Interleague play starts back up in earnest tonight with a road series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. As such, we’ve asked Tom Smith of Pirates blog Rum Bunter a few pertinent questions to get fans fired up for the weekend showdown. My portion of the Q&A is up now, so go check it out.
(no seriously, I’ll wait).
Below are the six-pack of hard-hitting questions I leveled at Tom to prepare Royals fans for the feisty 29-27 Pirates:
Andrew McCutchen leads the team in virtually every relevant statistical category. Is there a more popular man in Pittsburgh right now?
Cutch gets his far share too–there is a minority of people who look at his arm and question it. Even more wonder how in the hell he can’t be a better base stealer or base runner. However, Cutch is a popular figure and without him, this Pirates team would be in sad shape. It’s hard to understand why some teams pitched to him in the past month, the Bucs had precious few other bats that were consistent.
We also think the Pirates were embarrassed by how they finished last season. It was a huge flop. Most of the team looks to be in great condition and that off season work and commitment has (knocking on a 2 by 4) kept the team very healthy in the first third of the season.
I am envious of the rotation Pittsburgh has put together. Do Pirates fans appreciate the finds of A.J. Burnett and Erik Bedard, and do you feel comfortable with them taking the hill?
The city loves veteran players. It’s unreal. Give Pittsburgh a chiseled veteran like Burnett who looks like he just polished off a shot and an Iron at the corner pub and they will cheer all night for the guy. Bedard has won fans from the get go… his strong start on a gorgeous opening day at PNC Park that had the stands and rotundo overflowing. It also helps when he gives insanely short answers to the media’s questions.
Pittsburgh appreciates talented players on the mound, it’s been a long time since it’s occured so the absence of talent has definently made the hearts of Pirates fans have an affection for what Bedard and Burnett have going on right now in the Burgh.
The bottom line is that he has struggled mightily, but the team simply can’t give up on him. He needs to play to make future evaluations of his status. The bench isn’t a smart option.
Most fans knew it was Evil Scotty messing with our Team President and rival Frank Coonelly, formerly of MLB.