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Twas The Pirates’ Week Before Christmas

It’s no coincidence that Saint Nicholas and Neal Huntington have the same amount of syllables.

It took a while, but we finally have actual Pirates news this offseason!

There’s only so much you can write when there’s no games and no news. We were about three weeks away from me projecting what every player’s favorite sandwich in 2017 will be (Freese strikes me as a tuna salad kind of guy).

Well, thank goodness Daniel Hudson and Ivan Nova signed, and there are trade rumors that the Pirates are working hard to get TPOP’s (OK, just Kevin’s obsession) long time dream pitcher Jose Quintana. If they do that, they would have one of the best staffs in baseball. Exciting stuff.

So what will I talk about right before Christmas? About how Hudson’s fastball velocity and fly ball rates were roughly the same as Neftali Feliz’s and how the two could be similar pitchers? About Nova’s steal of a contract? About how the Pirates should go after Quintana but not include Josh Bell in any deals? About how they need to trade a lefty or two, and why it should be both Watson and Bastardo?

Well, no. Not this week at least. There will be plenty of time to talk about that in the future. We’re still more than three months away from Opening Day, and that sandwich story is still on the table (Hughes seems like a turkey club fan). 

Instead, I want to recite a classic Christmas baseball poem my mom used to read to me. The charts and my obsession over BABIP and walk rates can start again next week.

Right now, grab some egg nog and gather round for a family-friendly, non-copyright infringing telling of “‘Twas the week before Christmas.”

‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through Pittsburgh,

Not a hot take was taken, on Pirates Twitter.

It was for good reason, ‘cause all they acquired

Was a two-A pitcher named Brady Dragmire.

The fans were restless, and what haunted their dreams,

Was Bob Nutting’s cash going to 7 Springs.

And I sat by the keyboard, typing aimlessly,

About J-Hay and Jung-Ho’s wRC.

After months of waiting, my cellphone did vibrate

And I wanted to see who fell on the Bucs’ plate.

I opened a window and typed in Twitter,

Assuming bad news and fans who are bitter.

But the followers were happy, justly so

For the rotation, ‘pen and payroll did grow.

“They are good arms, not bums,” the fans screamed and cheered

“It’s Hudson and Nova, for two and three years.”

And some asked: “Who could cause all of this joyous mayhem?”

I knew in a moment, it was the GM!

And I knew his laugh and that smile with glee

Was due to his financial flexibility!

“Now Andrew! Now Marte! Now Kang and Polanco!

On Gerrit! On Taillon! On Bell and Rivero!

To first in the central, first in the NL!

Now let us win and win,” Neal H proudly yelled.

Now Daniel Hudson should make the late innings strong,

He can throw 96 despite two Tommy Johns.

His ERA’s high, but his pitch selection

Is perfect for a Searage reclamation.

With a bit of tweaking, he may one day close

He’ll replace a southpaw, perhaps Bastardo.

But that is another deal for another day,

Because GM Neal Huntington had more in play.

Ivan Nova’s returned, three years for 26,

A bargain for the former Bronx Bomber misfit.

His arsenal of pitches fits the Bucs well,

Bringing him back was a very easy sell.

His walk rate’s insane, and his ERA and FIP

Improved as a Pirate to a very good clip.

There’s risk to be had, but it hardly matters

As long as he keeps getting strike one on batters.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

The pitchforks and trolls had now been put away,

But Neal had one more gift before Christmas Day.

He had a trade rumor, and oh holy moley,

It’s confirmed by ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Jose Quintana, the lefty ace of the Sox

Is the center of Neal H’s intense trade talks.

It may take a Keller, Bell or a Glasnow,

But its proof the Bucs want to enter “win now.”

After months of waiting, all of Neal’s hard work

Shut up those fans whose reactions are knee jerk.

The front office is committed to winning

And these signings may be just the beginning.

He went back to his phone, and his team resumed workouts,

And a bunch of old the Grinches can no longer pout.

And the fanbase rejoiced, then said in nirvana:

“Happy Christmas, GM! Now go get Quintana.”

About Alex Stumpf (52 Articles)
Alex is a Pirates and Duquesne basketball contributor to The Point of Pittsburgh. He graduated from Point Park University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Comm. and a minor in English in 2014. Everything can be explained with numbers. If you want to keep up to date on both teams or have a story idea, you can follow or reach him @AlexJStumpf.
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