TMS Team Preview: The 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates

Over the coming weeks, Thunder Matt's Saloon will have previews of all 30 MLB teams. We're starting at the bottom and working our way up based on the current Vegas odds for winning the 2016 World Series.

Now it's time to talk about the fucking Pirates.
Hey it's Sid Bream, Pittsburgh fans' favorite Pirate!
2015 Finish: 98-64 (2nd Place in NL Central)

So Long: Joe Blanton, A.J. Burnett, J.A. Happ, Corey "Midget Face" Hart, Aramis Ramirez, Joakim Soria, Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, Charlie Morton

Welcome: Jon Niese, Juan Nicasio, Ryan Vogelsong, John Jaso, Neftali Feliz, Matt Joyce, David Freese

Opening Day Lineup
1. John Jaso, 1B
2. Andrew McCutchen, CF
3. David Freese, 3B
4. Starling Marte, LF
5. Francisco Cervelli, C
6. Gregory Polanco, RF
7. Josh Harrison, 2B
8. Jordy Mercer, SS

Starting Rotation: Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, Jon Niese, Jeff Locke, Juan Nicasio
Setup: Tony Watson
Closer: Mark Melancon

The Pirates won 98 games last year. It was the most since 1991. It got them to the Wild Card game where the Jake Arrieta promptly squashed all their hopes and dreams.

Fin.

So now it's 2016 and the Pirates should be ready for another trip to the postseason right? Yeah, probably not. While the rotation still has Liriano and Cole at the top, and the bullpen's one-two punch of Watson and Melancon will shut games down for them no problem, this offense.... eeeehhhh.

Gone are their 3rd and 4th best guys in RBI last year in Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker. To replace them they got John Jaso and Josh Harrison. Hmmm I'm not thinking the same amount of runs are gonna be driven in by those two. They added David Freese at 3B since Jung Ho Kang's leg isn't quite back to 100% after Chris Coghlan destroyed it last year. Freese wouldn't make most MLB rosters and yet he's the Pirates Opening Day 3B. Also Clint Hurdle is a dullard. The Pirates have made it to the postseason in spite of him. When it push comes to shove he can't manage his way out of a wet paper sack.

So I hope you enjoyed the last couple years Pirates fans, because it's over. You had your chance and missed it. And now your management thinks they can keep winning by slapping together low-rent pieces of trash on this slowly sinking ship. Look me in the eyes and tell me this lineup is better than what you had last year. Yeah. But you did just sign Gregory Polanco long-term. That'll be a nice tradeable contract in two years when you guys are scrapping this team for parts.

Reason to Watch: Gerrit Cole. Dude's has turned into a perennial Cy Young candidate. Good luck next season when he hits his arbitration years. I'm sure Scott Boras will get his guy a fair price.

Reason To Drink: John Jaso's fucking hair.

Fucking white guy dreads! All he needs is some patchouli oil and one of those hooded rug shirts and he's the guy at your corner record store. Good god man. Have some self-respect.

The Fans: They all seem like nice enough people. I feel sorry for them though. Their franchise has bumped it's payroll up to not quite $100 million and still have very little to show for it. Paying 18 shitty to kind of mediocre guys $3 million a year doesn't make your team better. Fucking figure out your finances Pittsburgh and invest in something better.

Their Worst Contract: I'd say paying $8 million for Michael Morse to be awful this season, only the Dodgers are footing that bill. So actually there isn't a really bad contract here, mostly due to them being massive tightwads and not spending any money.

Fantasy Standout: Gerrit Cole. Like I said before, the dude is a stud. That McCutchen guy ain't too bad either.

Fantasy Bust: Josh Harrison. 2014 was his peak and it wasn't even that impressive of one. Expecting those numbers again is foolish.

The Pop Culture Equivalent To This Team Is: The part in Flowers for Algernon where Charlie realizes his newfound brilliance is fleeting. Sorry Pittsburgh. Soon enough you'll be back to being a retarded janitor again.
And you think I'll win a pennant race against that mouse?

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