Thursday, October 04, 2012

Raze the Jolly Roger

Jose Tabata struck out looking to end the 2012 season.
How appropriate that the Pirates 2012 season ended with Jose Tabata taking a called third strike.  Pheh. 

What an anticlimactic finish.  Even Greg Brown said the Braves were treating yesterday's game like a spring training game.

As Joe Starkey noted in a fine column this morning, the Pirates' second-half tailspin evoked memories of "Operation Shutdown."

So much for Zoltan.

Well, at least we fans survived the 2012 baseball season, albeit a little bruised, battered and wrung out.  Blah.  

It was exciting for a while and entertaining for the most part, in a perverse, typically Pirates way.  In the end, it was frustrating, maddening and disappointing.  The Pirates  managed to undo all the good will, optimism and hope they built up through the All-Star break.

If the Pirates had gone just two games under .500 since their high-water mark on August 8, when they were 16 games over .500 -- if the Pirates had compiled a record of just two games under .500 the rest of the way, they would have ended up with the same record as the Cardinals.  But no-o-o-o .... they had to become, well, the Pirates of the past 20 years, which is a large portion of our adult lives.  Yes, it's clear: Our generation is to blame.

One more lament: Why couldn't they have played more like the Oakland A's down the stretch?

As noted by the San Jose Mercury News, the A's, sparked by Pirates' castoff Brandon Moss, "became the first team in major league history to win a division after trailing by five games with less than 10 to play.  They're also the third team in history to win a division while spending exactly one day in sole possession of first place. That came Wednesday, the final day of the regular season, when they completed a 6-0 homestand and a three-game sweep of the Rangers.

"From June 2 on, the A's went a major league-best 72-38. ...Only four previous teams had trailed by 13 games at any point in the season and came back to win a division or pennant. ...It was fitting that Moss led the offensive attack with three RBIs. He provided one of those unexpected midseason jolts, getting promoted from the minors in June and hitting 21 homers."

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