Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Pirates

The Pirates haven't won dick in a really long time. Why? They have a bad farm system, a bad big league organization, have made bad decisions, and ultimately can't afford good players because they have no revenue. I saw they just hired a new manager who will fail because the players stink and no free agents will sign there because it's hopeless. These guys need to get themselves out of hiring the same old baseball guys doing the same old bullshit. They got to shake it up down there, no?

It's with that in mind that I have written a letter to their GM Neal Huntington to offer my services to turn that thing around...It's in the Nov 15th mail. Let's see if they decide to answer the door when opportunity knocks!

Greg Miller
P.O. Box 771101
Lakewood, OH 44107

Neal Huntington
Pittsburgh Pirates
PNC Park
115 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Dear Neal,

It has recently come to my attention that you have decided to hire John Russell on as your manager for the 2008 season. Now, I don’t know John personally, but he seems to be “a good baseball man”. Without question he has a proven track record in the minors, and seems to have the enthusiasm necessary for the task at hand. But you and I both know that the long Bataan Death March of an MLB season can take a toll on even the best of intentions when your starting pitching is as shaky as a house of cards on a windswept beach.

Neal, let’s cut to the chase here...I think both you and I suspect that this team might go south on John before you sneak into the playoffs. In 2008 you'll have that grace period of being in the first year. I would recommend spending a lot of time in the press next year talking about "building a foundation" and "creating a championship core of players". That will keep those sons of bitches in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette sports section off your ass for at least the first year. We're both rational, educated men. You and I both know that no matter what happens, you'll be able to point to the 4-6 players that produce next year and dangle the carrot of unrealistic expectations with them as key players in a Utopian future. It's when it all goes south in Year II that you'll need a scapegoat, and A New Plan For A New Tomorrow. That is when I step in...

That situation down there is no pretty picnic. It's a thankless job to toil in the sweatshop of MLB. Those two smug little Ivy League wunderkinds Epstein and Cashman don't have to deal with your Wal Mart payroll and limited revenue streams, now do they? Hell, everyone seems like a genius with $30 million to blow on a utility infielder and situational left hander. It seems to me that the situation down there needs a bit of a paradigm shift for any chance of success. Here's what I propose: Install me as the manager at the first sign of trouble. Granted, I have NO BASEBALL EXPERIENCE, but I do tend to succeed at everything I do.

The shocking move of installing a complete baseball outsider as a manager will, at first, be universally panned. Those clowns at ESPN will go crazy. What do they know? They're a bunch of C student journalism majors that couldn't cut it at the NY Times for God's Sake! Now they're making wise cracks while running down MLS soccer highlights in some fluorescent lit compound in Bristol, Connecticut. Do we really care about them?

The people of Pittsburgh...Now, that's another matter. These folks are tired of the losing. The people of Pittsburgh will probably call for your head on a stake outside of Gate A. Don't sweat it. The security installed at PNC Park makes the US Embassy in Iran green with envy. Your position between the rivers is a perfect defensive position. If necessary, I'm sure the staff can beat them back with fire hoses and tasers. The fans will be on board soon enough.

Now, I'm sure you are asking yourself what the possible upside is with me as your manager...

1) I have consistently guided my fantasy teams to the playoffs year after year. Granted, sitting in a major league dugout on Gameday may be different than knocking back cold PBR's on my couch watching the game on the tube, but the decision making process is the same. Take your best guys, put them out there, and give them a chance to make plays. Managing pitching? When Zach Duke gives up a couple screaming line drives to the bottom of the Padres order, it's time to bring in anyone to take a shot at getting the next few batters out. Jack Wilson shows up hungover after a tough loss in Houston? Shove him out there if he hit Wandy Rodriguez well last time and see what happens.

2) A manager effects 3-5 games a year in the won/loss column (depending on who you ask). As long as I don't pinch hit myself in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game, what could possibly go wrong? Tony LaRussa hits pitchers eighth, and sportswriters talk about him like he's Albert Fucking Einstein. I'll show up everyday, manage more by the book than Mike Hargrove, and look like I just split an atom. It's baseball. It's not like I'm trying to figure out those pesky tiles on the space shuttle.

3) Think about the mind crushing novelty of having a fan take over the dugout. I'm as personable as a hooker during Fleet Week. The fans will take to me like a bad habit. I'm one of them. Plus, think of the message you send to those under performing players. "Hey Jason Bay...We're paying you big money, and you hit .247? We just named a guy with no experience our manager. You think we won't put you to work in the right field bleachers selling Lemon Chills unless we see some production? Think again my little Canadian friend, think again. You are under contact, and we own you."

The bottom line is you have finally differentiated the Pittsburgh Pirates from the other also rans in MLB. The Pirates are the "Fun Team". The team that takes chances. The team that The Common Man can root for. How much am I worth in merch sales? $90-120 million easy. We'll be America's Team in a way the Dallas Cowboys could only dream of...Rap stars will wear our gear...Springsteen will write a song about us...Men will want to be us, and women will ache to be close to us. If we take a third of that estimated $100 million in merchandise into payroll, what do we have? You guessed it...a competitive ballclub.

Look, you made a commitment to John. I understand that. I'm not suggesting you don't see that through. I hope it works out. I really do. But from my vantage point, I'm just seeing the same plan producing the same result. It's time to shake it up. It's time for a new direction. It's time for a clearly under qualified manager to take the reins, and lead this organization back to the greatness of yore.

I look forward to you and I getting together to discuss the future of The Pittsburgh Pirates. Drop me a line to let me know the best time to get together. It looks like I may be in town in early December. I really think we can accomplish great things together. I anxiously await your response.


Greg Miller

P.S. I might have to miss a few weekend games due to gigs with my band The Whiskey Daredevils, but my buddy Rocque could fill in for me while I'm gone. I'd make him Bench Coach at the start of the season so the guys wouldn't feel weird about me being gone. He knows baseball really well, so I don't feel as if there would be much of a drop off while I was out. Once you get to know him, I'm sure you'll agree.


At November 14, 2007 at 4:35:00 PM EST , Blogger ScottyJ said...

That is a brilliant!!! I live 4 hours away from Pittsburgh, but I'd be a new season ticket holder for the Miller-led Pirates!

One question, would you wear the MLB-approved jacket on cold evenings or your leather jacket?

At November 17, 2007 at 9:14:00 AM EST , Blogger Greg Miller said...

I would be the first manager not to wear a uniform. I would wear camo cargo shorts, a t shirt, and flip flops in the summer. In the fall? A sensible black leather coat is always in style!

At November 29, 2007 at 9:34:00 AM EST , Blogger Ken said...

Any word back from The Pirates yet?


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