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Doumit: I understand

Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit got benched because he pouted and whined about being a good player on a bad team, a team that’s rebuilding for a day by which time he’ll be long gone.
I know – you’ve got to be a pro.
I know – he’s making $2.35 million.
I know – you can’t tank plays under any circumstances.
I know – he’s having a crap year, so who’s he to complain?
But really…do you blame Doumit? I don’t.
We all want to win. More accurately, we all want a chance to win. Can you blame a guy who vents because he’s been in the majors since 2005, has NEVER had a legitimate chance to compete, and every time his team seems on the verge of having a decent roster, all the good players get scattered to the winds EXCEPT HIM? He’s like one of those POWs Rambo found in ‘Nam.
Doumit is 28. He’s not a rookie. He’s not a prospect. He’s in his prime – such as it is – and he feels like he’s wasting it.
I don’t blame Doumit. I applaud him.
At the very least, I understand.
Things are not getting better for the Pirates. How do you lose 21 straight in Milwaukee? The Brewers have never come close to losing 21 straight in Milwaukee, and they play there 81 times per season. Lenny and Squiggy got more accomplished in Milwaukee than the Pirates.
“This is awful baseball. Could there possibly be a more putrid team?”
(The Pirates burst through the clubhouse door)…”HELLO!”
(Apologies if you don’t get that Lenny and Squiggy reference. If you did watch “Laverne & Shirley,” you’re likely laughing out loud. David L. Lander is a lifelong Pirates fan. He’s probably crying, not laughing.)
If you read the Post-Gazette, however, you’d never know the Pirates suck. Instead of bemoaning a 21st straight road loss to the Brewers with the appropriate amount of numb incredulity, beat reporter/cheerleader Dejan Kovacevic instead did a profile of slugging rookie Garrett Jones, who is apparently headed to Cooperstown. To wit:
“He averages a home run every 12.3 at-bats, a pace that would make a Hall of Famer blush.”
I doubt that Jones is making, say, Reggie Jackson blush. In fact, I doubt that Jackson even knows who Garrett Jones is.
There’s no doubt that Jones is having a fine season, or that he’s a legitimate NL Rookie of the Year candidate. But when you lose 21 consecutive games in THE SAME CITY, that’s the story, and it’s not a happy one. Save the feel-good piece on Jones for another day.
Kovacevic is one of the best sports writers in the city. But his blind love for the Pirates is eroding that reputation.

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Mark Madden

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