Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Day After

The Pirates postseason, if you even care to call it that, ended with barely a whimper.  I was a bit pessimistic to begin with, expecting a 4-1 score favoring the Cubbies.  But things played out even worse than I could have expected, and the game felt lost by the second batter of the game.

Quite honestly, my feelings on the season are mixed.  I attended a whopping two games in person, unquestionably my lowest total since 1996, if not earlier.  Heck, there were many weekends when I went to more than two Pirate games.  And I watched maybe a dozen more on tv.  After some of the marketing decisions made by the team that rubbed quite a few fellow season ticket holders (wait, they're called ticket memberships now) the wrong way, I made a personal decision that I wasn't going to financially support the team this year.  And I didn't.  Both games I attended were with some of my students.  The tickets were free, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world regardless.  But the fact of the matter is that I can't say I'm overly invested in this year's team.  Nor did I watch the team grind through 98 wins only to essentially be left out of the actual playoffs.

Still, watching last night's game was pretty soul sucking.  Two of my favorite Pirates are going to go out without the postseason stage they so greatly deserved.  Aramis Ramirez was the last real link in the game to the Pirates teams of the early 2000's that made me love baseball and this team.  And the chance to see him in black and gold once again was the only reason I watched most of the games I did.

And A.J. Burnett was the first player I really loved watching play since Jack Wilson retired.  He had a grit and intensity that just fit the personality of the city so well, and loved watching every chance to watch him pitch.  I had just expected to have one or two more shots at that in October.

And those things bother me more than anything.  What's done is done.  While the new wildcard format surely boosts revenue, ratings, and everything else, I think it's laughable that one way or another a 95+ win team was going to never get a chance to sniff actual playoff baseball this year.  It's a disservice to the game, and it's certainly frustrating for anyone involved.  But it is what it is.

Maybe next year will be better, hold something different.  Both for the Bucs and for my connection to the team.  I would have loved to see the team make a real run in the postseason.  Or even just get a chance.  But maybe I'm not as broken up as I could or should be about the way it played out.  Here's to 2016.

1 comment:

  1. I've been talking about the Wild Card a lot on my blog too. I just don't know how they can fix in situations where all the good teams come from one division. Seems like every scenario would be to the detriment of the division winners.

    I don't really like AJ Burnett, but he was a key part of the franchise turning itself around. It was cool to see him take less money to finish here too.