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Reasons for rebuilding go back to division title teams

It’s not official yet, but the Pirates will have endured another losing season. In fact, count on at least two more years of sub-500. This is Neal Huntington’s team now. He got the OK from Bob Nutting to start all over. While Pirate fans might not like seeing Sanchez, Wilson, McLoutth and Morgan go, Huntington is right about having a lack of talent in the minors.

All these trades remind me of what Branch Rickey told Ralph Kiner, who wanted more money.

“We finished last with you, we will finish last without you.”

If Huntington’s prospects fail, then he will be fired. But this is a task that has to erase almost 10 years of poor scouting and poor choices by the Pirates general manager.

The Pirates downfall started with Larry Doughty, who traded away the Pirates top prospects because the Pirates were on the brink of the World Series. Unfortunately, the Reds and Braves (twice) denied the Bucs the National League pennant. Those trades got us a division title, nothing else. Then came Ted Simmons for one year of nothing.

Next was Cam Bonifay, who is the victim of very poor scouting. He was involved in several five-year plans that were doomed even before the third year. And who can forget Dave Littlefield, who was tabbed as a promising young GM. Littlefield turned out to be like a Pirate prospect — some very notable performances followed by average and disappointing deals.

So now we have Huntington who has to clean up this mess, and do it in a short amount of time. Who knows, maybe some of Huntington’s prospects will yield the prospects the Pirates need to have a winning season.

By Jim Spezialetti