Let go of April 2023 as the Pirates gear up for the 2024 season

Chicago White Sox v Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago White Sox v Pittsburgh Pirates / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

It is hard to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Organization test fans year in and year out by putting together lackluster Big League rosters, not being aggressive in free agency, and just doing things the same old way in terms of development/service time manipulation. However, one of the more difficult things that happened recently kind of summarized what it means to be a fan of the Pirates.

Last April the Pittsburgh Pirates were the best team in the National League. The only team that was ahead of them in terms of wins was Tampa. The Bucs amassed 20 wins by the end of April, something that had never been done before in team history. It was very surprising as the team was not exactly projected to contend. Many expected the Pirates to only win around 65 games after all, and they were a third of the way there after just 1 month of play.

Yet, there was always that little voice in the back of my head that said "do not get too excited, it is the Pirates". It very much is the case most of the time, if something goes wrong it will be for the Organization. That is exactly what happened. Just 9 games into the season Oneil Cruz would fracture his fibula, taking the team's most dynamic player off the field for the rest of 2023.

The Pirates were able to keep it together for a little and ride the momentum they had created, but as the season started to settle in the team started to settle into what everyone expected them to be in 2023.

Things started to go off the rails and while the Bucs ended the season with 76 wins, it was a bit disappointing to see them not in the playoff race after playing such good baseball in the early going. One thing to keep in mind, and as Pirates fans are conditioned for this, is that things can change really quickly. The 2011 and 2012 Bucs were testaments to this as they fell flat after being in good spots heading into August. Then the bottom fell out.

Last year should not reflect the 2024 season and the outlook. This team needs to be pushing toward 81+ wins which would put them in the Wild Card hunt. If they do not get off to the best start, relax there is plenty of season for them to get it on track. If they get off to another good start, enjoy it and do not just sit and wonder when the bottom will fall out. It is tough, but this team has some real talent finally and they should start playing winning baseball.

Do not forget about the Spring Breakout game on March 14th at 7:00 PMEST