It's mid-May and the Pirates are 17-19 and three games out of first place in the NL Central.
How many of you thought that would be the case when the season began? That April was supposed to kill the Buccos.
So, now as the weather gets nicer and the Pirates aren't out of it, you have to ask, is this the year?
No doubt in my mind 99% of you will say no, but I say yes, and here's how and why they'll do it:
1. Pitching staff must continue its dominance. McDonald, Bedard, Burnett, Morton, must stay in the top 10 in ERA in the MLB and the Pirates will be in good shape.
2. Don't deal Burnett or Bedard, if they get rid of one of them
3. Hire a new batting coach, NOW! The Pirates are the worst offensive team in baseball. Last in runs, RBIs, and hits. Whatever Gregg Ritchie is doing it's not working, get him out!
4. They must get rid of Hanrahan as soon as a solid bat is available for him. And I'm talking someone that will be in the lineup the next day, not the next year.
5. Release Nate McLouth, why is he here, again?
6. Andrew McCutchen, has to have his best season and continue to bat .300 and carry this team.
7. Score 2 runs or more. The Pirates are 17-7 when they do so. If they can get their average up to a solid 3 runs per game, with the solid pitching, .500 will happen.
8. Put Correia in the bullpen. It's time for a change. If things are going well and the Pirates are scoring runs he's fine. Not very comfortable with a team that doesn't score many.
9. Add a couple more fireworks nights. The Pirates are 13-6 in the past 3 seasons on fireworks night. Hey, it couldn't hurt, right?
10. Clint Hurdle is going to have to get agitated or mad or something, and light a fire under these guys! Presley, Barmes, Barajas, Alvarez, tell them they're pros and its time to hit. I think he's a good manager and a nice guy, but he's gotta do something differently to change the attitude.
11. They've been here before. If the Pirates can get to July playing over .500 baseball again, they'll know what to do when the level of play gets real.
I'm sure I'll probably change my mind on all of this in a month, but as of right now, May 16th, 2012, I believe this team can Finishthe season with an 82-80 record