Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Rob & Rany on the Royals, Pirates, and other bottom feeders

Excellent exchange between Rob and Rany about protracted hopelessness and its effect on being a baseball fan. Here is the money quote relevant to those of us in whom the fan affliction attaches to the Pittsburgh Pirates, from Rany:
I guess the best thing I can say about the Royals is this: for many years around the turn of the century, I could at least argue that as bad as things were, the Royals were not the single worst franchise in the game. There was always the Devil Rays, and the Pirates were no prize either. The Tigers lost 119 games three years ago; we were never close to being that bad.

But all that changed over the last year. The Devil Rays were bought by a new owner, Chuck Lamar was jettisoned, and they started producing outfielders by the bushelful. The Reds have a new owner and a new GM, and they're competitive. The Brewers are everyone's trendy sleeper, and the Tigers look like a playoff team.

And for the last few months the Royals weren't just the most hopeless franchise in baseball; they might have been the most hopeless franchise in American professional sports.

I think that, if nothing else, the arrival of Dayton Moore and the effective departure of Dan Glass gets us out of this particular cellar. The Royals will still almost certainly have the worst record in the game this season. But long-term, I strongly feel that with David Littlefield still running things in Pittsburgh, and Kevin McClatchy still owning things, the Royals have a better -- if still slim -- chance of turning things around over the next five years than the Pirates do.
Despite the recent homestand and the games against the Rockies, today's Casey story makes me think that these guys are right about the Pirates. Littlefield and McClatchy are hellbent on making the same stupid move that has burned this team over and over again, and those of us who remain fans, in spite of our better judgment, can no nothing but stand aside and watch in horror.

The article is about how--and if--you can keep rooting for a team like this.

Read the whole thing.

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