I have been reading a lot of posts lately about the Pirates having a bad season, some even go as far as to say this team has not improved. Seriously? The 2011 Pirates are going to finish with ay least 15 more wins than the 2010 version. Let’s put that into perspective. If the Pirates do it again next season they will finish with 87 wins and be one of the biggest stories in the baseball world. The 15 wins represent a 26.3% improvement over last season; the equivalent jump for your average baseball team, 81-81, would mean 102 wins. Would anyone dare say a team that did that did not improve? 15 games represent 9% of the season. To put that into perspective let’s assume a .250 hitter gets a hit in an additional 9% of his at bats, he would become a .340 hitter and would currently lead the NL batting race.
Bottom line a 15 game improvement is absolutely huge. As I mentioned if the Pirates do it next year it becomes a huge story but they do it this year and people say the club hasn’t improved? I just don’t get how anyone can take that stance. The only explanation I can come up with is we have a lot of prisoners of the moment. They are discounting the Pirates first four months in favor of the last two. In baseball where sample size is everything that is the most unforgivable sin. Statistics say a four month sample is going to be more accurate than a 2 month sample and you know what the whole 6 month sample is better yet. The Pirates are what they are a 72 or 73 win team. Is that good or even acceptable? Certainly not. But is that no improvement from last year or indicative of a terrible team? Again certainly not. The Pirates are a bad but improving baseball team.
Nobody foresaw a 15 win improvement this season, in fact a lot of people had them losing 100 games again so the correct thing to do is be happy with the unexpected improvement this season and treat it as what it is, a step in the right direction. There are thousands of more steps in front of this team but it has to start some where. If next year the Pirates have another 15 win improvement I hope I don’t have to right this article again and in fact I am willing to bet everything I own that it won’t be an issue.