"Every season has its peaks and valleys.
What you have to try to do is eliminate the Grand Canyon."
--Andy Van Slyke
In the Canyon: 16 years and counting ...
In the spring of 2005, I was bored. As a sophomore at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, I knew several things. I knew that I didn't like studying for organic chemistry. I knew that liked talking about the Pittsburgh Pirates. And I knew that being a science major didn't give me nearly the outlet that I wanted to write.
On a whim one night shortly after the beginning of the 2005 season, I created a Pirate blog. I quickly named it after the player I idolized as a child, the player that made me love baseball as a kid: Andy Van Slyke. I initially intended to write for family and friends, though I slowly built up the nerve to push it out to a general audience on the internet. To my surprise, it found one.
That this blog still exists and has any audience at all is, as far as I can tell, a testament to Pirate fans. By any standard, the Pirates shouldn't have fans. If they complete another losing season in 2009, the Pirates will have put their fans through something that no fans in the history of American sports have ever had to endure: 17 losing season. Writing WHYGAVS quickly helped me realize that despite this, there are still many smart and passionate Pirate fans out there that care about the team and obsess over the Bucs every bit as much as I do.
Nearly four years later, I still study science but I no longer live in Pittsburgh. WHYGAVS is still here, because as long as the Pirates are playing baseball, I'm going to have an opinion about them.
I knew there had to be a Pirates blog! I kept searching but never found one until tonight. I was reading Pensblog and they included a link to you. I too love Andy Van Slyke, I was living in Ny then, flew to pgh for the playoff game when Drabek pitched vs Atlanta and flew back in time for school next day. I have been with the Buccos since 1959 and with the Pens before they were the Pens! Let's Raise the Jolly Roger and Lord Stanley's cup this year!
I just started my own blog and was seeing how others write theirs. I came across your site and it is awesome. Very informative and entertaining. I remember the Van Slyke/Bonds/Bonilla era well and think we are finally on the cusp of a return, I hope you dont mind but I put a link to your blog on mine.
I am 70. I remember the 1940 - 1953 Pirates. This Team is much better. Please do not put them down as I have seen worst.
Love the blog... I randomly saw the poll about what the Pirates' record would be (poll from June), and then I scrolled up to see past polls. The results reminded me of recent things you've written about knee-jerk reactions and people reacting like a trade is going to be a god-send.
Do you like the Iwamura trade?
Yes, Iwamura's a nice addition to the team 239 70.1%
Not sure, let's see where this goes 81 23.8%
No, the focus should be on the future 21 6.2%
I never heard that quote by Van Slyke before. It makes sense. I agree with you that organic chemistry can be boring. I went to school for Bio-Chemistry, so I feel your pain. I started being a pirate fan as a child cause I live in Pgh. Me and my friends used to play baseball, collect cards, watch games on TV (we only had like 5 channels to choose from). As a kid, we had the sense to know that you had to root for your team til the day you die. The term and concept of "bandwagon jumper" did not exist in the 70s growing up. Many people these days don't understand what being a fan really is about