As a longtime reader of both sites I can say that CIA is unequivocally the superior message board. I'm amazed at the depths people will go to defend Bob Nutting on OBN and I have absolutely no faith that he will ever pony up the cash to make our payroll competitive with Milwaukee and Cincinnati. However, the unjustified contempt towards Huntington on this board is just baffling to me. For the first time since the late 90's I'm actually encouraged by the front office's direction and commitment to building from within.
Do I think Huntington is an excellent GM? Fuck no, and if he went out and made a terrible trade today I would hop aboard the Fire NH express right along with you. On the other hand, I remember the absolutely hopeless Littlefield years and appreciate that we have a GM who understands baseball analytics and isn't afraid to make bold, unpopular decisions. I look at Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez and see two potential superstars with six years of control who could possibly rival any one-two punch we've had since Bonds and Bonilla. I look at our starting nine on opening day and see potential long-term solutions at every position but second base and shortstop. While only a one-year rental, Iwamura is a league average player and significant upgrade over Delwyn Young. While very unlikely, I could even envision Cedeno putting it all together and having an Alexei Ramirez-type offensive season. I look at Andy LaRoche, Lastings Milledge and Jeff Clement and see three talented hitters who have the pedigree and minor league numbers to possibly outperform expectations. People might not want to admit it but there is serious offensive upside on this roster.
For the first time since 2003, I will open the season with the slightest hope that the Pirates will not be terrible and potentially be a fun team to watch. I know I'm in the minority here, but at this point, watching the Pirates merely make the playoffs would be significantly more meaningful to me than watching the Penguins or Steelers win another championship. I have serious doubts that the Pirates will ever have sustained success, but I do feel that things could come together for us in 2011 or 2012. Am I stupid for thinking this? Maybe, but I'm also desperate to watch competitive baseball at PNC Park. While I hate Nutting's frugality and Coonelly's douchiness, I actually like Huntington and think he is the least of our problems.