Happy New Year to everybody out there. Despite the flawed logic of New Years Resolutions
, now is as good a time as any to make some changes in your life to benefit yourself. If you're asking me what the best resolution is, I'd say it would be to buy one of my shirts and wear it every day. Click over there on the right to follow through on that one.
Anyways, 2012 is going to be a huge year for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team has been rebuilding for a few years now, and we got a small taste of what some of these young guys can do last year. However, I think it's about time for the Pirates to give us more than just a small taste, I think we have all been patient enough to expect something big soon.
Chances are that we will have to be patient for another year, as the Pirates still seem to be a year or two away from having their best team on the field. Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon
are (hopefully) going to take the Pirates to that next level, but there's no chance we see either of them in the majors in 2012, so 2013 might be the first year we really start getting excited about this team.
That's not to say that this team doesn't have a chance to compete this year. I think the set-up of the 2012 National League Central gives the Pirates their best chance in years, and if they can get a couple good breaks, we could make a run at this thing. The performance of Pedro Alvarez is probably the biggest determinant for how this 2012 team will perform
, but honestly there's not a huge reason to believe he'll turn it around more than a little bit next season. He didn't play winterball, and I don't necessarily buy into the speculation that he straight up denied management when they told him to do so. However, he has been working hard (as all players have been I'm sure), and he still has a huge amount of potential in that body of his, so a turnaround is not out of the question.
The Pirates lost a couple big names in Paul Maholm
and Ryan Doumit
this offseason, but they compensated with the additions of Erik Bedard
and Rod Barajas
. I think all-in-all those additions basically cancel out the subtractions, so we aren't going to let that be an excuse for why the Pirates lose in 2012 (if they do so lose).
The Pirates are going to need big seasons from Andrew McCutchen
and Jose Tabata
, which they are likely to get. Also, they'll need the pitching staff to stay healthy, which probably isn't too likely to happen. They have some depth, but the back end of the rotation is already kind of ugly and you would hate to see the Pirates having three starters in the rotation that would be 4 or 5 guys elsewhere. For that reason, I am hoping the Pirates invest in another starter for this upcoming season, which they very well could do.
At this point, I think the current Pirates fan base is solid enough to sustain anything. This isn't some last-gasp effort, the fans are in it for the long haul. The Pirates could lose every game in 2012 and I'll still be here writing and you guys will still be there going to games and reading my blog and other blogs, because that's just the kind of fans the Pirates have. People don't need winning to warrant caring about a team, and that's what makes it fun. Don't get me wrong, winning is the goal and if I was sure this team would never have a winning season again, I might not be doing this, but I'm going to be just fine if they get that 20th straight losing season in 2012.
For now, we just have to make it through two more months of winter before we get to spring training. The end of the offseason is in site, so keep working hard at your jobs and schools and baseball will be here before you know it.