Tuesday, June 26, 2007

We are Pirate fans and it is June

The Pirates hit another low point over the weekend, as they were swept by the Angels and fell to 31-44, 12.5 games back in the NL Central. I have often debated with myself as to what type of loss hurts more, the heartbreaking one-run loss or the complete blowout. Well, we were treated to the best of both worlds in this series, losing one game 10-1 and the other two in extra innings. The Bucs have now lost five in a row and are 1-5 on the current road trip. Of course, we are used to this. It seems to happen every June. But it seems as if people are nearing their breaking points this season. The Pirates' current slide has led the majority of people to depression, anger, protest attempts and others are simply assessing the current situation and looking to build a better future. Even Pirate players are letting their frustration show (from the PG):

"I [expletive] hate this," [Ian Snell] said at his stall, his voice rising. "And you can put that in the paper. I [expletive] hate losing. I hate when the team doesn't bring out its full potential. And if they fine me, fine me. I don't care. Because this is getting stupid. We're better than what we're showing."

Ian Snell - AP Photo/Chris Carlson

These are the kinds of statements we should hear coming out of the Pirate locker room on a nightly basis. I think the fans are more frustrated this season because it does not seem as if players even care about winning. It is one thing to watch the Pirates lose. It is something altogether different to watch them lose because Ronny Paulino does not seem interested in any extraneous movement. It is even more frustrating to watch him walk out to home plate night after night, regardless of how he plays. I have said it before, I'll say it again: the Pirates should be pissed off because of all the losing, and they need to play with a chip on their shoulder if there is any chance to right the ship. That kind of attitude is what makes Ian Snell so good.

There was talk of a players-only meeting before Sunday's game, but it did not occur due to the early game. Hopefully, the team used the free time on Monday constructively. Tonight, the Pirates visit the Florida Marlins. Paul Maholm will pitch for the Pirates, and Dontrelle Willis will take the mound for the Marlins. Willis has struggled his past few outings, and had this start pushed back two days due to a tight forearm. We all know what happens when a struggling starter faces the Pirates. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.

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