We Should Have Quit The Pirates A Long Time Ago
By Tom Smith
Clint Hurdle sends out an email or two everyday. Sometimes they are poorly formatted and very difficult to read, sometimes they are poignant, relating directly to important life topics. It’s obvious Hurdle is quite intelligent and cares deeply about the ones around him. The email Hurdle sent today was pretty deep, here is the link.
Like the author, Jason Leister, I think quitting is underrated, too.
It clicked something in my head as I was shoveling rocks in the driveway; obviously, I was pretty frustrated after listening to James McDonald struggle through his tune-up start before Opening Day begins in a few hours.
As I look back over my life as a Pirates fan, a 200-watt light bulb should have gone off above my head about eight years ago. The Pirates were three years past the five year rebuilding plan. The organization was in full death-spiral mode, dragging their fans along for the ride.
So yeah, I probably should have quit the Bucs a long time ago.
- I should have definitely never started RumBunter.
- I should have quit blogging the minute my boy Donnie Veal was cut loose. The Pirates quit on Donnie, why not turn the tables?
- I should quit looking for answers for ridiculous roster moves.
- I should stop making hideous Photoshops.
- I should have never logged on to stubhub.com and bought all those tickets over the past few years.
- I should have never bothered to convince superiors that buying a few seats in Club Cambria was great for business and that clients would love going to ballgames at PNC Park. Yeah, right. Especially after that infamous business-man’s special on April 22, 2010, when the Brewers pounded out 25 hits and clubbed the Pirates 20-0. Wow, now that was a great day– I probably would have been able to do a lot of things over the past couple years if I would have just quit that day….
- At the very least, I should have just given up when the Pirates were 16 games above .500 in 2012. I could have pulled a George Costanza, made a boat load of photoshops, and ridden off into the internet’s sunset.
But I didn’t do any of those things.
Why didn’t you quit? Why the hell are we still chasing this stupid idea that with Bob Nutting as the kingpin of the Pittsburgh Baseball Club, this franchise can do great things? Are you looking forward to the what-seems-like-the-millionth time the tenth richest owner in baseball gives his annual ‘we are going to the World Series speech’ before the Opener on Monday?
We can’t answer any of those for you, but I know why I didn’t quit.
Because I was just too damn proud. And as Leister says in the article Hurdle emailed, because ‘I was more afraid of what other people would think about my “quitting” than I was about wasting more moments of my life.’
We have happily wasted large portions of our lives cheering for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Perhaps wasted is a strong word for you–it is a bit harsh, but sometimes it feels harsh spending so much time cheering for something that is becoming harder and harder for a team like the Pirates to ever accomplish.
But we will do it again this year. I am afraid to quit. Maybe you are, too. Paralyzed to just walk away from all of it. Look at that 2013 temporary starting rotation, for God’s sake!
For those of you that go to church on Easter Sunday, do us all a favor–pray for A.J. Burnett. Pray for Wandy Rodriguez. Most importantly, pray for McDonald and Jonathan Sanchez and Jeff Locke.
Pray for the starters who will come next–Gerrit Cole, Jeff Karstens, Francisco Liriano and Kyle McPherson. The success of the 2013 Buccos rides on the pitching – and that, my friends, is a scary thought.
We don’t have the courage to quit. Perhaps it’s the sparkle in Gerrit Coles‘ and Andrew McCutchens‘ eyes. The sheer joy of watching Pedro Alvarez prove all of the naysayers wrong. The dignity with which Pittsburgh’s own Neil Walker carries himself, on and off the diamond. The thought of knowing how freaking hard Kyle McPherson is working to get back to the big leagues. The infectious smiles of the Buccos young talent keeps us looking ahead and not back.
The 2013 season might not be pretty, but what season has been this past 20 years? Since Chuck Tanner‘s club in 1979 there hasn’t been a championship for the city. Damn, that’s a long time ago.
The Pirates are not built for a playoff run this year, but just in case they are, we will be right here. Fuck McClatchy. Fuck Nutting. They didn’t save baseball in this town – people like you and me saved baseball in Pittsburgh.
And we’ll be right there again on April Fools Day, ready to start another season–too scared to quit.