That picture you see to your right is roughly the view from what were my brother and I’s season tickets. I say “were” because, well, baseball stopped being fun some time ago. Paying that much money for that little quality baseball just became a chore, no different than mowing the lawn or cleaning the gutters.
People would ask me, “Hey, what are you doing this weekend? Wanna come over for a cookout?”
“No, I can’t, I have to go to the Pirates game,” I would say. Yes, you read that correctly. I said have to. (My brother will attest to this.)
For a long time, there was little happiness to the Pirates continued suckitude. They weren’t a funny kind of loser like the Indians portrayed in Major League (best baseball movie ever, even if it is about Cleveland). They weren’t a heartbreaker of a loser like the Red Sox. They weren’t even a fun-time-at-the-ballpark loser like the Cubs. They were just bad and seemingly lost every single game by a boring score. I’m pretty sure that in 1997 they lost something like 50 games by the score of 6-4. I don’t know if this is true, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.
What’s happening, slowly, is that the pool of losers is getting thin, and even worse the Pirates’ division is pretty much the Cubs to take for the next few years. The teams we around Iron City looked to for moral support are all polishing their World Series trophies or reaping the benefits of having at least a respectable bad team. But not us.
With interleague play, and with the Pirates facing the White Sox for the third year in a row for God only knows what reason, there should be a chance for some new kind of competition, right? New teams to root against? New opposing players to despise? No, not really. We know it’s not a World Series preview, but at least when the Yankees or Red Sox come to town we let those idiots have their way with the stadium and let ownership spend the extra revenue on. . . um, Doug Menkiewitcz. In all fairness, he actually won a World Series with the Red Sox, so maybe Pirates management can use him as the way to say that technically speaking, they’re putting a World Series champion on the field.
At the same time, thanks to the AL’s caveman baseball rules we get to see our struggling first baseman become a struggling DH, although looking at the statistics it seems you guys have the exact same approach with Jim Thome and Paul Konerko. Maybe we’re not so different after all, at least not until the Pirates lose a few more of those 6-4 heartbreakers. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go pine for the days of Barry Bonds and Bobby Bo, and then realize that the only thing more pathetic than how bad the Pirates are now is how good they never really were.
Rob Dugan is a freelance writer from Bethel Park, PA and is pretty sure the Pirates would even lose a World Series for last-place teams.