Neal Huntington might need a lot of help getting out of this one. Can Captain Jack give him a hand, if there is such a thing as a brotherhood of Pirates, of the Caribbean and of Pittsburgh?
Okay, so the Bucs have again unloaded a booty of players, still looking for the right combination the way the peg-legged kind used to search for a treasure map.
But, as a former Pittsburgher with trickles of black & gold remaining in the bloodstream … can we please stop piling on, as if this was the biggest joke of a ballclub since Charlie Brown’s, which Charles Schultz had made funny on purpose?
Oh, sure — 16 straight losing seasons make them fair game. Doesn’t make them the black hole of baseball, though. Hey, how about some perspective.
Which brings us to Washington. Looking at a slightly longer timeframe, the Pirates have had two winning seasons in 18 years. The nation’s capital has had two winning seasons in three franchises.
The Nationals haven’t yet mastered that. The Senators went 86-76 in 1969, three years before becoming the Rangers. The 1952 Senators were 78-76, nine years before becoming the Twins.
Two (slightly) winning seasons in 30 years of actual play, one in 24. Now that’s a dry spell. (No bailout jokes, please.)