Before I could give up on the Pittsburgh Pirates, they gave up on me.
They gave up on all Pirates fans—at least however many are left after the deadline Friday—and they gave up on the city of Pittsburgh.
At the start of the season, I actually thought that the Pirates could have had their first winning season in 16 years, or at least could come close.
But on June 3, 2009, those thoughts were shot right out of the sky.
I woke up to find that the Pirates traded Nate McLouth to the Braves for three prospects.
McLouth was leading the team in home runs with nine and in runs batted in with 34 at the time, which is just a few off the team leader in each category right now.
I wasn't shocked, because the Buccos have done this many times before. I was just really unprepared. I mean, I thought that they'd at least keep him until the trade deadline and then ship him off for prospects.
Fast forward to July 22.
The Pirates trade Adam LaRoche to the Red Sox for—drum roll please—more prospects. At the time of the trade, LaRoche, like McLouth, was leading the team in RBI and home runs.
Then, as of this morning, Neal Huntington and the rest of the Pirates upper management decided Jack Wilson was just too good—or too expensive—to keep around and promptly shipped him off to Seattle.
Right about then is when I began to bounce around in my head the idea of just giving up on the Pirates. I would of course still be a fan, but instead of attempting to defend their woes when I got into an argument, I would just agree with whatever the other person had to say.
But before I could make a decision on that, the Pirates traded Freddy Sanchez to the San Francisco Giants for—guess what? If you've been paying attention, you probably guessed it. Yep, more prospects.
Now, I don't have anything against when teams trade a proven player for prospects. I just don't get it when the Pirates do it. It's not like these guys that they are trading are old and they need more young talent.
I read a quote from Huntington following the McLouth trade that confused me. He said something along the lines of: "We want to build a team that can compete for a championship every year, rather than one just to finish above .500."
Wouldn't the latter part of that have to come first? Just try to take baby steps.
The Pirates have gone from a below average ball club to a farm team for the entire league.
When I go to a game at PNC Park, like I am on Aug. 8, I get more excited to see the opposing players, because I will know who most of them are. I am more excited to see Albert Pujols next Saturday than my Pirates, which is sad but true.
I know it's a money thing, and I know I can do nothing about it. But how do you expect to win games and be competitive if you keep a guy for a few years, then when he breaks out, you get rid of him because he'll cost too much?
For now, I'll have to stick to the Steelers and Penguins until the Pirates can get their act together, if they ever do.
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