple, players did not seem pleased by Wednesday’s development.

Part of that is due to the sadness of losing one of the standup guys in the clubhouse, a guy who was well liked by everyone. But much of it was also due to the shock that we all felt on Wednesday. Trust me, when my phone rang at about 6:30 last night to tell me this was going down, I had to ask twice to make sure I heard McLouth’s name.

There are questions in the clubhouse about whether this means management is giving up on the 2009 season. And there is frustration among players who are paid to win now, many of whom may not be around when all these prospects that the Pirates are gathering establish themselves as big leaguers.

***

I also was surprised to see Nate in the clubhouse this morning. To say that he was still in shock doesn’t hit how deep the emotions were for him. While addressing the media for about five minutes, McLouth had to stop and compose himself multiple times. Tears were in his eyes. He was considerably choked up.

He’s a consummate professional and will likely adapt to the his new teammates quickly. But you could tell it stung to leave the only organization he ever knew. He truly wanted to be one of the people to turn things around in Pittsburgh. And while some may think that players would be glad to leave this team because it hasn’t won in so long, that was surely not McLouth’s first reaction to learning the news.

I hope to catch up with him again on Monday, since we’ll be in Atlanta, to see how he’s holding up after a few days have past. Right now, though, he’s having a tough time.

***

As for Andrew McCutchen, he was all smiles arriving from Indianapolis, though the poor kid had a 5:55 am flight out of Indy and through Cleveland this morning. He’s playing in centerfield and batting leadoff on Thursday, and expect him to be a fixture at both places for the rest of the season.

And, maybe I should personally thank management for finally calling McCutchen up — it will lessen the amount of emails I get on a daily basis from you all asking when the day will be here.

The attendance for today’s game hasn’t been announced yet, but it is a surprisingly large crowd for a Thursday afternoon with local schools still in session, I believe. I would imagine they all showed up to see one guy.

They’ve enjoyed a treat. He singled in his first Major-League at-bat and reached base twice in his first four at-bats. His first-inning single started a four-run first, and his leadoff walk in the fourth started a four-run inning as well.

McCutchen then knocked in his first RBI with a two-out single in the seventh. He notched his first big-league stolen base soon after. And then he came around to score on Nyjer Morgan’s triple.

***

In non-McLouth/McCutchen news, Jack Wilson was scratched from the lineup with a stomach flu. I didn’t see him at all this morning. He was expected to have further tests run during the day on Thursday before the team boards a flight to Houston.

 

 

2 Comments

can’t wait to see more from “naughty by nyjer”
http://curseofbonds.mlblogs.com/

The Pirates are a joke. Every year it’s the same old thing. Trade away proven talent for prospects who never deliver. Any free agent who signs with this team is an idiot. If you perform at all you’re just going to get dealt away and possibly to a team you might not want to play for. I understand that Pittsburgh is a small market, but if you look around the league there are plenty of teams in smaller markets that are at least competitive. Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Tampa, Florida, Oakland, and Minnesota. As a life-long fan who watched the team sign Van Slyke to a multi-year deal and let Bonds go, I’m tired. I’m tired of caring about a team that doesn’t care about anything other than the revenue sharing they get each year. “Oh, but we’re loading up on prospects,” you might say. Well, having a great AA and AAA team really doesn’t mean a whole lot if your Major League team is a joke. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, The Pirates are, at best, a Triple and a half A team. We are the league’s developmental team. We get them ready to shine and you can take them off our hands for the prospects you have no desire to keep around. Last season The Pirates outfield consisted of Nady, McClouth and Bay. Arguably, the best outfield in all of baseball. Now, we have Morgan, McCutchen, and, well, whoever has the cleanest uniform, I guess. Morgan has been a nice surprise, but he’s thoroughly untested for the long term. McCutchen is even less tested and does anyone really think that Hinske or Moss or whoever else is around is the answer in right? I, for one, will never again attend a Pirates game again. I’m tired of throwing money away on a team that should either be moved or contracted. Unfortunately, The Pirates have such a great ballpark and they make too much money to ever just go away. I’m not sure what team is going to become my new team of choice, but it’s not really a big deal. I’ll just keep rooting for ex-Pirates like Bay who are finally getting to play for a team that isn’t a complete embarassment.

And a note to whoever the Pirates decide they are going to build a team around next year: Don’t worry. You’ll be playing for a better team when you get traded in two or three years.

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