November 21, 2016
Sure, the Pirates haven't made the playoffs since 1992. But they're due this year, and history can prove it.
- The Pirates are only 6 1/2 games out of 1st place, which is still reasonable.
- A surprise team has made it every year since 2006.
- The surprise team has alternated leagues, with the NL being this year.
- The surprise team has alternated divisions, with the Central being this year.
- Both the Rays and Pirates have had relatively new managers.
- The Rockies, Rays, and Pirates all finished last in their respective divisions the year before (the exception being the Tigers, as the Royals finished in last that year)
- Both Central teams (Tigers and Pirates) hosted All-Star games in consecutive years.
- In 1979 an NL central team (Pirates) won the pennant. In 1989 an NL West team (Giants) won the pennant. In 1999 an NL East team (Braves) won the pennant. Should the pattern continue, an NL Central team will win the pennant.
- Both the Pirates and Rays got new uniforms before their miracle seasons.
- Pittsburgh has already proven itself to be the City of Champions, with the Penguins and Steelers winning NHL and NFL championships, respectively. That means that the Pirates could win the NL championship to make it a sweep.
- A comeback isn't unreasonable; in 1914 the Braves won 60 of their last 73 games in route to winning the pennant.
- Those miracle Braves had eleven different outfielders that season, and the Pirates are on pace to do the same.
- In 2003, all three Pittsburgh teams had losing seasons. Now two of the three are on top of the mountain, with only the Pirates remaining.
This might be a pipe dream, but history has proven it possible.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!