It’s Okay To Say It, Ben Cherington

Jason Mackey of the Post Gazette has been doing a great job covering the Pirates offseason. So much so, that I have created multiple accounts with separate emails on the Post Gazette website because I keep running out of my monthly complimentary allotment of article views.

He wrote one today about GM Ben Cherington’s refusal to call the Pirates objective a rebuild.

Most of Cherington’s quotes in the article feature him dancing around the semantics of the word rebuild. Here’s a quote that jumped out to me below:

“If I think about the word rebuild, what comes to my mind is a team that has been doing well that you are taking apart to then rebuild it, and you’re in the process of doing that.”

I disagree with Cherington’s definition of a rebuild. The term rebuilding isn’t reserved for “a team that has been doing well.”

Whether a team is rebuilding or not can be defined by the goal for the upcoming season based off the (1) current roster and (2) moves the organization makes.

Are they playing for this season or are they playing for the future? If they are playing for the latter, it is a rebuild.

And based off the Pirates offseason moves and makeup of the roster, they’re playing for the future.

Let’s put this in Jeff Foxworthy “You might be a Redneck If” terminology…

If you trade your most valuable asset for two nineteen year olds, you just might be rebuilding.

If your biggest offseason signing was a 16 year old Australian, you just might be rebuilding.

There is no shame on calling it what it is.

It’s silly to be debating word choice and semantics for a team that USA Today projects to lose 102 games. But here we are.

Somehow, this is important though. There is a divide between the organization and fans. A bitter one.

Fans feel that their intelligence is being insulted by the organization’s assessment of where the team stands. That’s only going to get worse by avoiding the word rebuild like it was a curse word.

I am not critiquing the moves made so far this offseason. If anything, I like them. I’d like to see more, but at least the team’s actions point toward a plan.

A plan to be better in a few years.

And by my definition, that’s what we like to call a R-E-B-U-I-L-D…

Let’s all get on the same page.

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