Maybe it’s because I began my baseball fandom following the Cubs. Or perhaps it’s because the writer in me loves good stories, especially redemptive ones. Yes, my massive crush on one particular Pirate certainly plays a role, but it goes beyond him or any one guy on their team this year. Because after spending Labor Day weekend in Pittsburgh and talking with so many Pirates fans, I genuinely am happy for them after they won number 82.
If you think that’s wrong for me as a Cardinals fan, so it goes — I’m not going to apologize. I spent last night watching both the Pirates and the Reds and, as a fan of great pitching, found both games compelling. (Travis Wood! We love you!)
Yet it was the one on my laptop, Pirates and Rangers, Gerrit Cole against Yu Darvish, that captured my attention more (and that was way before this happened).
Yes, the end of the Pirates 20-year losing streak has gotten plenty of attention and justifiably so. Sure, Cards fans can mock and be bitter (and plenty are) but just think about it from their perspective. Where were you in 1992? What have you experienced baseball-wise since then? Even for me, as a Cards fan since 2000, it’s been beyond tremendous. Now, what if the Cardinals hadn’t even won 82 games once in a season during that time — how would you feel? It’s not like the Cubs and them not going to or winning a World Series. It’s not winning, period.
Those fans who’ve stuck by them definitely deserve a break for how they’re feeling now. And, undoubtedly, those Pirates fans were the best part of the trip to Pittsburgh.