I Hate Mondays is columnist Dave Golokhov's pessimistic, sarcastic compiled thoughts on sports. For a more regular dose tag-in at Twitter with @davegolokhov
Valentine's Day is the universal day for showing some love. It's a record day for chocolate and flower traffic among couples, and it's probably a record day of traffic on PlentyOfFish and RedTube for those batting singles.
This year, baseball fans will feel the love as pitchers and catchers are set to report across Major League Baseball on V-Day. However, one team need not bother with that: the Pittsburgh Pirates.
February 14 may be all about love, but the Pirates are not getting an anonymous candygram this year. They don't deserve it.
No franchise in all of sports is more pathetic than the Pirates. They have produced 18 consecutive losing seasons, and the only thing that would stop them from number 19? If the plot of the movie 2012 came to fruition prior to Opening Day.
It's one thing to say you're having a bad stretch. For example, Christina Aguilera has had a bad stretch with her tumble at the Grammy's and her flubbing of the national anthem at the Super Bowl all in the span of a week. The Atlanta Hawks have had a bad stretch with two consecutive losses, and Fedor Emilianenko has had a bad stretch with two straight defeats.
For the Pirates, it's no longer a bad stretch; this is a bad couple of decades. Think about it: there is now an entire generation of people who can now legally smoke, vote and can freely rent Basic Instinct, who don't even remember the last time the Pirates had a winning season.
It's an entire generation of people who don't remember any stars on the Pirates or seeing them featured on Baseball Tonight for any reason other than bloopers.
When's the last time the Pirates came up in conversation at the water cooler other than their dubious streak? In the past, they'd at least be an MLB farm team that groomed talent for the other 29 competing teams and then get ripped off in trade deadline trades. Nowadays, they don't even do that.
The Pirates only purpose in the majors is how Mufasa once described the circle of life to Simba: they are just that antelope that's around to serve as dinner for the stronger predators.
Yes, everyone beats the Pirates. The National League Central teams do it, and Brandon Marshall would/might beat them if they were a female (allegedly). Even pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, who had a record of 1-11 last season beat them in arbitration this offseason.
It's time to be honest with ourselves: the Pirates aren't even trying.
The very fiber of sports is competition, and the Pirates, by definition, have failed for 18 years to be competitive. It's time Major League Baseball stepped in.
If you produced sub par work at your job for 18 years, you'd be unemployed. If this was the English Premier League, teams like the Pirates would be punished for such an effort and they'd be demoted to a lower league.
But in the Majors, they just put out their crappy product every single year, take their revenue sharing and keep the profits.
While many people hate the New York Yankees for their lavish spending, at least they are trying to do what any of us would want if we were involved with the sport: win. The Pirates are the real Scrooge because they could simply care less.
Call me a capitalist, but while the Pirates are getting government money, they have no interest in being a functioning member of the economy. It's time to send them a message.
MLB should cut off off their revenue sharing and create a system where teams who try still get financially rewarded, but teams who just mail it in don't get a piece of the pie.
Teams who consistently fail get a free pass in baseball, which means it's time to rethink revenue sharing. The Pirates need some motivation to change.
Is it far-fetched? At this point, maybe. But the truth is that the Pirates continue to be a charity case until something drastic happens. Right now, that 'drastic' has to come from outside of the organization. The people in it simply don't care about winning.
My First Thought Is...
-New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro (facial fractures, knee swelling) will miss 4-to-6 weeks and has only played 34 games over the last three years and my first thought is...only about 10 more years to go on that contract.
-ESPN rumor mill headline reads "What Do The New Jersey Nets Want For Troy Murphy" and my first thought is...they can generate more buyers if they throw in an opened copy of Jersey Shore Season 1.
-After watching Connecticut quarterback Johnny McEntee's trick shot video my first thought is...I'd like to see his accuracy when SEC defensive ends are chasing him down.