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2010 - A Pirates Odyessy

Where to begin? With a team like the Pittsburgh Pirates, there are many stories that could be discussed, such as; When are they ever going to field a winning team? Do they still have that one guy that played shortstop? The only thing that the owners care about is making money! I could go on and on, but that is not how I choose to spend my time writing about the Pittsburgh Pirates. I have been a Pirates fan since about the same time a man by the name of Barry Lamar Bonds was drafted out of Arizona State. I am young enough to still remember the last time the Pirates had a winning season, and I can still see a hobbling Sid Bream rounding third base for Atlanta and beating the throw to the plate coming in from left field. The year was 1992, the date was October 14th, (also my Birthday) and the game was Game 7 of the NLCS. The winner would advance to the World Series and face the winner of the ALCS. The Toronto Blue Jays went on to beat Atlanta 4 games to 2 in the World Series and the Pirates went on to become the record holder for most consecutive losing seasons with 17. Their highest win total was 79 in 1997 and since then they have only surpassed 70 wins four times in the last twelve years, with 2004 being the most recent.
Luckily, I am a very optimistic person, and on opening day every team starts in a tie for first place, now where they end up 162 games later is a different story. We will make our way towards that story, but that not until late September after we have already set the stage for what is going to be a year to remember in Pirates baseball.
Okay, first thing we should do is get up to date with the team. If you are a die-hard fan then you are already aware of all the changes that have been taking place, if not, now is the time for you to get caught up. Spring training is right around the corner and opening day will be here before we know it.
Going into 2010, the Pirates roster looks much different than it did just a year ago. The big difference in looking at the active roster this year than in years past is the lack of "supposed" big name, past his prime, overpaid, free agent. There is a lot of youth on the current Pirates roster, (average age 26) and they are building depth in the farm system.
Since the end of the 2009 season, the Pirates have been relatively quiet in the off-season. Early in the off-season they made a trade with Tampa Bay to acquire infielder Akinori Iwamura for relief pitcher Jesse Chavez. Since then they have signed a handful of free agents, most to minor league contracts. The most notable acquisition to date is infielder Bobby Crosby. (formerly with Oakland A's) The most notable player that has left is closer Matt Capps. I see this as a blessing more than anything. Capps would have his moments but hr never really stepped into that role as a dominating closer. I expect that a few more roster changes will be made between now and the start of the season to help solidify a young team.
Here's to a new decade and a new season in Pirates baseball.

aaron.