Dear Mr. Littlefield,
Before I begin, please allow me to state that I am not a Pirates fan. But I love baseball in all its forms and I greatly admire many of the players who have come through your organization. I, like many others, think of Honus Wagner as the greatest shortstop who ever lived. I recently had the pleasure of attending Ralph Kiner Night at Shea Stadium, and will always remember the man for his charm and unintelligible stories on Mets broadcasts. Roberto Clemente is on my list of five players I wish I would have been able to see play in person. Finally, I have been a fan of Sid Bream’s mustache for as long as I can remember. So please do know that I have the utmost respect for the Pirates organization and its history.
But please stop. Now. You are ruining the competitiveness of the National League. It because of executives like yourself that we NL-team fans have to constantly hear about the superiority of the American League and the designated hitter. How in the name of Andy Van Slyke can you possibly think that ? Please tell me. Sure, at one point, Morris was a fine pitcher. But please explain to me your rationale in bringing in a soon-to-be 33 year-old pitcher who has had a 4.73 ERA the past two seasons onto a team with zero-playoff aspirations? Isn’t there some sort of red flag when San Francisco, another NL team who has no hopes for a post-season, was basically giving him away? THEY WOULD HAVE TRADED HIM FOR NOTHING. THEY PROBABLY WOULD HAVE PICKED UP SOME OF THE TAB. Somehow, you were the only one who did not hear this. Not only did you actually give up a fairly young outfielder with a minimum contract in Rajai Davis, but you actually agreed to not only pay the remainder of Morris’ $9.5 million salary in 2007, but you’re paying for his $9.5 million salary NEXT YEAR as well. From what I understand, your team’s current payroll is under $40 million. Matt Morris is going to take up almost 25% of that. Congratulations.
When announcing the trade, you said the following:
“He’s been very productive and played for winners, and I think he will be effective in a rotation with a lot of young guys — a veteran, experienced guy who will help us out a great deal”
You know who else had a rotation with a lot of young guys? San Francisco. You know, the team on which he had compiled an 8.48 ERA over five starts in the month of July? Matt Cain is 22-years old. Tim Lincecum is 23. Noah Lowry is 26. They didn’t seem to think that Morris was necessary to develop these young arms. Why did you? Your future actually had some promise with Tom Gorzelanny and Ian Snell. You couldn’t spend the money that’s now going to Matt Morris on scouting and signing draft picks over slot so they could have some players to surround them in a few years? Matt Morris is not going to make you a contender this year or next. Matt Morris is not going to put people in the seats. Matt Morris is not going to convince anyone that you and your organization are “commited to winning”. All you have done is ensured that the Pirates will continue their streak of losing seasons for the foreseeable future. What is it now, 15 years and counting? The last time the Pirates were over .500, your division, the NL Central, didn’t even exist. I didn’t even know back then that the city of Atlanta was on the east coast because the Braves were in the NL West.
So, for this reason and more, I am pleading that you quit your job. The only reason that I can think as to why you did this is because you were afraid that you would be fired unless you can show improvement in the team’s record. That in and of itself proves that you are incapable of turning this team around. Especially if you’re counting on Matt Morris to do it. Stop. Now.
PS: Did you know that your your Wikipedia entry mocks your entire existence? It’s really quite funny.