Winning Cured All in Pittsburgh, But What’s Next?


Can you remember what you were thinking about the Pittsburgh Pirates this time last year?   Some Bucco fans were making their rounds on Jerry Springer.

Others were deeply upset with the lack of moves in the offseason well, outside of what was perceived as an overpay for Russell Martin.

But the bottom line was, there just weren’t a whole lot of Pirates fans.  The usual diehards were checking things out of course, but the overall theme was one of yet another year of doom and gloom.

Collapses, poor leadership and Hoka Hey battle cries about the development system were the talk of the town.  The team was still a few years away most everyone thought.  A new GM was needed a lot of people said.  The few hardcore fans I trust were optimisitc if only that pitching staff could hold up.

As everyone knows, it did.  The 2013 season was magical.

Winning cured all.

Now there are Pirates stories from the local newspapers and media sites daily.  93.7 The Fan is rolling in cash, because it’s hard to hear much sports talk over the repetitive car ads, all of the ambulance chasers looking for a quick buck, UPMC snarks and such.  Maybe the station should consider changing their name to 93.7 The Commercial.  But around all of those ‘Driven by Hyundai’ mentions, The Fan has upped their Pirates talk.

Also on the rise are Pittsburgh Pirates ticket sales.  At PirateFest Frank Coonelly targeted 2.5 million in attendance.  Revenues and profits for Bob Nutting are said to be at record levels.

The Bucs are improving in the marketplace.  Going to PNC Park isn’t just a fun night anymore.  It’s even more know.  The Pirates are expected to win, to provide memories, to be…well,  baseball again.  Not a comedy of errors.

But how did the Pirates get here?  It took a long time and the work of many talented people.  Some key moves were made last year and we wanted to take a look back.  What were we writing about at this time last year?  We wanted to see how we were personally reacting to the offseason that shaped the first winner in forever in the Burgh.

Last year, we were worried that if the Francisco Liriano deal went south, the offseason would be lost.  We were looking at the last time he suffered an injury and how strong he came back from it.

So yeh, we were in full panic mode.  Essentially lighting candles all over the internet in hopes that Frank the Tank would become a Pittsburgh Pirate.

Here’s are a couple paragraphs from If Francisco Liriano Deal Goes South, Is Pirates Offseason Lost?

"you recall, he suffered a torn elbow ligament that forced him to miss all of 2007.  So the big guy has dealt with injuries in the past and has rebounded nicely.  Including 2010, when he was the American League Comeback Player of the Year.Let’s just trust this was a bruise from deadlifting 400 pounds as he prepares himself to be in the best shape of his life.It doesn’t hurt to dream does it?"

Last year at this time, our eyes turned to Gerrit Cole.  We were waxing poetic about Cole and the beast he could—would become.

We were busy making fun of the Vin Mazzaro acquisition with our own version of NotGraphs.

An analytical look at Vin Mazzaro’s production as a major league pitcher.

Around this time last year, Jeff Karstens was about to be signed to a one-year deal.   We love Jeff Karstens, but he wouldn’t help the Pirates in 2014.

Baseball is a cruel game.  Everyone in Pittsburgh knows that all too well.  But the game is back Pittsburgh, and perhaps it’s time we stop looking backward and spend more time looking ahead.

No matter how hard that might be.