Actually, the Pirates were the easy part of most team’s schedules for the last 20 seasons. I’m sure most sports fans know of the ineptitude of the ball club in Pittsburgh for the last two decades, therefore I won’t beat a dead horse.
The most recent version of the Pirates are a well-coached, talented and primed-for-the-pennant-race team. Pitching has been the key ingredient for this team, but the additions of Marlon Byrd, John Buck and Justin Morneau in the past week have proved to the fanbase that the organization is looking to win big this year.
This team is filled with players that are hungry for the playoffs. Most of the active roster is filled with players that have never seen the postseason.
The coaches and players want to win the division. Playing 162 games just to reach a one-game wild card playoff is not what anyone in the organization wants. The Pirates need to win the division to get to the promised land.
These thoughts are very hard for me to imagine giving the last 20 years as a die-hard fan. The goal the last twenty years seemed to be .500, which is the definition of average. This is no longer the goal of these ballplayers nor should it be. The management has raised the bar with the recent additions to the roster.
The baseball fans in western Pennsylvania and beyond need the postseason. What better way to accomplish these aspirations than winning the National League Central division. The Pirates right now have a one-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals with four weeks left in the regular season.
The playoffs would be especially phenomenal to watch from PNC Park, arguably the best field in Major League Baseball.