I'm a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. Yeah, go ahead, scoff. Or pity Me. Even a Jenius has a soft spot in His head. And this is definitely Mine.
I wrote about this a while back, this affection for a team that, by now, has tied the record for most consecutive losing seasons in baseball history: sixteen. Uh-huh, 16 years of "Wait 'til next year!"
But next year is pretty much like the last year. Sixteen times in a row.
Last year, the Pirates traded their top player, Jason Bay, to the Red Sox and their quality right fielder, Xavier Nady, to the Yankees. What did My Bucs get in exchange? I think 4 minor league prospects and a glove. I hear the glove is making progress through Double A ball...
Now I find out that the Pirates, My Pittsburgh-Clemente-played-here-Pirates, have traded their current best player, Nate McClouth, to the... Atlanta Braves. Like one of the solid LaRoche brothers says, you start wondering who's going to be left, for in less than one season, the Pirates traded away their ENTIRE outfield so they could become starters for pennant-contending teams.
I'm just a Jenius, you know, but wouldn't three above-average outfielders HELP your freaking-ass team?!? With the LaRoche brothers, Jack Wilson and Freddie Sanchez, the Pirates had a solid core of young players, of which 3 are gone and who knows, maybe the other 5 will be, too. It's like a fire sale, only that the Pirate fans are the ones getting burned.
So three nights later, guess who recently-traded Nate hit his first home run against? Shit. Helped beat the Pirates, although Nate's replacement had 2 triples. Woo. And hoo.
And in their never-ending descent to cheapskate gutters, the Pirates actually signed the 2 Indian (from India) "pitchers" who sucked the least in some Indian "reality" show. I think they got them both for $40,000 and a crate of "The Simpsons" DVDs Barry Bonds left behind in his haste to stab steroids in his butt on the West Coast.
As it stands right now, the Pirates are 4 games under .500, their pitching is spotty, their hitting is typical of a young team (hot and cold) and the Indians are somewhere in reserve. I'd say their on a reservation clause, but I'm too disgusted to go there.
Will the Pirates win at least 81 games this year, when rumors fly that 2-3 more players are on the trading block? Hell, I don't think they can 81 games without Nate, Jason and Xavier. They didn't when all three were there, albeit younger. But now they're gone and We have youngsters peeking over their shoulders and dreading that call into the manager's office that says "You've been traded to..."
But I hope they can. I really do. So that after 16 miserable years of 5-year plans and turnarounds and getting a new focus We can actually see that 81 in the W column and sigh with relief. It's definitely not much, but it's what I'll take if I can get it.
The Jenius Has Spoken.