In this outstanding look at the Pirates, Jayson Stark writes, ``. . . the projections we've seen don't paint a rosy portrait of the Pirates' chances to pull the plug on the longest streak of losing seasons (20) in American professional sports history.’’ He then presents five reasons, in vivid details, as to why the Pirates just might do what they haven’t done since 1992.
By Jayson Stark, ESPN.com
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Eventually, those five-alarm migraines passed. Eventually, the shock wore off. Eventually last winter, when the Pittsburgh Pirates awoke from their second straight late-season nightmare, it began to dawn on them:
For 110 games last season, they were a hell of a team.
"You know," said their gritty second baseman Neil Walker, "when you're going through it, when you're getting dragged through the mud and nothing seems to go your way, it seems like nothing could get worse. But then, when the season ends and you take a couple of weeks and you start to think about it, you try to pull the positives out of the season. And you realize there were some special things that happened."
Not as special as it could have been, of course. Not as special as it would have been if they had just finished what they started. But let's remind you where the Pirates were two-thirds of the way through last season:
Read the rest of the story.
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David Schoenfield, ESPN.com: Pirates future rests with Cole, Taillon