The Pittsburgh Pirates are heading towards their record-breaking 17th consecutive losing season faster than Kirstie Alley heads towards the last piece of chocolate cake. The problem for the Pirates owners is not that the Buccos haven’t broke the 75 win plateau since 1999, but is instead that the thrill of PNC Park has finally worn off on the Pittsburgh faithful. Last season the Pirates drew almost 1.2 million fewer fans than the National League average; apparently the marketing department did not schedule enough Styx skyblasts. (Renegade!!)
The Pirates only saw 9,775 fans enter the stadium during the last home game–of which about 4,000 must have been crammed in the bathrooms at the exact moment I turned on the television. However, the remedy to Pittsburgh’s attendance problem could easily be solved by using a method the Buccos’ owners have employed many times in the past–sign a ‘has-been’ who has nowhere else to go. Only this time it would be the MLB’s all time home run king. Pittsburgh’s front office makes Gilligan look like Presidential material when it comes to making the smart decisions for the organization, so do not get your hopes up Pirates fans. Instead, expect to see plenty more 1980′s pop culture bands combined with corny giveaways that make you miss the Cracker Jack prizes before you see Barry Bonds in a Bucco’s uniform.
The most confusing part of the Pirate’s situation is that the key to the Bucco’s lack of success over the past 16 years hinges on their uncanny ability to draft world-class prospects and then trade them away at their peek for washed up veterans; however, it appears that the organization has suddenly forgot this tried-and-true strategy at exactly the wrong time.
An interesting aspect of this scenario is that if the Pirate’s were to actually sign Bonds then maybe some of the annual, early season hype would actually be warranted. Of course it would be unrealistic to think that the Bucco’s would break the .500 mark–since apparently that is the mark of success in sports–but at least it would give those 15 faithful season ticket holders something to look forward to. Ultimately the attraction of Bonds would be too much for Pirates fan’s to resist though, because for some reason yinzers still love baseball in this city. There are three main points to back up this conclusion:
- Bonds would attract fans because every home run he hits would be another record. This is especially important given the fact that he has had recent injury problems and steroid allegations that could force him to suddenly retire at any point during the season.
- As mentioned above–and evidenced by Piratesfest every year–Pittsburgh is dying to have a baseball team that would actually beat Manatee Community College, which I’m sure is the cream of the crop when it comes to junior college baseball teams.
- With the acquisition of Bonds, the Bucco’s may actually be in the race for the division through the all-star break. The superstar slugger may be 44 years old now, but in his last two seasons he hit a total of 54 home runs and batted 143 runs in, both of which would be good enough to top the Pirates stat sheet this year.
While the ‘Bonds coming to the Pirates’ scenario is perfectly feasible, it is not realistic. Due to his unofficial blackballing by the MLB, Bonds would come cheap to the Pirates and most likely be more than happy to finish out his career in the ‘Burgh. However, if Pittsburghers have learned one thing about the Succos over the past 16 seasons, it is that the Pirates are more than willing to stick to their normal routine–which is highly dependent on a large dose of stupidity.