Pittsburgh Pirates fans are all a-flutter after one simple tweet from ESPN’s Buster Olney:
We have seen the Pittsburgh Pirates receive national accolades on both a team-level and for their personnel, yet, to my knowledge, this is the first I have seen where a well-regarded national pundit has gone as far as to predict the Pirates as 2015 World Series Champions. Certainly this is not out of the realm of possibility, which shows just how far the Pittsburgh Pirates has come in just a few short years. With perennial MVP Andrew McCutchen, and emerging stars in Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco, the sky is the proverbial limit. All of this without even mentioning consummate professionals such as Josh Harrison, Neil Walker, and more.
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To get to the nuts and bolts of it, I think that the Pirates have a tough road to get to the world series. The ever-steady Cardinals will always be there, and now the Bucs have to contend with the landscape of improved teams in the National League, such as the Padres, Marlins, and, yes – the Cubs. The Bucs will see the Cubbies a lot this year of course, but only have one four-game series against the Padres and two series totaling seven games against the new-look Marlins. I bring these teams up because these are the teams that the Pirates may find themselves going up against in a potential NL divisional series.
Nevertheless, I am beyond bullish on the team this year and am very happy to finally see these type of accolades and predictions start rolling in. Of course, these mean nothing on March 20, and oftentimes the predicted top-dogs do not live up to potential. Just ask the Washington Nationals.
We took to twitter to gauge your reaction and here’s what you had to say:
I’d like to expand on something our good friend Judge said. His call for the Pirates to come out strong is a very valid request. Last year the Bucs limped out of April with a 10-16 record, with all but two of those losses coming in-division. For the team to truly compete for the NL Central and grab much-needed homefield advantage for the NLDS, a good start is absolutely necessary. A good finish will be needed as well, as the team faces a very tough 10 game roadtrip that bleeds into the last week of the season.
Regardless of everything above, one thing is for certain: this is the most-anticipated Pittsburgh Pirates season in recent memory.
Cherish it, Pirate fans.