It's a topic to which Pat alluded and Rowdy provided a direct answer:
Which is more important to the Pirates:
1. The window of opportunity that exists from having this group together until 2009?
2. The window that exists this year by the division being so down?
That was the question Dejan set forth in Wednesday's Q&A. He, Pat and Rowdy answered the prompt similarly:
... why should the Pirates wait until 2008 or 2009 to employ a this-is-our-chance approach? Why wait until July to determine whether to be buyers or sellers? Why hold onto $4 million in unspent payroll? For that matter, why wait until those two years to raise payroll when it could be done now?
---Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Their goal right now is 2009, a year that's too far away to know anything about. No vision is required to set 2009 as a goal in 2006 or 2007. You say, "the guys we have will be better and these guys will be here and we'll be good," and like magic you have yourself a three-year plan.