Thursday, September 18, 2008

Goodbye Hickory,Hello West Virginia

The Pirates announced yesterday that they will be moving their Low A affiliate from Hickory to Charleston West Virginia for next season.
The moved makes sense for the Pirates to bring the team closer to Pittsburgh,but I cannot help but have some regrets for the loss of Hickory.
The Crawdad hats and unis are far better than the "UPS" togs of the Power,but this was pretty much a mutual decision as Hickory had grown tired of the less than talented teams that they were getting.
The people in Charleston seem pretty happy with the Pirates coming for the most part.
Lets see if the tune changes when the worst team in the minors moves their "talent" there for 2009.

Still no word on the Pirates High A team yet.
There are three choices for the Pirates and really none are totally in their power (no pun intended).
1: They will stay in Lynchburg (Lynchburg ,like Hickory has not seemed very thrilled with the teams that they have been getting.
2: Move to Winston-Salem.
That would keep the Pirates in the Carolina League (which they need badly to do) and in a brand new ballpark that opens next year,but moves the team farther from Pittsburgh and the new Low A affiliate in Charleston WV.
3: Move to the California or Florida State League,which would be only if they lose out on both Lynchburg and Winston-Salem and not by their choice either.

The Hagerstown Suns as expected re-upped with the Washington Nationals for another two year term.
Good move for both teams,now that this is finished-can we please dump the Orange and Black unis and go to something more fitting for a Washington farm club???

With the New York Mets renewing their SAL deal with Savannah,only Hickory is left standing right now without a parent club.
Doing some simple detective work off this chart from Baseball America,the Crawdads are going to be hooked up with either the Seattle Mariners or the Texas Rangers.

Winston-Salem will be changing their name from the Warthogs in the new ballpark.
Everything that I have read and (person talked to) has indicated that the new name will be Rhinos to keep things as close to the popular nickname and logo as possible,yet still being able to sell new things....
I liked the Warthog name and logo,but their uniforms led much to be desired.
Winston-Salem supposedly is not enchanted with their parent club in the White Sox,so they could be shopping for a new supplier of talent and Mandalay baseball will taking over the management of the team for 2009,although they will not own it.
Mandalay has a similar arrangement with the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Yankees....

The Pirates burst through with eight runs in the bottom of the seventh to break a 7-7 tie in a 15-8 win over the Dodgers.
Huge nights for Adam LaRoche (21st and 22nd HRS and 5 RBI) and Ryan Doumit (14th HR and 4 RBI) and John Grabow was the winner (6-3).

Shawn's Thoughts

1) Grabow blew the lead in the top of the inning,so he gained the benefit of those runs without pitching well.
I still think Grabow gets moved over the winter despite the crappy state of the Buc bullpen.
He will get a raise and for how he performs,he wont be worth what they have to pay him.

2) The Post-Gazette looks at Adam LaRoche's situation as far as arbitration goes for next year.
I have mixed feelings on that.
He certainly will get a sizable raise,but the constant horrific starts to the season always makes you wonder if he is worth it.
The raise will come because at the end of each season,the numbers are reasonably good and the Pirates will not likely find anyone better at the cost that they will want to pay.
I guess keep him around unless someone knocks you over with an offer.

3) Besides the only person in the system that could replace LaRoche is Steve Pearce,who apparently has pissed someone off because he plays so seldomly....

4) Anyone else find the humor in the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw starting today against the Buccos?
The 20 year old Kershaw was drafted after the Pirates picked Brad Lincoln in 2006 draft.
So much for the quicker path to the big leagues theory that Littlefield/Creech lived by,huh?

5) The Pirates open the 2009 campaign in St.Louis on April 6th and the home opener is April 13th against the Houston Astros.
The Pirates home debut is the same day as the home curtain raiser for the Hagerstown Suns.

Pitching Matchup
Los Angeles:Clayton Kershaw (4-5 4.41 ERA) at Pittsburgh:Paul Maholm (9-8 3.68 ERA) 12:35

The Seattle Seahawks continue to amaze me.
Veteran defensive end Jason Babin was released to make room for Keary Colbert on the roster.
Babin is an average lineman,but the Seahawks continue to carry kicker Brandon Coutu on the team.
That is two kickers for those of you scoring at home.
The bewildering part is this.
The Seahawks released Justin Forsett and Jordan Kent instead of Coutu because they "Needed help right away",but released Babin because "Coutu is part of the future and can't lose sight of that".
All in a 10 day span?
I expect this kind of dumbness from the Browns,but the Seahawks have always seemed to have a better handle on things.

Photo Credits
Power logo:West Virginia Power
Warthogs:Lauren Carroll-Winston-Salem Journal
LaRoche:AP Photo


The Bag of Health and Politics said...

Got to agree, I think Red, White and Blue uniforms would be the best.

Shawn said...

A look similar to Potomac would be fine with me and maybe something different with the hats.
A red hat with a curly H sorta like Harrisburg's old look...