With my history of baseball curses, I should really know better. Let’s add it to some of my other infamous statements: “There’s no way they’d audit me!” “Hey, everyone, watch me hit this drive to the green!” “Well, at least I have my health!”
Unfortunately, Pirate fans are waking up to the fact that this team–a team we thought was significantly improved from last year– has the exact same record (18-22) as they did last year. Let that sink in a moment. This team has the exact same record as last years’ league-worst team. Not only that, but they still can’t win in Miller Park, where they are 3-35 since 2008. (But man did we look good in those 3 games!)
The pitching is still better than last year but even they are starting to show some cracks. Have they been over performing? Or have they become stressed by the fact that if they give up 2 or 3 runs, there practically no way they are getting the win. Not with our hitters.
The hitting is an enigma. A team can be cold during the first few weeks, the first month, but now we are two weeks away from the season being 1/3 over. McCutchen is ice-cold. Tabata is erratic. Overbay sucks. Alvarez can’t touch left-handed pitching. And no one is hitting home runs. Seriously, how can you be a decent team with zero home run threats in your line up? This last week, our only long ball threats were Neil Walker (who has had to do everything this year), Ryan Doumit (our back-up catcher), and Ronny Cedeno (’nuff said.) That’s it. Five of our starting 8 are hitting below .240. (Garrett Jones is hitting .242 and plummeting.)
Look, I’m not an idiot. I know this is a team on a long rebuilding process. I have few hopes even for .500 this year. But now Pirate fans are faced with the prospect that this team still sucks as much as it has the past several year. It has not improved. It is… the same. Worst of all, this team is showing very little heart. They fail to run full-out to first base. They seem dead. There’s little enthusiasm. No moxie.
What, then, do we make of GM Neil Huntington? I don’t bicker with any of the trades he’s made the past two years. Well, except for the Jose Bautista trade. I don’t blame them for not knowing that he would suddenly turn into a 30-HR guy, but I do blame them trading him for a third-string catcher who was summarily released. Other than that, however, Huntington has been solid. But how long do you stick with a team that fails to improve? On the other hand, if you launch him, you are really hitting the “reset button.” You are bringing in a new guy who has no loyalty to these guys. In fact, he’ll see all these guys as Neil Huntington-guys. Then, the fire sale begins and we go back to “Go,” do not collect any money, just your tears in a mason jar as you wait for another 5-10 year rebuilding process! As I said, however, these guys are proving to be… the same as ever before.
I’ve had this feeling before as a baseball fan. That your team is freakin’ cursed. Doesn’t matter what happens, anyone who wears your threads will just start to suck.
This is what a baseball fan writes after a 5-game losing streak, and after getting swept by a team you absolutely hate with the white-hot hate of all that is unholy. The Brewers. God, I hate them.
It’s nothing a three or four-game winning streak can’t cure. But today my glass is half empty, and what is in there is liquefied suck. It will be good to see the Nationals for two days before we have to go to Cincinnati.