It's time for me to talk about the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates.
Although I often write about my love for baseball on this blog, I tend to approach it on a strictly literary basis. I don't write about current developments in the Major Leagues in general, or of the Pittsburgh Pirates in particular, since this is primarily a literature blog and there are hundreds of sports blogs you could read if you felt like catching up on the 2012 MLB season.
However, this year might different. And it's time for me to address it.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are good this year. Now, if you are not a baseball fan, you might not know why that is a big deal; you might not know that the Pirates haven't finished above .500 since 1992. They've suffered through 19 consecutive losing seasons, the worst such streak for any major sports franchise in North America. Ever. The last time the Pirates were a winning team, they had players like Barry Bonds, Andy Van Slyke, and Doug Drabek on their roster. And I looked like this:
That 1992 season ended on October 14, in the bottom of the ninth inning of game seven of the National League Championship Series. What happened? Well, a bench-warming first baseman for the Atlanta Braves singled to left, scoring Sid Bream. If you think there might be more to it than that, you'd be right. If you think I'm going to provide you with a link, you would be wrong. Hell, no.
When the game ended, I kicked my parents' brick fireplace as hard as I could and went to bed.
I was a sophomore in high school then. Since that night, I've graduated, gone on to college, spent a semester abroad, moved away from home, worn a mohawk, moved home, started a career, married my wife, bought a house, and had two children. I look nothing like that kid in the picture anymore.
Today, though, the Pirates are 13 games above .500. They're two and a half games behind a formidable Cincinnati Reds team for first place in the NL Central. The starting pitching is strong, the offense is strong, and the team is led by Andrew McCutchen, an exhilarating player and convincing MVP candidate. The Pirates could make the playoffs this year, and Andrew McCutchen could be MVP of the league.
There are 65 games left in the season. My wife and I keep up with what the Buccos are doing on a daily basis, and not just out of our normal casual interest. This year, the scores matter.
Back in 1992, I believed in things like bad luck and jinxes. I never would have written something like this, as I would have been petrified that my doing so would have somehow had an effect on the club--doomed their chances, wrecked their mojo, invited the plantes to queue up just so to prevent a baseball team from wining more games than it lost. But I've changed a lot since then. Tonight I just write what I feel. Let's go Bucs!