I think by the title you can see where I am going to go with this post. Now, as I have said before I do not get too worked up in the losing streak. Does it suck? Hell yea it sucks, real bad. I was only seven years old the last time the Pirates had a winning season and to say I remember a ton about that playoff run would be telling all of you a lie. I have been a big Pirates fan for some time but this is something that really isn't a big deal to me.
Inevitably all Pirate bloggers are going to write something like I am about today's game. The game today really didn't give us much, the Pirates got a good start from Charlie Morton and just didn't get enough offense to overcome and dropped a one run game to a playoff contender. The loss also meant that the Pirates picked up their 82nd loss of the season meaning the streak continues. Whatever. It gives people something to mock but I am not in the group that started this season with .500 as a benchmark.
When you get into making the goal for a season .500 you have already lost. What would 81-81 or even 84-78 season mean? Not too much if you ask me. Making the playoffs is the goal, and that is what it should be, not getting to .500. Earlier in the season when the Pirates went into the All-Star break with the lead in the NL Central were you just hoping for .500 then? I wasn't. Now I know that saying the goal should be the playoff every year is kind of a silly thing to say, especially when your team had the worst record in baseball the year before but that is the mindset that you should have if you are in the organization and even if you are a fan. You should hold yourself to a higher standard and expect the best, even if that probably won't happen.
At the beginning of the year I thought this was a 72-75 win team and at the All-Star break I thought that they were a 75-win team (if you don't believe me go listen to the podcast I did at mid season). This organization has made a ton of huge strides over the past five years, and they are getting better. Dave Littlefield and Cam Bonifay ran the organization into the ground and left Neal Huntington a penny to buy $20 worth of stuff. It has taken a long time but we are beginning to see the fruits. By no means are the Pirates there yet and by no means does this mean that 2012 is the year they are going to make anything happen but after the disgrace last season was it was great to have that feeling of hope earlier this season.
There are a ton of holes and still a to of unknowns in the roster. Are they really going to go with Mike McKenry behind the plate? Is there going to be a left hander in the rotation next year? Who is going to play first base? Can Pedro Alvarez bust out of his funk and not turn into a bust? Can Alex Presley continue to play good baseball or are we looking at another Chris Duffey or Tike Redman? Is Kevin Correia still going to be in the rotation after falling back to Earth? Are Paul Maholm and Ryan Doumit going to still be with the team? Will Josh Harrison ever take another walk? These are a lot of questions for a team and going into next year a lot of them are going to have to go in the right direction for the Pirates to make another push. Nobody said it was easy but as far as the organization has come as a whole you really have to see that there is still a ways to go. It is frustrating but I guess it could be a ton worse.
This all goes to the point that I couldn't give a shit less about being .500. This management team hasn't been here for 19 years and clearly none of the players have. Outside of Neil Walker there isn't anyone that actually knows what it has been like for all 19 years. The streak is meaningless in the grand scheme of things and while I am sure losing has been really tough on the guys that have been here for a few years there was hope this season.
I couldn't agree with Pat over at WHYGAVS more today when he said that he didn't look at the wins and the losses this year rather than how the team played. He looked on the team making progress. I would rather see this team win 70 games and improve their play than have an 82 win season where the team actually regressed. In some aspects I think the team has improved and in other there are regressions so this season is really hard to judge but it has been better than years before and I am hopeful for the future.
Hate it or love it we are a part of this "streak" and it will come to an end. I don't know when that will be but I know that if it happens in a playoff year it will feel a whole hell of a lot better than if it didn't. That is what we want for this team isn't it?