Opinion: Pirates' Fans Need a Pre-Spring Training Pep Talk
Visiting a Pittsburgh Pirates social media site has gotten extremely exhausting lately. Optimism and excitement about going to games with your family and/or friends is quickly met with the "Spend Nutting, Win Nutting" and "Go Nutting’s Wallet" gang to come out of the woodwork in full force. Fans suggesting free-agent or trade targets are likely to receive plenty of often derisive comments. Talk about an up-and-coming prospect and you will hear about how the Pirates have never been able to develop a prospect in their entire history. Try to explain the moves Cherington has made or why he is not making certain moves and the same crowd will light you up from all angles. Try to bring up stats, sabermetrics, analytics into a conversation and people will tell you how much they don’t matter because that player “sucks”! And don’t you dare bring up the word “rebuild” or “build”. Lecturers, philosophers, and scholars will break down the origin and meaning of each word and tell you how Professor Ben is incorrectly using the term or that he is inaccurately describing the current state of the organization, as well as the direction the team should be going. Here is my advice to everyone…take a breath!
If you show hope and optimism or just enjoy going to a ballgame, it doesn’t mean that you are Bob Nutting’s biggest fan or that agree with having the lowest payroll in all of Major League Baseball. If you have an idea for a trade target or free agent that you feel could benefit the present and/or future of the team, let’s hear about it. If prospects are your thing (and everyone probably knows by now they are mine), tell everyone what you like about a guy, a time you went to see him play, or provide a good player comp. If you have an interpretation of the moves the Pirates have made or haven’t made this off-season, go ahead and talk about it; you could be right or you could be wrong, but at least you can smile knowing you are having a debate about baseball. If you really care what words Ben Cherington uses, I can assure you that you are worrying about the wrong thing. Everyone knows actions speak louder than words! He could call it Chinese water torture for all I care, as long as it works!
So, what do you all say, can we move forward? Can we have discussions about baseball? Can we let spring training start before we actually make judgements as to how the season is going to go? Because I will let you in on a little secret…NO ONE knows what exactly is going to happen! Not you, not me, Not Ben Cherington, Not Derek Shelton. I repeat, No one! For just one day can we just all take a break and wait for the four most beautiful words in the English language to be uttered; pitchers and catchers report!
Follow Craig on Twitter: @BucsBasement