Is a Winning Season All that Matters For The Buccos?
As we approach the end of the Major League Baseball season, one of the major surprises has been the dominance of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Unlike in recent years, the Pirates have been able to sustain their winning ways. The past few years they have collapsed and were not able to get that elusive 82nd win and winning season. Is getting that 82nd win really that important anymore?
I'm 22 years old. The only winning season I have seen was while I was watching on my father's lap. I have never seen a good baseball team from Pittsburgh. That makes me part of the loser generation. Don't get me wrong, I love baseball, but there were times that I questioned my fandom to the Pirates. Speaking to other young Pirates' fans, they all seem to feel the same way. An 82nd win is not the goal for us. We want to win. We want to win it all. We want it now. We are tired of hearing about rebuilding years. How do you rebuild for 20 years and still stink? Maybe we are just spoiled with the success of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins. What people outside of Pittsburgh may not realize is that my generation grew up with all three of our teams playing pretty bad (minus the early to mid 90s). I went to one of the games this past weekend. All I have to say is wow. Even after all this losing, seeing the passion from our fans was simply amazing. Fans were coming in body paint, black and gold hair, and all decked out in Bucco gear. People even started tailgating as early as 9:00 AM for the 7:05 PM game. What caught my eye the most was that the majority of fans that were there were between 18 and 25. That means the majority of fans that are the most passionate about the Pirates have never seen a good baseball team! The fact that the fans have stayed loyal to the Pirates is mind blowing.
So while attending this baseball game, I managed to ask some young fans from the losing generation what they thought of this season and if they found a winning record or winning it all more importantly at this time. Hands down, without a doubt, everyone wants to see the Pirates succeed in the playoffs. Out of 10 people, only one person mentioned win number 82 to be of any importance. Everyone else seemed to think that win number 82 is just another win. One person even mentioned World Series or bust. Can you blame him? He told me that the Pirates have had his allegiance since he was in diapers. He has been a loyal fan all through the losing that he feels that the Pirates owe him something. General Manager Neil Huntington has tried to show that he is all in with the acquisitions of Marlon Byrd, John Buck, and Justin Morneau.
Now is the time. The talent on this team is so much better than I personally have ever seen. The pitching is outstanding. The bullpen is simply incredible. Even losing Jason Grilli, the closer, the Pirates have just plugged in Mark Melancon and he stepped up. The Pirates are all in. From the front office to the players, they are all in. The fans are all in, young and old. We want what we deserve. We want to win. Is finishing above .500 the goal? No. Give us success in the playoffs. That's the goal.
Let's go Bucs.
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