If you talk to a lot of Pirates fans, the outlook for the team in 2018 and beyond is bleak. Every day I hear that this is a team that will be one of the worst teams in baseball. They're not going to win again for 20 years. There are no prospects in the system, and no hope for the immediate future.

I know the definition of the word hyperbole, but these claims are actually believed, rather than a sarcastic exaggeration.

I've been down this road before. I defended the Pirates back in 2011 and 2012 when the same claims were made about how they'd never win, and how they didn't actually have any prospects. I viewed the organization then as a team close to contending, and with a future on the rise. I received my unshakable "apologist" label at that point, and it didn't matter that I was rig...

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