Matt from Shaler, a regular caller to the station and pseudo-celebrity, called in and stated that he didn't want the Pirates to make the playoffs this season. To paraphrase: "I don't want to see them make it if they're going to lose!" His basic sentiment was that he didn't think the team was quite strong enough yet, and they needed another season or two before they were ready for the postseason.
First off, how do we know that they're not ready? Let's just say, for kicks and giggles, that Matt is right, and these Pirates simply aren't ready for postseason play just yet. How will they ever get ready for that if they don't gain the experience of postseason play?
And second, saying, "I don't want to see a team make the playoffs if they're gonna lose" is a wussy way of looking at things. It's like saying, "I don't want to ask that woman out because she might say no!"
There are no guarantees with the postseason. No matter how strong and "prepared" a baseball team is for the postseason, it doesn't mean that team will win.
Back to the Matt from Shaler call.
When the host pointed out that the National League isn't exactly strong this season, Matt said, "Yeah, maybe the NL teams are beatable, but there is no way they'll get past any of the AL teams!"
So, essentially what he was saying was that even just getting to the World Series wouldn't be good enough of if the Pirates lost.
"What's the point if they're gonna lose!"
Fortunately, the host made it clear to Matt that he was being an idiot. Unfortunately, this "What's the point of making the playoffs if they're gonna lose!" thought-process is alive among fans of every team and every sport.
Steelers fans are like this with the Super Bowl. "I'd rather see them lose in the first round of the playoffs than make it to the Super Bowl and lose."
"What's the point?"
Well, all the fun and memories you'd have along the way.
If the Pirates made it to the postseason, that in and of itself would be epic. For starters, the 19 years of losing would be over.
Making it to the postseason in any capacity would mean that we got to experience a month-long pennant race.
It would mean seeing the team engage in a celebratory scrum in the middle of a baseball diamond, something yours truly never thought he'd see again.
If the Pirates made it as far as the World Series, it would mean two more celebratory scrums after winning the NLDS and then the NLCS (maybe even three scrums if they have to win a Wild Card game first).
It would mean every Pirates fan walking around in a euphoric state of mind for weeks.
A World Series appearance would almost ensure Andrew McCutchen becoming a national star.
And by that point, the "Zoltan" sign would probably be a national celebrity in its own right and it might make it into the top 10 of Yahoo trends.
Nope, I disagree with Matt from Shaler. Making it to the postseason would be a pretty good thing.