If I cared.

mccutchenleaps

If I cared about the Buccos of Suckitude, which I don’t — not since a few months ago when I gave up my position as driver of the bandwagon, abandoned ship so to speak, lit that bitch up and rolled it into the Mon without a thought of the drunk, deluded fans still aboard all, “Wooo! We’ll get ’em next time! This is our year! Where’s that water coming from? Woo!”– but if I did still care, I would look at this picture of Andrew McCutchen leaping with joy into the arms of his teammates after a walkoff homer last night and I would talk about how awesome it is to see them caring that much about winning.

If I cared, I would write an entire post about the beauty that is the poetry in motion of Andrew McCutchen rounding first base, then second on his way toward a triple.

If I cared, I would point out this letter from former Pirate Jack Wilson that surprisingly doesn’t include any of the following words or phrases: effin’ Nuttings, trade-happy rodents, hell on earth, misery, shoot myself in the face or dying alive (tm Jaromir Jagr), but instead focuses on the fans — the die-hard fans who despite what will likely be 17 years of losing, continue to show up, root for the team, and Hope for Change (tm Barack Obama).

If I cared, I would write a post about how my seven-year-old nephew, who can name every player and their position, wakes up every morning, runs to the newspaper to see if the Pirates managed to pull their losing butts out of last place, only to throw the paper down in disgust, stalk into the kitchen and mutter “stupidheads” under his breath. And how much I want to sit him down and tell him it’s time to let go.

If I cared, I’d tell you all to shut up about your love for McCutchen, to stop caring so much about him, to not pin your hopes for the future on his ever-growing talent because it is only going to anger you that much more when the team sells his butt in a few years calling it “rebuilding,” or “prospect-acquisition,” or “MONEYMONEYMONEYWEWANTMONEYNOMNOMNOM,” after which they’ll hold a press conference announcing they’re signing two fifty-year-old Eskimos from the Yukon who showed great promise as athletes when they won their local reality show Akkorpok Talleriktok Uyakterpok!*

But I don’t. Care. Not even a little bit.

[sigh]

*Literally “lifting self up on tip toes and using strong arms to catch flying ball-type object”





46 Comments

  1. Martin Silenus
    August 26, 2009 1:33 pm

    I felt the same way until I watched them play on Saturday. There is a lot of young talent on the team. And of course, I know they will all be traded as soon as they show any value or are within two years of eligibility for free agency, but damn, some of those guys play well!



  2. Old Cynic
    August 26, 2009 1:34 pm

    In the same light, I heard that Lackey has just traded PNC Park for 200 yards of astroturf (from Harry Reid) and a future sandlot field to be named if there’s any unscorched ground left after his G20.

    Can any babushka wearers confirm or deny?



  3. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    August 26, 2009 1:56 pm

    I care so much that I drove 223 miles each way to get to last night’s game and then got up at 5:00 a.m. to drive 223 miles back to make it to work. And this was after being in Pittsburgh Friday through Sunday. I’ve always been one of the “deluded” and will likely continue until I’m in the grave. Can’t help. Games like last night, for me, are the reason I love baseball. Sitting in the outfield, there was something in the way McCutchen stood after Victorino stopped at third that made me turn to my friends and say “If Cutch gets a chance, he’s going to make up for the misplay.” He did. Let’s Go Buccos of Suckitude!!!!!



  4. Summer
    August 26, 2009 1:57 pm

    My husband is Charlie Brown.

    The Pirates management is Lucy.

    The quest for an .500 season is the football.

    You know management’s going to snatch away the chance, just as you think it’s within grasp (if you even get that close), but, by God, this is “the year!” and he’s game to try again, every time and past evidence be damned.

    Pirates fans aren’t on a bandwagon, they’re on a hearse. And why not? They’re a dying breed.



  5. spoon
    August 26, 2009 2:08 pm

    You need to be in a Pierogie Race. Just sayin…



  6. G-Man
    August 26, 2009 2:24 pm

    Not to be a technical bitch or anything, but if you were going to drive a bandwagon full of deluded ones into the river, wouldn’t it be more likely the Allegheny, right by the park? I mean, the Mon already is supposed to have some old World War Zero military plane sunk in it. Do you really need to be putting more vehicles in there to rust?
    But, seriously. I live in Richmond, VA and I still care. And I don’t expect much so I don’t get upset like many do. It’s fun to see a game. I drove up twice this year, provided my own Obama stimulus package to a hotel on McKnight road and the fine restaurants in the Ross Park/Babcock Boulevard area. I had a great time.
    It’s fine if you SAY you don’t care. But there’s a big entry right above these comments that seems to indicate your nose is growing and maybe your pants are on fire, just a little bit. So go sit on a pigeon and put them out. :-)



  7. Pa-pop
    August 26, 2009 2:28 pm

    429 priceless words on “not caring,” including your title and footnote … the rest of us mere mortals would be hard pressed to “not care” with such eloquence.



  8. Sean
    August 26, 2009 2:31 pm

    I still follow them but the first thing I thought after I saw the home run was, “How long until they trade him?”

    It’s hard to even enjoy the good moments anymore.

    And this year’s fire sale trading cycle was particularly hard to take. I doubt we’ll ever win 82 or more in a season again. And it makes me sad.



  9. AZNBurgher
    August 26, 2009 2:35 pm

    I am by no means an avid fan of baseball and agree that although 17 years of suckitude is definitely torture, what can you do? Root for Cleveland? Gotta pull for the home team. But you’re right….I’m waiting for McCutchen to be traded now…



  10. Just A Simple Man
    August 26, 2009 2:48 pm

    Still a fan here… I cannot blame the current regime for the last 16 years.
    What they (management)have done in the past two years needed to be done. I would rather have Huntingdon & Coonelly come in and do what they are doing. They are earning their salaries, it would have been much easier to do what McClatchy and and the former GM’s did, basically nothing. Taking the easy route gets you less fan noise, media noise etc. but, you wind up with the last 16 years.
    Oh they did create a extended care facility for old washed up baseball players… sorry they do deserve some credit.
    Everyone keeps commenting on “the fire sale”, “sell his butt” and I ask what did they sell off? As Huntingdon said himself he was not breaking up the 27 Yankees… Raise the Jolly Roger!



  11. rickh
    August 26, 2009 2:49 pm

    Great post.

    I’m glad to say I was there last night, and those fans that stuck it out to the end were rejoicing like we just won the pennant. Despite the indifferent ownership, front office ineptitude and frequent sub-standard play, there is nothing better than watching exciting baseball on a beautiful summer evening. For awhile you forget about the crap behind it all and you wanna party like it’s 1999! Or 1979.



  12. Anthony
    August 26, 2009 2:50 pm

    …not caring is exhausting!…bastards!



  13. Pensgirl
    August 26, 2009 3:20 pm

    I haven’t cared about baseball generally in a very, very long time, but when I saw that photo I had to smile for two reasons:

    1. It’s just a great photo, period.

    2. When’s the last time any Pirate had the chance to be that excited?

    I really don’t care what happened that led up to that moment, but no matter the context, that level of joy is fun to see.



  14. JenOH
    August 26, 2009 3:27 pm

    Yeah, I try not to care, but I spend countless hours a week reading about and watching them.

    And I even wrote a friendly letter to them last summer with a money-making suggestion to consider doing the go-on-the-road with the Buccos trips like the other big league clubs do for their fans, but they didn’t respond which sort of pissed me off, but didn’t stop me from going to games.

    And I wear a Pirates shirt to every game I attend and sometimes I wear one just because (even if once last summer at the game in Baltimore I was furious after they had given up the lead and when I went to the bathroom I was sort of tempted to pull off my shirt and wipe the toilet seat with it).

    I love the talent that McCutchen has. I was at his first game in June and hope to be watching him for many years to come (btw … the Pirates control him for the next 6 years so he’s not getting traded).

    Next game I have tickets for is September 19. If they keep playing like they have over the last week, it could be fun! (Please no Capps to close though … I swear he’s blown the lead @ almost every game I’ve been to that the Buccos actually had a lead for him to save!)

    Let’s go Bucs! :)



  15. John in the Rocks
    August 26, 2009 3:46 pm

    Say what you will about the Buccos of Suckitude, but that picture brings a smile to my face.



  16. What do you think?
    August 26, 2009 3:49 pm



  17. Steelheader
    August 26, 2009 3:49 pm

    My 7 year old son gets the paper every morning to read what they did the night before. He was all smiles this morning! And he is a Pitt Blog star, too, appearing in a post a year ago: http://thatschurch.com/2008/08/22/troysus-loves-the-little-children-all-the-children-of-the-world/

    Little kids, and some of us adults, will never give up the ship. And FWIW, I think the ownership now is finally on the right track to righting this (severely listing) ship.



  18. Bram R
    August 26, 2009 4:08 pm

    My baseball friends insist that the recent moves are actually very, very good for the franchise, and it looks like the news scouts and new management are on the right, realistic track. But these are mostly out-of-town baseball friends. There is something not-doable about sticking with a loser for 17 years.



  19. Moe the Dog
    August 26, 2009 4:16 pm

    I care. I don’t know why, but I do. It must be the seven-year-old in me. Every morning I check the box score, then look to see how the ex-pirates are doing, then over to see who’s doing what in Indianapolis, Altoona, Lynchburg, State College and Bradenton.

    I can’t believe I just typed that. I think it may be my first step to recovery.



  20. Steelman
    August 26, 2009 5:08 pm

    Jack Wilson is a class act and it’s too bad he’s not in the Pirate dugout spreading that “classiness” to the other players. Unfortunately, “MONEYMONEYMONEYWEWANTMONEYNOMNOMNOM” trumps “classiness”.

    When I read on the Internet that the Bucs pulled out a 9th inning win after blowing the lead in the top of the 9th, I stayed up until 1am watching the replay on FSN. What a sick fan. Can you imagine this town if they start winning?

    I’m old enough to remember Maz’s homerun in 1960 to win the World Series. Too bad the photo of the “McCutchen leap” was not under the headline, “Bucs Win World Series”.

    Give the players some credit – they are playing with enthusiasm despite the losing heritage of the Pirates.

    Wait til next year! …. Throw me a life preserver.



  21. Three
    August 26, 2009 5:15 pm

    Personally, I’m still waiting for an official “Comedy/Tragedy Night” at PNC Park.

    Or at the very least, I’m hoping for more prospects from India so I can some kind of incomprehensible last name on the back of my Pirate jersey.

    And sadly, those ideas are realistic.

    But a winning season? From the Nuttings? That’s a dream I don’t think I’ll ever see fulfilled. :(



  22. bluzdude
    August 26, 2009 6:51 pm

    I don’t care if the Bucs actually get to the playoffs as much as I’d just like them to be relevant.



  23. Pittsburgh Tom (now back in da burgh)
    August 26, 2009 6:56 pm

    I probably care more about the Buccos than I did when they were winners. Especially the last 5 years when I was exiled in New Jersey. During the spring/summer, I would go to the sports bar with the mlb satellite package and get a little piece of Pittsburgh. That’s how I got my nickname. I would go into a bar full of Phillies fans and have one of the tvs turned to the Pirates game.
    I see being a Pirates fan part of the cost of having my two other pro teams win championships and one of my favorite college teams reach #1 for the first time.
    As for the trades this year, after trading Bay last year, they pretty much gave up on winning this year or next. So getting value for anyone not expected to be around in 2011 and restocking the farm system is a good idea.
    The key thing is that the current GM administration seems to have a plan, the eye for talent to pull it off, and the strength to keep to that plan in the face of scrutiny.



  24. Hutch Jr.
    August 26, 2009 7:12 pm

    I’ve stuck to my guns all season, but damn I wanta footlong w/peps and onions



  25. Daniel Casciato
    August 26, 2009 8:16 pm

    I’ve bought into their rebuilding plan and I believe. Remember, this is not the same old Pirates. They blew up the team and are finally rebuilding the way a team should.

    They’re building around McCutchen, Tabatha, and Alvarez.

    You heard it first. Pittsburgh Pirates–2012 World Series Champions.

    No, I’m not crazy.



  26. Scott R Priester
    August 26, 2009 8:24 pm

    If you don’t care about the Pirates, then STFU.



  27. Virginia
    August 26, 2009 8:36 pm

    Scott R. Priester:

    Please look up the word satire.

    Thank you.



  28. RIZZO
    August 26, 2009 8:39 pm

    I’ll be at the game behind the plate tommorrow night and I can only hope for a big moment like that photo.
    The Buccos at least will have a record for something. Consecutive losing seasons sucks though.



  29. Still A. Fan
    August 26, 2009 8:44 pm

    Moe The Dog! What’s up? Another OG returns. Will see you at the Vikings games.

    Isn’t it funny how a 3-13 team can win the Super Bowl the following year (Rams, Ravens…) yet this team has been buried since I was in college and watched in horror as a friend of mine put his fist through the wall of the room I was paying for when Bonds failed to throw out Sid Bream. What was the guy’s name with the hit? Jose Cabrera?



  30. oldgraymare
    August 26, 2009 10:17 pm

    As I write this, I am listening to the postgame after tonight’s loss. It’s sad that the only thing good to talk about is a play that happened the night before. I’m always for the home team, but let’s face it, baseball season in Pittsburgh ended with the first preseason Steeler game.



  31. Scott R Priester
    August 26, 2009 10:47 pm

    “Virginia Says:
    August 26th, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Scott R. Priester:

    Please look up the word satire.

    Thank you.”

    Nothing on this blog is close to being satire, and I tell you that knowing the English language quite well.



  32. Michael
    August 26, 2009 10:57 pm

    The Pirates will always be relevant to me. In my youth, the Pirates were Pittsburgh’s team not the Steelers. Improbable as it seems today, it was true, so true.

    Even if you do not care about the Pirates, you owe it to yourself to go to a game just to watch Andrew McCutchen. We haven’t seen the likes of him in a Pirates uniform in many a year. He is even more exciting to see in person. No, he won’t be traded for a long time. Trust me, he is a very special talent.



  33. Linda
    August 26, 2009 11:25 pm

    I swore I was done with the Nuttings, and by extension, Pittsburgh baseball, when they traded Wilson and Sanchez. Especially Jack Wilson, who only ever wanted to win.

    But picture convinces me that if these young players can show up every day and transcend the Nutting lust for $$$$$$$$$$. It’s like watching the movie “Major League,” in which the ownership wants to lose and the team decides they don’t have to suck just because the owners aren’t worthy of the game.

    Ginny, lovely post. One of the best you’ve ever done. Satirically speaking.



  34. Linda
    August 26, 2009 11:31 pm

    Northrop Frye said that satire is “militant irony.”



  35. SRP = Loser
    August 27, 2009 6:07 am

    I remember you from BurghBlog days, Scott R. Priester:
    http://thatschurch.com/2008/11/11/random-nat-78/

    Great to see that you are still a fan of Ginny/Pittgirl.



  36. Bill From Hanover
    August 27, 2009 7:46 am

    This group of players are nothing more than an advanced minor league team that is not able to fully compete at this major level of play. We see it every time they play, sad, indeed.

    They are not rebuilding as they speak for the future, why do I say this, simple …. When one of their young guns shows promise, they get traded for some prospects and wham, we are back to square one.

    This team is being mis-managed on all levels, the poor manager, he is the guy who takes the heat, not upper management.

    People of PGH, enough is enough, when are you going to finally grow testicles and boycott a game a game or two ? Send a message to management that your tired of what they are doing, make signs and display them, write to team, flood their email, you get the picture.

    This is a shame they call this a team from PGH !



  37. Capt. Dummy
    August 27, 2009 8:26 am

    in short, you have to see the big picture. sure all the trades suck, but we never won with those guys either. the difference being that when we had those players (bay, sanchez, wilson, mcclouth, etc.), we had zero talent in our minor league system. now you see the talent building for the first time in a very long time. baseball builds from the farm teams up. stick with them… i know it sucks now… i know it’s sucked for 16 years… but believe it or not, NOW, finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! just gotta understand it’s still gonna be a pretty long tunnel…

    and for those of us that still take the day off for opening day, that still buy season or partial season tickets, and that STILL get a tiny bit bummed when they lose… wear that like a badge when they start winning!



  38. Scott R Priester
    August 27, 2009 8:34 am

    “SRP = Loser Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 6:07 am

    I remember you from BurghBlog days, Scott R. Priester:
    http://thatschurch.com/2008/11/11/random-nat-78/

    Great to see that you are still a fan of Ginny/Pittgirl.”

    Thanks for all the irony. Someone with a ridiculous screen name like yours calling me a loser. And aside from all the childish insults in that thread towards me, as Alanis Morrisette sang, “Isn’t it ironic” how things turned out after all?



  39. Pittsburgh Tom (now back in da burgh)
    August 27, 2009 8:46 am

    The big difference between the Pirates administration now and the one a few years ago is they know longer draft based on signability.
    Before they would use the number one overall draft pick to sign a pitcher projected to be a second or third starter. Now, they draft the best player available and go through the trouble of signing him.



  40. Lisa
    August 27, 2009 8:53 am

    Geez, Scott–great writer that you are, you should know that most of the situations in said Alanis Morrisette song were NOT, in fact, ironic. Oh, and that’s called sarcasm, by the way. You have major issues. Get over yourself.

    And Ginny–keep up the great writing!! We love you!!



  41. Brian
    August 27, 2009 9:17 am

    Yeah, you know, I’m certainly not a Pirates eternal optimist. Or an part-time optimist. But I watch Andrew McCutchen, and I remember all the so-called can’t-miss prospects of the past 17 years, and this is the very first time I am able to say, “Oh, that’s the real deal.” Dude is a bonafide major leaguer and has star quality. I’m pretty much only excited to watch him play, though I am intrigued when Garrett Jones gets to the plate to see if he can hit a ball across the river. But yeah, I keep waiting for 2013 when we trade McCutch to the Red Sox for Brandon Moss’ brother and some coffee. A sad day that’ll be.



  42. Magus Patris
    August 27, 2009 9:39 am

    Every morning, my 6 year old says, “Daddy, did the Pirates win last night?” Most mornings I hate answering him because he immediately gets sad. But games like this one make up for it. Hurry up Succos! You have 2 or 3 more years before he starts to realize hope is not enough.



  43. bucdaddy
    August 27, 2009 10:17 am

    Hey, Scott R. Priester!

    Still an asshole, I see!



  44. bucdaddy
    August 27, 2009 10:19 am

    Pittsburgh Tom and Daniel C. and others who get what’s going on: Nice to have company.



  45. PittinDC
    August 27, 2009 11:54 am

    Aw Jack Wilson.. such a class act!



  46. Brand New
    August 30, 2009 2:12 am

    Tell me about… I’m stuck watching the Padres limp to last place every year. Suck teams unite!