The Pirates second half sucked. Everything about it, the fact that they didn’t respond at all when Chapman plunked Cutch, the idea that the same team that relied on small ball to generate any offense in 2011 was suddenly unable to run the bases or lay down bunts in any capacity, the mind-bogglingly terrible management of the bullpen while young arms continued to light it up in Indy, the fact that I had to sit here and watch Nate McClouth and Brandon Moss be key pieces to playoff teams (I don’t know who to blame, because this has been going on over the last several coaching staffs, but players that suck in Pittsburgh definitely don’t suck once they leave, and that’s annoying), Hoka Hey, smart baseball people, and plenty of other things that I have chosen to block from my memory made it suck to be a Pirate fan over the past few months.
We all know these things; we have been reminded over and over again for twenty damn years how much it sucks to be a Pirate fan. The worst part is that there is not much more of a reason for optimism now than there was at this time last year.
Best case scenario: Cutch continues his ascent to the top of MLB, Pedro keeps stroking the ball and cuts down on his Ks, Walker stays healthy, Jones proves that last year wasn’t a fluke, Barmes proves that it was, Snider develops into more than a AAAA hitter, Marte continues to develop, a FA catcher actually pans out, AJ gives us one more quality year, JMac’s dominance lasts through the second half, Cole and Tallion progress (into Hell’s Angels) on schedule and the best arms are actually used to build the ‘pen.
Worst case: Cutch has hit his ceiling, Pedro is Mark Reynolds, Walker isn’t healthy, Jones fluked, Barmes didn’t, we trade Snider and he develops into a key piece of another teams playoff run, Barajas comes back at a discount and Barajases all over my face, the starters regress, Hurdle keeps blindly throwing darts to determine how to use the bullpen, jackasses keep wooing during games, and smart baseball people agree that Huntington and Co. deserve at least one more year.
Most likely scenario: a combination of those two, leading to a third straight collapse and an 80-82 finish, and that sucks.
Here are some other things that suck:
People who complain about the wildcard play-in game. Obviously a 1 game playoff is a stupid way to decide who gets into the playoffs after 162 games, especially if 1 of the 2 teams in question (the Braves) was decidedly better during those 162 games. But here’s the thing: a 5 game playoff is stupid too, as is a 7 game playoff, the playoffs have always been about who is hot at the right time and a play-in game is exciting. If you don’t like it, win your division.
The non-replacement officials. Just because the announcers aren’t harping on every single blown call doesn’t mean the officiating has gotten any better since these pricks got back.
The AFC North. The entire Ravens defense is hurt, do you think Joe Flacco is gonna carry that team come January? The only reason they make it to January is because the rest of the division is decidedly worse. (Sorry Rashard, I guess I’m not a good fan [It amuses me that the guy who was pretty vocal about not just blindly believing that 9/11 wasn’t an inside job wants me to be blindly loyal to a football team, I guess he’s not a real American]).
The NHL and the NHLPA. I won’t write anything without mentioning that these guys suck until I’m watching an NHL game and writing about how they sucked for entirely too long.
West Virginia’s defense. Do you really need an explanation?
Political commercials and Super PACs. Seriously, we get it, both Romney and Obama ever so obviously hate the middle class. Everybody running for any other position is either the second coming of Bush or Obama and therefore evil, and Question 7 will both save and destroy Maryland at the exact same time (I don’t even live in Maryland, leave me the hell alone!).
My fantasy football teams. I’m a combined 1-11, but I’m sure as soon as I trade the guys rotting on my team, they will be a key piece on the eventual league champion. Get off my lawn.