Pirates Q&A with Dejan Kovacevic

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Given the Q&A format here, it is incumbent on me to have answers for you. Well, the Qs came roaring into the inbox seconds after the Pirates took another pitcher in the first round, apparently passing on superior players, not to mention passing on a position player, not to mention that the pitcher projects as a bullpen guy, not to mention that Baseball America ranked him as the fifth-best pitcher available, and ...

I have no answers today.


The coverage of the draft by Paul Meyer will provide you with insights as to why the Pirates went the way they did.

I do have a place for you to vent, though ...

Q: Daniel Moskos? A middle reliever with the No. 4 pick? Seriously? Matt Wieters was on the board!

Paul Housley of Harrisburg

KOVACEVIC: And more ...

Q: DK, how can the Pirates' front office defend this pick? Are the Pirates the problem or is it the system and Scott Boras?

Paul Krzywicki of Mountain Top

KOVACEVIC: As I said, check the coverage for the Pirates' defense on this. I am in Washington covering the team.

As for the problem ... the Pirates have money. They have the money to pay any player in that draft. Spending it is a different matter.

Wherever this action can be blamed, it is not on the system, not on any agent.

Q: I'll take June 2008 in the pool as to when Daniel Moskos blows out his elbow, shoulder, etc.

Scott Staszak of Brentwood

KOVACEVIC: And then they will have to call up a reliever from Class AAA. Should not be difficult.

Q: Can we now please dispense with the fiction that the Pirates select the best player available? Moskos was nowhere close to that. He wasn't even the best college left-hander available.

Can we also dispense with the fiction that money doesn't dictate the Pirates' amateur signings? The new principal owner had his chance to show whether he's committed to improving the team, and the answer is no.

Wilbur Miller of Silver Spring, Md.

KOVACEVIC: Not one of the hundred and hundreds of readers who wrote to me yesterday afternoon would disagree with you on any count, Wilbur.

I have written often in this forum and in general news coverage that the Pirates chose the player they felt was best -- right or wrong -- regardless of money. It is almost unthinkable to imagine that was the case with this one.

It reflects poorly, based on a comparison to the rest of the industry, on every level of the team.

A relief pitcher ...

Q: I'm glad the Pirates drafted another pitcher in the first round. We've had such success with them in the past. The days I've spent kicking back at PNC Park watching the rotation of Clint Johnston, Bobby Bradley, John VanBenschoten, Sean Burnett and Bryan Bullington, some of my finest baseball memories ...

Kevin Gray of Indianapolis

KOVACEVIC: There is that factor, too. Maybe, by taking a relief pitcher, his risk of injury will be lessened.

Q: A No. 4 pick for a maxed-out reliever with little potential to get much better. What a sad, stupid, gutless, embarrassing organization this is. Please, tell me: Why?

Dave Paserba of Butler

KOVACEVIC: No answers, Dave.

And I do want the readers to understand here. When I say I have no answers, I mean that quite literally. I am hardly ducking the issue, or I would not be committing the entire, expanded space today to all of your feelings on this day.

I just have no answers.

Q: You know what? I am not even disappointed in the Pirates anymore. I am dissappointed in myself for hoping the Pirates would make a splash. Matt Wieters might have been exactly what we needed for our 2009 run, but, instead, we get another lefty bullpen arm. Maybe we can trade Damaso Marte for Rob Mackoviak to solidify the bench.

Randy Gordon of Allison Park

KOVACEVIC: Much self-loathing in the mail, too. Honestly, I never have gotten a response from the readership quite like this.

Q: Maybe the Pirates will pull a reverse-Van Benschoten and turn him into a power-hitting right-fielder.

Nate Martin of Washington, D.C.

KOVACEVIC: The citizens are angry, but they are still funny.

Q: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

The latest blow came at this year's draft, where, once again, the Nuttings refused to do what it takes to build a winning organization and opted for signability over just plain ability.

This organization has no desire to compete for anything other than revenue-sharing, so, please, Dejan ... tell me why I invest anymore time, money or emotion into a franchise that clearly doesn't care if fans like me do? I'm only 22, and I barely remember the last time the Pirates were relevant, and it looks as if my children will be at least that old before things start to change.

David Sciulli of Crafton

KOVACEVIC: No answers.

Q: I don't think the Steelers or Penguins would pass up on a potential impact player because of an agent.

Kevin White of Sharpsville

KOVACEVIC: No, they would not. And never have.

Q: A reliever? Really? I guess getting a reliever for the second round last year -- Mike Felix, owner of 31 walks and a 7-plus ERA -- wasn't enough of a joke.

It's a good thing the minors are stocked with impact bats.

Mike Yingling of Northfield, Ohio

KOVACEVIC: I just knew Felix would come up.

Q: Dejan: Daniel Moskos? I am done with this organization. Nothing against Moskos. I am sure he is a nice kid and he may have a heck of a future. Nonetheless, I am done with the Pirates organization.

Money is all that matters to McClatchy and Nutting. How else could you explain the fact that Dave Littlefield still has a job? Or Ed Creech, for that matter. A good organization would have looked at his past draft record and said, "No, thanks."

Please give Bob Nutting a message for me: "Yes, I question your desire to win." Worthless trips to the Dominican Republic and feigning shock that anyone would question his families' desire to win have put me over the edge.

I am done supporting this team. Done.

James Patrick of Naples, Fla.

KOVACEVIC: This Q&A is done, too, until we come back Tuesday. There is a chat Monday.

I had one of those Pittsburgh things ready for this, but I can tell no one is in the mood.

Until then ...


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