2014 Pittsburgh Pirates: A New Hope
Last season, I kind of allowed myself to gush, to wax poetic on the childhood dreams, to revel in the playoff run that shouldn’t have been so surprising if you were paying attention. I currently find myself with a bit of apprehension; should I allow myself to be so excited for “Your 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates”? The short answer: YES.
Prognostication isn’t my business and it usually ends poorly for me especially when I talk about things on Facebook. It’s uncanny how often my bragging seems to result in a meltdown, an embarrassing loss and ridicule from my friends who are fans of the opponents (A.K.A. the Raiders). Typing out what I want to happen, what I feel can happen won’t help anyone here, but I’ll do it anyway. I really think that the Pirates can make it.
Yes, make it. Make it all the way, make it to the World Series and make it to a win and make it back to prominence in the city of champions. This isn’t a prediction, I just know they have what it takes and that all starts with Clint Hurdle. He made it in Colorado of all places and when they hired him I knew he could do it here.
Following that, the lineup is filled with talent. Deep, rich talent that permeates the farm system. Drafting and acquisitions have been keen under Neal Huntington and are paying great dividends. Everything that big-money teams like the Angels, Rangers, Mariners and Yankees can’t figure out how to master, the exception being the Red Sox who learned the Billy Beane way and have out-Oaklanded the Athletics.
Today’s heroics by the one guy who lives the dream of every single boy who grew up a Pirate fan, regardless of age, are certainly motivating and perhaps a preamble to this season. Perhaps the Buccos have trouble with Smadjanotgonnaworkhereanymore every single time they face him including when they gave up one of his two career homers. Opening day requires a temperance because it’s the most exciting day across the league because everyone has hope and dreams. I think what has made this opening day different isn’t the 10th inning walk-off, the team record tying 10 KO’s from Liriano, it’s that hope has been replaced.
Hope has been replaced with confidence, swagger, and expectation.