It was just before New Years Day 2018, Pittsburgh Pirates’ Fans were still lamenting the frustration of another disappointing season. The Pirates had finished 2017 with a 75-87 record, good enough for 4th in the Central Division. Their frustration was starting to turn into anger and then rage as the MLB rumor mill was swirling with reports of the face of the franchise, Andrew McCutchen, and the self-developed ace, Gerrit Cole, being shopped all over league.
We all know what happened within 2 weeks of the New Year beginning; McCutchen was shipped off to San Francisco for two unknowns (Bryan Reynolds and Kyle Crick) to the majority of the Pirates’ fan base on January 13th. Two days later, Gerrit Cole was on his way to the Astros. In return the Pirates got two prospects (Colin Moran and Jason Martin), a below average reliever (Michael Feliz) and an under-performing long reliever/spot starter (Joe Musgrove). The rage that existed with the rumors swelled into full blown insanity, when the trades actually happened. Many locked themselves in their bedrooms, screaming into a pillow. They took to Facebook and/or Twitter to rip the Pirates’ management team, attempting to release all the emotions trapped inside of them, or they drank their sorrows away with can after can of IC Light.
Some of them barely noticed when the Pirates traded for Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays on February 22nd; giving the Rays minor leaguer Tristan Gray, reliever Daniel Hudson and cash. With the season on the horizon Dickerson was cemented as the starting left fielder, Starling Marte slid over to center, Joe Musgrove found his spot in the starting rotation and Colin Moran assumed the hot corner for the Pirates.
Flash forward two years into the future, which is now the present. The MLB rumor mill is once again swirling and there are Pirates’ players (Starling Marte, Adam Frazier, Keone Kela, Chris Archer and Josh Bell) are on the tips of everyone’s tongues, Corey Dickerson (a possible free agent target of fans) just signed a 2 year deal with the Marlins and the Pirates Fan base is moving from frustration to rage and possibly preparing for insanity. Sound familiar? It should.
So, you would expect Pirates’s fans to be better prepared for what might come next, right? Not likely. If one or more of the players named above does end up getting traded, people will still lock themselves in their rooms, take to Twitter and/or Facebook, or drown their sorrows with IC Light (or their favorite craft beer because it is all the rage). I am not going to say I blame you or don’t empathize with your frustrations, rage and eventual insanity. However, I hope that all of you can come out of your bedrooms, put down your phone or get off your computer for a second or stop drinking your drink of choice enough to focus. Focus on the players that the Pirates get in return for one of the faces of their franchise, their “closer” for the 2020 season, a starter they have called a bum or a bust over and over again or an overrated utility player. Focus on the move(s) that may come next to fill the spots/voids left by the players who will not be donning a Pirates’ uniform in 2020. It may not make you feel any better. I can’t promise you that. But it will make you a more educated fan and will hopefully give you some perspective as to what the future may hold.