As I sat down to watch the MLB Playoffs over the past week or so as a fan of game, not just the Pittsburgh Pirates, I was inundated with catchphrases, rallying cries, alternative nicknames and hashtags for the teams that were left chasing a very unique World Series Championship. #ChangeTheGame for the White Sox, #FlipTheScript and Slam Diego for Padres and #BottomFeeders for the Marlins; along with many others. This reminded of a time, which seems like years ago, when I was getting ready for Pirates Fest and #RewriteTheScript was plastered across my Twitter feed. The Pittsburgh Pirates, now under a new regime of both Baseball and Business Operations, would be unveiling new uniforms in somewhat of an homage to the team’s of early 1990’s.
Pirates Fans, young and old alike, couldn’t contain their excitement; immediately rushing online and into the team store to get their new jersey, adorned with the name of their favorite Pirates player or a blank one for the overly cautious, yet realistically educated Pittsburgh Fan.
Flash forward ahead a little over nine months; having endured an abysmal 19-41 shortened season and heading into General Manager Ben Cherington’s first full off-season at the helm of what many have described as a sinking ship, with almost every move he makes being labeled as reshuffling chairs on the Titanic, I can’t help but think that many have forgotten the original message. All that’s left is newly minted Pirates uniform in the closet and the familiar empty feeling of October baseball without the Buccos. But, does it have to and will it always be this way?
Before you start to think that I am going carry water for the Pirates new front office, you can stop right there. I am acutely aware that we as Pirates Fans have been sold a similar bill of goods for more years than I care to count, I know that Bob Nutting is still the owner and I realize that Ben Cherington has been cultivated from an institutional philosophy and structure akin to Neil Huntington’s. However, it’s not like any of us can accurately see into the future and know exactly what is going to happen with the Pirates organization. Also, none of us could be so foolish as to think, things were going to change in one season because it surely took more than one for the Pirates to get where they are.
In my honest opinion, I believe that it may take longer than many are predicting for the Pirates to get back on track and for that potential future window of being competitive to open; if they get there at all. That’s right! It is possible the current build will not be successful. Unfortunately, we will be a few years further into the future before this would become apparent and the Pirates will be forced to start all over again or continue to rebuild as I have been told numerous times by the Pittsburgh faithful.
However, what if it does work? Amazingly enough that is also a possibility. Imagine being in the playoffs three, four or five years from now; being able to use our own hashtag. One that was ultimately created in January of 2020 and just as quickly forgotten.
The journey toward each of these alternate futures begins now; with upcoming decisions concerning arbitration, whether or not to pick up Chris Archer’s option, possible trades to be made, players to be acquired and positions within the organization being filled and/or changed.
Now I know that many Pirates Fans already have flags planted firmly on either side of the isle; from the “Spend Nutting, Win Nutting”and “Ington” groups to eternal optimists and future prospects/farm system believers, all of which are going to be disappointed or down right miserable at different times during this process. However, that’s exactly what this is going to be, a process; with every Pirates Fan being hopeful, some more vocal than others, that one day we will get to type #RewriteTheScript as we cheer on our Pittsburgh Pirates in Buctober.