Earlier this week, the Pirates lost their 82nd game of the season, thus assuring that their record will be under .500 at season's end.
Astute fans have noticed that this is no ordinary losing season--this is the Pirates' 17th consecutive year of mediocrity. That's not just a Major League Baseball record; that's the longest string of consecutive losing seasons ever in the entire history of North American professional sports.
I like to think of myself as reasonably optimistic, but after 17 years of failure even Timon and Pumba probably couldn't say "Hakuna Matata" with straight faces.
They aren't an expensive team by MLB standards with an Opening Day payroll just shy of $49 million. But in most parts of our economy that kind of money means more than two years of C.C. Sabathia.
I assume there's a good reason that I am not Pirates owner Robert Nutting's financial advisor (though I have yet to figure it out). But here are some ideas I would suggest if I had any say about how to spend the Pirates' payroll, since it seems they aren't quite cut out to play baseball.