A Very Merry Christmas Eve Message from Gary at Inside the Bucs Basement

12-24-21 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter

Christmas, regardless of your religious conviction, is a time of peace, giving, family, and love. So, today, I’d like to take a moment today and talk about what this team means to me, and how much some of you have impacted my experience covering them.

As a website, Craig and I have no physical address for our little business, which we both refer to as our little Building and Loan, you It’s a Wonderful Life fans will get that pretty quickly. We didn’t expect this to grow quickly because our literal goal has been to not put click bait out, and we also wanted to avoid writing what the pulse of the fan base wants to hear.

So color me surprised when Craig and I were asked for our addresses from a bunch of you wanting to send Christmas cards our way. I’m touched that a couple guys just wanting to write about our favorite baseball team reached so many of you, and I’m even more taken aback by how many of those cards referred to us as Family.

I didn’t expect this. In fact, I didn’t expect to make any friends doing this. The message Craig and I are delivering isn’t exactly happy all the time. Still, some of you have embraced us and helped spread the word and slowly but surely our cute little B&L reference we started with is becoming less and less relevant.

Focusing on chronicling the build this team is undergoing was of course going to be glum at first, and hard to digest for folks that so desperately want to simply see their team win. Sure, some people have asked us to be more positive, or told us we’re not critical enough, but if I’m honest, getting comments like that in both directions is exactly what we really want to see. It means we’re staying right where we want to be, on the fence. Not picking winners and losers, simply telling you what we think we see.

So, for the website, we thank you all so much, for your readership, your passion, your heartfelt arguments, your reluctant agreements, and in many cases, your friendship.

This franchise is historic, and as a lifelong fan who’s literally never seen them win it all, I rely on fans just like some of you to pass those stories and feelings along. I had a head start with my grandparents, but hearing the where you were stories from all of you really add to the depth of understanding and for those who take the time to care, really adds to the understanding as to why so many are so frustrated with the club.

This is the home of Roberto Clemente, Honus Wagner, Willie Stargell, and Ralph Kiner. Champions and homerun kings, community organizers, ambassadors and humanitarians, Pittsburgh has played home to some of the greatest players and people to ever play the game and I’m so proud to cover an organization that still embraces that philosophy of giving and family.

Players wives, girlfriends, mothers, fathers, mother in-laws and former teammates reach out and provide the human element to what we see on the field, reminding us that these past few seasons we’ve watched weren’t just hard on us, but their families and the players themselves too. They’ve lost games, they’ve lost friends, and they’ve dealt with conditions so foreign to everything they enjoyed as baseball players their entire careers, and these folks help keep us in check or simply add to our understanding of why someone might have looked less than focused for a couple weeks back in June.

To their credit, they understand criticism, and don’t take it personally but let me give you an example of what this job does to you. As a writer, covering this team I reasoned and expected Chad Kuhl to be non-tendered. I wasn’t mad about it, didn’t disagree with it and knowing his wish to remain a starter differed from what the Pirates wanted him to be, really made it more probable. That said, I had so many great interactions with his wife Amanda, it was bittersweet to see him go. Again, as a fan of the team, I knew it was progress the team needed, but I also know how much he and Amanda wanted to be part of the solution here. These are real people, and while my job is to write about them as assets or pieces, I love that so much depth to my understanding has come from these incredible people. Being a baseball player’s significant other isn’t exactly an easy gig.

We have started to form one hell of a family here at Inside the Bucs Basement, and every single one of you is valuable. Your opinions matter, and this holiday season I wish nothing more than to see each of you have the celebration you all deserve.

It’s been a hell of a ride, and we’re just getting started.

Merry Christmas, and thank you all for allowing us to be part of your family.

Gary

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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