Williams: The Fart Theory

I drove back from Pennsylvania to Florida slowly over the last week, after covering a week of games in Greensboro and a week of games in Altoona. With a hurricane hitting Florida, I decided to stop near my old town in Virginia for a few days.

My 40th birthday present to myself was renting a cabin on the mountain above the area I used to live. It was a nice escape from the world, depicted in the picture above. The final night, as I was writing an article which has yet to be competed or published on this site, I looked down and saw the whole area below lit up. I took in the fact that the lights I saw from the county I used to live in was the equivalent to this site’s weekly traffic at a low point. An entire county of readers each week. Everything I was ever surrounded by growing up was the equivalent of this low point. It made me respect the position I have even more, while realizing that I started this site by myself in 2009 from one of those many lights below. 

This site has been a migraine study for years. It’s got 15 years of my sleep and work schedules. The archives are worth $Infinite to me. Not because of Jameson Taillon’s development stories. Because of my look into my own unknown journey — and this is my theory after five years of extensive personal research — as an undiagnosed autistic child in the Pennsylvania gifted and talented program.

At the outset of this, I also was trying to create something to fit the needs of a lot of different people.

I created a separate place for all of the site’s writers at PittsburghBaseball.com and it did not work. I brought them here as I started PiratesProspects.com again at the outset of a divorce. My now ex-wife wanted me to go solo three years ago, rather than struggling to make a bigger site. I went solo this year at the draft.

If I would have gone solo in 2021, when the Pirates drafted Henry Davis, I might still be married today, and maybe I could have built this site up to where I could have added those writers back by now. That 2021 draft was covered at “Pittsburgh Baseball Network”. It did not come close to the numbers I just did on my own with the 2023 draft on this site. 

The reality is that there’s never one thing that ends a relationship. My marriage might have still ended, even if I didn’t decide to try and make a bigger site. This site wasn’t even an issue. I just know the marriage would have been prolonged if I focused on making as much money as possible. There are moments when you take stock in the relationship ratio.

Allow me to introduce you to “The Fart Theory.”

Every relationship starts at zero percent. I live in Orlando, and I’m surrounded by Disney fans who believe that there are relationships which instantly start at 100%. That is a fairytale delusion.

Modern dating apps allow you to scout your way to finding a “20 grade” relationship. Once you know certain details about a person, you know that the relationship is good enough to go pro. In all honesty, those apps are mostly scams. 

You have to date and get experience with each other in a relationship. Not just imagining how things might go. Not just experiencing the good times, but also the bad. Dating for three months in the summer is not the same as dating for three months in the fall. A relationship for one year in a pandemic is much different than one year in 2017. Every season, every year provides its unique challenges and journeys. 

I don’t know how many dates/interactions is needed to get to a 30 grade, where you’re almost major league ready. Or, a 40 grade, where you’ve found a bench player. Big pun intended there. I can’t really speak from experience, though. I’m not a player, I just crush a lot. 

What I do know is that the dating scouting scale does not really exist. Just like the MLB 20-80 scouting scale. It’s just an arbitrary number to simplify a conversation. The truth is that any 20 relationship could be a 40, and any 40 could be a 50 or higher.

You want that 50 level starter. Someone who you can build with. Ideally you want someone with plus value, 60 or higher. That’s when you spend to lock that person up long-term, with visions of a ring involved. 

These numbers are fake. Just like the MLB 20-80 scouting scale. You can give anyone a starter role for long enough and see if they stick. However, if you’re running through a lot of starters, chances are the problem is you.

Farts are very real, though. 

Let’s say a fart is negative-five.

A fart when the relationship is perceived as a 20 will mean the immediate end of a relationship. 

You don’t care if a 60-grade farts. 70-grade? 80? After you’ve been with someone long enough, farts turn into a different quantification game. But not early in the relationship. 

A 40-grade fart might remove a relationship from the bench. A well-timed fart can kick a 50 grade starter back to the fringe.

The truth is that everyone farts.

Every time there’s a fart in a relationship, we have the instinct to check and see where that relationship stands. Truthfully, farts don’t always individually move the needle. If a 60-grade relationship has one fart, it wouldn’t downgrade the relationship. What you want to avoid is putting a 60-grade relationship in a time machine set to the last night at Chi-Chi’s, figuratively speaking.

This is actually a long metaphor that can explain how every single Pirates fan reacts to any fart produced in their relationship with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Where do you grade their progress right now? Vote on my Twitter… no, I don’t care. I know that I’ve got the Pirates as starters right now, and even though there’s been a lot of gas this year, I still believe they’re on the right track.

I also might be ready to date again.


Several times this year, I’ve taken this site through the drive through at Taco Bell.

The farts to follow have allowed me to find the true floor of this site. That floor still allows me to do this full-time on a solo level. At this point, I can give 50-grade daily updates while doing plus reporting features. 

This is where I’ll diverge from the grading scale. My time is limited. I can write daily articles on my schedule, plus my reporting articles in bulk to be distributed out. This isn’t a bad job. Eventually, I can grow the site to having other writers. At a certain point, I would reach Shohei Ohtani status, where I’m playing two roles on the team. That means two jobs.

I haven’t made much personal money the last few years on this site. A lot of it goes to site expenses or the contributors. I have the capacity to make more personal money, but that requires that I write and report full-time.

Adding the reporting to my daily writing and running the site puts me in Ohtani status. It’s a lot to juggle. I was essentially a DH-only for most of this year, with my work happening behind the scenes. Every time I tried reporting, I eventually broke. I hit and exceeded my limits on how much energy I was dedicating to the entirety of this project. It happened after two weeks driving on the road this past week. I have massive respect for the life of scouts on the road doing the same thing. 

The last two weeks, I found a more healthy balance. I would have kept going, but I wanted to spend my birthday in a cabin in the mountains, writing my “Time Travelers vs Vampires” novel series and recording some rap videos.

I might share one of those eventually. Right now, I’ve been working through planning the article schedule for September. And, writing/planning out the features for that schedule. And ultimately evaluating the overall physical demands that this entire project requires of me.

Starting with today’s fart theory.

Hopefully with zero site farts until The Glory.

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Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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Somehow this post about farts is still smarter than most of the baseball coverage in this city.

I mean we do live in a city in which Ben Cherington was asked to his face if he was planning on trading his first round pick.


Ok this is a strange request: Believe it or not, I have not seen a Pirates game live in over two months, but have been following the team. I had knee replacement surgery on June 13th and am taking on line graduate school (2 classes) for the first time in 2 decades. I was so busy that I would let the games build up on my DVR and then binge watch games when I had the chance. This forced me to avoid social media like the plague, so I didn’t get any spoilers. Sadly that meant avoiding Pirates Prospects. I got caught up at the break and the trade deadline and I just finished the Cardinal series today. Could someone please tell me what is going on here at the site? Thank you.


Thank you Tim. Good Luck.


What is going on here? I just watched an episode of naked and afraid that had an autistic woman participant and her view of her surroundings and male counterpart was enlightening. When given advice she took it all wrong. Thinking she was being talked down too. If I was the guy I would have feed her to the lions but he was apologetic and considerate Of her feelings. So I guess we have to be the same to Tim. I come to the site to read about pirate prospect baseball and to interact with the other subscribers, not to find out about someone’s personal issues. Can we please get back to baseball?


No one suggests you can’t do things alone. It’s the way you’ve chosen to accomplish it by farting (your words) in the readers face.

The latest iteration was the best the site had ever been and readers are justifiably sad to see it blown up, yet the only approach you’ve taken to acknowledge folks mourning is a snide, self righteous one that compares your readers to tiny lights in a valley, almost like ants viewed from above, that you are happy to snuff out with your farting. Either that’s an intentional, incredibly revealing metaphor or your sensory issues make you impervious to others feelings, but either way my personal opinion is that you were better with other editors tempering your solipsism.

It would be funny if it weren’t so sad and destructive of a great community.

Again, you’re perfectly allowed and will probably make your living (for a while at least before folks bookmark patterns change) but you still haven’t added open threads or any way for folks to engage so I expect it won’t last as a robust traffic center forever.

But you know better than me. Best writer about baseball in Pittsburgh, you.


@Cardpunk. This is a good post and I agree with you partway. Part of this site is Tim’s struggle to make it work. I ran an operation in my hometown for a couple years and it was quite popular, but it worked for everyone involved EXCEPT me. It made it “work” to do a thing I loved because the only reward I got was the satisfaction of an amazing product.

The guys who Tim tried to expand with cost Tim money. They are now doing BucsOnDeck and getting granular reporting on the fastballs of guys in Bradenton. I’ve sent them $50 I can scarcely afford and they send articles to my email I can look at or skip. I hope those guys do well.

I could plainly see Tim struggling to get by as his world was crashing down around him. I could see the half-assed article (Taco Bell) from time to time and when I did, I was wondering if the guy was gonna make it.

I think Tim’s gonna make it or go sell insurance or something. But he can do less reporting on a daily basis and still give Pirate fans something of value. The thing is, this tiny baseball world of the miniscule workings of a lousy major league team provides a never-ending parade of PEOPLE who are interesting.

I was at Greensboro on Sunday and a group of Latino players were playing haky-sak (check spelling) with a baseball. I wanna know when that kid could have chosen a soccer career but instead chose baseball.

If P2 is doing it right, in my view, he’s giving us more than the box score, he’s giving us the backstory. That’s something you get once in a while in a major outlet, the feature piece, but something Tim does pretty well as a streaky hitter. The philosophy you’re seeing is a public telling of P2 trying to refine its swing.


It’s not hard to go to Substack and read the other authors.


If you don’t enjoy Tim’s work, why are you here? I sure as shit don’t walk into somebody’s place of work and tell them how to do they’re job. The Pirates and baseball in general is a huge escape for me, I’m grateful to any and all writers that write about the team I love and learn new things constantly because of them. Life’s hard and there’s enough ignorance and negativity in this world, why bring it here?


Because some of us remember when this was a reputable site and just long for that connection again


Totally agree with you.


P.S. Organic clicks into the $Archive don’t count as robust traffic. They will become stale if new content becomes ant created faster than it has been lately. How much money do you make off your three year old links?

I suspect that’s your financial lifespan if you do nothing.


Thank you for the refund Tim! Still a big fan. Delete that and this if you care to


Hi Tim. I’ve enjoyed your site and appreciate the perspective your personality brings. I’ve enjoyed all you guys since the heydays of onlybucs prospect rankings.

I think we’re the same age and I have owned a local business in Altoona for the last 15 years. It’s had some great ups and downs. Since 2019 its been rough and I had to let my employees go and find a new way to manage with half the sales. I took on debt for the first time in my life and was considering working at a box store warehouse.

I recently had a customer interaction that was tricky as he didn’t like the end product he purchased but he agreed that what he had done to it after purchasing it made it unsellable so I couldn’t take it back to sell and yet I still had to pay my cost for it. It was his problem but I felt that I didn’t want to profit from someone that wasn’t satisfied so I gave him the $130 I would have made from the transaction. He understood and we shook hands. I went above and beyond I felt but I was glad to feel proud of the situation.

A few days later the kids mother got on Facebook and gave us a terrible review. Lol I reveled in thinking of responses. At times I was going to hit her hard with the facts and call her out. But I decided to just sleep on it. The next day I had a more insidious plan. I was going to politely explain all her misconceptions and by the end of the response ask her to consider changing her review to 5 stars since how could one argue that I didn’t go above and beyond as a business owner.

Instead I slept on it more. And more. I meditated on it. I wondered if there was a spiritual benefit to letting it go. Small blatant wrongs can be hard to let go though. Obviously I’m still thinking about it months later.

And then I think about how it’s been 2 years nearly and I still can’t forget about what you owe me Tim. Of course that’s mostly because I come look at this site a few times a week and I don’t see how I’ll ever be able to read it without thinking of your breaking our contract.

[Order #24299 ] (November 27, 2021)
Product Quantity Price
Pirates Prospects 2022 Guide – Roansy Contreras 1 $22.00
Pirates Prospects 2022 Guide – Oneil Cruz 1 $22.00
Subtotal: $44.00
Shipping: $5.00 via Flat rate
Payment method: PayPal
Total: $49.00

It isn’t just the money of course. I have attempted to contact you at least 5 ways a dozen times. I forgive you but I just can’t forget. It ruins your personal posts for me despite my attempts to be stoic about it. I again tried contacting you privately so many times the last 2 years that it has led to posting in comments which is the only place you’ve ever responded.

So forgive me for that. But please make this right or admit you’re wrong and apologize so I can get you out of my mental ledger and just enjoy your posts again unburdened. I don’t need to remember my failure at zen living each time I read about the pirates.


My real name is Brian shultz. I used to love this site. It was the fucking best. Tim rarely commented let alone got Into pissing matches. The articles were great, about baseball. Now it’s some goddamn trek into Nederland where the character has the same first name as next week’s starter. This site has gone to shit. The “other” site is shit. And that sucks for all of us who truly loved what this was. Who truly just wanted to be more in touch with the pirates. I used to check in twice a day, through the worst years. Now it’s twice a week and I see arguing with subscribers. Rip p2


Time to get back on the bike Tim. Swipe right a few times and you will be on your way. I start every season with the Pirates at an 80, I’m just a sucker. They are over .500 for the last 40 games, I still think they can make the playoffs this year


I like your style.

I watch the “last ten games record” on the standings page at mlb.com.
Every win improves the last ten games record. A streak, such as we’ve seen lately, indicates the Pirates are just as good as anyone recently (to me).

The Pirates are fun.
Tim Williams is fun.
This reader group is fun.

I like baseball because of the individuals. I wrote a story maybe a year ago for the site about a baseball player who struggled to emigrate from Cuba when it was illegal to sign Cuban players. It was the individual’s journey that was interesting.

I love minor league baseball for the same reason. You are pulling for the individual. Once in a while I would like a feature article about a player about the man, himself, instead of about his career. We study the spin on the fastball, but we don’t paint pictures about the man. The place he’s from. The culture he is losing touch with while he foregoes everything to follow his baseball path. I guess it is okay to traffic in human beings if they are baseball players.

I guess I mean to say those stories are all rich and they touch on baseball as a common thread, but it is nowhere near the total story. The beautiful story is of the person.

Much love to all.
Make mine P2.

“Elvis! Stop scarin’ the baby!”


One can find baseball analysis in tons of places, but this site is special because of the constant analysis of life blended in. As much as I have liked the added thoughts of other writers, I found it too much at times. I miss Dreker most of all, due to his being a perfect complement to Tim.

I remain a loyal reader of this journey


Yes, Dreker was good with his draft prospect series and I especially liked his baseball card series, though once it was no longer linked on the main page, I kept forgetting to find it.

Tim’s analyses have often been very good, something that goes beyond what I can see by watching video clips of prospects. I wish there were a few more articles in August but looking forward to the articles in September that follow the visits to Greensboro and Altoona. I’ll take 40 quantity for 60+ quality.


Let ’em rip Tim

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