You People Sicken Me: Ryan is NOT the Answer

Dear Pirate fans,
I’m tired of griping about the uselessness of Matt Kata and Cesar Izturis. I’m tired of hearing about how Rajai Davis is the second coming of Lou Brock, and how Nate McLouth deserves an extended look as an everyday center fielder. I’m tired of talking about the pros and cons of having Josh Phelps as a backup catcher. I’m tired of Shawn Chacon pitching like Shawn Chacon.
I’m tired of losing.
I’m tired of staring in disbelief as Jason Bay watches another called third strike float by. I’m tired of seeing Ronny Paulino playing effortlessly behind the plate. I’m tired of sitting through three-minute commercial breaks while Jim Tracy is micromanaging in lost-cause games.
I’m tired of losing.
But you know what? I grin and bear it. I realize that my favorite team—my only team—is awful. Terrible. It flat-out stinks, and it deserves to be the punchline of every joke made around every black and gold water cooler. I get that. And I get that there’s no hope for the present and even less hope for the future. At times it makes me want to pick up my television and throw it out the window. At times it makes me wonder why I care so much.
I’m tired of losing.
But you know what? If I hear one more yinzer whining that Michael Ryan deserved a call-up over Matt Kata, I’m going to be physically sick. I get that Ryan’s tearing up Triple-A Indianapolis, and I get that Kata’s nothing more than a futility infielder. I get that we’re all a little frustrated with handing away games on a nightly basis.
I’m tired of losing, too.
But you know what? Michael Ryan is not the answer. He never will be the answer. I’m sure he’s a great guy, and I bet he’d do right by his home-town Pirates. He’d hustle down the first-base line; he’d play a serviceable right field while Ryan Doumit and Xavier Nady lick their wounds.
But if you seriously think that bypassing a 30-year-old journeyman outfielder is worthy of discussion, then I can’t believe you’re reading this blog. Whine about not taking Matt Wieters in June’s draft. Whine about not seeing Steven Pearce in Pittsburgh already. Whine about moving Neil Walker to third base despite a dearth of catching depth in the Pirates’ system. Whine about our lack of Latin prospects that came as a result of ignorantly refusing to scout a baseball-rich region of the world.
But please, spare me. Michael Ryan? How can you believe that a guy whose lifetime batting average is .265—who’s never earned more than 120 at-bats in a major-league season—who’s clearly not going to be a Pittsburgh Pirate in 2008—how can you believe that this guy is the savior? How can you believe he’s going to make a difference down the stretch? Why do you care so much about the 25th man on the roster of the worst team in baseball?
You know what, start a Michael Ryan for president campaign. Get him called up to Pittsburgh. Let him have his one plate appearance each week. Go ahead.
All you’ll be doing is shuffling the deck chairs on a sinking ship.
With much love,
Cory Humes
Pittsburgh Lumber Co.

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16 Responses to “You People Sicken Me: Ryan is NOT the Answer”

  1. Jeff Kallman Says:

    Cory—I take it you have no intention of producing that next great baseball film, Saving Pirate Ryan.—Jeff

  2. Brad Crouse Says:

    Damn Boy! That was one hell of a rant!!

  3. Cory Humes Says:

    I enjoy Dejan’s work, and read his Pirates coverage in the PG obsessively — but the last thing I want to see after a loss like last night’s is another question about Michael Ryan. Good lord. MICHAEL RYAN. Ugh, just thinking about it makes me angry again…

  4. Charles J. Ryan Says:

    might find this worthwhile

  5. Allen Iverson Says:

    “We’re talking about Michael Ryan, man. We’re talking about Michael Ryan. We’re talking about Michael Ryan. We’re not talking about Steven Pearce. We’re talking about Michael Ryan. When you come to Indy, and you see Steven Pearce play, you’ve seen him play right, you’ve seen him give everything he’s got, but we’re talking about Michael Ryan right now.”

  6. Pirate Fool Says:

    Its less about Michael Ryan vs. Matt Kata for me, as both are nothing more than organizational filler. Adam Boeve is probably another name to throw into the discussion as minor league filler that probably would have been a better fit than Kata.
    It just boggles my mind that the organization realizes that it has no right fielders left at the big league level, and despite the fact that there is minor league filler available to play right field, we choose to promote another utility infielder (as if we didn’t have enough of those) and make our third baseman the starting right fielder.
    And Bautista is a HORRIBLE right fielder.

  7. Cory Humes Says:

    What would you rather have, Castillo and Bautista in the lineup, or Bautista and Michael Ryan?
    When Kata and Izturis start earning playing time over Castillo again, we’ll have a whole new discussion. But if Kata’s nothing more than a bench player—and that’s all he should be—then this comes down to who would you rather have riding the pine.
    My answer? It doesn’t matter, not in the slightest.

  8. Travis Says:

    I respectfully disagree. Ryan was blocked by one of the best OF in baseball with the Twins. He had a bad year in AAA last year for sure. He had a great spring and was one of only a few guys on the team not embarrassed when Dice K was pitching. He hit a frozen rope to 1st. Just because someone is 30 yrs old doesn’t mean they don’t have a few more productive years left. Thank goodness age was not an issue for Mike Easler. You can look up his stats in a Pirate uniform and his age. On this team that is absolutely pathetic offensively, he should be playing RF. He has a better bat than Bautista. Let him come up and play him for a week in RF. If he bombs then that is it, pull the plug. Kata being called up because he is a favorite of Jim Tracy/DL is exactly what is wrong with this organization. Compared to the “hitters” on this team, Ryan should be in the lineup point blank. Is he a “savior” absolutely not. Is he better than guys on the MLB roster right now absolutely yes.

  9. Cory Humes Says:

    And I’m not disagreeing with any of that, Travis. My point is this: Why do we care about the 25th man on the roster (which either Kata or Ryan would be)? You’re not going to go into the 2008 season with Ryan expected to be a serious contributor—at least not if you’re planning on being a half-decent team.
    “Shuffling deck chairs” is the analogy I used. Like I said, Ryan probably deserved the call-up … but the difference between a Michael Ryan and a Matt Kata is so minimal, the point is moot.
    Does Ryan have a limited upside? Sure, I said that in the tier chart Tuesday. But why why why why why why why why why are we arguing over which crappy organizational solider got promoted?
    The Pirates are a terrible baseball team, and one 30-year-old outfielder with no track record of success is not going to change that.

  10. Travis Says:

    I guess our fundamental difference comes down to I believe Ryan is currently a 275 hitter with decent power in MLB (If he plays everyday). On THIS team that is a valuable bat. Tracy and DL are completely incompetent. This team wouldn’t have Doumit or Sanchez in the lineup unless injuries occured. Manto/Tracy/DL have ZERO ability to evaluate or care about decent bats (except for the LaRoche trade when he fleeced Atlanta, then Manto torpedoed LaRoche of course). Ryan is a Doumit type of bat you said you would like to have more of. Not an all-star, but a servicable bat. On this team, a servicable bat should be priority #1. Not signing finished 33 yr old pitchers with a $14MM contract.

  11. Cory Humes Says:

    You really think Michael Ryan’s that kind of bat? Why?
    He’s hitting .269/.321/.498 at Indianapolis. In August, he’s hitting .244/.294/.444. His last time through the bigs—in 2005—he hit .231.
    I can’t see the comparison to Doumit. Ryan has no track record of success, and one “lucky” year at Triple-A isn’t going to change my mind on that.

  12. Travis Says:

    Unfortunately what we think in the end does not matter, only what DL thinks. What DL usually thinks is most often wrong.

  13. The ‘Ocracy Weekender 8-17-07 | sportsocracy [dot] org Says:

    […] More Pirates disgust, in convenient love letter form – MVN […]

  14. Newmie Says:

    We have decent bench players, but they all start. Another thought, what does Tracy have against platoons? When Duffy went down, I thought this would be a good time to platoon McLouth and Davis. Even when Tracy does it he says its not a platoon. There are many winning teams that had platoons. Sure I’d love to have an absolut certain player at every position, but that doesn’t happen to many teams. Teams like the Pirates should be utilizing this method to evaluate their current roster. What a train wreck this organization is.

  15. Paul Says:

    I’m tired of seeing the Bucs lose too. I’d like to see some more consistency with the starting lineups. A team thats been perenial losers needs to be able to gain some confidence over time, and that can’t possibly be done while players are continuously bounced around the lineup. Picking up Xavier Nady and Adam LaRoche were 2 of the best moves the Pirates have made in a long time. What we need now is a proven pitcher. We’ve got the talent, but no one knows what it’s like to win (sans LaRoche). The Bucs need to do whatever it takes to sign a TOP (not another Matt Morris or Tony Armas) free agent pitcher for next season.

  16. Samara Pearlstein Says:

    I am both impressed and concerned. Maybe look into Prozac?


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