Column - Jump on the Pirate ship
Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 13, 2012 03:04
If my memory serves me right, I have followed the Pittsburgh Pirates since 1998.
I know. Depressing, right?
I have been there through the countless trades that saw some of my childhood heroes shipped to big market teams in return for some minor league players who would never seem to fully develop.
I have never even witnessed a winning season, as the Pirates currently have recorded 19 straight losing seasons.
But, no matter the results, I still found myself glued to what was formerly Fox Sports Pittsburgh, which is now Root Sports, basically every night between April and September.
Call me crazy, but I have a feeling a lot of you have done the same.
Just a few years ago, I was almost ready to give up all hope of any drafts picks ever reaching potential or any trades ever working out in favor of the Buccos.
But recently the tides have turned.
Drafts picks such as Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Neil Walker combined for trades for players Joel Hanrahan, Jose Tabata and Jeff Karstens, appear to have a solid foundation built for years to come in Pittsburgh.
Combine that with second-year skipper Clint Hurdle’s ability to call the shots, and this is a team that, down the road, could compete in the National League.
Now, I know the Pirates’ payroll isn’t exactly near the top. But it is currently right around $50 million, and it appears the front office is willing to spend money if the team begins to find success.
So why I am writing a column on one of the biggest embarrassments in all four of the professional sports leagues, you ask?
I would like to make a final pitch to the forgotten Pirate fans out there. I can’t blame you for your impatience.
Better baseball is being played in Pittsburgh these days.
Yes, the Pirates are off to a 2-3 start and have struggled to score runs, but with already three matchups against former Cy Young winners, it is understandable why runs have been hard to come by.
Take a trip up to Pittsburgh for a game this season.
I guarantee a quick look online will show lower level tickets available for less than $20, and you’ll get an opportunity to see the best ballpark in baseball – PNC Park.
Stay patient with this team— they’re not going to be the Phillies or the Cardinals overnight.
But I assure you that the embarrassment is almost over.
In the next five years, the Pirates will end the losing streak, along with the universal state of depression among baseball fans in Pittsburgh.