(Not Quite) The Pride of Pennsylvania

So it might not get much play outside of Pennsylvania, but the westside of the state is about to steal a title from the eastsiders that neither would like to acknowledge.

Turns out that the Pittsburgh Pirates are headed for their 17th straight season under .500 – a streak that would break the record for losing seasons set by the Philadelphia Phillies from 1933 to 1948.

The Phillies may be the only team in professional sports with 10,000 losses, but that is ancient history now with a 3 game lead in the N.L. East and a World Series Championship to defend.  Their losing ways have been ceded to Pittsburgh, seemingly for good.

It is so bad for the Pirates that this week’s trade of Nate McLouth, one of their best players, had his former teammates and fans alike looking for answers during yet another lost season.

Hearing the dischord loud and clear, Pirates’ Senior Vice President and General Manager Neal Huntington took the highly unusual measure of sending out an email to Pirates season-ticket holders.

Pittsburgh Pirates baseball - a losing tradition since 1993

Pittsburgh Pirates baseball - a losing tradition since 1993

I’m not buying the sentiments that this was “strictly a baseball decision” for the financially-strapped Pirates and I doubt that many of their fans are either.  Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle certainly doesn’t, claiming that Huntington stayed in the “fortress of weenie-ness” to justify the trade and front for Pirates’ owner Bob Nutting.

Time will tell, of course, if the prospects acquired from the Atlanta Braves in the McLouth trade will pan out.  McLouth, an All-Star in name only (due to MLB’s outdated policy of guaranteeing a roster spot for every team), is not likely to go down as one of the all-time greats.  But he was Pittsurgh’s “great” and I can understand the uproar in a city that has grown tired of seeing their best players relocate to winning teams.

Whatever the fallout from this trade, Huntington and Nutting better hope that the Pirates do have a real plan to establish a winning team.  And now.  Another losing season in 2009 stamps the team as the worst-ever in baseball history and makes the shame of that terrible team in that beautiful ballpark all the more glaring.

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~ by acm213 on June 7, 2009.

One Response to “(Not Quite) The Pride of Pennsylvania”

  1. […] me, but it seems that the story of the 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates could not be more fascinating.  We covered the Pirates in some detail earlier this summer, but it was not quite evident at that time just what was in store for this […]

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