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Taking the reins: A Pirates MLB2K10 dynasty - Through The Fence Baseball

Taking the reins: A Pirates MLB2K10 dynasty

by Brad Congelio | Posted on Sunday, February 6th, 2011
| 776 baseball fanatics read this article

Out of pure boredom, I’ve decided to start a franchise in MLB2K10 with the Pirates and chronicle my seasons as I try to turn  the struggling franchise around. While this certainly isn’t “baseball news,” I think it can become a pretty fun addition to  the site as you either praise or scorn my general manager skills as I sign, trade, and fire my way into turning the Pirates  into a serious contender.

I believe seasons should move along pretty quickly as I chronicle pre-season/spring training, then provide an update at the  All-Star Break, then again before the playoffs start. And, if I’m lucky/good enough, I’ll provide round-by-round updates  through the playoffs.

Nonetheless, here is the first chapter in a Pirates’ Dynasty!

Current Lineup:

  • 1. Andrew McCutchen – R
  • 2. Akinori Iwamura – L
  • 3. Garret Jones – L
  • 4. Ryan Doumit – S
  • 5. Lastings Milledge – R
  • 6. Andy LaRouche – R
  • 7. Sean Pearce – R
  • 8. Ronny Cedeno – R
  • 9. Pitcher

Current Rotation:

  • 1. Paul Maholm – L
  • 2. Ross Ohlendorf – R
  • 3. Zach Duke – L
  • 4. Charlie Morton – R
  • 5. Daniel McCutchen – R

Bullpen:

  • Closer – Octavio Dotel
  • SU – J. Hanrahan
  • SU – J. Karstens
  • MR – D.J. Carrasco
  • MR – J. Taschner
  • LR – W. Ledezma
  • LR – D. Veal

My biggest weakness, at this point, is without a doubt my rotation and the bullpen. Pitching in general is in desperate need  of help. I could use another bat or two in the lineup, but at this point, it would be useless to add without support from  the pitching staff. Heading into Year 1 spring training, my main concern is adding a starting pitcher and depth in the bull  pen from the free agent market. I currently have the budget to make somewhat of a big splash and will not do anything less  than a long term 5 to 7 year contract.

Looking at the free agent list, the pitchers that immediately jump out at me are Erik Bedard, John Smoltz, and Pedro  Martines. Fairly easy to narrow down though, as Smoltz is getting up there in age and Pedro is going to be asking too much  money. I offer Bedard a 7-year deal worth $3.65 million a year and he immediately accepts. That came much more cheap than I  thought it would. With about $4 million left to spare in salary cap space, I need to look at adding depth to the bullpen.  Unfortunately, there are no “we are trying to get into contention” type players — I may have to settle for Guillermo Mota.  I offer a 3-year deal worth $637,000/year and he accepts. I still have just under $4 million in cap space — time to go for  another bat in the lineup.

The hitters/fielders is alot more deep in talent. Right off the bat, I’m interested in Johnny Damon but don’t feel that I  need the help in the outfield. He could serve as a DH, but I’m not willing to pay the price for limited use. I make a play  for Orlando Hudson and see that I’m battling with several others teams for his services. Ultimately, Hudson agrees to my  offer of $3 million a year for seven years. I’m liking the idea of long term deals with some of these higher echelon players  — building for the future. Nonetheless, the Hudson signing brings my salary cap room to about $675,000 thousand. Going to  stop the signing here and hope the additions can help out and we can end the season above .500.

After a few changes in the roster, my lineup heading into spring ball looks like this:

  • 1. Andrew McCutchen – R
  • 2. Orlando Hudson – S
  • 3. Garrett Jones – L
  • 4. Ryan Doumit -S
  • 5. A. Iwamura – L
  • 6. Lastings Milledge – R
  • 7. Andy LaRoche – R
  • 8. Ronnie Cedeno – R
  • 9. Pitcher

Further, my rotation now looks like this:

  • 1. Eric Bedard – L
  • 2. Paul Maholm – L
  • 3. Zack Duke – L
  • 4. Ross Ohlendorf – R
  • 5. Charlie Morton – R

Lastly, my bullpen situation looks like this:

  • CL: O. Dotel – R
  • SU: J. Hanrahan – R
  • SU: J. Karstens – R
  • MR: D.J. Carrasco – R
  • MR: J. Taschner – L
  • MR: G. Mota – R
  • LR: W. Ledezma – L
  • LR: D. Veal – L
  • LR: D. McCutchen – R

Another issue I’m taking care of right away is firing John Russell as the manager — kind of mimicking real life, eh?  Nonetheless, he isn’t the right guy to lead the team. At this late point, a few weeks before spring ball starts, pickings  are slim. However, with a measly $675,000 to spend on a new manager, it kind of works out in my advantage. I decide on  hiring a guy by the name of Gil Paul — a previous manager with two years experience and relatively high marks in both  teaching and motivation. He agrees to sign for $581,000 over a span of four years. I wanted to shorten his contract, but he  wouldn’t budge. With minimal funds availiable for staff, firing him and having to handle the payout won’t be ideal.  Hopefully he will be the guy we are looking for.

The last staff move I’m making is firing our current head of scouting, Adam Sanangelo. The foundation of turning this team  around is built upon locating, aquiring, and nuturing young talent. We need a big name to head this process. Hired in his  place is Jarrod Delgado, a six-year vetran in scounting. He agreed to a five-year, $493,000 deal.

With all the pre-season signing, firing, and hiring done — it is time to move on to spring training. Rather than making  another post out of it, I’ll include a quick recap here:

The Pirates concluded the preason with a 14-15 record. While it isn’t terrible, stretches such as that during the entireity  of the regular season will spell nothing but doom for the team.
However, there are a few bright spots within the 14-15 record. For instance, McCutchen batted .345 through spring training  and added 19 RBIs. He also belted 5 homeruns, one short of Garrett Jones’ 6. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot of good  news from the pitching side of things. Eric Bedard, who I signed in hopes of solifying the rotation, got himself a 8.48 ERA  and a 0-4 record. It looks that the brightest spot in the rotation is Zach Duke, who finished spring ball with a 3-1 record,  a 3.58 ERA and 26 strikeouts. Hopefully the rotation, specifically Benard, pulls itself together as the regular season  begins.

Heading into the regular season, we currently stand at 21st in the MLB power rankings. A 4-7 finish to spring training  dropped us from 17th. In the end, as mentioned, this season is about finishing at .500 or above and building the foundation  for better seasons a year or two now.

The next article in this series will summarize everything between the end of spring training to the All-Star Break.  Hopefully I can strike a few good trades, or move up a player from AAA to help out in the rotation/lineup. We shall see.

Post By Brad Congelio (12 Posts)

Currently a PhD student in Olympic History, Brad is studying and writing his doctoral dissertation on the Ronald Reagan administration's attempts to influence those African countries under the Soviet sphere of influence to defy the Kremlin and attend the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games despite the Soviet Bloc boycott. He is also highly interested in the recreational culture of the Black Hills gold rush (and, thus, the story of the little known Mt. Rushmore baseball team). Brad currently holds a Masters degree in Sport Management and an undergraduate degree in journalism. He was awarded the 2007 Cochran Award for Outstanding Achievement in Collegiate Journalism.

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