First Pitch: Day Eighteen

There’s so much reading involved in this job.

I don’t just come up with ideas to write about. I don’t just form my opinions off the top of my head. I read. Then I read more. And more. I read until something clicks and I’ve got an idea to write my contribution to the subject. With any luck, the thought I picked to explore is one that many of you thought about, or didn’t even realize you were thinking about.

Sometimes I don’t have to read much. Sometimes an idea just clicks with simple phrasing.

The best moments are when an idea clicks that leads to a series of articles. That’s what we’ve got this week.

On Friday, I did my annual ZiPS analysis, projecting out the Pirates upcoming win total. That projected total was 77 wins, which would be an encouraging step forward. From that article came a comment, and more specifically a phrasing, that led to what will be a three article series to start this week. The topic? How efficient have the Pirates been at producing positive value over the years.

I’ll have the first part of that series tomorrow morning, and I think by the end we’ll have a different view of where the Pirates currently stand, and their path forward to becoming a winning team again.

Until then, feel free to use the comments today for open discussion.


Sunday’s off-topic portion of First Pitch is poetry. This is a poem I wrote over a year ago, titled “Rebuilding”. I can’t say it was written with the Pirates in mind, but maybe you can make it fit somehow.


I can see how things work
I can see the future
Across multiple realities
And all the waves through the universe

Each step we take a ripple in time
Like when a stone is thrown into a pond
Scaring a butterfly off a nearby lilypad
The flap of wings sets forth a chain of events

Empires collapse if given enough time
Time is an endless sea with no horizon
Which no amount of splashing can disrupt
But the butterfly soars above
Changing the course with each flap of wings

The fastest swimmer is the loneliest swimmer
The loneliest swimmer fears he is lost
Open water, no horizon all around
Not sure if the rest of the league has found land

If you aren’t the empire, you’re the enemy
Armed with the knowledge that empires fall
So you let them take their steps
You swim in a direction you think you’ll find land
Where you can build your empire
With the scraps of the old empire
That float to your new shore

Daily Links

**Winter Leagues: Tsung-Che Cheng Reaches Base Four Times on Friday

**PBN Podcasts Way Up North: Our Conversation With Owen Kellington

**The Pirates Are Projected For a Losing Season in 2022, But It Might Be Promising

**This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: December 19th, Seven Former Pirates Born on This Date

**Card of the Day: 2002 Topps Total Mike Fetters

PBN Updates

First Pitch: PRE-SALE for The 2022 Guide and The 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys Books

Song of the Day

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