Underrated: Pittsburgh's Significance

September 03, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Ahh Pittsburgh, the team the National League forgot. The Pirates haven't finished better than 3rd in 10 years, and they haven't seen .500, let alone a playoff appearance since 1992. That's even before the D-backs or Marlins were formed, winning 3 World Series titles between them.

Yes a once great franchise that brought their fans so many great memories with Clemente, Mazeroski, and Stargell, has been relegated to the role of the young wimpy cousin of the division, eager to play with the big boys but inevitably pushed aside and forced to watch from the side.

So in those regards, the Pirates are considered harmless and fairly insignificant right? Well, not so fast.

As the NL Central race has tightened up between the Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals, Pittsburgh has taken on a level of importance many may not be aware of. With 26 games left in their schedule, 16 of them are against the three divisional rivals all vying for the postseason (7 vs. St. Louis, 6 vs. Chicago, 3 vs. Milwaukee). While their hopes of a postseason appearance died a while ago, their role as spoiler has become pretty huge. "So what? They're still the Pirates!" you say? Well they did just go 17-13 for the month of August. Taking them lightly could prove costly. Hell they're 5-4 vs. the Cubs so far this year.

So as I gear up for the 4 game series against the Dodgers, I've got a close eye on the Pirates playing the Cardinals. For the next month I'll be a Bucs fan, at least for those 10 games they face Milwaukee and St. Louis. Make room on your bandwagon* Pittsburgh, I'm sure Brewer and Cardinal fan will be hopping on as well.

*I picture the Pittsburgh bandwagon looking like an old dive bar. Not in a scummy deviant way, but as an old, weathered watering hole. It's seen better days, but there's a warm welcome feeling and a nice sense of hospitality. The jukebox looks like it hasn't changed in decades. You note one of the buttons on it has been pushed so much that the letters have been worn off. You look to find the record that belongs to the worn-out button. To no suprise it's "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge. The walls are plastered with nostalgia and memorabilia and the regulars are happy to tell you of the good old days as you see a glimmer of hope still flickering in their eye. One day Pittsburgh'll be great again, just when that day will come is anyone's guess.