Merry Christmas to Pittsburgh Pirates fans, other baseball fans, and all of our readers the world over!
Being a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates is not an easy thing, at all.
The past 25 years this franchise has been a prime example of everything that can go wrong going horribly, horribly wrong. From Sid Bream‘s fateful slide in 1992, to the 20 consecutive losing seasons that followed, and these losing seasons being capped off with the epic collapse of 2012.
Then came the amazing ride that was 2013 – 2015 that saw the Pittsburgh Pirates win the third most games in all of baseball and make the postseason three consecutive seasons. However, even then everything that could go wrong did.
In 2014 the Pirates were arguably the hottest team in baseball in September, only to run into the Madison Bumgarner buzzsaw in the 2014 National League Wild Card Game and a performance by Bumgarner that started arguably the greatest postseason pitching run in history.
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Then came 2015 when the Pirates won 98 games and were in the eyes of many the best team in baseball. However, thanks to baseball’s ridiculous rules, the Bucs had to face Jake Arrieta in a one game playoff. At the time Arrieta was on the most dominant four month stretch of any pitcher since Bob Gibson – and they lost.
The past two seasons the Bucs have regressed to finishing under-.500 both seasons. The team has also been riddled by off the field issues such as Starling Marte‘s suspension, Jung Ho Kang‘s inability to get a new work visa, and the inability of players like Francisco Cervelli and Gregory Polanco to stay healthy.
But enough with the negative crap, it’s Christmas!
While it may not seem like, fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas season. The Bucs have an emerging superstar in first baseman Josh Bell, left-handed reliever Felipe Rivero is quickly becoming one of the most dominant and fun to watch relievers in baseball, Starling Marte is one of the best two-way players in baseball, and with Mitch Keller quickly approaching the Major Leagues the Bucs are closing in on having a rotation anchored by Keller, Jameson Taillon, and Trevor Williams that should help to make the Bucs competitive for foreseeable future.
There is also Gerrit Cole. Cole will either anchor the Pirate rotation in 2018 and 2019 or be traded away for a king’s ransom that will help make the Pirates a postseason contender again in a hurry. Either way, yay!
From Rum Bunter to yours, Merry Christmas everyone! And Let’s Go Bucs!