“You talk about a no name lineup!”... heard on NESN as Bligh Madris (#66), a 2017 9th round pick sporting a .180 average for the Pirates, takes a called strike at PNC Park this past Tuesday. Dennis Eckersley is having a conversation with Dave O’ Brien in the booth trying to figure out who is who... on the Pirates. At one point, Eckersley even calls the Pirates a “hodgepodge of nothingness” and their payroll “pathetic”, doubting that the Pirates farm system is as great as touted... Bligh flies out to center field ending the inning. The Boston Red Sox are beating the Pirates 5-0. They would sweep the series. Boston is in last place in the AL East.
Who is Dennis Eckersley and why should we care, or not, about his comments? Dennis Eckersley, the Eck, pitched in the majors for 23 years (1975-1998) for 5 major league teams. He was the first pitcher to have a 20 win and a 50 game save season. He was considered the dominant closer in the league from 1988-1992 winning not only the Cy Young but also the American League MVP in 1992. A first-ballot Hall-of-Famer in 2004... It’s fair to say that the guy knows baseball.
Here's why Pirates fans should not think of Dennis as a menace.
- The guy lives and loves baseball. He wasn’t just blasting the Pirates because it was easy to do, he truly cares about the game. He spent his entire life dedicated to making Major League Baseball a source of great entertainment and the Pirates are the opposite of that.
- Eck announced just this past month that this will be his last run in the booth for the Red Sox, so he’s just saying what everyone else is thinking. With age comes empowerment and wisdom, Dennis has both. He’s retiring so he’s speaking his mind and the truth.
- He is right the Pirates as a franchise year after year have high draft picks. What do they do with them? They pick and play guys like Bligh Madris - no name guys who wouldn’t even be in the farm system for the Boston Red Sox. Bligh Madris is batting .118 in the month of August, yet is still playing.
Wake up Pirates fans our home team is pathetic and a hodgepodge of nothing.
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