Growing up a Pirates fan you learn to appreciate baseball for the simple things -- heading Downtown on the T for a game on a warm summer night at an incredible PNC Park for $8; a $1 hot dog at Bucaroos; an $8 Iron City; relaxing with family and friends and enjoying the skyline, fireworks and bobbleheads; and, win or lose, walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge and singing "Here We Go Steelers" with the saxophone guy.
In my lifetime, there really has never been a "meaningful" game where the outcome mattered, and the last time we were above .500 was 20 years ago when I was 7 and a scrawny, nonsteroid Barry Bonds was a Pirate. Yet for some reason, it didn't really matter and nothing beat going to Buccos games all summer long.
As I write this, the Pirates have the best record in the majors. I've been conditioned over the last 20 years not to drink the Buccos Kool-Aid and am not naive enough to start thinking about the "P" word, let alone an elusive over-.500 season. In fact, I refuse to believe until we have enough wins that the end of the losing streak is in the books.
Who knows what the rest of the season may bring? So it deserves to be said now in the moment: With one of the lowest payrolls in baseball and leading the majors nearing the halfway mark of the season, "Raise the Jolly Roger" -- I'm proud.
Let's go Bucs!