I’m doing my usual Memorial Day “chill” downtown in the world’s most beautiful city — that’s Baltimore, folks — and scanning the web and tripped across an ESPN.com piece about the Pittsburgh Pirates and their ineptitude.
I intuitively knew they they haven’t played playoff baseball in the Steel City since Barry Bonds in 1992. I honestly don’t think about the Pirates too much and it’s the lone “new” ballpark that I’ve never entered. (Although I am a big fan of Primanti Sandwiches! The only saving grace — besides leaving of course — that Pittsburgh has, in my humble opinion.)
The Pirates have had 17 consecutive seasons of losing. As long as Camden Yards has existed, they’ve stunk. Almost just like us, with the Angelos Orioles.
But there is a considerable difference. Or a whole volume of them, really. The Orioles HAD it all — a huge market, suites, fans, corporate sponsors, the best legacy in baseball and heroes — and blew it. The Pirates were on the verge of potentially “breaking through” but the market limitations and the general dirge of Three Rivers Stadium (by FAR, the worst stadium I ever saw a baseball game in because the seats were so far from the field) killed them. Bobby Bonilla wanted out. Barry Bonds wanted out. Syd Thrift was thrown out. Doug Drabek wanted money. Andy Van Slyke came to Baltimore about eight years too late. They never really sold a lot of tickets.
And really, Pittsburgh is ALL about the Steelers. Period. The Penguins might win the Stanley Cup again next month but it won’t even be on the radar compared to the Steelers winning. (For the record: Baltimore is really missing out by not having an NHL team, which is all the more reason the Caps and Baltimore should “marry” over the next decade!)
Just thought it was an interesting MLB article for the day as the Orioles and Nationals continue the “Battle for the Basement” in D.C. this holiday weekend. Yeah, they suck — but not as bad as Pittsburgh.
Not a low blow — just a fact!