Thursday, July 29, 2010

Can the Pittsburgh Pirates Even Get Worse?

From True/Slant on April 23, 2010:

Pittsburgh Pirates notch new low in futility annals

In 1886, Burma was presented to Queen Victoria as a birthday gift. Ma Rainey and Al Jolson were born. Ty Cobb was, too. The Impressionist art school was in full bloom. And a little baseball club which would eventually come to be known as the Pirates took the field in Pittsburgh.

Since that time, two American Presidents were assassinated and one resigned in disgrace. Train travel was replaced by cars. We survived two World Wars, a Cold War, a Great Depression and a few smaller ones, and even survived the turgid oratory of President Warren G. Harding. Prohibition was instituted, repealed and then California Chardonnays became all the rage. A little thing called the internet revolutionized daily life.

America’s game, baseball, underwent changes as teams moved, sprung up and folded. Grudgingly, Major League Baseball integrated racially. One league even adopted a designated hitter, in contravention to all that is sacred and holy.

It’s been a busy 124 years for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The franchise played in and lost the first world series in 1903 (a best of nine affair versus Cy Young and the Boston Americans), won five other World Series, showcased the grace of Roberto Clemente, embraced the soul of Willie Stargell and set loose upon the earth the scourge of ego known as Barry Bonds. On September 1, 1971, the franchise fielded the first all non-white line up.

It’s been quite a run. Through all those years, spanning the days when Carnegie’s mills belched black smoke into the air through the present day, baseball has been played in the shadow of the University of Pittsburgh or on the banks of the Allegheny River.

And in all that time, through veritable oceans of time, the Pirates had never lost a game like the one they lost to the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday, April 22, 2010.

On that day, with the sun shining and temperatures at 62 degrees farenheit, the final score was 20 to 0. An unprecedentedly lopsided score. Even for the team with the most consecutive losing records in MLB baseball. Quite an accomplishment. Bob Nutting must be so proud.

We need a new word for ’suck.’

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