The rest of the month represents another big test for Littlefield and the ownership. To what extent are Littlefield's hands tied here? Will he, as Wilbur suggests, hamper his own efforts to acquire talent by working to save the owners some money? Is he under orders to trim salary?
If the Pirates fail to acquire the talent they so badly need - this team won only one in three games before the ASB - it will be yet another reflection of the misguided and perhaps villainous priorities which have determined so much of the team's recent losing.
If the Pirates do acquire the talent they need, and if they eat salaries in the process, then would this be a cause for hope? I've long argued that GMs learn from their mistakes. Can Littlefield? Has the ownership given him broad discretion when it comes to the financial impact of potential trades?
We can only know by his actions. If they acquire talent at any cost, there will be hope. If nothing happens and all we hear is continued grumbling about the stubborn delusions of Littlefield, then we're stuck where we've been, hoping for some kind of fan revolt and political solution.