Good morning. It is August 9th, 2013.
With last night's win, the Pirates are 70-44. Since 1992, the Pirates failed to win 70 games in the following seasons*: 1994, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.
The two new additions to the list today are 1998 and 2000, which I think represents the most destructive period in this ignominoious streak. The 1997 Freak Show Pirates were much like the 2011 Pirates; unexpected contenders with a roster composed of exciting young players and castoffs. Except for the weird 1995 season, the Pirates hadn't really plummetted too deep into the depths by 1997. Things didn't go according to plan in 1998, though. Cam Bonifay and Kevin McClatchy were hellbent on getting a winning team on the field in PNC Park in 2001, though, and they abandoned their rebuilding plan by trading young players for veterans (the Jose Guillen trade is the prime example of this, but far from the only one). The results were disastrous, and Bonifay was fired in favor of Dave Littlefield in 2001. You'll note that the seasons on today's list make up the seasons in which the Pirates didn't even make it to 70 wins. You will also note that more than half of them are from 2005-2010, all of which are either directly or indirectly attributable to the Dave Littlefield era. 1998 and 2000 were really terrible.
This is just 11 total seasons out of 20. There is more work to be done.
*The strike shortened 1994 and 1995. The '94 Pirates were on pace for 75 wins, but the '95 Pirates were terrible and only on pace for 65 wins.
I like the format of the march to 82 wins - give us a little recap with the last season we won X amount of games to relive the 20 years in the wilderness. It will be fun and a little cathartic - I hope you keep doing it!
@nickjuneau24 Over at Bucs Dugout they're counting down the number of wins to 82, and since 20 wins left to go they've been revisiting the roster of each team in the streak. But this win total thing puts it in an even harsher light.
I'm not from here originally and only started following the Pirates around '03 or '04. Looking at these lists and seeing it all in gory detail, I have to wonder why I started. What was wrong with me?
Thanks - I'll have to check it out.
Pat - You ought to set up some cool type of forum where all of us talk about our memories from the last 20 years. Maybe it is too silly to do a reminising-type of post, but I think it would be fun to talk about. Ending 20 years in the wilderness is a big deal - we need cool ways to celebrate!