The Pirate Diary: Beyond Belief

Share |

 

We’re halfway through the season, which is far enough that what is happening with the Pirates appears real. And yet the question I get, still, is, “Do you believe?” Not, "How about all those wins," or, "Where do you think the team will finish?" Definitely not the completely reasonable, "Think their pitching can keep this up?" It's "Do you believe," and it’s a good enough question, if one with some disbelief and disrespect pretty clearly embedded in it. Like God, love and politics, it's less logic and more gut. It’s a question of belief.

Two decades of losing will do this to fans, tilt things away from the rational and towards a sort of goofy supernatural. The sense emerges that it will take a miracle, or at least a nudge from a higher power, to make a change. Even Pirates manager Clint Hurdle hinted at feeling that way, invoking the word “believe” four different times in one day when while talking to reporters in late June.  

So here we are in early July, and the miracle seems to be happening in plain sight. They have more wins than the New York Yankees, the universal metric for Doing Pretty Well among non-Yankees fans, but the Pirates also have more wins than every other team in the league. They are nearly a dozen games above .500. Great defense and improved pitching buoy the team’s so-so hitting. Rookie pitcher Gerrit Cole looks like a star. Andrew McCutchen is a star. All is good.

So let’s say it again, because it feels so good: Better than the Yankees. Let’s say it again, because it feels so strange: Best record in baseball. If this doesn't make Buccos fans believe in a higher power, then it’s hard to guess what will. The stickier question is whether it’s enough to make us believe in this team, this season, with all the supernatural stuff to the side. Even after these last two decades, it’s tough not to believe that, either.

From April’s steady balance of wins and losses through June's nine-game win streak, the entire ride has been crazy, inspiring, entertaining and, if you’re a long-time Pirates fan, practically life-affirming. But nothing captures the magic like Cole's first hit. It’s the kind of moment that can be watched over and over again because, somehow, knowing what happens doesn't take away from the surprise. I know this because I have watched it over and over again.

Cole walks up to the plate in the kind of situation fans habitually shrug away: a pitcher up to bat. The bases are loaded; the first thought is “don’t hit into a double play.” It is already accepted that Cole will get out, somehow. These are pitchers, after all. And this pitcher is in his first ever Major League game after getting called up from the minors. Expectations are low.

Strike one, strike two, and Cole is quickly in a deep hole. Going as expected. But then ball, ball, ball. Hmmm...

The bases are still loaded and, with a big hitter at the plate, hopes might get high. But still, this is a pitcher and... excuse that thwack! The bat cracks, the runners take off and somehow a pitcher, for-the-love-of-God-how-does-he-even-know-how-to-hit-National-friggin-League pitcher smacks a solid drive. The ball lifts into the air, hanging for just a moment before dropping into the sweet, grassy spot between the right and center fielders, beyond their gloves. Cole, safely at first base, has the first lead in his first start, with runs he knocked in himself.

Weeks later, that moment has both lingered and, astonishingly, never quite ended. The moment when Cole hits the ball, when it drops in the empty grass with no players in sight, the runners dash home, the crowd goes insane, Cole does the Zoltan sign all the Buccos do, the silly Pirates mascot is dancing and, suddenly, dancing like a giddy mascot seems to make pretty good sense.

Since then, it seems everyone who talks and writes about the Buccos is getting in on the giddy dance. A Forbes writer called the team one of baseball's “hallowed franchises.” Power rankings actually put them at the top. Baseball Prospectus, where logic and math reign, cooly projects the team to finish above .500 -- an achievement enough after twenty years of failing to do so -- and gave them a playoff percentage of a whopping 94 percent.

So. So, maybe the turnaround is happening, and we are in the miracle and finding that it’s just a baseball team catching some breaks and figuring some things out. Can we all finally wear our Pirates gear outside of Pittsburgh without getting questioned about it? And will those questions change?

The answers are a ways away, as they should be: it’s not even the All-Star break yet. But two things I know for sure. I'm excited, and I believe. I have no choice on the former, and the latter is heading in that direction.

Share |

Comments

disrespect pretty clearly embedded in it. Like God, love and politics, it's less logic and more gut. It’s a question of belief. Bridging loans london

disbelief and disrespect pretty clearly embedded in it. Like God, love and politics, it's less logic and more gut. It’s a question of belief. loftplan

Doesn’t it sound wonderful to spend your lifetime time together with the person you love most? The answer is yes magie voyance

when the quest engine experiment high pageranked web sites they deliver a sure amount of authority to the web site and all inbound links on them, so if you have one among your inks on a pagerank 5 website you may in flip get ranked better within the search engines like google and yahoo. seo packages

Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant .i love it reading.
Flea bites

Thanks for sharing the post.. parents are worlds best person in each lives of individual..they need or must succeed to sustain needs of the family.
rose day

The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand new information.
raees full movie download mp4

the silly Pirates mascot is dancing and, suddenly, dancing like a giddy mascot seems to make pretty good sense. satta matka

feeling that way, invoking the word “believe” four different times in one day when while talking to reporters in late June. loft plans

hello!! Very interesting discussion glad that I came across such informative post. Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community
Top 5 Tips For Beginners

We believe that everyone deserves a chance at moving ahead with their lives. In our Mitigation services we strive to provide the Court with your history For our other court appointed services, our goal is to help provide the most up to date and relevant interventions.
How To Guide

I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site.
Create Server

You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.
How To Guide

I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page! team viewer 12 crack

I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! The information that you have provided is very helpful. play 2048

car locksmith phoenix
Thanks for sharing this interesting blog with us.My pleasure to being here on your blog..I wanna come beck here for new post from your site.

I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page!
geico home insurance

dubai data recovery center
I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.

I don’t know what has happened to the custom of delivering consistent good articles. I hope that the custom comes alive after this..thumbs up for your work.
credit report government

I’m flattened for your blogs writings and blogs as well. slots of vegas no deposit bonus codes

You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.
New Year 2017

This is an extraordinary post. I like this topic.This site has heaps of advantage.I discovered numerous fascinating things from this site. It helps me in numerous ways.Thanks for posting this once more. fahrrad navi

Best Money Lender in Marsiling I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page! Best Money Lender in Admiralty

Hot Prints can act your playing an total superior of services, to activity met your requirements. See any of their convenient locations or jazz a seem online. Printing VIP

Great to be within article or your report, whatsoever, I believe I should work for my website like I notice some updated and good employed in your website.

https://www.toursupreme.com

Nigerian singer, Waconzy is back with a stunning new record titled Ogbono and a music video to match. The Dv8 Media man brings back memories of the good old days with all its feeling of nostalgia with this particular song. afrobeats

Clint Hurdle hinted at feeling that way, invoking the word “believe” four different times in one day when while talking to reporters in late June. voyance par telephone

I was looking at some of your posts on this website and I conceive this web site is really instructive! Keep putting up..

Singapore Corporate Gift

I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to undertand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not tht good.

Drone pas cher en chine

feeling that way, invoking the word “believe” four different times in one day when while talking to reporters in late June. swingers lifestyle

finally wear our Pirates gear outside of Pittsburgh without getting questioned about it? And will those questions change car radio gps

wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.
Dubai Travel Packages

pleasant post, stay aware of this intriguing work. It truly regards realize that this point is being secured additionally on this site so cheers for setting aside time to talk about this! pay by phone casino

i read a lot of stuff and i found that the way of writing to clearifing that exactly want to say was very good so i am impressed and ilike to come again in future.

I as of late discovered numerous helpful data in your site particularly this online journal page. Among the loads of remarks on your articles. Much obliged for sharing. mikrowelle tests

Wow. cool post. I`d like to write like this too taking time and real hard work to make a great article but I put things off too much and never seem to get started.
kitchenette appliances

I am really thankful to all your squad for sharing specified inspirational substance. car cover

First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics.
Events in Manila

Your writings, articles, blogs I mean over all contents is must read matter. numerology

Power rankings actually put them at the top. Baseball Prospectus, where logic and math reign, cooly projects the team to finish above San Diego County medical marijuana

This is an awesome article a debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this instructive data. I will visit your website routinely for some most recent post. I will visit your website frequently for Some most recent post. best medicine for cats!

I know your aptitude on this. I must say we ought to have an online discourse on this. Composing just remarks will close the exchange straight away! Furthermore, will confine the advantages from this data. how to take care of indoor fountains

Great data on your website, thank you for setting aside an ideal opportunity to impart to us. Stunning knowledge you have on this present, it's pleasant to discover a site that points of interest such a great amount of data about distinctive specialists. online casino

Thanks a lot very much for the high quality and results-oriented help. I won’t think twice to endorse your blog post to anybody who wants and needs support about this area.
中国 vpn

Extraordinary work you folks are doing with this webpage. dabrigdeals

The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand new information.
lower car emissions and save fuel

wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.
We buy houses for cash Fresno California

Your article has provoked a considerable measure of positive hobby. I can see why since you have made such a decent showing of making it fascinating. https://convertio.co/wmv-mp4/

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.
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

toastmaster bread machine