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Subject: The FIRST PLACE Pittsburgh Pirates! rss

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Leo Zappa
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Today the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball club won its season opener 6-3 versus the Chicago Cubs. By doing so, the Pirates have established a won loss record of 1-0. This has placed the Pirates into a first place tie with the Cincinnati Reds.

For those of you who are not familiar with Major League Baseball, the MLB season for each team consists of playing a schedule of 162 games between April and September. So, the Pirates have played one game, and have 161 games remaining on their 2011 schedule.

Given this fact, one would think that a fan might well be considered somewhat foolish or silly for getting excited about their team being in first place for the moment. However, given the history of the Pirates, such a fan is not to be considered foolish, but instead, pathetic and desperate. Guilty as charged, I'm afraid.

Once more, for those of you unfamiliar with Major League Baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the oldest franchises in the sport. The team has won five World Series (the ultimate championship of MLB) in its history. However, the team is most recently notable for a more dubious accomplishment. For the past 18 seasons, the Pirates have lost more games than they've won. This streak of 18 consecutive losing seasons is the longest such streak in the history of all major North American professional sports leagues. This includes not only baseball, but NFL football, NBA basketball, and NHL hockey. No team has ever established such a legacy of losing.

This unfortunate fact being, well, a fact, one can imagine that the time that the Pirates have spent atop the league standings over the last 18 years to be rather fleeting, and one would be right. To see the Pirates name anywhere but at the bottom of their division is in fact rather unusual. For these reasons, we few who still consider ourselves Pirates fans will grab onto any shred of success like a starving man might grasp at a scrap of bread thrown his way. Today represents our scrap of bread, and I'm eating it. Today, the Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place.

Raise the Jolly Roger! Let's Go Bucs!!!
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William Lindsey
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You should keep the optimism going! The Pirates are going to go 162-0 (based on current results)!
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Gil Hova
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I serious admire fans of lousy teams (as I am). It takes much more personality and character to root for the Pirates or Royals than it does to root for, oh, you-know-who.

EDIT: However, the team I root for is a lousy team with a $140 million payroll, so don't cry for me Argentina.
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Rishi A.
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Thanks for touching on my current crisis of faith. I was a Pirates fan since I was a very small child. But now, after 18 consecutive losing seasons, I think I have to let them go.

I really hate fair-weather fans, and I don't think it's fair to give up on a team just because they're losing, but the Pirates aren't even trying to win. They continually trade away their best players in hopes of lowering their payroll.

My brother, who lives in New Jersey, has taught his kids to be Steelers fans. They love it. When it comes to baseball, though, they are Yankees fans. My brother chose to not encourage them to root for the Pirates because he didn't want them subjected to a lifetime of misery.

I hate bailing on a team. But, at what point is it fair to say that enough is enough?
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About a dozen years ago I worked with a guy in Tampa, Florida who was determined to raise his sons to root for the home team, no matter how bad they were - of course, this was the Devil Rays, doomed to play in the same division as the Yankees and the Red Sox. Well, their loyalty was rewarded eventually with a successful, pennant-winning team. I really admired him for that dedication.
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Rishi wrote:
I hate bailing on a team. But, at what point is it fair to say that enough is enough?
I think the whole "18 consecutive losing seasons" pretty much gives you the right to let go of their hand and let them slip beneath the waves.

I mean, best case scenario for this year (BEST case scenario) is their record rises above .500 and that's not much to root for.


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fightcitymayor wrote:
Rishi wrote:
I hate bailing on a team. But, at what point is it fair to say that enough is enough?
I think the whole "18 consecutive losing seasons" pretty much gives you the right to let go of their hand and let them slip beneath the waves.

I mean, best case scenario for this year (BEST case scenario) is their record rises above .500 and that's not much to root for.




There have certainly been times when I've wanted to "let them go", but I grew up as a rabid Pirates fan in the 1970's and I can't let go. The shame of it is that my kids can't enjoy what I enjoyed when I was their age. To illustrate how bad it's been, my daughter will graduate from high school this summer. She has never known a winning Pirates team. My son is in ninth grade, so same goes for him. When I tell them about Clemente, Stargell, Parker, hell, even Bonds (pre-steroids), Bonilla, and Van Slyke, I might as well be reading from a crumbling scroll written in the age of wizards and dragons. Despite all of this, I continue to follow the Bucs, out of habit and childhood nostalgia if nothing else. At least for one day, it was fun to be a Pirates fan again.
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Rishi A.
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desertfox2004 wrote:
fightcitymayor wrote:
Rishi wrote:
I hate bailing on a team. But, at what point is it fair to say that enough is enough?
I think the whole "18 consecutive losing seasons" pretty much gives you the right to let go of their hand and let them slip beneath the waves.

I mean, best case scenario for this year (BEST case scenario) is their record rises above .500 and that's not much to root for.




There have certainly been times when I've wanted to "let them go", but I grew up as a rabid Pirates fan in the 1970's and I can't let go. The shame of it is that my kids can't enjoy what I enjoyed when I was their age. To illustrate how bad it's been, my daughter will graduate from high school this summer. She has never known a winning Pirates team. My son is in ninth grade, so same goes for him. When I tell them about Clemente, Stargell, Parker, hell, even Bonds (pre-steroids), Bonilla, and Van Slyke, I might as well be reading from a crumbling scroll written in the age of wizards and dragons. Despite all of this, I continue to follow the Bucs, out of habit and childhood nostalgia if nothing else. At least for one day, it was fun to be a Pirates fan again.


For me, the glory days were the early 90s, as I was too young to remember the 70s. Another factor is that I don't live in the Pittsburgh area and haven't since I was 6. They were never my local team, but the team that my older brother and father rooted for, and so I latched on to them by default.
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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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It only took me one game, and one day for the Brewers to raise my hopes and dash them for the season.

A walk off homer in the ninth with a four run lead will do that for a longsuffering fan.
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The Jays outscored the Twins 20-4 to win their first two games... I guess we'll see the Pirates in the World Series!
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iklinck wrote:
The Jays outscored the Twins 20-4 to win their first two games... I guess we'll see the Pirates in the World Series!


Nice wins for the Jays to start the season. Alas, the Pirates bullpen imploded yesterday in the 8th, giving up 5 runs and turning a 3-0 lead into a 5-3 deficit, which is how the game ended. Thus, the Pirates are now 1-1 and no longer in first place - the dream is finished, and cold hard reality once again stares Pirates fans in the face.
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As a Cubs fan, I am used to waiting until next year.
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Jatoha wrote:
As a Cubs fan, I am used to waiting until next year.


Ditto. Let the century plus long losing streak continue.
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It should be noted, that if only by percentage points, on the evening of July 15th, in the Year of Our Lord 2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates, with a 4-0 victory over the Houston Astros, claimed first place in the National League Central division. This marks the latest point in a season that the Pirates have been in first place since July 17, 1997, a season in which they finished second in their division (their last winning season was 1992).

This may not last, and there's still two and half months of baseball left to play, but for this one perfect summer evening, the baseball squad from the city of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania shall be rightfully known as the

FIRST PLACE PITTSBURGH PIRATES!!!!!!!!!

Let's Go Bucs!!!

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Congrats Pirates fans, from a bitter Cubs fan.
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Haven't seen this is quite a while! I'm enjoying it while it lasts...
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And hell didn't freeze overdevil
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Rishi A.
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Rishi wrote:
Thanks for touching on my current crisis of faith. I was a Pirates fan since I was a very small child. But now, after 18 consecutive losing seasons, I think I have to let them go.

I really hate fair-weather fans, and I don't think it's fair to give up on a team just because they're losing, but the Pirates aren't even trying to win. They continually trade away their best players in hopes of lowering their payroll.

My brother, who lives in New Jersey, has taught his kids to be Steelers fans. They love it. When it comes to baseball, though, they are Yankees fans. My brother chose to not encourage them to root for the Pirates because he didn't want them subjected to a lifetime of misery.

I hate bailing on a team. But, at what point is it fair to say that enough is enough?


So joke's on me. As I posted a few months ago, I was really considering abandoning the Pirates in favor of the Nationals. They're the local team - they have some promising prospects. And, most importantly, I can watch the games on TV every day and occasionally go to the park. So I semi-officially abandoned the Pirates (i.e. I put away my Pirates hats and T-shirts and bought some Nationals stuff).

And now the Pirates are good. Gah. I know there's no rule that I can't root for both teams, but to me, that's kind of lame.
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But the Nationals have Werth. From what he said when he was leaving Philadelphia, he figured he was going to be their savior. Sorry to distract from Pirates thread.
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Rob
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Pirates are 15 games over .500, and tied for the Wild Card lead. Looking even better than last year.
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Sinister Dexter wrote:
Pirates are 15 games over .500, and tied for the Wild Card lead. Looking even better than last year.


Indeed! AJ Burnett just missed tossing a no-hitter last night too! The trades the Bucs just made are not blockbusters, but I think they might be enough to get the Pirates into the post-season as a wild-card. If that happens, which would be the first Pirates post-season appearance in 20 years, the city will probably hold a parade!!!
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desertfox2004 wrote:
The trades the Bucs just made are not blockbusters, but I think they might be enough to get the Pirates into the post-season as a wild-card.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates make the post-season, either as a wildcard or division-winner, I will personally award you 8 GeekGold, to do with as you wish.

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fightcitymayor wrote:
desertfox2004 wrote:
The trades the Bucs just made are not blockbusters, but I think they might be enough to get the Pirates into the post-season as a wild-card.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates make the post-season, either as a wildcard or division-winner, I will personally award you 8 GeekGold, to do with as you wish.



I look forward to receiving your generous gift of 8 GG. I will start thinking about how I will spend it!
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Rishi A.
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desertfox2004 wrote:
fightcitymayor wrote:
desertfox2004 wrote:
The trades the Bucs just made are not blockbusters, but I think they might be enough to get the Pirates into the post-season as a wild-card.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates make the post-season, either as a wildcard or division-winner, I will personally award you 8 GeekGold, to do with as you wish.



I look forward to receiving your generous gift of 8 GG. I will start thinking about how I will spend it!


Still have respect for the Pirates, even though I'm pretty solidly a Nats fan now. So I will chip in 19GG if this happens, 1 GG for every losing season they've had.
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