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Four Pirate Fans Walk Into A Bar…

A screenplay re-telling of a conversation between four years of recent Pirates' history

Imagine a place where you can second guess forever

Imagine a place where you can second guess forever.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before….
INT. BAR – DAY
Three Pirate fans from different years are at a table talking about the team. One fan is from 1993, one from 2001 and the other is from 2010.
This bar is only for fans of teams who have had losing seasons, where fans can forever second guess the choices the team made that year.
A 2016 fan walks in and pulls up a chair.
1993
(to 2016)
Hey, long time no see.
2010
Yeah, we haven’t had anyone new come in the last couple years.
2016
Yeah, well a couple winning seasons changes a team.
2001
Aren’t you here a little early? Can’t you guys still finish above .500 and make the playoffs?
2016
Yeah, but I wanted to take a quick peek to see what I’m getting into if things don’t turn around.
1993
Understandable. Being a fan can be tough.
2010
Having no hope for the next year.
2001
Wondering if things will get better.
2016
Tell me about it. 3 straight trips to the playoffs, and then nothing.
1993
Preaching to the choir.
2016
I mean, we could have been good, but McCutchen struggled all year…
2010
(cutting him off)
Wait, we still have McCutchen?
2016
Yeah. For two more years, actually.
2010
Well there you go. There’s something to look forward to.
2016
I guess. But it doesn’t make up for what happened at the trade deadline.
2001
Ugh, the trade deadline is the worst day of the year. I can’t believe we gave up Schmidt for Vogelsong.
2016
Oh yeah, Vogelsong. I guess he wasn’t too bad this year.
2001
(excited)
Wait, we still have Vogelsong?
2010
(angrily)
We brought back Vogelsong?!
2016
Yeah, but he wasn’t too bad. Not as bad as Niese or Liriano.
2010
Wait, I thought those guys were good.
2016
They were. We got them when they sucked and we made them good again.
(beat)
Well, we at least made Liriano good again.
2010
How?
2016
Our pitching coach and the analytical department. They do shifts, throw inside more… stuff like that.
2010
So those egg heads were right? Is the system broken?
2016
I don’t think so. We got this Nova guy at the deadline and he’s become an ace here.
2001
Speaking of the deadline, what happened?
2016
Oh yeah. We traded our closer, Mark Melancon. One of the best relievers in baseball.
1993
That sucks.
2001
What did you get?
2016
Young major league reliever.
2001
A major league ready prospect? Boy, I know what that feels like.
2016
No no no, it’s not like that. He’s actually doing really well.
1993
So what’s the problem?
2016
(thinks it over)
I guess I just didn’t want to lose Melancon.
1993
Well, you were going to anyway, right? He was going to be a free agent.
2016
Yeah.
1993
And if there is one thing the Pirates can’t do, it’s keep their best players.
2016
Actually, Huntington did a good job with that. We lost Melancon, but he got Cervelli and Freese to sign extensions instead of having them go into free agency.
1993
(shocked)
You’re kidding me.
2016
Nope. Actually, next year’s starting lineup should have seven starters that had significant playing time in 2015.
Everyone looks at the 2016 fan.
2001
What about pitching?
2010
Pitching! Now there is a problem!
1993
Bad pitching with my team started that two decade stretch.
2010
Exactly. The front office might be able to fix a pitcher or two a year, but they can’t build an entire rotation around that, right?
2016
Actually, we look pretty good going forward.
2001
(under his breath)
I don’t believe it.
2016
Yeah. Cole should be better once he’s healthy. We’ve got three really good rookies who should improve, and…
Everyone looks at the 2016 fan again. After a long pause, he breaks the silence.
2016
What?
2001
I don’t think you belong here.
2016
What do you mean?
1993
It means that you don’t really fit the mold of this 20 year losing streak.
2010
Your team has actual talent, both young and old.
1993
You have been able to keep most of your best players longer than any of us were able to.
2001
Your pitchers are better than Todd Ritchie.
1993
You have hope, unlike poor 2001 and 2010 here.
2010
Yeah, we’re basically dead inside.
2016 mulls it over.
2016
So what you’re saying is that this probably isn’t the start to another long losing streak?
1993
Doesn’t look like it.
(beat)
Now go back out there and cheer your team on. You’re only a few games out of a playoff spot in September. All of us would have killed for that.
About Alex Stumpf (47 Articles)
Alex is a Pirates and Duquesne basketball contributor to The Point of Pittsburgh. He graduated from Point Park University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Comm. and a minor in English in 2014. Everything can be explained with numbers. If you want to keep up to date on both teams or have a story idea, you can follow or reach him @AlexJStumpf.
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