Wednesday, December 7, 2011

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #12

At number 12 on the charts is the last remaining Cardinals division rival to make the list. The Pirates found themselves in unfamiliar territory last season when they occupied 1st place at one point after the All-Star Break. Just as soon as they seemed to realize it (basically as soon as fans started showing up to the games) things went horribly wrong and Pittsburgh collapsed even faster than Atlanta did down the stretch. The midsummer signs of success in Pittsburgh is a sign of an improving team, and Pirates fans can only hope they hang on to some of the young talent (Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, some of the pitching) instead of letting it go the second there's a chance to go somewhere else.

I think I dislike the Pirates the least among the NL Central foes because they're sort of the anti-ESPN cool. Interesting uniforms, homegrown talent and some sweet disco-era history. Barry Bonds notwithstanding, there's not much to be ashamed of in the Pittsburgh legacy - except the losses, of course. And there have been quite a few of those.

I hear that PNC Park is absolutely gorgeous and, by the attendance it usually draws, it seems like it's not just me that's missing out so far. Albert Pujols has absolutely owned anything and everything that has taken place in that park, which will make it a shame if he ends up with some crummy American League team like the Angels. (Note: First person to guess tomorrow's hot bidding team on Pujols wins a prize.)

Favorite current Pirates player: Jose Tabata. His name is fun to say. He's one of those guys that tempted me into spending a fantasy pick on, only to disappoint with his injuries and overall Pirateness. His name was still fun to say, though.

Least favorite current Pirates player: Joel Hanrahan. With Ryan "Demon Eyes" Doumit gone, I guess I had to pick Hanrahan simply for being good. He shut down the Cardinals on multiple occasions as I recall.

Favorite Pirates player of all-time: Willie Stargell. I was a little too young to remember Stargell as a player, but I heard plenty of stories. My dad often recounted seeing Stargell hit a home run onto a ridiculously unreachable balcony at the old Civic Stadium here in Portland during an exhibition game. Well, I got to see Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield at Civic, so there's that!

Least favorite Pirates player of all-time: Barry Bonds. I was always firmly on the Bobby Bonilla side of the Bonds/Bonilla debate, and if I had invested heavily in '80s rookie cards I would have probably lost a lot of money on this. It's easy to dislike Bonds now that we know what a monster he was, but I didn't even like him then. He was just really unlikable.

The Pittsburgh Pirates snag a spot at #12 in my reverse-ranking of favorite teams as of the moment I picked them on October 4th, 2010. Yes, that was more than a full calendar year ago! All of these cards are very much up for trade, so please contact me if you're interested.

1 comment:

Pirates Treasure Room said...

I just discovered your blog and I'm interested in all of these cards.