BREAKING NEWS: The Pirates Are Rebuilding -- Again!

MLB: JUN 23 Indians at Pirates
There hasn't been much to clap about for the Pittsburgh Pirates since Barry Bonds got BALCO'd up and moved out west!

Why are the Pittsburgh Pirates so bad every year, yet, every year they have a handful of players contending teams covet?

That is the hard question no one seems to be asking about the perennial NL Central cellar dwellars, who began their yearly firesale early this season when they traded future Hall of Famer All-Star outfielder Nate McLouth to the Atlanta Braves. Since then, they have jettisoned former ace Ian Snell along with three-fourths of their starting infield as first baseman Adam LaRoche, second baseman Freddy Sanchez and shortstop Jack Willson have since been jettisoned to teams that consider themselves contenders.

It won't be long until John Grabow, Zach Duke and Tom Gorzelanny each find new homes outside of the greater Pittsburgh area after July 31.

The Pirates' ineptitude dates back to their terrible drafts. In 1985, they drafted Barry Bonds, who turned out to be a pretty decent ball player. Pre-BALCO Bonds led Pittsburgh to some pretty good years ... and a cameo spot in the hit movie Rookie of the Year. I've still never been able to confirm it, but being struck out by teenager Henry Rowengartner (50 second mark in accompanying YouTube video) might have pushed Bonds to be a PED pusher.

I guess the world will never know.

But the world does know about the Pirates' lame-duck drafts since drafting Jason Kendall in 1992. Notables include Kris Benson (1996) is known more for his hot wife, J.J. Davis (1997), who was a dy-no-mite! bust. More notable are some of the guys the Pirates passed over when selecting what has turned out to be a real-life "Major League III" movie.

In 1994 they passed on Nomar Garciaparra, Paul Konerko and Jason Varitek to draft Mark Farris. They probably would have been better off drafting Anna Faris. When they drafted Chad Hermansen in 1995 with the No. 11 pick, they could have drafted some guy named Roy Halladay, who went No. 17 to the Toronto Blue Jays. Lance Berkman was on the board in 1997 when Pittsburgh picked Davis.

This list could go on for days. And I stopped in 1997. Guys they've passed on since the 2000s began include Adam Wainwright (29th overall), B.J. Upton in 2002 (2nd overall), John Danks in 2003 (9th overall -- one pick after selecting Paul Maholm).

Despite the Pirates' drafting dilemmas, GM Neal Huntington should be commended for turning Snell, Sanchez, Wilson, LaRoche and McClouth into 11 warm bodies.

But unless the rest of the Pirates organization gets it together, it won't be long until guys like Andrew McCutcheon, Brad Lincoln, Daniel Moskos and Pedro Alvarez are the next names to be put into the firesale.