Sunday, March 31, 2013

Why the Pirates Will be Successful in the Baseball Standings

By B. Crawford

I was in high school the last time the Pirates had a successful season in the baseball standings; I am currently pushing forty. Two decades ago they were a consistent challenger and were a tremendously talented team. And, of course, they had Jim Leyland as their manager in the dugout chain smoking like a chimney. They had Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla in the young part of their respective careers, to mention just a couple. Needless to say the financial aspects of the game caught up with them and all of their talent walked and they went through a rebuilding phase. That cycle was expected to be a short term plan, not twenty plus years, but here we are with no winning seasons in between then and now.

Over the years they have done a great job of drafting skilled players. Unfortunately, it never paid off in the baseball standings. In recent years they have shown bursts of success and winning through the first half of the season only to have it tumble late in the season. Generally this has been due to the starting pitching, really all of the pitching, faltering as season enters the late summer months. The end result has always been a hard slide in the baseball standings.

They truly have the team in place to be elite and remain relevant in the baseball standings this season. They also have a great manager in Clint Hurdle; on a side note, the greatest blunder the Colorado Rockies ever made was to fire him. The Pirates have a very intelligent front office staff that has done a fine job of adapting to what is needed to assemble a winning team. There are few teams with the raw talent that the Pirates have on the roster. Now all they need to do is to turn that into a winning season in the baseball standings. Sounds easy enough.

The Pirates have some of the premier fans in baseball and those fans are ready to win. Finishing in the bottom half of the baseball standings year after year has to be getting old; they are entitled to better results. After all, this might be a business that is totally based on results. If you don't win, nothing else matters. This isn't little league where everyone gets a nice shiny ribbon and a cool little plastic trophy; this might be a business where your results in the baseball standings is all that matters in the end.

On paper they are more than capable of accomplishing any goal that they set. Without doubt their goal is to win a World Series ring and they are as capable as anyone else to pull that off by the end of the season. It is doubtful that either wildcard position will come out of the central division so they will have to finish first in the baseball standings in their division. There is no cop out anymore; win or go home. The management has done their job, now it's time for the players to generate the results that everyone knows that they are capable of.

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