There are a lot of good debates to be had about the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates. Will the starting pitching regress, and how much? How much offense do they need to add at the deadline? What should they give up for that offense? Is this current 12-3 stretch legit, or just a fortunate stretch?
Whatever your opinion on those various subjects, I think all Pirates fans can agree that it’s good to finally see the Pirates get some national recognition.
A day after moving in to first place, it seemed like everyone was talking about the Pirates. National writers were writing articles about their surprise season. ESPN talked about them on pretty much every show. There may have even been a highlight on SportsCenter. Fans of other teams made tired “Mayan 2012″ jokes about the Pirates being in first place. Basically everyone was talking about it in their own way.
I don’t personally care as much for the national recognition. I don’t watch ESPN, so it doesn’t matter to me what they say about the Pirates, or any other team. But it’s the reason for the recognition that really stands out. We’ve seen teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, the Washington Nationals, the Oakland Athletics, or the Minnesota Twins get similar national attention at one point or another. It seems like almost every team has. But I can’t think of the last time the Pirates got this level of attention. I don’t recall it last year when they moved in to first place in July. And if you’re like me, when you saw all of those other teams get the recognition, you probably thought “Why can’t the Pirates ever be ‘that team’?” You’d think that just one year, even if it was a fluke and didn’t repeat the following year, the Pirates would have one of those seasons.
This might be the year. Then again, we saw the team in first place last year, only to finish as one of the ten worst teams in the league. I don’t think any Pirates fans are going to dismiss the worst from happening. But I think all Pirates fans can enjoy this current stretch, where the Pirates not only have the record of “That Team”, but where they’re also getting the recognition that goes along with it.
Links and Notes
**The Pirates were off today.
**Prospect Watch: Justin Wilson pitches a gem, Starling Marte has a three hit night as Indianapolis wins 16-0.
**The Pirates are debating the DH decision for the upcoming week. Is Jeff Clement an option?