At what point do the Pittsburgh Pirates become contenders?

Is it enough now that they're tied for first place, and have legitimately been in the NL Central race for most of the month?

Do they need to take two out of three games this weekend against the St. Louis Cardinals, followed by strong performances next week against the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies on the road?

Maybe they need to make a big splash or two at the trade deadline, adding a big bat to show that they're serious about winning.

I don't think that any Pirates fan is overlooking the importance of this weekend's series against the Cardinals.  I don't think anyone is downplaying the Braves and Phillies next week.  However, with the trade deadline coming up, the most important talk among Pirates fans is wh...

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