The Pirates Suck, That is All

So baseball is over for another year in Pittsburgh. The Pirates season ended yesterday in a 4-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Overall the team went 79-83. For what it’s worth I predicted 75-87 and warned of the potential of a second half meltdown like they experienced last year. I wish I could be as good at predicting hockey stuff as I am at predicting the Pirates. But then again, the Pirates just do everything to make it so easy. The only thing that really ruins Collapse II for me is that I missed out on winning $60 from a poll I did at work on the Pirates’ record by 2 wins (77 and it was mine). Now instead I have to give $5 to one of the managers who already makes plenty of money as it is—not fun when that $5 is more than 1% of your monthly earnings. More bitching after the break…

This marks 20 years of losing baseball in Pittsburgh now and in so many ways this is a far more complete failure than last year. The Pirates are now the first team in MLB history to be more than 16 games above .500 with more than 100 games played to not finish the season with a winning record. And let’s put it this way, it isn’t going to be any easier for the Pirates to break out of the slide next year. Let’s take a look at why that is:

  • Baseball’s worst team this year was the Houston Astros, and they happened to play in the same division as the Pirates. The Pirates went 11-5 against the Astros, their best mark against any team in the division (9-7 against St. Louis, 5-11 against Milwaukee, 7-10 against Cincinnati, 8-8 against Cubs). They are moving to the AL West effective next season. That means the Pirates likely won’t play them at all within the next several years. I know that there is a certain way that the extra 16 games are getting divided, and I believe that most are coming from out of the division, which means that they’re going to have to play that many more games against the Braves, the Phillies, the Nationals, and others. Definitely can’t mark up at least 10 wins a year against those teams.
  • The Cardinals and the Brewers were “bad” this year. Both teams had extended periods of struggle, yet both teams also still finished with winning records, and the Cardinals are in the playoffs. Imagine what these teams could do if either of them can find a power hitting first-basemen.
  • The Cubs won’t stay down. They were horrible this year, but totally unlike the Pirates, they actually got better in the second half of the season. And unlike the Pirates, they’re ownership is going to do everything within their power to add impact players in the offseason.

And that speaks nothing about the incredible organizational issues still inherent with the Pirates. Outside of a couple of pitchers there are no minor leaguers that are can’t miss prospects. It’s exciting to see Starling Marte and Brock Holt as part of the big Pirates, but there aren’t replacements beneath them now. I understand that this is the best record that the Pirates have had in the last 20 years, but can you really tell me that they’re any closer to actually winning a season?

It’s time for another housecleaning session—as endearing as Clint Hurdle can be, he doesn’t know how to actually win, in 10 seasons as an MLB manager only one ended with a winning record, that’s a fluke. The front office is a joke—every Pirates draft choice that matters came from the Dave Littlefield-era. And worst of all is that for all the Zoltan enthusiasm, the Pirates still ranked 15th of 16 National League teams in attendance. If this is anything BUT Same Old Pirates, please tell me where I’m missing it.

I don’t know what’s worse though: that I’m wasting my time on the Pirates, or that I feel like I need to waste time on the Pirates because there is absolutely nothing concerning hockey to talk about.

Still hasn’t been offered a new contract…

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