The Pittsburgh Pirates have started to report to Spring Training and veteran third baseman David Freese didn’t hold back in his first interview.
It’s been pretty hard to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates this offseason. The team shipped out a high-end starting pitcher, sending Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros for a package of players that some felt was a mediocre return. Then, just a few days later, face of the franchise Andrew McCutchen was traded to the San Francisco Giants. It’s been hard to get excited for the upcoming season knowing the Pirates have not made much of an improvement following two losing seasons. David Freese has a lot of the same feelings and he made them known on Friday morning. This comes from local Pittsburgh radio personality Chris Mack.
Freese did not stop there either. His full comments dove into what is a common complaint of the fans. The cycle is if a player is good and the Pirates deem him too expensive, that player is traded right around when he’s in his prime.
“This is a different organization, where if you get drafted, you look at a guy like Jameson Taillon: It sucks that if you pan out, you have your future written for you in an organization like this. You either fold and sign a team friendly deal, or you’re bounced out of here. I think that’s unfortunate. ”
It’s important to note two things with these comments. First, Freese actually understands the Pirates making the two trades that has fans distraught. It doesn’t make it any easier to swallow from the outside but his gripe isn’t solely with the trades. Secondly, he does not just chuck management under the bus. He includes himself and all the coaches as a reason the culture of winning has seemingly slipped. If he had just blamed management for everything, it’s easy for his comments to carry less weight than they did. It’s undeniable that management has played a major role in the Pirates going from 98 wins just a couple of seasons ago to where they are now. They’re heading into the 2018 season with little hope of contending for much of anything.
Even though Freese ultimately supported trades that the fans hated, he should achieve cult hero status in Pittsburgh. He brought up virtually every single complaint that Pirates fans have had for years. There’s no reason to not expect more from this baseball team and the upper management team, and fans know at least one person in the clubhouse is giving it his all.