Pittsburgh Pirates: Headed in the Right Direction?

Anthony CasaleCorrespondent IMay 13, 2008

The Pittsburgh Pirates...

When the Pirates are mentioned, what do you tend to think of?

The five World Series they have won with the great players that have gone through the organization? Or do you think about the recent success, or lack there of?

That is usually the case when one mentions the Pittsburgh Pirates in a sentence.  Disarray, disorganized, not competitive, etc.

There have been times, especially in the beginning of the season, where they have led fans to believe it is going to turn around.  Fans, like myself, usually are relinquished to the thought of a .500 record by early May or even late April.

Though they are under .500 as of May 13, I would like to think that things are going to be different this year.

A slight organization change took place in the offseason.  A head coach firing and a new GM in Neil Huntington seem to have the Pirates heading in a new direction, a better one. 

I am saying this without seeing a draft from the new management, although I have nothing but optimistic thoughts for the upcoming draft.  Also, questions about trades and the farm system have always been brought up about the Pirates, and for what I see, things are changing.

The most recent trade that acquired Jason Michaels from the Indians was a step in the right direction.  Jason Michaels works hard and plays with passion, however that isn't the sole reason for his acquisition. 

Morgan came on last year with his defense, contact hitting, and speed, however struggling a bit with fewer at-bats and the recent success of Nate McLouth gives him less playing time. 

The move to get Michaels was to get a fourth outfielder while letting the future of this organization get more at-bats in AAA.  Just a simple move like this will install more hope within the organization and the fans.

Although the Pirates are 18-20, two games back from .500, they just finished off a 6-1 home stand.  The Pirates are now moving into an important stretch of games within the division, (4-7), and away from home, (6-12). 

This is a real area of concern, but if the pitching keeps improving and they can play fundamental baseball with who they have, this could be a team hitting the .500 mark in the next couple weeks.