The Return of Tracyball (But Did It Ever Really Leave?)

May 13, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

As someone who follows the Pirates closely (a species more rare than the Saloon reader) I have grown frustrated and weary from the Pirates anemic offense, which in comparison makes the Cubs look like the 27' Yankees.
On paper, heading into the year, the Bucs seemed to have a good chance at ending their streak of 'Charlie Brown trying to kick the football-esque' futility. They have the always underrated Jason Bay, reigning batting champ Freddy Sanchez, on-the-rise talents Jose Bautista and Ronny Paulino, and a newly acquired lefty slugger Adam LaRoche.

So what the hell happened? During an off season sleepover and ensuing pillowfight, it would appear that the whole team, especially the batters, contracted a fairly serious bout of 'Tracyball'.

The stats seem to fully support this claim. 15th in the league in BA (.235), 14th in runs scored, last in OBP and steals. Adam LaRoche is hitting .164 and showing no signs of getting better. His slump is more labored and painful to watch than the last two seasons of The Sopranos.

Freddy Sanchez is batting .250 and those moles on his face don't appear to be going away any time soon. When your best hitter is Ryan Doumit it's time to fire the hitting coach and sit the team down for a cram session to Tom Emanski's Defensive Drills Video (if for nothing else than to laugh at Fred McGriff's hat).

What is the cure for 'Tracyball'? Well it ain't just bed-rest chappy. There isn't a proven cure as of yet, though scientists are hard at work finding one. And by 'hard at work', I mean they devote a few minutes here and there, in between blogging about their Lost theories. Priorities. More than likely it requires a total purge of the system, which unfortunately makes you vulnerable to a whole new set of complications.

'Dustyball' anyone?