As leaves begin to change, and temperatures are projected to dip to normal cooler temperatures, the reality of October has come over us. Not Buctober, but October. Buctober didn’t last 24 hours. Let us be realistic. The season is over, and in depressing fashion. Fitting the norm of mid 20’s pop culture, social media, especially Twitter, has been a use of entertainment. Last night and this morning are no different… in a way.
Last evening, during an 8-0 debacle of a Wild Card game, Pirate fans’ dreams of near Halloween baseball were obliterated with one swing. One swing tallied 4 runs for San Francisco, which at the time, admit it or not, you knew baseball was done in da burgh until April. Let the Twitter references begin.
Throughout the night and this morning, Twitter, reporters, radio were all stating how last night was upsetting and that they are proud of their Pirates. Proud, of a 8-0 spanking. “It was a great year”, or “Grateful for playoff baseball, well done Buccos” and even “Can’t wait for next Buctober!”
This is my pet peeve….
Throughout the entire 2013-2014 season, rants of Fleury’s dismissal, Bylsma’s firing, Sid being lack luster, and a non-existent Geno filled Pittsburgh’s air waves, newspaper columns, and Twitter feeds. The Penguins were under fire for half the season, and that’s not to mention the post season. The post season vents and rants were never ending and too harsh at times. It’s to the point, that if Fleury were to have a bad opener, the fans will start already. Heck, the fans have already started on Geno for not showing up yet to preseason practices, but that’s a different monster.
Point being, what is the difference of the Penguins post season collapse and the Pirates post season collapse? How can the same city go from angry mobs to fire everyone, including Sidney, to well-done Buccos, see you in Spring in a matter or 5 months? The results were similar, if not identical.
Both teams had a period of struggle and a period of dominance throughout their respective seasons. The Pens and Pirates both faced times in which their complex was questioned and postseason was the least of our worries.
Both teams had questionable “coaching” tactics for the postseason approach. From Bylsma’s lack of interest in adjustments, to the Cole decision and in game bull pen questions by Hurdle, not to mention both teams doing nothing at the trade deadline.
Both teams had star power simply not show up. Sid and Geno were lackluster in the post season. The only one who showed for the Penguins was Fleury, but let us continue not to give him credit, it’s worked so far right? Last night, McCutcheon and Walker combined went 0 for 7, and heck, it took nearly the entire game to reach third base.
So, again, why is the Penguin fallout negative and the Pirate fallout positive?
Honestly, I like how negative the backlash was for the Penguins. It was fans stating the obvious, and things were changed, hopefully for the better. There is still a plethora of questions surrounding that franchise, but things were done, that needed done.
Why should Pirate fans be grateful of this season? The answers I have received make me scratch my head more.
What is being said, is that Pirate fans are grateful because they were so bad, for so long, this is fun. I get that. It’s fun. It was crazy to see Kruk and Kurkjian on PNC Park grass and ESPN broadcasting Pirates baseball. It was odd to see the Pirates be the top story in Sportscenter. I get that. But our glow, our moment, our “deer in headlights” glare is over now. It was over last Buctober. We now know what this team is capable of. We now know we have winning pitching, dominate management, and bats that can end a game in an instant.
When are Pirates fans going to realize that we as fans deserve a better outcome? Tickets for last night were four times their face value. 40,000+, the highest PNC Park attendance for a game, EVER, witnessed a game that their beloved Buccos were beat from the first pitch. A game, that’s three highlights were a fan that got on the field, Teke’s opening pitch after a heart procedure, and for the TV viewers, a little old lady who found her way into the Giants’ dugout, and the confusion of the officer who found her.
As fans, we deserve better, just like we deserve better form the Penguins last post season. I guess I am just not in a forgiving mood today or about this situation. I feel as fans, we know we have a winning team in the Pirates. Let’s start demanding they show up.
For the fans that cannot wait for next Buctober, let’s hope it’s longer than a day. It’s time to expect exactly that….

Posted in Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates