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View Full Version : A New Mark of Futility: 17 Consecutive Losing Seasons for the Pirates


PKalltheway
09-08-2009, 01:37 AM
With the Bucs' 4-2 loss at the hands of the Cubs yesterday, the Pirates made history by becoming the first team in pro sports to have 17 consecutive losing seasons.

How bad have things been for the Pirates? The closest the Pirates have come to contending during this streak was during the 1997 season, when they finished in second place, five games behind the Astros, in what was a pretty dismal year for the NL Central (the Bucs finished 79-83). They have also managed to lose at least 90 games eight times during this stretch, maxing out at 100 in 2001. You have to go back to 1970 to count just as many for the Sox.

They broke the record originally held by the Philadelphia Phillies, who had 16 straight losing seasons from 1933-1948. What's forgotten about those Phillies is that between 1918 and 1948, the Phils had just one winning season (78-76 in 1932). In case you don't feel like doing the math, that's 30 losing seasons in 31 years. Ouch. And to think the A's were the team that moved away.:o::o:

Let's hope for Pirate fans that things don't get that bad....

soxfanreggie
09-08-2009, 08:21 AM
I can remember back when the Pirates used to be good. Their fans that still come out to the games and get season tickets are truly diehards because to watch your team continue to lose and continue to trade away talent has to be hard every single year.

TommyJohn
09-08-2009, 09:23 AM
I can remember back when the Pirates used to be good. Their fans that still come out to the games and get season tickets are truly diehards because to watch your team continue to lose and continue to trade away talent has to be hard every single year.Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell are rolling in their graves. Seriously, I remember the 1970s when the Pirates were perennial contenders. It seemed like they were in the playoffs every year. And then came the three straight division titles in 1990-92, culminating in the Game 7 heartbreak against Atlanta.

chisox616
09-08-2009, 09:42 AM
I couldn't imagine living in Pittsburgh and being a baseball fan...dealing with trade after trade, loss after loss. They never really put a terrible team defensively/offensively on the field; they just never got that great rotation to go with it. So guys like Aramis Ramirez, Giles, McLouth, etc, never really had a chance to actually produce a good season with the abysmal starting rotation.

I hope they never trade McCutchen. He really is their future, now.

LITTLE NELL
09-08-2009, 10:27 AM
Except in rare cases the small market teams cannot compete with the teams from New York, LA, Chicago and Boston.
MLB is going to have to do a better job of addressing this issue.
Small market teams did very well before the huge salaries, back in the 70s and 80s, teams like KC, Cincy and Pitt did very well. Those days are gone.

khan
09-08-2009, 11:58 AM
Except in rare cases the small market teams cannot compete with the teams from New York, LA, Chicago and Boston.
MLB is going to have to do a better job of addressing this issue.
Small market teams did very well before the huge salaries, back in the 70s and 80s, teams like KC, Cincy and Pitt did very well. Those days are gone.

While this is an issue for MLB, ****tsburg hasn't exactly had MENSA members in their front offices, either.

When they GAVE AWAY Aramis Ramirez, did those clowns even get a player that has ANY HOPE of playing in the Bigs? The same thing can be said of their giveaways of McLouth and Giles, too. [For that matter, can anyone remember the last time ****tburg "won" a trade? Or even TRIED to "win" a trade?]

Minnesota isn't exactly a "big market." But they don't have the mouthbreathing morons that ****tsburg has in their front office that give away every good player they have for free. For the good of the game, the Commissioner's Office should force the Pirates' ownership to sell the team.

michned
09-08-2009, 12:40 PM
For that matter, can anyone remember the last time ****tburg "won" a trade? Or even TRIED to "win" a trade?

Todd Ritchie :smile:

Hitmen77
09-08-2009, 12:41 PM
Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell are rolling in their graves. Seriously, I remember the 1970s when the Pirates were perennial contenders. It seemed like they were in the playoffs every year. And then came the three straight division titles in 1990-92, culminating in the Game 7 heartbreak against Atlanta.

It's a shame that the franchise has fallen so far. I too remember the Pirates as perennial contenders in the 1970s. By many accounts, PNC Park is one of the best ballparks in the league. Too bad it's being wasted on such a bad team. I'm not familiar with Pittsburgh, but I'd imagine that 17 losing seasons has just killed fan interest in the team.....especially when there are Super Bowl and Stanley Cup champs to root for.

I don't think them being in a small market is the primary reason for their perpetual failure. It is part of the problem no doubt, but a vast majority of the blame has to go to lousy management. Being in the NL Central, it's not like the Pirates are constantly being shut out of contention by powerhouses. That division and/or the NL wild card has been winnable even by average teams in recent years.

I think it sucks that small market teams can almost never keep any good players once they become FA-eligible, but other small market teams like the Brewers, Twins, Marlins, and A's have been able to generate at least some moderate success in recent years. The Pirates always seem to draft poorly and trade away any good players they have for nothing. Ramirez for Bobby Freaking Hill? Come on! Even at the time they should have known that Hill was a bust.

gobears1987
09-08-2009, 01:11 PM
Except in rare cases the small market teams cannot compete with the teams from New York, LA, Chicago and Boston.
MLB is going to have to do a better job of addressing this issue.
Small market teams did very well before the huge salaries, back in the 70s and 80s, teams like KC, Cincy and Pitt did very well. Those days are gone.
Small market shouldn't be an issue for the Pirates in the NL Central as the only team that is a large market team in their division is the team with the longest futility streak in professional sports. If they were in the AL East, then I'd buy the small market excuse. That doesn't cut it in the NL Central.

Craig Grebeck
09-08-2009, 01:18 PM
When they GAVE AWAY Aramis Ramirez, did those clowns even get a player that has ANY HOPE of playing in the Bigs? The same thing can be said of their giveaways of McLouth and Giles, too. [For that matter, can anyone remember the last time ****tburg "won" a trade? Or even TRIED to "win" a trade?]
They got Oliver Perez (the good version) and Jason Bay for Giles, so I'm pretty sure they did alright there.

And I like a lot of what Huntington has done. They had a ton of **** on the roster and he's gotten rid of it. He somehow got rid of Snell (who sadly depreciated his value even more by saying he couldn't pitch in Pittsburgh anymore) and got a nice return for Freddy Sanchez.

LITTLE NELL
09-08-2009, 02:42 PM
Small market shouldn't be an issue for the Pirates in the NL Central as the only team that is a large market team in their division is the team with the longest futility streak in professional sports. If they were in the AL East, then I'd buy the small market excuse. That doesn't cut it in the NL Central.
Houston would qualify as big market team. 6th largest metro area in the U.S.

gobears1987
09-08-2009, 02:49 PM
Houston would qualify as big market team. 6th largest metro area in the U.S.They may be a large market team, but they sure don't act like one and don't contend like one. I'd compare them to the Tigers in the AL Central. Yes the Tigers are contending this year (due to a crappy division) but most years they are out of it because they don't know how to use their resources. Pittsburgh problems are not due to the imbalance of small vs. large market teams. Now if you talk about the Rays' or Jays' issues, then I'd agree with you as the AL East suffers from the problem. The NL Central has two large market teams, but they don't compete like large market teams as their GMs are morons.

Craig Grebeck
09-08-2009, 02:55 PM
They may be a large market team, but they sure don't act like one and don't contend like one. I'd compare them to the Tigers in the AL Central. Yes the Tigers are contending this year (due to a crappy division) but most years they are out of it because they don't know how to use their resources. Pittsburgh problems are not due to the imbalance of small vs. large market teams. Now if you talk about the Rays' or Jays' issues, then I'd agree with you as the AL East suffers from the problem. The NL Central has two large market teams, but they don't compete like large market teams as their GMs are morons.
Large market teams don't necessarily have to contend to be large market. They have a large metropolitan area and spend a lot of money.

ComiskeyBrewer
09-08-2009, 03:58 PM
Pittsburgh could easily support a decent team. The metro area has around 2.5 million people, so it's not smallsville over there. They just need a new owner that doesn't suck.

Lip Man 1
09-08-2009, 04:40 PM
This and that:

GoBears1987: If memory serves, Houston had some of the highest payrolls in the N.L. in the late 90's through the middle of this decade. They've spent in the past, that's partially why they got to the post season what? Four times or so in eight to ten years?

-------------------

And Pittsburgh's issue isn't big market / small market...it's really really cheap, stupid owners.

Lip

PKalltheway
09-08-2009, 07:09 PM
They may be a large market team, but they sure don't act like one and don't contend like one. I'd compare them to the Tigers in the AL Central. Yes the Tigers are contending this year (due to a crappy division) but most years they are out of it because they don't know how to use their resources. Pittsburgh problems are not due to the imbalance of small vs. large market teams. Now if you talk about the Rays' or Jays' issues, then I'd agree with you as the AL East suffers from the problem. The NL Central has two large market teams, but they don't compete like large market teams as their GMs are morons.
Well, according to this, they have the eighth highest payroll in MLB this year: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090408&content_id=4170640&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

As far as contention goes, between 1997 and 2005, they made the postseason six times, and I don't think that was all due to scouting and development. They may not be a traditional big-market team like the Yankees or Red Sox, but they do spend quite a bit of money.

PKalltheway
09-08-2009, 10:36 PM
A side note: with the Orioles' 10-0 loss to Boston tonight, they will join the Pirates as the only two teams to not record a winning season in this decade. Baltimore's loss locked up their 12th consecutive losing season.

Hitmen77
09-08-2009, 11:47 PM
A side note: with the Orioles' 10-0 loss to Boston tonight, they will join the Pirates as the only two teams to not record a winning season in this decade. Baltimore's loss locked up their 12th consecutive losing season.

...and Baltimore (for at least part of this decade) was one of the big payroll teams. Recent game highlights I have seen from Baltimore make Camden Yards look like a ghost town!