First Pitch: Good to See the Pirates Finally Be ‘That Team’

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?

**Prospect Trends for the week ending 6/10.

**The Wyatt Mathisen signing is official.

About Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He is a credentialed media member with every team in the Pirates’ system, including the Pirates themselves. He’s a regular guest on Extra Innings on 104.7, and makes regular appearances on ESPN 970, 93.7 The Fan, and TribLIVE Radio in Pittsburgh, as well as ESPN 1430 in Altoona and ESPN 1450 in State College.
  • john.alcorn

    There was more attention last year IMO, articles all over the net including the traditional big sports sites, plus attention from ESPN, MLB Network. However, the attention last year was more tongue in cheek or condescending.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      That’s what I recall. There was attention, but it wasn’t in the way of “this team could be legit”.

  • http://twitter.com/RSoprano03 RStefano

    I do recall they got similar attention

  • piratemike

    It may be just me but I don’t see anybody in the national media really treating the Pirates as serious contenders. They all seem to be speaking with tongue in cheek when they mention the Bucs.
    If they had just a below average offense I think people would take them a bit more serious but with those gawd awfull numbers with almost everybody hovering around .200 how can anybody even us loyal fans see them as legit over the span of a long, long season?
    That being said my countdown begins tonite …50 more wins with 103 to go.

  • Lee Young

    Tim….you have REALLY gotten my respect now by saying you don’t watch ESPN. lol

    I’d rather watch Root….the Extra Special Pirate Network.