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State College Spikes Considering Leaving Pirates Behind, Changing Teams

Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror reports that the State College Spikes, currently the Pirates' low Class A affiliate, may consider switching organizations at the end of the season because Pirates draftees haven't produced a winning season for them.

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"Not every market's the same," [Spikes general manager Jason Dambach] said. "We have found now in the seven years of Spikes baseball that our fan base wants to win.

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"Many of the people that come to the games here support Penn State football, Penn State basketball, they're involved heavily in youth sports. The culture of this market here tells us that we want to win. ... We have found in just talking to our fans and the feedback that we've gotten that people are more passionate about having a winning product on the field here than anywhere that I've been and anywhere that I've seen."

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The Pirates really don't care about winning at the minor-league level, and they shouldn't -- the goal of the minor leagues is to produce major-league players, not minor-league wins. The Pirates don't promote their prospects aggressively, but they also don't have much interest in older ringer-type players that other teams sometimes employ in order to boost their minor-league records. At the same time, it's impossible to fault the Spikes for their frustration. Their contract with the Bucs ends after the season. If they choose to go a different direction, the Pirates will just find another minor-league affiliate. It's no big deal.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.