The Pittsburgh Pirates' long and disastrous season finally came to a halt today with an unusual win in San Diego. They finished the year 67-95, which was actually a step back from their 2007 campaign, and matched the record from 2005 and 2006. So basically, for the last four years, anyone could have predicted they would only get 67 victories a year and they would have been right. Makes me sad.
So yet another losing season is behind them and the future looks even bleaker than it did at the beginning of the season. Their #1 draft pick doesn't want to play here, their pitchers should be starting for Altoona in Double A, and their offense wouldn't scare Scooby Doo. The entire franchise is a mess and the painful reality is, it's not going to get better any time soon. The way Major League Baseball is constructed, with the revenue sharing between the richest and poorest teams, the Pirates owners make money regardless of what their record is. They sell out fireworks night, they get good crowds for bobblehead nights, and have been averaging nearly 23,000 fans a game since PNC Park opened in 2001.
Let's put that number in perspective. During the playoffs years in the early '90s, 1990-1992, the Pirates averaged 24,464 fans per game at Three Rivers Stadium. Their record during this period was 289-197 with three consecutive trips to the NL Championship Series. Since PNC Park opened in 2001, the Pirates have averaged 23,044 fans per game. Their record during this time is 550-744. So during the height of their last successful teams, they could only draw 1,400 more people per game than a team that has 17 consecutive losing seasons and is the laughing stock of the league? Speaking from a strictly business sense, would you overpay for a product that you know your consumers will pay for even though it is shit?!? The sad thing is, the Pirates are making MORE money now than they ever did when they were in contention in the '90s and winning World Series in the '70s. It makes me sick.
I was close in my prediction of where they would end up at the end of the year. I said they would end up 20 games under .500 but they only were 14 games under that mark. Want to know the closest they have come to .500 since PNC Park opened? 2003, when they finished 75-87, just 6 games under the .500 mark. How is it possible they keep slipping each year? Oh yeah, I forgot, the ownership sucks.
So thanks for another shitty year, Pirates. I guess the silver lining in this whole thing is how consistent you have been in sucking. I don't even think you should show up next year because I've already penciled you in for 67 wins and yet another losing season. That's one prediction I can put money on.