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.