I will no longer spend three-and-a-half hours every summer night watching the most ridiculous franchise in all four team sports. Just writing that is scary since baseball is in my blood. Maybe I should think a bit longer. This calls for a pro/con list.
Pro: I really, really, really love baseball. Occasionally, the Pirates come close to approximating how it is supposed to be played. Err, maybe that’s a con.
Con: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twenty years in a row…Jesus, you have to be an idiot to follow the Pirates.
Pro: I love Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker. I’d hate to miss a step in their development right up until the moment they go to a rich team and break my heart.
Con: You can be rich and stupid and win a division. You can be poor and smart and win a division. The Bucs are poor and stupid, a lethal combination where you can never win, especially in a sport that is so inherently unfair to begin with.
Pro: What if they pulled off a 9-2 double play and I missed it?
Con: I am never going to see a playoff game again as long as I am a Pirates fan, but could I root for some other team? I put the names of all the other teams in a hat to see which team I would pick. No, not all of them. The Cardinals did not make the cut, nor the Braves, Phillies, Red Sox or Yankees. No way Jose I could root for any of them. I cut the Dodgers, too because I don’t need to switch my stupid front office for their stupid front office. I picked the White Sox out of the hat, then I quit playing. I am not rooting for the damn White Sox. My AL team has always been the Orioles, but I couldn’t seriously follow any team that used the DH. The only other team besides the Pirates I have a geographical tie to is the NY Mets, because I was born in Queens, but that won’t work. I don’t do orange. It’s the Pirates or no one.
Con: The Pirates owner rehired the entire brain-dead, stupid front office.
Con: The Pirates big, splashy move so far during the off season is Russell Martin, who hit .211 last year.
Con: There is a poster on the wall of the Bucs’ rookie team clubhouse that says, “Embrace the Suck.”
Con: For years, I have convinced myself that I don’t need the post season, that it is OK to look at it as 162 individual stories, one that in no way connects to the next game, that somewhere in the midst of the brutal 100 losses will be games that are gems but why should any fan have to settle for so little?
Con: Pedro, Cutch and Neil won’t stay here anyway.
Con: I can see the 9-2 DP on Sports Center.
Con: I really love to scoreboard watch but being a Pirates fan gives you no logical reason to do it. When the season ends, I usually have no idea which teams are where because I lost my reason to pay attention in May.
The cons have it. The only question is, do I love baseball enough to do this to myself again?