Written by Cocktailsfor2 and Rum Bunter
(Saturday, 8:30 am. A man in a black and gold luchador’s mask slings open the library door with a loud grunt. He marches past the Pittsburgh Pirates team who is scattered throughout the library making a bee line to the back of the room. He quickly surveys his computer monitor. Obviously not happy, he immediately flips over an adjacent desk and before the papers hit the linoleum, he lets loose. It’s quite apparent that he has been watching this team lose for nineteen god forsaken years.)
Sit the hell down, and shut the hell up! All of you know why you are here….(he pauses, and it works– the team is completely silent) Some of you clowns have assigned seats, so grab ‘em. You know the drill.
If it’s not obvious– which, based on your pitch recognition this season, it might not be — I want to tell you that I am really pissed off to see most of you. The 2011 season just blew my mind, gentlemen. An opportunity to make a monumental statement to the fans of Pittsburgh was lost.
For a few months this season, I thought – mistakenly, it turns out - that last year’s Dear John letter actually hit home with some of you returning lettermen. I told you I wasn’t excited to see you in 2011. I lied. And it seemed to work….
Your quick start had Pittsburghers wearing Pirates hats again, and no - we aren’t just talking about Wiz Khalifa, smart asses.
Jerseys with McCutchen, Hanrahan, and Walker were all over town. Fans were showing up for baseball games, and after 18 years of destruction, you made fans believe again. They showed up in droves to see some great baseball! Even to see games that didn’t include an 80′s band, a bobble head or a fireworks show afterward!
Fans were coming to see winning baseball, something many Pittsburgh writers said you jack wagons couldn’t make happen! These same idiots who have no idea what WAR means were kissing your asses. You proved everyone wrong. You were living the dream.
Bob Nutting – who many blame for the recent rash of losing – was standing tall, signs were waving in the stands that said fans loved him… well, we saw one at least. The Dollar General was handing out the knock-off brand Kool-Aid on radio shows throughout the city. And, to our dismay, everyone was chugging it down like it was a 30-pack of Iron City on a 90-degree dog day in August.
But obviously, spending months beer-bonging the Nutting-Aid – but not paying close attention to just how fortunate the baseball gods were being to us – caught up with everyone.
But still, if I had given you 52 jagoffs a lecture as late as July 29, your parents would have been proud. They should have been proud! You shocked the world!
If any one of you wanted to commit a crime, you could have pulled it off with no fear of recrimination. Well, maybe anyone but you, Matt Diaz… you really sucked. And maybe you too, Lyle Overbay, you stunk it up all the way to Moon– maybe I should put this another way: if you were a major free agent acquisition this off-season, just go ahead and leave. Now. Get the hell out of my sight.
Whoa, whoa, whoa there, Corriea! Put down the surf board and stop running, Kevin – I’m not talking to you. There’s always an exception, no matter how small it might be in your case. (Sarcastically) You were an All-Star alternate!
But anyway, in spite of all the excuses, you scallywags were in first place. We were sending postcards to Philly, just daring them to show their cheesesteak-eating mugs at PNC Park, for chrissakes!
The phrase “Pirates in first place” …it sounded so damn good. When we got a tip on this hot new song about the Bucs from Chuk Wun we had no idea what to think….but the more we listened, the more we liked it.
Shit, this could be good, but can this team possibly back it up? The song sat in our inbox for two weeks. And then it hit me….. Screw it. We’re posting it anyway. It was refined and the final product blew our minds.
The best part was that you guys did back it up. BucTown became a Pirates fan anthem– blasting from the speakers of diehard Pirates fans all over this town. When we started hearing it in May it was old to us by then, but still delivered the goosebumps after you guys pulled out big victory after big victory.
But of course, now I’m afraid to even google ‘Pirates first place’ because I know how the story ends. Thanks for looking like utter shit since July 29. Utter shit, gentlemen.
(Long, awkard silence)
So even the miserly owner of this mess, Bob Nutting back there, knows why I have ruined yet another four hours of my life to gather all 52 of you together today. No, we’re not here for a “union brother” book reading marathon. Each of you contributed to breaking the hearts of Pittsburgh Pirates fans everywhere. Again. And I’ve got something to say about that.
It’s not that any of us expected much from you this year, but what was it with the teasing? For about four months you propped open the door to a winning season. A winning season! Just thinking back on it is downright mind blowing. Nobody saw this shit coming.
Most of us would die to just see you lose as much as you freaking win! We’re not hard to please!
I can’t even begin to describe what it felt like to see you play on ESPN.
And then on the Major League Baseball Game of the Week.
Hell, you were even on the cover of USA Today, for cryin’ out loud!
You owned the Pittsburgh talk radio circuit – hell, after a jock said you would never be winners, you proved him wrong. And that sports jock even washed your stinkin’ jocks!
For those efforts, I want to sincerely thank you for…..
Owner Bob Nutting: Oh, you’re welcome!! See… I told you so!
You told me so? You fu##ing told me so? Yeah….right. Okay, you told me so, Bob.
So, it was you that created all of these emotions, Bob? As pissed off as I am at what happened this season, my anger for you is being saved for an entirely different lecture. Be back here next Saturday, 8:30 am. Sharp.
In the meantime, I hope you choke on a chicken bone at an $8.99 all-you-can eat Golden Corral buffet.
Maybe it’s fitting the collapse happened in August. That’s all this city needs is a man like you, gloating all over himself. I have no idea how Coonelly and Huntington put up with your stupid shit. Adjust that wig, ass-pony, and for God’s sake – button your Gabriel Brothers shirt! We can’t stand looking at your unwaxed chest hair any longer. Keerist.
So, where was I? Oh yeah, the city – I’m still stuck on the city. It was on fire with Pirates spirit – the phones were ringing off the hook with fans trying to buy tickets as you racked up series win after series win and climbed your way to the top of the weak NL Central.
Everyone knows that PNC Park desperately needs to have its’ first winning season, and she was gorgeous when she was full this summer. Pittsburgh was a freaking baseball town again!
Clint Hurdle: I told you so! I told you it would happen!
Damn it, Hurdle! Less talking and more writing! When are you going to finish what I told you to write on that chalkboard? And please stop making Ciriaco run outside repeatedly to clean your erasers…..how ’bout less of you and more of me because that’s what happens here. Are we clear?
Clint Hurdle: Sure…I mean haven’t you ever been driving and you get lost and you tell your sweetheart….
Clint, shut the f%%% up. I’m not the bored to tears Pittsburgh beat writers who get wood from your terrible stories. Look directly into these eyes, fat boy: I don’t care what you say. I care about what you do. Write. On. The. Board. Now.
So class, like I was saying… Pittsburghers believed in the Pittsburgh Pirates again. The Pirates were back. But then it all collapsed.
YOU LET THE DAMN DOOR SLAM SHUT ON ALL OF IT! Actually, you let the door fall completely off it’s hinges!
So who did it? What the hell happened?
Michael McKenry: It was Jerry Meals, sir. I put the tag on the runner, but Meals said he was safe….
Shut the hell up, McKenry! Don’t give me any of that Jerry Meals bullshit! An umpire can’t ruin an entire season on one blown call!! Maybe, just maybe, if any of those catching “pals” of yours–all six of them– could hit like Doumit over there, we wouldn’t be here.
Paul Maholm: It was definitely the offense. They couldn’t score runs and absolutely refused to score for me.
Well, well, well… at least you finally came right out and admitted it, Maholm. All those “rah-rah, we will get ‘em next time” tweets got old. Fast. Especially when you gave up only a run or two and still would get strapped with a loss. It’s okay to get pissed off once in a while, Paulie – just be sure to end the tweet with a Bible verse.
Ryan Doumit: It was the damn second half pitching. Awful, it was just awful. Even the opposing pitchers lit ‘em up! And can anyone explain getting swept by the Cubs and Padres in August?
Okay… okay, we got it, guys. Even though there are about 520 fingers crammed in here today, there still aren’t enough to point out all the blame that can go around. Getting swept by the Padres sealed a ten-game losing streak, including seven-in-a-row at PNC Park! Yet another futility record was set–outstanding work, fellas! The fact you did it in front of a full house at your home park was just icing on the damned cake!
But Maholm has a point. You guys were shutout 14 times, and obviously every last one of you made your disdain for Maholm and other starters known with your lackluster run support.
And Doumit… you have a point, too. The ERA skyrocketed in the second half, but even so – the overall improvement has been the best in the majors. Now, if you could only manage to stay healthy for an entire season, Doumit! (Starts laughing hysterically.)
Improving your earned runs allowed by the largest margin in baseball is great, but when you were so damn awful–the worst in the league last year– it’s mostly meaningless. Especially when the lineup card is full of players pretending to be big league hitters. You guys sucked at hitting baseballs. You had the worst True Average in baseball, and piled up strikeouts so fast that the national debt is blushing!
Seriously, what the hell happened? Did you look at yourselves getting twelve or so more wins than last year as a big deal? This team sucked the eyes out of suck last season. Don’t compare yourselves to the players on that team. What the hell is wrong with you?
The relief pitchers in this room please stand up.
Great work in the first four months. But…there was those few weeks where….ahh, just go ahead and sit back down.
The problem with all of the starting pitchers in here is this: Nobody can get any whiffs. Nobody in the starting rotation has swing-and-miss stuff on a consistent basis.
So, despite having so many of you starters make at least 25 starts – and you get some credit for that – you weren’t missing bats.
We needed the pitchers to stay healthy. But of course, doctors’ excuses were the one thing that was consistent this season. We would try and add all of them up for you, but calculators aren’t allowed in my detention hall!
The injuries came in three waves. It allowed an opportunity for many of you to look awful in a big league role. You succeeded.
Clint Hurdle: (coughing…)The uh – (clears throat) The experience will pay dividends (cough-cough)…
Clint, who gave you permission to speak? Weren’t you the one that said you would reconnect a fan base with its’ baseball team?
Clint Hurdle: (turning from the blackboard to face the team, he gestures to Ciriaco that his eraser is filthy as he crosses his arms chomping the hell out of his Big League Chew) But I did reconnect the fans with the team…
Yeah, for four freaking months Clint…four freaking months! And the last time I checked, you can’t put your four month trophy beside all of those dusty World Series trophies in the lobby! So listen up, Hurdle! Turn your “Sports Illustrated Cover Boy” ass around and keep writing on the chalkboard!
If I have to strap that chalk to your hand with a gumband, I will! I’ll tell you when you can stop – and for God’s sake, spit out that gum!
Damn it Clint we’ve been here for over an hour and that’s all you’ve got…pick up the freakin’ pace…
Yeah, you in the letterman’s jacket in the back. Stop jerking that ridiculous shake weight, and go ahead with your explanation of this madness.
Andrew McCutchen: This team was pretty weak, sir, my back hurts from carrying ‘em, we gotta shake it to rake it….(starts shake-a-weight repetitions again)
Look, you athletic freak of nature…. This team needs you to step up and be a leader in 2012. You’re one of the best players in the game! I know you don’t like what’s going on here anymore than the rest of us, but this team… your team… can’t afford for you to disappear late in the season.
I think you know that Pittsburgh needs a baseball playing superstar and you’re the closest thing we have to that right now, Cutch. Well … you and perhaps maybe Walker and that smart kid in the back. (Joel Hanrahan looks up from tweeting and smiles)
Ross Ohlendorf: (In that slow, booming Texas voice) Hey, what … did someone ask me a question about my homerun?
No, Ross. (sighs) No, we didn’t. The season was bizarre enough…please go back to reading your book about injecting your cross-bred cattle with micro-bacterial enzymes from Uranus – we didn’t mean to disturb your studies. Good luck with that next year, by the way.
We are talking to that guy with the great grades this season…yeah, you, Hanrahan.
Without your dominant stuff this year, I don’t know what I would have done.
Pedro Alvarez, are you here?
(Crickets are heard from the non-fiction section)
Damn. He swung and missed on detention, too? Sunnuvabitch.
Neil Walker (looking out the window): He’s out there playing wiffleball on the playground, sir.
Oh, okay. Good. That’s good.
(Opening window) El Toro!! Pull that hat up over your ears and listen to me…..Stay active, big fella! Damn, you sucked on ice this year–striking out on Fan Appreciation Day sucked, but dammit get yourself together, big man! You’re the key. Hey Beimel—keep throwing him that breaking ball! (Slams window)
Well, my voice is getting tired. 19 years of this shit sucks, men.
Huntington and Coonelly……………….. you know what needs to be done here. The last thing I need to be doing is repeating this worthless shit in 2012. Make it happen fuck###rs!
Obviously starting pitching needs to stay healthy. And please, gents, keep drafting hard and often, because we like the looks of the Pirates system – it has the makings of being in the top ten.
Now, go find us some students that can hit! Automatic outs are bad enough, but when you combine it with the nonsense Clint is teaching we may never end this losing crap!
The pitching staff has number three, four and five starters most everywhere, but the ones and twos are still a couple years away. Teach Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, and Luis Hereida everything imaginable. They can’t get to the majors fast enough.
Spend time developing the next wave of number three and four starters. Guys like Kyle McPherson, Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson, and Nick Kingham. The system is flooded with arms, now flood their brains with how to pitch in the bigs.
And one last thing – spare us the Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick types, willya? Sure, Lee has been Pujols-esque since he got off the DL, but just ignore it. Don’t chase his old ass.
This team is made up of young players with (some) upside in various ability levels – let’s look past those players poised for breakdowns which might cost us millions. Let’s focus on improving the weaknesses in the ability levels of the youth. If we need to hire a few more quality coaches, do it. Immediately.
Sure, leadership is needed, but look internally for such leaders. Young talent is what this roster needs.
Enough! Redd up these tables, grab your yearbooks and get the hell out of here! I hate all of you! And be sure to prop that door back open on your way out too, we expect 2012 to be the year!
Hey Nutting – see you at PirateFest. What friggin’ genius on your staff came up with the idea of moving it to right before Christmas?
Nutting: Oh, that was me.
We just had a hunch that was your idea. Hmph. So, will you be flying in all the youngsters like Taillon, Heredia, Allie, Bell, and Cole?
Nutting: Umm…flying them in? No. We rented a van.
Oh.. I see… So who will be dressing like Santa?
Nutting: Well…..I couldn’t find a Santa suit for under $29 bucks, so I will have my glasses on with a Santa hat. Think that will work?
Oh yeah….that will be just freakin’ great. We’re sure you can’t wait to have all those Pirates fans sit on your lap.
(The room emptied, and as RumBunter pulled off his lucha mask, he checked his computer….)
Damn it. Now that’s funny… see you ass clowns next year.