OK, I know this is two Pirates articles in two days but cut me a little slack, who would have thought they would be in first place in the NL Central this far into the season? With back to back shutout wins over Cincinnati and a 9-3 record over their past 12 games, these Pirates have the look of a serious contender in the NL Central race. A race, I might add, they are currently winning.
Which brings us to yet another possible Pirates first since what seems like forever, they will be looking to add talent instead of trading it.
For years the Pirates have been sellers at this time of the year, having usually been out of the hunt come May. Long suffering Pittsburgh baseball fans have watched hordes of talented and popular players shipped out in July for nothing but empty promises of a better tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is here and the time is now to make a run at this division.
"Our fans have been energized by this team. The rebonding between the city and its team that (manager Clint Hurdle) talked about wanting to be a part of is happening," Frank Coonelly told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney. "Yes, the great response at the gate gives us greater capacity to add players as (general manager Neal Huntington) looks to make the team better at the (July 31 trade) deadline and into August."
Yes, for once the Pirates will be looking to add talent, but if you think they will just be looking to get people at any cost, then you will be sadly mistaken. The Pirates are looking for deals that make sense for the team and doesn't hamper any potential growth and financial flexibility. Their goal is making these winning ways a regular thing as opposed to a one year aberration.
"When we are not successful in securing a player who we have targeted, it is likely to be because of the acquisition cost ask in terms of players and prospects rather than because of an inability or unwillingness to take on the financial commitment," Coonelly told Olney.
As a person who sees every light at the end of a tunnel as being a train about to run you over, I keep waiting for these Pirates to implode but (for now) they keep winning and every victory brings them closer to respectability in the MLB.
Respectability may not sound like much, but when you have been the whipping boy for the League for 18 years, it tends to grow in meaning.
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