Dave Parker: American Hero
The NL Central is currently living up to it's billing as the best imitation of the old NL West- only one team will survive, by virtue of being not as supremely bad as everybody else. It's possible that Chicago will float to the top, but it seems like a 50/50 proposition at this point. Likewise, Milwaukee could nosedive at any minute, once guys like Corey Hart (no, not that Corey Hart) stop wearing their Stunner Glasses in a domed stadium and Bill Hall reverts to being some dude named Bill Hall.
Meanwhile, the Pirates inexorable march towards mediocrity continues, although there is still a glimmer of hope that the season could turn into a disaster or a mildly inspiring half-success. For one, Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny have pitched well, the latter being a pleasant surprise. Zach Duke, however, has decided that his one year of success should be enough to guarantee him a future job somewhere else, so he's going the Jason Schmidt/Oliver Perez route and bottoming out of town.
The Pirates fate seems relatively sealed, and its the same old story. The guys who we counted on to do the big hitting aren't hitting. The guys who we counted on to provide reliable starting pitching are getting shelled. There are a few surprises, but I'll be damned if we don't make the mistake of counting on these breakouts next year. Can we name this pattern after Freddy Sanchez or is it too early to do that?
C'mon assholes, invalidate my pessimism.
For those who have confronted me about this- there's a big difference between the Phillies and the Pirates when it comes to whining. Pittsburgh fans aren't the caustic auto-haters that Philly fans are- the circumstances are pretty extraordinary. Phillies fans are pessimistic because they often have successful teams that fail in the clutch. Pirates fans are pessimistic because their team hasn't broken .500 since George H.W. Bush was president. There's a difference.
Pirates Magic Number: 124
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