As Santa Hurdle checks his list for who was “Naughty” or “Nice” he’ll find that most of the Pittsburgh Pirates will go in the “Nice” column. These guys deserve a great gift. But what is a good gift for a player, coach, or executive in the Pirates organization? Here are a few last minute gift ideas that I’ve come up with.
- Andrew McCutchen: Cutch already has an NL MVP award, two Silver Slugger awards, and a Gold Glove award and he just turned 27 years old. Where is he going to put all this stuff? With all the hardware he has been collecting lately I think a great gift would be a new trophy case.
- Starling Marte: Marte seems to be in an ownership dispute with NL pitchers over the inner half of home plate. He likes to hug the dish while pitchers like to paint the inner corner. The result is a lot of baseballs leaving a mark on Starling Marte. Last year he was hit 24 times with pitches. This offseason in the Dominican Winter League Marte was plunked in his first two games. It is only a matter of time before he takes a pitch off his hand that will land him on the DL. This guy needs some protection. So I think a great gift for Starling Marte would be the Shock Doctor Ultra Batter’s Hand/Wrist Guard.
- Russell Martin: Martin got his gift early when Major League Baseball banned home plate collisions. Enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that you will never get trucked at home plate again, Russell.
- Owner Bob Nutting: Bob nearly had a coronary when Pirates’ President Frank Coonelly either slipped or erred in stating that the Pirates’ local TV contract was significantly greater than being reported. In fact, Coonelly said the Pirates deal with ROOT Sports was in the top half of league revenues for local television contracts. Of course this inevitability led to questioning why the payroll is still so low. The Pirates may have a really great front office team, but they sure do say a lot of dumb stuff to the media. I bet Nutting would like to muzzle those guys sometimes, so that seems like a great gift for Bob. I’d suggest a good leather dog muzzle. They look badass, kind of like Bane from The Dark Knight Rises.
- Jeff Locke: Jeff has really had a rough last few months. He had a terrible second half of the season. He was so bad he lost his spot in the rotation and was left off the postseason roster. Now it looks like his best buddy A.J. Burnett is going to retire and won’t be back with the Pirates next season. Jeff Locke sure could use a new buddy. Maybe Santa Hurdle can bring him this classic.