Not all hope should be lost in Pittsburgh. They are a team coming into this postseason with virtually no experience at all. Now they have some experience and know how to keep building the team to get over that NLDS hump. There are a lot of pieces still missing with their team. They need someone to play first base other than Gaby Sanchez and Justin Morneau. They need a pitcher to replace AJ Burnett who is likely gone this winter. They need something better than Marlon Byrd as a "big acquisition"- I'm sorry but that was a Cody Ross-like performance from him this postseason. Byrd is a mediocre player at best and will certainly not be able to keep up any kind of production like he had the end of this season going forward. What we learned is that Pedro Alvarez is officially a stud and will be a top player for years to come. And we already knew that Andrew McCutchen is still and always will be Cutch.
The Pirates for the past couple years always seemed to start out hot and even top the NL Central sometimes in mid-June. They were always just one losing streak away from an utter collapse though. This season had the same nervousness, but the collapse never happened. On our side of the state, we just sucked all year. Unless Ryne Sandberg can turn the Phillies around and quick, these are two franchises heading in opposite directions. As a Philadelphia sports fan, the only remaining rival with Pittsburgh is that hockey team. The Pirates have not been in the same division as the Phillies for almost two decades now, and seeing them 6 times a year does not constitute a "rivalry." But since they hate us, we should want them to fail at everything right? Well, kinda, but it's bad for baseball. It really is.
As a Phillies fan who lived through the awful years of the late 90s and early 00s, there is a recipe to success when it comes to winning. Signing big name players. You know how you do that? Have a ton of money. You know how your team gets a lot of money? FANS GO TO THE GAMES AND BUY STUFF. It takes a lot on the ownership part of putting together a great team. Fans can help that by GOING TO THE GAMES AND BUYING STUFF. If you watched the postseason, you saw just how great an atmosphere at PNC Park can be.
So Pirate fans, your team is good now, go see them play in 2014.
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