Updated: May 29, 2020
I feel like I've been fighting this battle for a long time. The fact that I've only seen the Pirates have 4 winning seasons and 3 playoff appearances in my 23 years of living is exhausting. Year in and year out, we witness a team with mediocre players play OK games of baseball that result in a below .500 record.
I don't blame the players for their efforts; they do what they can with what they're given. I don't 100% blame the management, but they do have some fault. I don't even 100% blame the SOB that has his thumb up all you "die-hard" Pirates fans' asses: Robert "Bob" Nutting.
I blame the people that don't stand up to that SOB and continue to give him satisfaction by throwing money at his investment–an investment that he no longer has interest in investing in.
As fans, we need to wake up. We can't continue to support something that has seen barely any improvement in the last 20–almost 30–years.
"But, Cody, what about our brief run of playoff appearances?"
Yes, what about those playoff runs? Let's see, the pirates had some of the best players in the league. They had chemistry and they made us believe again. But what happened after that? We traded away almost everyone that got us to that point so we could "clear up salary." WHY IN THE FUCK DID WE HAVE TO CLEAR UP SALARY!?!?!
Hasn't Bob been quoted saying that every dollar the Pirates earn has been put back into the team? If that were so, why didn't he put money into the players that brought record attendance to PNC Park? If every dollar goes back into the team, wouldn't that mean the money made by attendance would go back into the team?
Between 2012 and 2016 the Pirates averaged over 2 million tickets sold a year; that's almost a quarter more than what they had been averaging at PNC Park since it opened. Don't you think that money should have gone to keeping a playoff team together? Adding valuable players to an already valuable and winning team? Nope. Instead, we got a shitty party deck out above the bleacher section in left-center field and we watched our roster of All-Stars get dealt around the league.
I think it's obvious that fans like me aren't the only ones frustrated with how the organization has treated its team. The players themselves have to be frustrated, as well. I mean, I've seen the Pirates get into more bench clearing brawls in the last 5 years than I have in my entire life.
Sure, there may be things that happen in the heat of the moment that escalate to the point of a brawl, but I think you can make a decent argument for the reason being that the players are sick of losing and not getting any help. I think the only time we saw this actually expressed by a player, though, was back when Andrew McCutchen was traded.
Josh Harrison stood up and said that by trading McCutchen, we were giving up and he doesn't want to play for a place that has that kind of attitude (I'm paraphrasing, of course). Eventually, Harrison found himself nixed from the team as well. 2 All-Stars. Booted off the team. One after the other. Unbelievable.
I may be living in the past when I bring up these examples of money issues and player frustration, but I'm a strong believer in history repeating itself. Especially when there hasn't been any change in the system.
Also, I'd like to rephrase my tweet from the other day:
I don't want to tell you how to be a fan, but I do urge you to fight the management and suits that have torn our once storied franchise apart.