Time to Believe?

Two games over .500, but it’s still April.  I’m seeing more and more people seeming to hop on the Pirates bandwagon.  The Buccos won again yesterday, lifting their record to 7-5.  They have looked good at times, and at other times they have just squeaked by.  When they lost, they got blown out and when they won, it required late inning heroics.  This is an improvement, as in the past they would lose those games as well.

I’m not saying that we as Pittsburgh fans shouldn’t be happy to see the team doing well, but they seemingly always do well to start the season.  Perhaps it’s because other teams aren’t playing their best ball yet.  Perhaps it’s because other teams don’t take the Pirates seriously.  Perhaps it’s because the Pirates haven’t figured out that they are, in fact, the Pirates yet.

As a fan, I’ve seen this team lose for 17 consecutive seasons, and if they do that again this year, the age of their streak will be so long that if it were a person, it would be of legal age to have sexual relations with.  There is a whole generation of younger fans (24 and under) who can’t remember the winning Pirates teams of the early 90’s, so every year of promise turns into another year of heartbreak.  It doesn’t help that Pittsburgh has winners in the Penguins and the Steelers, just adding to the hope for them.

There is reason for hope, however.  Andrew McCutchen is a star.  Perdo Alvarez may soon be one as well.  Garrett Jones is proving to not be a fluke at hitting home runs.  With a group of solid role players behind them, as well as an up and coming pitching rotation, this is a team on the rise.  Still, many holes exist.  Another power bat to protect Jones.  A #1 starter at the top of the rotation.  A solid, consistent bullpen.  There are still enough question marks to make he hopes of a winning season this year, well, a question mark.

I present a warning: please keep your emotions in check about watching winning baseball in Pittsburgh until after the All Star break.  If the team is over .500 then, I heartily encourage you to invest emotional interest in the team.  Until then, you’re only setting yourself up for the cursing realism that this is more than likely just another season of misery and shame hidden behind the guise of a “rebuilding year.’  Let’s watch the team do some winning before actually believing that this team is a winner.

Share your thoughts on the Buccos and their prospects for the future.

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