I originally planned (as you can see by the archives) to provide pre-game and post game wraps for the rest of the 2010 baseball season being slogged through by the Pirates. It didn’t take long for me to realize it was pointless. Since the time I started this blog, I could’ve written the same game summaries of nearly every game they’ve played (that’s not an exaggeration; go take a look for yourself). Here’s how nearly every game has gone: Pirates lose, pitching is awful, offense is ATTROCIOUS, and John Russell needs to be fired ASAP for the horrific job he’s done. So, I chose to spare myself the time and not do that. There are many other blogs that can show you the statistics on the offensive production that isn’t even worthy of a AAA team. You have other options for viewing the tally of near record-setting strikeout rates Pedro Alvarez is putting up in the cleanup spot. Other sites exist where you can find the exact numbers on a starting rotation where four of the five don’t even deserve to be on a major league starting rotation. And nearly ALL baseball blogs (particularly the Pirates sites) are unanimous in their hatred of John Russell.
Somebody shoot me in the face, please. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
Losing is one thing. As a Pirate fan, I got used to losing a long time ago. Want to know how long? Well, tonight, Pittsburgh is in a class of their own, as the Pirates Baseball Club has set an American sports record by clinching their 18th consecutive losing season. This years graduating high-schoolers have never seen a Pirates team break .500 in their entire lives. Wow. That’s a long way from my youth, when I remember a mashing lineup of Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, Andy Van Slyke etc, backed up by 20 game winners and standout starters like Doug Drabek, John Smiley, Zane Smith, the breakout arrival of Tim Wakefield and the like. Watching the Pirates win the then-National League East Division Championship year in and year out gave me authorization to rub the black and gold in the faces of all my friends (many of them Cubs fans). Ah. The good ‘ol days.
So like I said, I can deal with losing. Don’t get me wrong, I hate it, but as a Pirate fan, you’re conditioned to struggle through a bad major league product while taking solace in the off-the-field things that brought hope that the cavalry was on the way. This week is a great example of it. While the Buccos have been getting their heads bashed in, the Pirates pulled off an unprecedented front office coup, signing Jameson Taillon, Stetson Allie, and the top prospect from Latin America, Luis Heredia. Few in baseball thought that task could be accomplished, but the Pirates nailed it, adding three of the premier pitching prospects in baseball to their system in a single week. These are the things Pirates fans cling to in order to maintain their sanity, and in order to rationalize why being a fan of this club isn’t the sports equivalent to Battered Woman Syndrome.
However, the performance of the big league club is killing me. Not only are they losing which is par for the course, but they’re awful. Losing is one thing, not even being competitive game in, game out is quite another. Basic, fundamental, Baseball 101 skills are unknown on the big league squad. The pitching is not just bad, it’s awful. The hitting is not just bad, it’s pathetic. The defense is not just bad, it’s unworthy of moderately talented minor league teams. And the effort and management is by far the worst in the league. It’s not even close.
I am a huge baseball fan. Always have been. But I cannot wait for this season to be over with. I pray that the offseason brings wholesale changes to the Pirates staff. 2011 cannot be anywhere near where the 2010 Pirates are. That cannot be tolerated. But to prevent another nightmare season next year, changes must be made THIS YEAR.