Pittsburgh sports talk host Colin Dunlap has declared the 2018 Pirates season over. Seems a bit of a jump to conclusion. 42 games remain, many against teams ahead of the Pirates in the standings. The task is tall and a playoff spot is unlikely, but a 5 or 6 game winning streak could change all that in a hurry. This is especially true if such a streak started today and ran through the Cubs and Braves series upcoming.
But for the sake of argument let’s say that Dunlap’s assertion is true (and like most talking heads he is taking the most obvious answer here as his own). Let’s say that the Pirates have no chance for the playoffs this season and the 2019 season has unofficially begun.
My response to that is thank you, Pirates. Thank you for another wonderful year.
I know some Pirates fans may scoff at the notion, but the Pirates have done again this year all I ever really ask them to do. They have provided me with a good deal of entertainment and some very happy moments in the spring and summer months. They have for the 8th consecutive year been competitive enough to hold my attention at least util mid-August. And for this, I thank them.
I see so many posts on Twitter (my only real source for the pulse of Pirates fans) griping about championships and so many lost seasons. I do not argue with that line of thinking if that is the way one sees things. I won’t get in to ownership issues or whether or not management is trying hard enough. For those that do, God bless you. Far be it from me to suggest how you should feel or how you fan. You do you.
But, I do want to offer a different view. A view that holds that baseball is just a game. a wonderful kid’s game, that is meant to be played or watched with joy. The Pirates have at this time won 61 games and lost only 59. If only winning were my enjoyment, then I have this season so far received the better of the bargain.
But, even in a loss something fun usually happens even if it is a great play or performance by an opponent. And this is also fun, for those of us who like the game.
To be honest, I like all fans sometimes get frustrated with the performance of the team. I question decisions both in game and from above. I root hard for victory.
When I step back and look at the grand scheme of things, how can I not be thankful?
I have been a Pirates fan since I was 5. I am now 43. It is the one youthful exuberance I have left. Most of my days are spent like the rest of you, working, tending to family matters, paying bills, trying to solve problems.
The Pirates are my respite. They are the fun part of the day. And if the season were to miraculously turn I will rejoice in it. But if it does not, I will enjoy it anyway.
And when the air chills and the fall comes around, I will miss the games as the lack of them will remind me of another beautiful summer come and gone.