Friday, October 19, 2007

Why Pittsburgh is better than the Bronx

Well, Joe Torre has just given a big juicy finger to Steinbrenner, and rightfully so. But why retire now? According to the Paterno logic, the guy has at least 10-15 years left in him. Maybe even more, the managers just sit on their ass in baseball and don't have to worry about Wisconsin players trying to break their legs. So when Torre turned down the Yankees' offer today, he had to have one place in mind: Pittsburgh.

Why Pittsburgh? Because the Pirates are a way better managing job than the Yankees. Here's why:

Ballpark: Of all the newer ballparks to come in the last 15 years, PNC is the best. It's quaint and it highlights the city well. It doesn't favor the pitcher or the hitter too incredibly much. If your team is down by 7 in the 8th inning, you can just stare at the skyline for a while. ARIBA! On the other hand, I've never been to Yankee Stadium, but it looks shitty on TV, and the area doesn't sound so succulent either.

Star Power: In New York, you sat in the shadow of Jeter, A-Rod, Clemens, Rivera, etc. You know, all those hot shots who actually play the game. On the Pirates you have Freddy Sanchez, Jason Bay, and...then you gotta thinking to name players. And I'm a fan! Joe would be the alpha dog in town.

Less Pressure from Management: Granted we're under new management now, but if Lloyd McClendon got 5 years on the job, Joe can plan his retirement in Pittsburgh. The pressure to win the World Series every single year won't exactly be there, since the last World Series victory was in 1979 and the last playoff appearance/winning season was in 1992. Let's put that in perspective. The NLCS this week was Rockies/Diamondbacks. Neither of those teams existed the last time the Pirates won the division. We would not get upset about a first round playoff exit, trust me.

Less Pressure from Media: Steelers training camp starts the last week of July. With the Penguins poised to make many deep playoff runs in the near future, they hopefully will be playing into June on a yearly basis. The Pirates get the top media coverage in this town about 1-4 months of the year, depending on how good the hockey is. Just make sure to buy a terrible towel and you'll be fine.

Less Pressure from Fans: Between the skyline, postgame fireworks, bobblehead giveaways, pierogi races, the weird crap they show on the scoreboards, and lots and lots of beer, there's a lot to keep the Pirates fan entertained if the game gets out of hand.

Italian Food: I personally recommend DiPietro's in West View. The fettucine carbonara is FANTASTIC.

Lower Cost of Living: Pretty self explanatory.

Good for Old People: I cant find any hard data right now, but Pittsburgh area has always been a haven for retirees.

There's Actually Potential: On a serious note, this team has a lot of potential. Every single guy on the roster displayed talent at one point or other during the season. The problem is, and has been, harnessing all this talent as a team and performing consistently. The management is new and hopefully won't make any more stupid personnel moves, so he'll have help in that regard. But if he's able to turn this team into a winner, his legacy as a great manager will be confirmed. It will no longer be because he had the big market resources of the Yankees (people forget they were an actual likable team in the late 90's, as opposed to the fantasy roster of today), it will be because he's a great manager. So come to Pittsburgh Joe. It might be the best move of your career.

P.S. I mentioned the fans and media being apathetic earlier. Deep down inside, we care. It just hurts so much that we play it off as indifference. But if Joe Torre were to make the Pirates relevant again, the fans would show up, and the media would give more coverage. The town would rally behind them just like we do for the Steelers or Penguins.

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