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The Baseball Report Volume IV Issue 3

From The Editor,
Hey, I hope you've all checked out the website, if not, the url is http://thebaseballreport.8m.com/main.html
It's worth checking out, if you haven't already.

Also of note, The Baseball Report is currently looking for writers and publicists so if you'd like to cover your favorite team, baseball in general, or anything else, or do some publicity for TBR, drop me an email.

Similarly, if you'd like to advertise in TBR or on the website, email me as well. Now, onto the issue...

Michael Frankel
Editor-in-Chief

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The Pirates Dodge A Bullet, For Once
by Terry Monroe

It's not easy to be a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. Not easy at all. We have
suffered through horrible baseball, worse front office moves, the wholesale
dumping of salary and talent, a seemingly constant state of rebuilding and
itsy bitsy teeny weeny baby steps of improvement since, oh, about 1993. It
wasn't so long ago that a wall above the Pirates bullpen collapsed on
national television, fortunately for the pitching staff it was during a
football game, unfortunatly for Pittsburgh, it was a Monday Night Football
game.

We've seen seen names like Drabek, Bonds, Bonilla, Van Slyke and Bell
dissapear, being replaced by Cordova, Martin, Giles, Morris, Mears and
Kendall. Sure, not all bad, but not the powerhouse we had in the early
nineties. And while the talent is similar, the production has just plain
stunk. The lack of a bullpen, any power hitting, a closer, a true ace and a
solid fourth and fifth starter have kept this team in the NL Central's
baement. Oh, and did I mention that despite the Pirates lack of pitching the
rest of the division has decided to go out and get Big Mac and Junior and add
them to Sosa? Talk about rubbing salt in the wounds of Buck fans everywhere.

The news isn't all bad though. We have a great, young, energetic owner
in Kevin McClatchey, a new ballpark on the way, and some new talent in the
clubhouse this season. Hey, the Buckos even got special permission from
major League Baseball to uncover the seats in the upper deck of Three Rivers
Stadium to increase the building's capacity for out home opener April, 3
against Houston. And there is reason to be enthusiastic. Though I
criticized out pitching rather harshly above, we do have young players like
Kris Benson, Todd Ritchie and Jimmy Anderson coming up this year. We also
have Aramis Ramirez ready to play third base, Chad Hermanson coming north to
shore up the outfield, and the best young second baeman around in Warren
Morris. The future is getting brighter in steel town.

So, what is this bullet I mentioned above? Well, as I've been saying,
things are looking up for the Bucks. New ballpark, new players, new owner,
good sales, good pr work. Then there is that little Al Martin thing. al
Martin was a great team leader, hard working player, and a hell of a nice guy
while playing in the Burgh. But this bigomy and domestic violence thing he
has going on, well, that could have hurt Pirates baseball, and hurt it bad.

We traded martin at just the right time. Cam Bonifay elected to hold Martin
last year, and I'm sure was tempted to do so again. So, we lucked out. One
for the good guys. Even us lowly small market teams need to catch a break
here and there.

If Martin were still in Pittsburgh when this story broke it would have
hurt the teams image, sales would have dropped off, and support for PNC Park,
which is going to be a fabulous park, I encourage everyone to make the
pilgrimage to see it, would have fained, and the entire organization would
have a huge, swollen, glassy shiner. I wish Al all the luck in the world,
but I'm glad he needs it somewhere else.

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Remember, check out the website: http://thebaseballreport.8m.com/main.html
Till next time,

Michael Frankel
Editor-in-Chief

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