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04 March 2009

Hope Springs Eternal

16 YEARS! Yes 16 years! That is how long it has been since the Pittsburgh Pirates organization fielded a .500 ball club. There are teenagers who have never witnessed competitive baseball in Pittsburgh, and many youngsters don’t even know what it is to love a big league club. Three general managers, multiple rebuilding attempts, and several bad salary dumping trades later...here we sit, staring down the barrel of an unprecedented 17th consecutive and record setting losing season. What’s the use right? I’ll give you one reason.....Hope Springs Eternal!

In fact, it may be the only explanation we have for following this club further and further into the depths of losing immortality.

Hope Springs Eternal......People always hope for the best, even in the face of adversity.

I don’t know about you, but I think that explains the only thing a Pirate fan has to offer.

If there is one thing every fan has at the beginning of a new season, it is hope. For us Pirates fans, it is easily the only thing to hang our dusty hats on. There are many questions to be answered this year. And while those answers will soon be generated on the diamond, we also have this hope of winning, a hope that this team can become competitive, and if we are all big dreamers, a hope for a World Championship.

The 2009 edition of the Pittsburgh Pirates face a tough task. They must live with a past that is delivered to them by association. Many of the young ball players on this team, some acquired just last year in trades, are very raw and ripe to the ways of this organization and its past. That is probably a good thing. A new management regime took over a year and a half ago and this will be their second full season under the gun. The managers contract has been extended. A core group of young talent has been identified and contract extensions granted. A plan is in place.

Adversity will not go unnoticed. The talent on this ball club is not elite, and youthful exuberance will be relied upon heavily, as many of the younger players and core talent develop on the fly at the MLB level. The pitching staff which has always promised to be our strength, went backwards in 2008. They will be counted on to bounce back and rightfully put themselves on the elite level. Newly acquired players via trade will be counted on to carry the load while younger prospects develop in the minor leagues and battle their way to the big club. And I would be negligent if I did not mention ownership as an adverse situation and something that every fan will eye ball and blame if things don’t go as smooth as we hope.

Here’s to hoping our younger players develop at a high level. Here’s to hoping our pitching staff bounces back and succeeds. Here’s to hoping management makes smart sound decisions. Here’s to hoping a .500 season is meant to be. Here’s to hoping a record setting 17th consecutive losing season doesn’t occur. Here’s to hoping we as fans are rewarded for all these years of losing. Here’s to hoping we can finally call ourselves winners!

Hope Springs Eternal......People always hope for the best, even in the face of adversity.....

I’m hoping for the best...how bout you?

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