| || |
Finding their way
February 18, 2009 - John Mehno
It isn't exactly the "City of Champions" it was in 1979-80, but things are actually pretty good in Pittsburgh sports these days.
The Steelers are the Super Bowl champions. For all the disappointment the Penguins have brought this season, they're coming off a Stanley Cup final and they still have a chance to make this year's postseason. Pitt's basketball team is in the national top five. The football team made a bowl trip. Even Duquesne has a shot at its best season in a long time.
Then there are the Pirates. They made some minor adjustments to a club that lost 95 games last year and the buzz they've created for the 2009 season is minimal, if it exists at all. But that's OK. Instead of wasting money on marginal free agents (as they did with Jeromy Burnitz), they seem to have some sense of how to attack an actual building program. They're likely to suffer this year, both on the field and at the gate. But that's OK, too. Better they should take their shot at doing things the right way rather than straying from the course and setting the whole program back.
If Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez are the prospects they're supposed to be, they'll be at PNC Park within a couple of years, and maybe the Pirates will actually have something. If or when they get good, the ballpark will be jammed every night.
People love a winner, even moreso when it's taken almost two decades to get one.