Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Guest Blog of a Pirates Fan

(Editor's Note: Tom Smith writes for Rum Bunter, a kick-ass Pirates blog.)

I am a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. It is hell.   We pray a lot as Pirates fans.   This is my prayer from  last night.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change such as starting second baseman Aki Iwamura slugging .057 this month.  The courage to change the things I can. .  And the wisdom to know the difference.  The difference between a professional first baseman and the Pirates current AAAA version, Jeff Clement, who is struggling so bad he hasn’t had an extra base hit in his last 33 tries.

Grant me the serenity to never forget all of the championships the Pirates have brought to Pittsburgh.  The courage to head into Chicago tomorrow cheering for a team that hasn’t scored in 19 innings.  The wisdom to know the difference between a baseball trip to a mecca and a trip to PNC Park.

Obviously, we love the Pirates, how else would you explain getting out of a perfectly working bed at 3:30 am.  I will also be waking my six year old son from his bed too.  Yeh, I drug him into this epic  pain as a Pirates fan.  They say it’s a common occurrence when you’re a fan of baseball.    We will  try to not awaken the lady of the house, my wife, Brody’s mom.  We will prepare ourselves to drive two hours to the Pittsburgh International Airport.

Why would we do this you ask?  We want to see the Pirates play of course.    A trip to PNC Park is tremendously painful.  I have always marveled at the dead men walking known as Pirates fans.  We are blessed with a rarity, a tremendous ball park experience.  Yeh, the stuff that's said when the team doesn't produce. .  Rarely, do we witness results like the early season series against your beloved Cubs.  It just doesn’t happen.  No, this trip is about observing the hallowed ground on which my favorite team will take on Chicago’s team.  Wrigley Field.

We want to witness, courage.  Witness loyalty.  It’s rare in Pittsburgh, a town now suffering from two sports hangovers.  The Penguins failed in their attempt at a Stanley Cup title defense.  The Steelers, well, that’s a whole different story.  Now the entire town has been forced to focus on the Pirates.  Some fans are more into the team than others, a large number have allowed baseball to become irrelevant, much like the team has become.

Chicago knows about being loyal.  Cubs fans seem to fill up Wrigley for as long as I can remember watching them on WGN.  Not so with the Bucs. I will never give up on the team although  some Pirates fans have put up the white flag. (Its blue in Chicago when you lose?  I'm still confused on that. )

Wrigley Field is something we understand is a phenomenal experience.  Unfortunately, the Pirates team that will be taking the field is pretty awful.  Again.  As an example, our corner outfielder named Lastings Milledge has a career slugging under .400.  Not painful enough yet?  Our starting second baseman Aki Iwamura is our highest paid player.  Aki is 1-for his last 34.

I better pray again.  I’m doubting my faith.

I seriously hope this wasn't

I seriously hope this wasn't posted to have us feeling better about ourselves. Because honestly, it merely has me tempted to bring a sawed off to the stadium today... lol

Hah, nice.

Hah, nice.

It's Nice

To see the perspective of a fan of a truly hopeless and helpless team. We, as Cub fans, like to claim the status of victims and part of that is accurate but it could always be worse. The Cubs might be a barely over .500 team this year.

The Pirates haven't sniffed .500 since Barry Bonds wore a uniform for them in 1992. That is close to 20 years ago. Here are their won loss records since then:

1993: 75-87
1994: 53-61
1995: 58-86
1996: 73-89
1997: 79-83
1998: 69-93
1999: 78-83
2000: 73-89
2001: 62-100
2002: 72-89
2003: 75-87
2004: 72-89
2005: 67-95
2006: 67-95
2007: 68-94
2008: 67-95
2009: 62-99

Pirate fans have to look back to the Bonds/Bonilla years of the early 1990's and then back to the Parker/Stargell We Are Family 1979 to gain any comfort.

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award