Earlier in the week, while the Pirates were mired in a 10-game losing streak, I took it upon myself to lament the fact that they could be embarking on a sustained losing streak destined to equal that which has already been established for this season. My tone, however, was jovial, which some would call a coping mechanism for having subjected myself to one of the worst teams in baseball year-after-year since birth.
I speculated, incorrectly, that, “Yes, it is possible — nay, probable, that the Pirates equal and subsequently surpass the losing streaks put forth by the Baltimore Orioles (L14) and Arizona Diamondbacks (L16, but was 14 at the time).” Okay, I wasn’t that flamboyant about it, but I made the claim, nonetheless.
The impetus behind such an assertion was founded primarily on the following principles:
- The Pirates have a -96 run differential, which had been worst in baseball but is now second to Arizona.
- “Pirates gonna Pirate;” in other words, the thing this team most routinely makes headlines about now is massive blunders, like the Will Craig debacle or the Ke’Bryan Hayes home run that wasn’t.
- In a lost season — or, a “bridge year” to be less harsh — entertainment doesn’t come cheap; the value of a dollar diminishes with every loss. In instances such as these, one must look for something to acknowledge and sometimes that thing is the absurdity of losing — or, how silly a team can lose, and how often they can do it.
But then the Pirates ripped off two wins against Cleveland by scores of 11-10 (they almost found a way to continue that streak, eh?) and 6-3 just after I postulated they would be scratching and clawing at the win column ahead of the Father’s Day edition of baseball (which ended in a loss instead of a hopeful sweep).
All of this brings me to my final conclusion: What do I know, anyway? I posture and banter with myself about the state of affairs in Pirates’ baseball because what else is there to do? Deriving meaning from another loss seems futile; ridiculing the team based on blunders doesn’t do much good, either. Sometimes it’s better to bask in that which no others could bear to bask: The bottom.
The Pirates, now on a crash course for worst record in baseball with the Diamondbacks, and perhaps a 100-loss season, embody what’s wrong with the sport in the eyes of many. Talk show host Pat McAfee has ripped the Pirates left and right for a while now and, while granted, he doesn’t know much about the situation, it seems, he serves as the mouthpiece for what many likely feel.
The Pirates are bad, there’s no getting around that. The owner is perhaps suboptimal, and there’s no getting around that either. But until Ben Cherington shows that he can’t win with Bob Nutting in the owner’s chair, it’s going to be hard for me to entirely rail against this enterprise.
More than anything, I find it challenging to work up the anger towards these types of sports-related situations. I find it hard to sustain anger in general, much less to the non-tangible, at-arms-length dealings of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ front office.
Among all of us fans, I’m certain there are those that keep the same fervor trapped just underneath the surface all season long. For the rest of us, at what point does interest in the season at hand begin to wane? When does it become a chore to watch a team with an 83 wRC+ who scores 3.54 runs per game?
There’s worth in watching those who’ll still be around in the future, like Hayes and Reynolds, but having the stomach to sit through 162 for a team that’s going to lose 64 percent of those games is a tough ask. That’s why I choose to stifle the bad feelings with nothing more than objectionable banter and silly jokes.
So if you ever find yourself upset with me or more than mildly annoyed, just remember: What do I know, anyway? After all, you, studious reader, probably know more than me, anyhow.
Final question for all of you: At what point in the season does a team this markedly and unabashedly bad lose priority in your evening and weekend plans?
When do you lose interest?
This poll is closed
I go the whole way!
Thanks for the responses and I look forward to continuing this long, exhausting, tedious, and drawn out journey to the 2027 World Series.