Its been a long season, one filled early on with doubt which was later replaced with excitement which has now been replaced with agony. After today roughly 90% of the season will have been played and the Pirates will be in a much better position than any of us would have realistically imagined in March but in a far worse position that we would have thought in July. A baseball season is full of ups and downs and the Pirates are currently deep down in one of those downs. Nothing seems to be going right. When the pitching shows up the hitters don’t and when the hitters show the pitching is awful. Right now the season feels like a catastrophe.
But you know what the season isn’t a catastrophe and the Pirates haven’t collapsed at least not yet. There are still 17 games to go and while we all feel like we know how this is going to end we can’t be sure. The possibility exists that this team will some how some way put together a magical 17 game run and maybe go 15-2 and make the playoffs or at least 11-6 and make us all feel a little better about this season. Do I expect either to happen? No. But I can I guarantee neither will not happen? Once again, no. Look I’m a calm rational Pirate fan who loves this team. I mean it honestly when I say that every one of the 105 losses in 2010 hurt. I didn’t become numb or indifferent they all stung just like all 72 losses to date have stung. I know I am setting myself up for my pain by continuing to watch these games but this 2012 season, with the possible exception of 1997, is the best Pirates season I can recall and I’m going to do everything I can to enjoy these finals 17 games should we finish 17-0, 0-17 or somewhere in between.
For everything I am, an optimist I am not so don’t take this as me saying things are going to improve because honestly I don’t think they will. I fully expect this slide to continue and for the Pirates to play these final 17 games at 6-11 or so but that doesn’t mean I’ve lost hope. I have never bought into this team as a playoff team or a true contender not even when they were 16 games above 500 but that doesn’t mean I didn’t root for them to be one. This is my Pirates team and even though I have no confidence in them to turn this around and have never really believed in them in the first place I am still going to go down with this ship because you know why these are my Pirates and I’d rather go down with them than bail even if logically its the right thing to do. So for 17 more times this season, regardless of the record, the standings or my feelings about how this team is constructed and managed I am going to proudly display my devotion to the Pirates and cheer for them despite all the odds. In that regard tonight will be no different from any night over the 15 year life of my Pirates fandom. Let’s Go Bucs!