You can be a veteran of over forty-five years of observing baseball and still not know anything. That's either the great thing about writing about baseball or one of the most frustrating things. It depends on how you look at it. Rob Neyer and Joe Posnanski, two of the most popular writers (and for good reasons), admit they are wrong all the time. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that the thoughts put into posts here at the FanDome are as often wrong as they are right. Despite what this writer may think, Ricciardi makes the right moves more often than not. Despite what an expert this writer may think he is, the correctness average is not much higher than Barry Bonds' On Base Percentage.
Take the Pirates for example. After they traded everyone away over the last month or so, the Fan didn't think they had a chance to win any games the rest of the year. In fact, at the trade deadline's final gun when the Pirates traded their infield away and much of their bullpen, the Fan picked against them every game. Yet, the Pirates have won every game since the deadline. Whuh? Part of the reason is Andrew McCutchen.
McCutchen hit three homers last night and had another hit besides. He now has a line of: .293/.349/.488. Not bad for a lead off guy. And he is playing great defense in centerfield. He has also stolen nine bases in nine attempts. His only bugaboo may be that he strikes out too often. But, he seems on his way to being a great player that the Pirates hoped he would be when they traded away McLouth to open centerfield for him.
McCutchen in a first round draft pick (2005) and he is only 22 years old. His minor league line after 1967 at bats was: .286/.369/.423. Those numbers are awfully close to those of his predecessor, Nate McLouth, whose minor league line was: .292/.367/.427. If those numbers are any indication, McCutchen should have a successful career. McLouth has been an above league average batter now for five straight seasons.
But then again, the Fan could be wrong. He is at least half the time, remember?