I wanted to get an educated, yet non-biased, view of the Pirates and where they stand in baseball, so I decided to ask an outsider what they know about the current state of the Pirates. I went to what I consider is a great source to answer this question — my own brother. He is a knowledgeable baseball fan, runs two fantasy leagues, gets the MLB package both online and on TV and he will sit down and watch spring training games just like anyone who can’t get enough baseball should. He’s also a diehard Mets fan, which is important because not only are they a big market team, but they only see the Pirates twice a year and never in spring. He is also an intelligent, level-headed person as he’s currently attending law school and completed both a two year and four year college prior to starting law school.
I asked him plain and simple, “What do you know about the current state of the franchise?”. I asked him not to research it at all. If you make a mistake about something it won’t actually be a mistake in your mind, it will be what you consider the truth. I also said if it’s something good, say it, if it’s bad, don’t sugarcoat it. Basically, I wanted him to speak his mind and tell what he believes to be the truth based on what he as a diehard baseball fans know and hears. These are the unbiased opinions of him and for most of you it won’t come as a shock to see. This isn’t meant to start any arguments on whether he is right, but rather it’s to show Pirates fans how one huge baseball fan from New Jersey perceives the team we follow so closely.
So without further introduction, here is the Pirates current situation unedited in his eyes:
The Pirates In The Eyes of a Mets Fan.
The Pirates have a beautiful ballpark and a fan base that is desperate for a winner. The problem with the Pirates is that they have created apathy in their fan base. No longer do they attempt to win, they attempt to get through another year by suckling on the power teat of big market teams while they play in the background of a Stanley Cup and perennial Super Bowl champion. Their problem is not talent. Look at all of the players who have left town. Aramis Ramirez, Jason Bay just to name a couple.
The current team has a lot of talent: McCutchen, Tabata, Alvarez, Doumit, and even Mr. “I can beat the Pirates in arbitration” Ross Ohlendorf. The problem with never reaching .500 after years and years is the perception that you-know-where would literally freeze over before they won another title. While that is not their fault completely, they are robbing Peter to pay themselves. It’s a shame for their loyal fans who look at the history and hope things turn around. The problem is the ownership. As good as the minor league system is, by the time they are good – a lot of the good players they have now will have changed zip codes and towns.
I asked fellow Pirates Prospects writer Kevin Creagh for his thoughts on what my brother had to say. After reading the above quote, Kevin wasn’t really surprised at all. He said that “aside from having Doumit in the talented players section, instead of Walker” that my brother was fairly spot on with his analysis as an outsider. I didn’t expect my brother to know about the fact that the Pirates have talent on the cusp in AAA, ready to help out, like Owens and Morris. But it was interesting to hear him say that they don’t attempt to win anymore. I don’t believe that to be the case, but rather a negative perception around the league.