2009 will be the Pirates 17th consecutive losing season, a Major League Baseball record. Without an end in sight, even die hard fans are questioning their allegiance to the once proud franchise, a franchise that the City of Pittsburgh almost lost.
Kevin McClatchy and a group of investors saved Pittsburgh baseball in 1996. Amid fears of relocation, fans were optimistic that the new ownership group and their five year rebuilding plan would revive the franchise. It wasn't to be. Although the mid to late nineties were bad, Cam Bonifay's blunders were only precursor to an even worse front office situation.
David Littlefield pilleged and plundered the Pirates roster and resources from 2001 to 2007. The worst trade during his tenure was when the Pirates dealt Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton to the Cubs for Bobby Hill. Do not adjust your screen, the aforementioned trade really happened.
From Midre Cummings, Ron Wright and Mark Johnson to Kris Benson and Chad Hermensen, the Pirates farm system has produced many flops. Inadequate scouting, drafting and international player development combined with haphazard contracts has generated what might be considered the worst franchise in all of sports.
Hopefully Neal Huntington and company can break the curse of Sid Bream.