I attended last Sunday's Fan Appreciation game between the Pirates and the Reds. What a disappointment to pick up the Monday morning PG only to see a negative headline and picture focusing on another losing season. The losing season isn't the manager's fault and it isn't the players' fault.
Until the front office and powers that be realize you can't be a playoff contender with a one-man pitching rotation and an inconsistent, excuse-laden so-called "closer," chances are it will continue. It was quite obvious that the front office gave up on the season when it started bringing up inexperienced players in the middle of playoff contention. Who does that? Talk about a "slam" to the players who got you here -- you know, the ones described as so-called "castoffs," the ones who played their hearts out for less money, just so they could still play the game.
I say kudos to the broadcasting teams who always found some way to stay positive and still generate enthusiasm in broadcasting 20 years of losing seasons. I say kudos to the Pirates who made the season exciting and were always accessible to the media and never whined or criticized or showed frustration. It's quite obvious to me that the Pirates play for and to the fans, not the media, and for that I am grateful. I say hold your heads up.
I know I am not alone in the fan base when I say "thank you" for an enjoyable, exciting, fun season and for making it obvious your hearts and souls were in making this season a "winner." I prefer to remain positive, supportive and appreciative. Can't wait for next year, and I hope all of the "castoffs" remain part of this great team of men.