You have about as good a shot at naming the Pirates in the photo above from the 1897 team (who appropriately had a losing record as well: 60-71) as you would being able to shout out tomorrow's starting lineup without peeking in a program or using the Internet.
I don't know even know how to feel about it to be truthful.
Should I be upset that we've unloaded what little talent and hope this team had coming into the season, for a brighter future in favor of more prospects, who history says will face the same fate if and when they are good enough to command a big payday?
Or should I be relieved that we're finally releasing ourselves from the bums who have contributed to what will soon be the longest streak of consecutive losing seasons in MLB history?
In MLB history, the entire storied fable that encompasses ALL of baseball dating back to its roots. That's what we're dealing with here, just to make sure we're all on the same page.
I mean really, how can you be upset when the most futile franchise in all of pro sports in North America over the past 16 years decides to clean house and rid itself of the stench and losing mentality that inevitably instills itself into each and every player who endures losing on such an epic scale?
On the other hand, how do you blame the Freddie Sanchezes of a losing team when he looks around and sees teammates like Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, and Nate McLouth being dealt one after another (and to better teams at that)?
I guess that goes without saying, though, considering the starting point.
As a fan, when Barry Bonds willingly chose to leave Jim Leyland and the Pirates behind in the early 90's, I could be upset with him for spurning our generous offer of a multi-year contract.
But how can I be anything but happy for these guys today being jettisoned out (not that they aren't thrilled) when it's not even their choice?
I always hear that we're getting this and that highly touted prospect—usually a pitching prospect. But after hearing that for the past 10 years, and never seeing a winning season, I'm sorry if it rings a bit hollow. Call me pessimistic, but I'll believe it when I see it pan out.
Until then, I guess I'll have to continue being proud of my former Pirates as they head out into the rest of MLB like a wrongly convicted prisoner finally vindicated and set free before it's too late to continue living life.
At least my favorite player, Ryan Doumit, is still on the team...apparently he's not up for a bonus or extension anytime soon.