Hope for Better Times

The Pirates are off to a better-than-expected start, but the team’s lack of depth will likely make for another challenging season.


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PNC Park has witnessed renewed enthusiasm for the Pirates in the early weeks of the season.

Manas Kathir, Sports Editor

With spring here and the Penguins playoffs hopes dashed, sports fans in Pittsburgh are turning to baseball. In recent years, not much has been worth celebrating when it comes to the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the fans continue to stay loyal to PNC Park. In fact, many fans are excited that the Pirates have brought back star outfielder Andrew McCutchen, a true Pirates legend. 

McCutchen was a Pirate from 2005-2018, bringing many memorable moments to fans and a couple of winning seasons. His return to the team is certainly bringing positive energy to PNC Park. Even with McCutchen back, the Pirates certainly have to do a lot more if they want to make real changes that will lead to success in the playoffs and a chance at the World Series. 

With the Pirates already 12 games in, there is reason to be a little more hopeful about the team. The Pirates currently sit at seven wins and five losses with one win against the Cincinnati Reds, three against the Boston Red Sox, two against the Chicago White Sox, and one against the Houston Astros. 

Sitting at second in NL Central, the Pirates seem to be on a different track from the past years, but it will all depend on whether the players can stay healthy. Shortstop Oneil Cruz, who was a huge part in the early success of the team, has a lower leg injury that is expected to keep him out until at least August 10th. Pitcher JT Brubaker is expected to be out for 14 to 16 months with an elbow injury, and pitcher Max Kranick will be out until September with an elbow injury.

In other words, the team is already facing challenges.

Obviously, there are going to be downsides when it comes to the Pirates, but the fact that they are above .500 right now already calls for celebration. The Pirates can be compared to the New York Knicks and Dallas Cowboys. What I mean is that the fans are fantastic and hopeful for a successful season, but then they get their hearts shattered with the results by the end of the year. 

What Pirates fans, along with myself, have to do is take it one step at a time so we do not set unrealistic expectations for what most of the baseball world would call a mediocre roster. Making the playoffs would be an exceptional accomplishment for the Pirates this year. We should not be even looking at the World Series as a goal this year. Instead, we should embrace McCutchen’s return, celebrate the wins (even against the worst teams), and continue to cheer on the team.

I have hope that this team can change the negative narratives surrounding the franchise. However, my hope does not rest on much evidence, as the past couple of years for the Pirates have been a disgrace. What we can only do for now is hope for better times to arrive.