Friday, July 5, 2013

Yinz Guys Like Fireworks N'at?

DB~ and I took my parents to the Pirate game last Saturday night.  The Bucs won 2-1 thanks to two "dingerz" by Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones.  But that's not the point of the post.

The point was the stadium was packed (yes, the Fireworks night was a key reason) but there was an energy in the stadium.  The concourses were packing and there was relentless chatter in the air.  But this time, it was baseball related.  People were hanging on each pitch, not just worried about where the cotton candy was at.

After the game, there were the aforementioned Fireworks.  The fireworks were set against the backdrop of a warm (but not hot), humid night.  They were framed by one of the best skylines in the United States at one of the best ballparks in Major League Baseball.

The Pirates are dazzling the league, opposing managers and coaches, their fans, and maybe even themselves.  This team has holes (I'm looking at you RF and Bench), but they still have the best record in the Majors and are raising expectations with each win.

In 2011, the mood was "I think we might break .500!" (missed on that)
In 2012, the mood was "We're going to break .500 and we might make the wild card!" (missed on both)
In 2013, the mood is "We're going to the playoffs, let's win the division title to avoid the wild card!"

No one is even contemplating not finishing .500, even though many (including me) did the same thing last year and were let down.  This team is different.  Things are stabilized at two positions in LF and C.  There are less holes.  There is optimism that the completely stacked farm system will be utilized in a manner to trade prospects for players to fill those holes.

This town is no longer a baseball town.  It's a football town with a hockey hobby.  Baseball has been an afterthought for a long time.  But things are changing this season.  And maybe, just maybe, once the Steelers start up training camp in late July, attention will continue to be on the Pirates through September.  And dare I say...into late October.

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