This has been the season of my discontent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
I did not blog as much on the team and I missed more games than I can remember since I began to buy the extra innings package in 2004.
I can honestly say that I have seen more Giants games this season than the Pirates or the Indians,which are the two true baseball loves of my life.
The Pirates were more along the lines of just not being around as much,while the Indians have just made themselves a bad and boring organization along with playing the American League style of play,which I do not prefer.
The Pirates finished off a historic collapse that took them from almost certainly ending the streak of losing seasons and instead extending it to a historic number of twenty.
As you have seen and as I noted a while back,I stopped daily Pirate posts a little while back.
I like to think that they will return next season,but I truly do not know for sure.
There are two projects that I am seriously considering that would certainly mean the end of the daily Pirate coverage here,but either would add something that it is currently not being provided daily on the net.
One would be seasonal,the other would be seasonal,but would be a year around project.
In either case,this would survive as currently aligned with everything that you might like or hate!
Back to the Buccos.
20 years in a row is a long time.
It has tested my loyalty and made me wonder just what I am devoted to.
There are times that I have felt wavering as a fan.
Ironically,I feel no such wavering toward the Indians,who give such a uninspiring product that it makes it tough for me to watch even when the Pirates are not on television.
With my luck as soon as I move on,is when they will finally turn this around after I have had enough.
The Pirates crumbling act could have been foreseen,just as it was in 2011.
They really were overachieving and it is tremendously difficult to have almost your entire team overachieve for an entire season,although considering the huge 16 game over .500 cushion that existed into August,that still should have been enough to stagger home with a winning record.
I had several people ask me at the Muni or other parks about the Pirates when things were going strong about the playoff chances for the team.
My response was this:"I don't see them making the playoffs,but I think they break the streak,it would take a catastrophic collapse to not do that".
Fast Forward and a catastrophic collapse is just what was delivered.
What this really does is test the younger fan base.
For two season in a row,the Pirates have teased a season to remember and just as fans were being created or fans were being returned to the fold,the carpet was brutally pulled away with months of not just bad baseball,but baseball that was painful to watch.
It is very hard to make new fans when all they are treated to is losing (ask the Browns about that).
especially in today's age where you can follow any team easily,new fans want something to be excited about.
Perennial losers do not do that at all.
Finally,between this and the Navy SEALS craziness,questions are beginning to be asked of the Pirates front office in both the media and the fan base.
The missed draft picks,despite large expenditures,have brought the Pirates to almost this-If Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon do not become top of the line starters,the Pirates woes should continue.
There is no impact bat on the horizon above Low A in the minor leagues to protect Andrew McCutchen in the lineup and short of trading Cole,Taillon or maybe Luis Heredia,the odds of trading for that type of bat look slim to none.
Neal Huntington's trades have been a mixed bag and his free agent signings have been dismal failures,with the exception of A.J.Burnett last off season, and this looks to me to be his last chance to work on improving the major league product.
I do not think Huntington survives another free agency dip that adds disappointments and trades that add past their prime veterans that contribute nothing,so the Pirates might spend a little more than they normally would in an effort to change things around.
20 years is a long time.
The questions for me is-Is enough finally enough?????