For the Pittsburgh Pirates, there is no next year
Following a quiet offseason, the Pittsburgh Pirates enter 2016 hoping a large group of top prospects are prepared to make significant contributions to the big league club down the stretch.
In 2006, the Pittsburgh Pirates started their “We Will” campaign. Of course, that year is well remembered as the year the Pirates decided to commit to the rebuilding effort. The next year, Neal Huntington would be brought in as the new general manager, and the completion of the rebuild process was brought to fruition in just six years after a rotating door of front office staff and players failed to reverse the losing streak that nearly forced the team to move.
The “We Will” campaign was meant to embody the work ethic and integrity expected of every member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Instead, it became the target of ridicule from many fans. The banners hanging from the façade of PNC Park did not help matter as disgruntled fans poured out following loss after loss.
Even in success, Pirates fans couldn’t dodge the pangs of defeat. Following the success of the team in 2013 making a laughingstock of Johnny Cueto in the wild card game and taking the Cardinals to the brink of elimination before melting down in game five of the NLDS, the fans and players expected more, but who could have possibly anticipated the wonders that were Madison Bumgarner and Jake Arrieta?