Jon Paul Morosi reviews the wreckage that is the Pirates past 20 years, surveys the present and concludes it should take a winning season to save the jobs of Clint Hurdle and Neal Huntington.ppast
By Jon Paul Morosi, FoxSports.com
The Pirates have finished with a losing record 20 years in a row. It is the longest slog of ineptitude in major U.S. professional sports. Bill Clinton had not yet been elected president when the Pirates concluded their most recent winning season on Oct. 14, 1992. And that anniversary — a walk-off defeat in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series — isn’t exactly observed with parades across the Clemente Bridge.
The last two years have been especially cruel for the good people of Pittsburgh. Their Pirates were tied for first in the NL Central on July 25, 2011. They held the second wild-card spot as late as Aug. 21, 2012. Both times, they screwed it up.
How extraordinary is the Pirates’ ineptitude? Consider this from STATS LLC: During the wild-card era, only one other franchise held a playoff position on July 25 or later in consecutive seasons and finished with a losing record each time: the 2005-2006Arizona Diamondbacks.
To my friends in Western Pennsylvania: I’m sorry. It hurt to type that.
Pirates fans lead the league in forbearance, and their reward should come this year. (Full disclosure: I’ve said this before.) But if The Streak reaches 21, well, Pittsburghers have every right to grimace like Bill Cowher after a missed block and demand changes to on- and off-field management.
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