Pittsburgh Pirates: Keeping up with the Jones'

Jim SimmonsContributor IJune 17, 2009

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 26:  Manager Ozzie Guillen #13 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates with the Championship trophy after winning Game Four of the 2005 Major League Baseball World Series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on October 26, 2005 in Houston, Texas. The Chicago White Sox defeated the Houston Astros 1-0 to win the World Series 4 games to 0.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Steelers squeaked out a win to bring home the NFL's top piece of hardware.Β  The Pens battled the Red Wings to get the same from the NHL.

Big Ben and company are always a huge hit in the 'Burgh. Sidney and Gino are rising superstars.

All is well in "The City of Champions."

Or is it?

For the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are trying to keep from setting the Major League record for consecutive losing seasons, it's not.

The team just traded away an All-Star outfielder for the second consecutive season. Nate McLouth, the face of the franchise, was traded away to the braves for a pack of gum, a new pair of socks, and a bag of batting practice baseballs. Nate followed Jason Bay out of town. Bay was traded to the Red Sox as part of a three-team deal last season.

Here's the big question:

What will it take for the Pirates to have, what the fans would consider, a successful season?

Well, right now, there's rumors swirling that the team could trade any or all of the following players: Ian Snell, Adam LaRoche, Freddie Sanchez, Jack Wilson, John Grabow, and any of their outfielders not named McCutchen.

That's just giving the fans more ammo against the current team ownership, who have been labeled as cheap, penny pinchers. Fans believe that the owner is in this only to make money, and not produce a winning team.

So the restated question is this:

Will a .500 record make the fans happy? Its been 16 years of losing. Sixteen years of ineptitude, and 16 years of frustration.

Would winning 82 games make the fan base believe that the team is turning the corner? Would that give the impression that they actually trying to win?

Not for this fan.

Going .500 is better than what we have been given for the past 16 years. It's a start. It is showing improvement. It wont make me happy.

What I want to see is: quality Major League Players on the roster. Skilled players. Young, hungry players. I want to see something being given back to the fans, many of who have endured these last 16 seasons of pathetic baseball.


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