I seem to have a pretty good memory when it comes to my favorite sports team. I can remember on April 22, 2010, the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pirates, 20-0. I was a junior in college watching the game on television after class, and I can remember getting text messages from everywhere asking me if I was watching the game. I remember at the time saying all you can do is laugh.
The Pirates lost 105 games that season. That 2010 team might have been the worst team they’ve had in my lifetime, maybe even worse than this year and last year. That team had very promising young players like a future MVP in Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, and Pedro Alvarez. Of course, McCutchen wasn’t the MVP yet, Walker wasn’t the Walker we knew later in his career, and Alvarez never really did reach his full potential.
I’ve been reminded of that comedic day where the Bucs lost 20-0 a few times this season. The first time was when they had a similar score when they lost 20-1 to the Braves back on May 21. This was a little misleading though. The Pirates were down 12-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning and they sent a position player to the mound for the eighth inning, and he gave up eight runs.
I know 12-0 isn’t very good either, but giving up 20 runs just seems a little more acceptable when a position player gives up eight runs.
The second time was against the Cubs just a few days later after the 20-1 beatdown. Javy Baez got Pirates first baseman Will Craig to get Baez in a rundown between home plate and first base.
Yes, you read that right. Craig tried to get a runner at the plate when all he needed to do was touch first base. Of course, Baez sprinted down the first base line, and not only did he beat the throw, but he winded up at second base because of a throwing error into right field.
My Little League team was terrible. We didn’t win very many games, but we also didn’t do anything that stupid.
I wasn’t laughing at the time of that dumb play, but a day or two later, I could laugh about it.
On Tuesday, I laughed again at my favorite team. Ke’Bryan Hayes is probably the most promising young player in the organization today. He drove a home run to right field. He was sprinting out of the box and missed first base. The Los Angeles Dodgers caught that he didn’t touch first, and Hayes was out on the play.
Something about these Pirates just not wanting to touch first base, I guess.
I can laugh about these things because I, along with everyone else, knew that this was going to be a rough year. Next year probably won’t be much better either. They are probably in Year 2 of a four or five-year rebuild.
I’ve made it a habit this year to post on social media every couple days, ‘I hate them,’ in reference to the Pirates. I don’t actually hate them. If I did, I wouldn’t care to post anything about them.
Just call it my own way of trying to enjoy a truly terrible team. I’m just praying that a few prospects in the minor leagues pan out someday.
Andy Stine is the sports editor of The Daily News and The Daily Herald. He can be reached at email@example.com.