To all of my seamheads out there who have watched the Pirates struggle year after year, this one's for you. I have been a Pittsburgh Pirates fan ever since I was a wee lad. Unfortunately, when I started paying more attention to them, they were actually good. This is unfortunate because when they started being normal and stinking again, I thought it was unusual. It has been a tough adjustment for me to learn to yearn for mediocrity. However, I am an optimist and I believe the Pirates have sneakily improved this offseason.
To the haters out there who will say the Pirates will be bad, I understand. As a Pirates fan, you must hate the Pirates just as much as you love them. My point here is that they may not lose 100 games this year. According to my complex AI algorithm, the Pirates will win at least 70 games this year. That would be an eight-game improvement compared to last year when they won 62.
Why am I so adamant about this? Because I made a bet. Maybe it was a careless bet, but I am an honorable man who can accept consequences. My friend (we’ll call him Byler Billiams for anonymity) is a hater. He says it's not possible. I am so confident that I said “Byler, if the Pirates don’t win 70 games, you may kick me as hard as you will like.” Since this is a chill newspaper, I won’t say where I told him he could kick me and leave that open to interpretation.
Anyway, back to the point: the Pirates’ decent offseason. We’ll start with one of the main things that bothered them last season, which was inconsistent catching. The Pirates swooped into Cleveland and stole defensive catching maestro Austin Hedges right out from under them. He will probably not get a single hit, but he’ll catch his little heart out.
Along with this, Andrew McCutchen is back. He isn’t playing at an MVP level anymore, but he should be able to provide some much-needed leadership and a decent bat to the team. The Pirates also signed a couple of true first basemen, which they decided they simply didn’t need last year for some reason. Ji-man Choi and Carlos Santana solve this issue, the second of which will likely be the designated hitter, which also wasn’t addressed.
Now, I don’t want to be a hater, and he is much better at baseball than me, but Josh VanMeter is gone. He’s finally gone! He was so bad. He’s probably the worst MLB player of all time, but he is no longer a Pirate. I’d say that’s worth eight wins right there.
Finally, and probably the number one reason to be optimistic about this team is out up and coming second-year players. Oneil Cruz is a physical anomaly playing shortstop. Standing 6’7” with raw power, speed and strength, Cruz could blossom into a star this year. Along with him, Jack Suwinski hit 19 home runs last year as a rookie, and there are plenty of other prospects who are anticipating their debuts this year.
In summation, I am not being unrealistic. All I am asking for is 70 wins. That’s all. My physical and mental health depends on it. The Pirates have made plenty of decent moves this offseason and maybe the future is bright. If not, oh well. I am used to disappointment. Stay tuned in September when I react with a broken heart to this article. Anyway, thanks for reading and boooo to the Yankees.
Weston Nern is a junior studying finance and business analytics at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Weston know by emailing him at email@example.com.