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Craig Calcaterra of HardballTimes.com admits that posting power rankings before the season starts is a bit silly. I'll leave it to the readers to define his ranking and prediction for the Pirates.


By Craig Calcaterra, HardballTimes.com

The only thing sillier than predictions about who wins each division several months before the season ends is judging which team is the best before any games are played.  But hey, that’s never stopped me before, so let’s have a Power Ranking, shall we?

And yeah, there is that big of a gap between the AL and the NL. It’s just astounding how much better the top teams in the junior circuit are.

1. Yankees: A 97-win team with rotation problems adds a couple of really good starters. Yeah, I think that plays.

2. Rangers: The two-time defending AL champs lose their top starting pitcher but add another one who, in my view anyway, will be better.  That plays too.

Read the rest of the story.
Comments (36)Add Comment
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written by hammertime, April 04, 2012 - 01:08 PM
potentially dangerous? to whom?? they don't have a .300 hitter in the line up, no power and a rotation that would be difficult to categorize as major league pitching. at the end of september, they'll be 10 to 20 games under .500; at best.
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written by johnharding, April 04, 2012 - 01:23 PM
If this goes perfect they may be good? NO KIDDING everyone would be good if everyone had career years. well not the astros smilies/cheesy.gif
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written by daveyt25, April 04, 2012 - 01:25 PM
Hammertime, I think the article was referring to Bedard, Burnett returning to their cy-young form and McDonald figuring out how to throw strikes and finally live up to his potential. 3 Pitchers who could potentially win 15-20 games a piece would easily get them above .500. Now of course this is wishful thinking and something you could mention about any team in any sport..

Is it possible, sure but probable...unlikely
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written by SufferinBuccotash, April 04, 2012 - 01:28 PM
Once again, there's that "if" word....
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written by david s, April 04, 2012 - 01:30 PM
the operative word in calcaterra's analysis is if. if burnett ... if bedard ... if mcdonald ...

actually i'd throw in more ... if morton ... if karstens ... if hanrahan ... if mccutchen ... if alvarez ... if jones/mcgahee ... if tabata ...

you could continue this through the entire lineup
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written by ISIS, April 04, 2012 - 01:34 PM
If only...

Nutting would SELL!
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written by OnlyPghSportsFan, April 04, 2012 - 02:18 PM
Funny he said Brewers will be better partly because McGehee is out - to the Pirates!

2012 Bucs - "if" at every position - even Cutch is an "if" due to his weak second half last year.

Although ST record is meaningless, my feeling is the PBC has been working lately to lower the expectations for 2012 (try to forget about those Playoff comments). They may as well set the real goal for this year - ending the streak and getting ready for next year.
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written by abaedzo, April 04, 2012 - 02:29 PM
The only "Potentially Dangerous" Pirates are the ones harassing ocean vessels in the Indian Ocean.
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written by better days coming, April 04, 2012 - 02:39 PM
OnlyPghSportsFan,

I don't think the writer was ripping McGehee. I think he was claiming that Ramirez was a fair replacement part for Fielder and simply pointing out that McGehee's departure created the opening in the field for Ramirez.
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written by Max, April 04, 2012 - 02:40 PM
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The Pirates better than 10 other teams? Better than one third of MLB?

What has this dude been smoking! smilies/grin.gifsmilies/grin.gifsmilies/grin.gif
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written by BaseballFan, April 04, 2012 - 02:51 PM
"Bucs hope rebirth starts with Bedard" - MLB, 2012

"... a new era dawns in the Steel City." - MLB, 2011

"... 2010 would begin the next era of sustained excellence for Pirates baseball" - Coonelly, 2010 (MLB)
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written by ernieo, April 04, 2012 - 02:57 PM
I think the Pirate management is giving up on the 2012 season by bringing Pedro Alvarez North. He has not proven himself ready for prime time. He is not a major league 3rd basemen. Letting him struggle at 3rd base when he had not earned his right there will not him or his teammates. Matt Hague should start at 1st and Casey McGehee should start at 3rd to begin the season. If Hague struggles and Alvarez proves himself then adjustments can be made. One good month doesn't earn Alvarez the right to first string 3rd base.
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written by Darkhorses, April 04, 2012 - 03:01 PM
OK the Red Sox had pitchers guzzling beer and eating wings in the locker room. They allow Bedard to walk who by all accounts was not causing problems in the locker room. The Yanks were a 97 win team with rotation problems. They ship off Burnett to Pittsburgh. Those teams are now called better and now all of sudden the Pirates become potentialy dangerous. I now see the logic. The Yanks and Red Sox add by subtraction and we add by picking up their scraps.
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written by gregenstein, April 04, 2012 - 03:07 PM
Pretty big "IF" he's posting there. Then again, hope springs eternal, or perhaps Spring hope eternal. He's right though...

I figure Bedard and Burnett do upgrade this rotation over the departed Maholm and likely to be bullpenned Correia (most of that coming from Correia in the bullpen). Another year wiser for McDonald...maybe this is year we win #82.

BUT...There's still a whole lot of "IF" associated with the team though. I wouldn't bank on everything working out perfectly, which is pretty much what it would take to get to .500.
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written by atmdadb77, April 04, 2012 - 03:10 PM
Maybe the Pirates would be potentially dangerous in AAA, it is going to be another sub .500 year, the woes continue…..
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written by gregenstein, April 04, 2012 - 03:11 PM
I think the Pirate management is giving up on the 2012 season by bringing Pedro Alvarez North.

I have to disagree with this, in fact I feel the opposite is true. Leaving him in AAA would be giving up on this season. McGehee isn't any more of a cleanup hitter than Neil Walker, and that's what this lineup sorely lacks, among other things.
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written by better days coming, April 04, 2012 - 03:15 PM
ernieo,

In fairness to Alvarez he really had more than one good month in 2010. He had a bade June when first brought up but played consistently well the rest of the season. The difference is that his September was huge thus the perception you and others seem to have.

That said, I don't necessarily disagree with your McGehee/Hague suggestion. I think McGehee is poised for a big season.


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written by Max, April 04, 2012 - 03:15 PM
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They need to find out if Alvarez can play. Without him, there is little hope for this year, and until they fill that crater at 3B.

I also read something about him having only one option left, and I think that means they can only send him down once more?

And, besides, don't they have to pay him his major league salary even in the minors?



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written by better days coming, April 04, 2012 - 03:17 PM
Max,

That option runs through the season so they can send him down and recall him as many times as they wish.

I think the bigger issue is that they need to decide about the two-year club option that is looming at the end of the season.
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written by hunter, April 04, 2012 - 03:18 PM
Dangerous? In the last 70 years has there ever been a MLB team start their season with a clean up hitter having a grand total of FOUR homers in his last 400+ at bats? Ever? How about one without a single legit .300 hitter? The writer of that article has lost his mind.
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written by ernieo, April 04, 2012 - 03:19 PM
The Pirates just compete with a 3rd baseman who strikes out as much as Alvarez. I hope he develops into the player everyone expects him to be but he is not there yet. He needs to work out his problems but he needs to work it out in Indianapolis and not Pittsburgh. I hope I'm wrong.
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written by ernieo, April 04, 2012 - 03:21 PM
I meant to say "can't" compete.
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written by Max, April 04, 2012 - 03:23 PM
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That option runs through the season so they can send him down and recall him as many times as they wish.


Thanks.

Then it certainly is confounding why they are rewarding him with starting on opening day.
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written by better days coming, April 04, 2012 - 03:26 PM
hunter,

1959 White Sox had one .300 hitter (Nellie Fox @.306)and hit only 97 home runs as a team. They, of course, won the AL pennant.

Just sayin... ;-)
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written by better days coming, April 04, 2012 - 03:28 PM
ernieo,

I agree.

Max,

You're certainly welcome and I agree with you. I think he needs to be in Indy.
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written by better days coming, April 04, 2012 - 03:41 PM
gregenstein,

I would argue that McGehee may be their best option as a cleanup hitter. He's a season removed from 23 HRs and 100+ RBIs albeit in a much better lineup. But he can drive in runs of men are on base in front of him.

I think your bigger point, if I understood you, is that this team needs Alvarez to be their clenaup hitter long term if they want to be a perennial contender. That is spot on IMO.
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written by PiratesFanSince1960, April 04, 2012 - 04:07 PM
POTENTIAL.... All that means is ain't done it yet. Former Redskins Coach.....

Problem is simple: Our general management group has no idea how to build a team around our young players..... Our mix and match strategy has been beyond stupid, inane, and wrong. FIRE THEM YESTERDAY.
David
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written by Hell Unleashed, April 04, 2012 - 04:09 PM
Pirates: "Potentially Dangerous" to themselves...

Pirates: 2012 "Probably Odoriferous"
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written by davey boy, April 04, 2012 - 04:51 PM
Pirates=success. Let's dis-spell that theory with one word-NUTTING. Or more generally...BMTIB.
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written by cramden, April 04, 2012 - 04:58 PM
Another reason they could be "potentially dangerous" is to the psyche of western Pa. Everyone knows in their hearts that the Bucs can NEVER compete in the pathetically broken MLB economic system. Buffoon owners paying outrageous salaries to marginal players and 1-11 pitchers. Thank God for Bob Nutting. At least HE tries to be sensible.
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written by catdaddy, April 04, 2012 - 06:35 PM

The Pirates are dangerous if everything breaks their way. Smilodons (Sabre Toothed Tigers) are dangerous too if they ever return from extinction.

Difficult for me to see that the chances for one or the other of the above happening are much different.
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written by roger roger, April 04, 2012 - 07:26 PM

Yes, the Pennies are potentially dangerous.

After all, there are all those WEAPONS at PNC Park.....


Stay Losing My Friends!
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written by dudley01, April 05, 2012 - 08:16 AM
Calcaterra might be right about how much stronger the AL is thasn the NL. The fact is, however, that the last two World Series winners have been from the NL.
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written by NoYinzer, April 07, 2012 - 02:42 AM
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" summarizes the Pittsburgh Pirates in a short entry:

"Mostly Harmless...."

NoYinzer
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written by mejias, April 07, 2012 - 04:47 AM
written by better days coming, April 04, 2012 - 03:26 PM

hunter,

1959 White Sox had one .300 hitter (Nellie Fox @.306)and hit only 97 home runs as a team. They, of course, won the AL pennant.

Just sayin... ;-)


Of course they also had a HOF manager, pitcher and shortstop, one of the best catchers in the American League, a great defensive outfielder in Jim Landis, and that .300 hitter was part of the second best double play combination (along with Luis Aparicio) in baseball history. They nevertheless managed to lose the World Series.


Any similarity to the 2012 Pirates is purely accidental.

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written by mejias, April 07, 2012 - 04:57 AM
1906 White Sox though won the World Series with a total of 4 home runs by the starters, one player with more than 57 rbi's and the leading batter hit .279. On the other hand they lead the league in walks, hbps and sacrifices and the pitching staff had 32 shutouts.

This seems to be the better role model.

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