Not-Jinxing the Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates really are a good baseball team. There's no harm in believing that, right? Um, right?
Share |

This isn't a jinx. It can't be my fault if the Pirates do the same thing they did in 2011 and 2012. This isn't a jinx because SABR looks at the standings every day and shakes its head and mutters profoundly about Pythagoras and K/9 and OPS. This isn't a jinx because jinxes aren't real.

The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates are a good team. Probably not the best team in baseball. Quite possibly the third-best team in its division. And yet, a playoff-quality team that should get better as the season goes on and once the organizational powers that be recognize that Brandon Inge, for example, could be very readily replaced by half the AAA roster. Mike McKenry would be another example of someone with a worth-a-shot replacement playing in Indianapolis. Travis Snider would be yet another example. Clint Barmes was an example, but no longer is, because he has already been replaced, which gives hope that the other examples will be noted. This isn’t a jinx because Brandon Inge is still on the roster, despite hitting like a relief pitcher with undiagnosed astigmatism.

And yet, all three of those examples are bench players, which, as roster complaints go, is a decent problem to have. Two Pirates position players made the All-Star team and two more reasonably could have. Two pitchers made the All-Star team and two more could have, as well. A fan can easily look at a given day's lineup without gagging or struggling to stifle the urge to curse, which had previously been a serious problem. This isn’t a jinx because Brandon Inge started on the day I wrote this, and I cursed.

And it isn’t like the Pirates have been perfectly lucky or perfectly healthy. The only starter from the Opening Day rotation not to see significant injury time has been fifth-starter-cum-All-Star Jeff Locke, who only made the rotation because Francisco Liriano is Fun Dad. A.J. Burnett, born again as a leadership-minded ace, just recently made his first start in a month. Wandy Rodriguez, last year's stretch gamble and the staff's presumed co-ace, is out for the season. Jeff Karstens is out for the season. James McDonald was awful, then hurt, and is presently being both awful and hurt in Indianapolis. Jonathan Sanchez spent April throwing batting practice in live game situations, which doesn't qualify as an injury but was debilitating and quite possibly a reason for injury in others, and was eventually released. Jeanmar Gomez replaced Sanchez in the rotation and spent much of June on the DL nursing a right forearm injury. Charlie Morton missed most of the first half recovering from Tommy John surgery. Rookie Gerritt Cole left a game after taking a line drive off of his ass, which isn’t really a big deal since he didn’t miss a start, but after 20 years looking up at .500 Pirates fans should be forgiven for any shockwave of oh-shit-here-we-go dread when he was listed as day-to-day the following morning. This is not a jinx because the rotation was already cursed.

The bullpen has been startlingly, amazingly great which is the sort of thing that always feels unsustainable, and mostly is. The answer for this, I've found, is not worrying about good things being unsustainable. This is a technique I’ve imported from my marriage, because “intangibles” are the only thing that would explain my wife still being here. I’m shit on paper, lucky to make the veteran minimum and rapidly losing what little mobility I had; any frank assessment has me well into my decline phase. This isn’t a jinx because, well, we have a son and he’ll make her overlook a lot of flaws in me.

And so here we all are, you and me and Clint Hurdle and the Pirates, at the All-Star break, with the Pirates looking and playing and feeling like a baseball team that should make the playoffs. The recent memories of the last two years' crushing second-half collapses argue against optimism; two decades of failure have made the feeling strange in the extreme. And yet the predominant thought in my mind—and in the minds of the visible Pirates community—isn’t “here we go again.” Pirates fans have been allowing themselves to feel hope and happiness at how the first half of the season went without treating two-game losing streaks as ominous portents. This isn’t a jinx because also, sometimes, we sort of have.

In the short term, it's because—on the day I wrote this, after Pittsburgh's fourth loss in six games, this one against the Cubs—the Pirates outhit the Cubs. And because, even though they’ve lost four of six, they’ve gotten on base more often than their opponent in two of the losses and both of the wins. Losing because of scattering hits harmlessly across limp innings is a 2013 Pirates problem; losing games because you scatter your hits across limp games was a 2012 Pirates problem. This isn’t a jinx because the Pirates have eight wins in which they have scored two or fewer runs, so they aren’t the only team with hard-luck losses, or one heartbreakingly prone to them.

There are warning signs for the second half strewn throughout the preceding; they're there to see, everywhere, and I see them. But these signs they don’t necessarily point to a bad team hiding inside this good one, waiting for the right August day to come out and start skying foul pop-ups and serving up homers. They suggest, instead—as a Pirates fan might want them to, but as a baseball fan would understand—a good team with several flaws and areas of over-performance. They suggest a good team that is getting better as the season unfolds. A good team that is having fun and playing a thrilling brand of baseball. This isn’t a jinx because, even in the slack days of July, there is no time for jinxes. There is baseball to be played, and Pirates games I want to watch.


Share |

Comments

I just like the valuable info you provide for your articles.I’ll bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more right here regularly. I am reasonably certain I’ll learn a lot of new stuff proper here! pinoy tambayan

This was a really great contest and hopefully I can attend the next one. It was alot of fun and I really enjoyed myself
Armoured cable...

Samira Laser Clinic in Scarborough should be your only choice for laser hair removal. Our precision equipment carefully removes your hair while keeping your skin soft and glowing. We specialize in laser hair removal, facials and microdermabrasion. We also perform waxing and sell laser hair removal machines! anti aging clinic

This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. Thank you.

pepsibloodbath.com

Using cheers for the people aiding web site you've got genuinely been recently generating. I had created shied off of generating opinions while reports acquired all-around right now. http://healthyusa.co/nucific-bio-x4

i am looking to purchase black - white pictures of bulgarian monasteries, framed to be shipped to texas, usa for present, please send me if possible names or sites. city gate võ văn kiệt

Wonderful blog post. This is absolute magic from you! I have never seen a more wonderful post than this one. You’ve really made my day today with this. I hope you keep this up! saint of killers

Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here view

It has been months for me. Well this article that i ve been waited for therefore long. i want this article to finish my assignment within the faculty credit score chart

A simple bookmarking tool that makes it easy to save, organize and share your favorite web pages. Access your bookmarks from any computer, phone or tablet. Listango works on all modern web browsers… hcg injections

I have feel that this blog is really have all those quality that qualify a blog to be a one.I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation freecreditreportgov

The traditional employer-employee relationship that links nature to culture is reversed, and never recovered. Look at the portraits of Arcimboldo remains then, as now, a duty, that tells us who we were and where we are going.

free business calls

This self-service package offers more website visibility, and is ideal for professionals just making their first foray into the world with a real live web presence representing their company.difference between seo and ppc

It appears as though spent lots of time and effort in your blog. I’ve saved it and i’m searching toward reading through new articles. singles tours

This is a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website, and keep on sharing more ... good luckmemory healer program review

They ventured on a journey to unlock their creativity, leadership, and entrepreneurialism in tandem with some of the poorest and most marginalised women in the world. This year, 22 Premium members will travel to Uganda in November on their own journey. Applications are now open for our 2014 Program to India.
how to get rid of cellulite on legs

Make the most of mainly premium substances - you will find him or her for: seguridadcomercios

Yacht rentals Cyprus are responsibly organized from www.cyprusvipservice.com Yacht rentals Cyprus

Once I thought about things like : why such information is for free here ? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it

Checking any blog may make others just want to come up with a greater number of. I did a fabulous which i was first lovely content by means of. The software most likely conducted for the tier still it’s exceptional. I often dispatch you Facebook

I must say that a succesful family owned business in this day and age is a very refreshing sight ! As well as this is a very refreshing site. black magic specialist

That i don’t fully understand once you discover any severity for assistance that personal blogs supply. In my opinion, kit tatuaggi

it has been months for me. Well this article that i ve been waited for therefore long. i want this article to finish my assignment within the faculty Mary Desilva

Browsing an individual's personal blogs produces my family choose to prepare ever more. I did a good that was initially extremely astounded utilizing. It all may not finished towards your point however , it’s notable. Allow me to ship everyone the anchor text so its possible to appraise it all in my situation if you can't thought process. blairsville pressure washing

Browsing an individual's personal blogs produces my family choose to prepare ever more. I did a good that was initially extremely astounded utilizing. It all may not finished towards your point however , it’s notable. Allow me to ship everyone the anchor text so its possible to appraise it all in my situation if you can't thought process. blairsville pressure washing

In your blogging, it will be sharp you will be the perfect guy to help you about as much as possible authoring. yoga burn system

I don't understand what has happened to the custom of passing on dependable extraordinary articles. click here

So lot to occur over your amazing blog. Your blog procures me a fantastic transaction of enjoyable.. Salubrious lot beside the scene. hot water system

concern to all of us, whether we are married or not. Let’s consider some of those reasons here. hacked amazon fire tv stick

m no expert, but I believe you just made an excellent point. You certainly fully understand what you re speaking about, and I can truly get behind that sleep health

Your current acquaintances are likely to be flaming as regards to a new goods in addition currently I merely learn precisely why. derma essence cream and derma essence serum

That i don’t fully understand once you discover any severity for assistance that personal blogs supply. In my opinion, I do know that this it all weren’t in your personal blogs We'd don't have uncovered that will help utilizing my best essays. The provider generates in each a identity together with I’m a sucker for necessary to resist they brandish. Thank you so much! derma essence facial serum

I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantastic lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your feed to stay informed of any updates table plugin wordpress

Definitely you spend a titanic measure of effort and time on your online diary. I have bookmarked it and I am reprisal taking a gander at new articles. my singing monsters mod apk

The worst part of it was that the software only worked intermittently and the data was not accurate. You obviously canot confront anyone about what you have discovered if the information is not right. extintores

Regular visits listed here are the easiest method to appreciate your energy, which is why why I am going to the website everyday, searching for new, interesting info. Many, thank you! stock price alerts

Whether it's the gazillion tonnes of pesticides we pollute our food, land and water with every year, an Israeli virus, extreme lack of diversity through our insane enslavement to monoculture, or genetically modified plants, the honey bees are dying at an alarming rate.train running status

You re in point of fact a just right webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing. It kind of feels that you're doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a fantastic activity on this subject! Consultoria de equipo Mac

Cool you write, the information is very good and interesting, I'll give you a link to my site.  best website designers

I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information specially the last part I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck http://www.northeasternconcretecreations.net/

It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy.
Mexico insurance

I appreciate your comments.  Instead of complaints, I feel you sounded realistic.  An enjoyable profession, that like any other, has it's stressful times web design companies

I additionally take advantage of understanding the checks, but discover a lot of people must remain on essay to add worth in direction of the authentic website release. hoverboard sale

There are several dissertation internet sites on-line because you get evidently reported as part of your web site.  Police Challenge Coins

Checking any blog may make others just want to come up with a greater number of. I did a fabulous which i was first lovely content by means of. The software most likely conducted for the tier still it’s exceptional. application

This is helpful, nonetheless it can be crucial so that you can check out the following website: escort santiago

You should mainly superior together with well-performing material, which means that see it: escort antofagasta

You bear through a awesome vacancy. I sanity definitely quarry it moreover personally suggest to my buddys. I am self-possessed they determination be benefited from this scene. escort punta arenas

I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy.  health

Interesting and interesting information can be found on this topic here profile worth to see it. escort curico