L.A. gets Zack? Bucs can fight back

Even this morning, I’d rather be an exec — or a fan — of the Pirates than of the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have Zack Greinke, which means recent Boston ace Josh Beckett now is their No. FOUR. They have Carl Crawford in the hole. They will have a payroll near $220 million They also have enormous pressure to turn it all into a World Series title. Everything to lose.

The Pirates? Russell Martin, maybe Jason Grilli, plus all the upside pieces from 2012. They are also armed with the bark of the underdog, and the lure of upsetting the order. The Bucs are one of MLB’s Les Miserables. Everything to gain.

I much prefer the chance to play and root for the thrill of victory than to do so for the relief of survival. Even if Neil Huntington’s observation on the first day of the recent Winter Meetings had not been right on.

“Look at the clubs that won the offseason a year ago … where were they in September and  October?” the Pirates GM had asked, rhetorically.

Huntington doubtless was referring to the two teams that made the biggest splashes last winter: the Marlins and the Angels, both belly-up at the wire, one of them catastrophically so.

So don’t be dismayed to see what a team like the Dodgers can get away with, while the Bucs can only hope a guy like Grilli does not jilt them. Success in baseball depends on many things, and it still has nothing to do with Magic.

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