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Dear Pittsburgh Pirates,

August 16, 2008 - Summer Wallace-Minger

Stop breaking my six-year-old son's heart.

Quite frankly, I was worried this might happen.

You've rooked his dad into believing y'all might be good sometime this century. I was worried that being a Pirates fan might transfer from father to son, like some infectious, uncurable disease.

Every spring, I hear: "They've got a young team this year. They just need experience."





Because anybody you've got with any experience or leadership skills, you trade away because they're too expensive. Apparently, Pirates, leadership ability and experience are not worthwhile qualities to you.

I hope that, someday, not sucking will become worthwhile to you.

Today is probably not that day.

First, you traded Jason Bay.

My husband thinks you got some good young (i.e. unexperienced) players.

My son is still mourning the trade of the first Pirates player he could identify, the guy who said, "hi, there, buddy" and gave him a big smile and allowed him to take a photo with him at the winter caravan.

It went down like this:

HUSBAND: (choking back tears) Son, they've traded ... Jason Bay.

SON: (shoulders slumped, lower lip quivering) What? Why doesn't Jason Bay want to play for the Pirates anymore?

ME: (in background) *muffled hysterical laughter*

HUSBAND: (manfully places comforting hand on top of SON's head) He didn't want to go. The Pirates gave him to Boston.

SON: (inconsolable) He plays for Boston now?

HUSBAND: (clearly pained) Yes. He plays for Boston now.

And then Bay went to Boston and started doing really well. Hmm ... suspicious. It's like he cares, now. I wonder why the change ... ? Maybe it was just getting out from under the umbrella of suck.

And then, just recently, we spent approximately $110 to see y'all load the bases with no outs ... then fail to score whatsoever. That's a special level of suck, right there. In fact, that's so bad, it might need a new word just to describe how very much suck was contained there.

My father, a season ticket-holder for years, is so disgusted with your suck that he refuses to go to any more games and buy $7 beers until you stop sucking so much.

My son took his magic rubber-foam hand to this most recent game, and he tried to help you. He sent your players good vibes, and he threw hexes on Cincinnati, who, according to my husband are "not very good."

It didn't work. You continued to suck. He turned to me, tears in his eyes, and said: "Mommy, it's not working! The Pirates are still losing!"

Pirates, do you want to be the ones who kill a little boy's belief in the power of foam-rubber hands? Do you want to be the ones at whose hands my son has his first lesson on how crappy life can be when your favorite sports team is in a slump? Do you want to be the ones whom he associates with failure, losing and suck for the rest of his life?

Please, Pittsburgh Pirates, stop sucking.

Not for me; I just laugh at your suck, anyway.

Do it for my son, who still jumps up and down and claps when he walks in the gates of PNC Park. And do it for my husband, who has watched you suck for sixteen years, and still says "Maybe this year ... " every spring. Heck, do it for Fred On The Copy Desk, who rises to your defense everytime someone mentions the suck.

Do it because even you, Pittsburgh Pirates, have got to be tired of sucking.

Losing stinks; no one knows this better than you. If you won't do it for the fans who still, despite the monument to suck you have built over the past decade and a half, still love and believe in the team, do it for yourselves.


Summer, who isn't really a fan, but has to live with them

PS - That animation you have before the game with the pirate talking all that pirate talk? The "scallywag" and "grog" junk? Listen, I can't tell you what a real pirate would to do someone who talked like that, because I can't use words like that on this blog, but the first part rhymes with "witch" and the last part is "slap." Just stop it, okay?


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