Archive for July 31st, 2007

31
Jul
07

Not what I was expecting

So, the non-waiver trade deadline has passed and Jack Wilson is still a Pirate. That’s a welcome surprise. What’s more, the Pirates added a veteran pitcher to their rotation. That’s an even more welcome surprise.

I was afraid that the Pirates’ absolutely terrible 2nd half so far would prompt what many in baseball refer to as a “fire sale”, which involves a team dumping all its expensive (read: experienced) players in exchange for prospects with which to rebuild the team the following year. Coming up to the trade deadline, all I heard was rumors about how teams were interested in Torres, Marte and Chacon. Writers kept saying that the Pirates had pitchers to spare. Were we watching the same team?

When my brother-in-law visited last week, he told me about a Pirates shirt he saw that said: “Pittsburgh Baseball: Rebuilding Since 1992.” That about sums up the last 15 years in Pirates history. So, when the Pirates actually traded a prospect for a veteran, I was surprised. I don’t think the season is a write-off yet and this move indicates to me that the Pirates ownership and general manager don’t either. As far as I’m concerned, the goal of this season is not to win the NL Central; rather, the goal is to break this embarrassing streak of losing seasons.

If the Pirates could put together a winning season — even something as meager as 82-80 — there would be a lot of celebrating in the ‘Burgh. In fact, a couple of months ago, I was wearing some Pirates stuff here in Boston and someone, evidently from Pittsburgh, passed me in a car and shouted something like, “This is the year we break the losing streak!” After so many years of losing, Pirates fans have learned to temper their dreams a little. Come on, Pirates, let’s turn around the second half, put an end to these losing seasons, and declare the team rebuilt. This trade seems like a step in the right direction.




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