With the 2011 season having went down the same path as the 18 before it some people may wonder why even bother to try and win. Just go for another year of a high draft pick. The system could still really use some top end talent but that doesn’t matter. At this point continuing this absolutely awful pace would completely erase all the good feelings that came from the beginning of the season and the Pirates simply can not afford that. It is no longer a matter of winning the division or finishing 500 but it is a matter of just being able to hold your head high and laying a foundation for next season.
Heading into this season I had two so called milestones I was hoping to see the Pirates reach. I must point out I thought of these as overly optimistic and seriously doubted they would happen. Milestone number 1 was just avoiding 90 losses, it has long been a near lock that the Pirates are going to lose 90-some games a year and just shaking that for one year would be a start (and no losing 100+ last year didn’t shake it). Milestone number two was finishing 4th in the NL Central. That may not seem like all that big of an accomplishment but headed into this season it was quite clear that the Brewers, Cardinals and Reds were the class of the division. This split sort of broke the division into two subdivisions one featuring the front runners and the other half having the Cubs, Pirates and Astros. The Pirates and Astros were seen as the cellar dwellers and the Cubs a notch above. I figured the Cubs were a near lock to finish 4th this season so having the Pirates finish ahead of them would be huge.
The Pirates need to finish this season strong not because the games matter in the standings or because they will snap their losing streak but because they need to show some pride. Not rolling over and battling against the rest of the teams they play (most of whom are also out of the playoff picture) shows they are ready for more next year. Maybe it will win the city back and Pittsburgh will care about baseball, regardless of whether the Steelers are playing or not. There are 23 games left this season and winning more than half of them will put them at 76 wins or higher and that will by far and away exceed nearly anyone’s expectations going into this season. Show some pride, and lets finish strong.
Lets Go Bucs!!!