And that's what all Pirate fans need to be right now (or soon enough after the sadness, anger, yada yada like I already mentioned wears off). Every sports fan in the world has had their moments like this and have been in the same shoes as we are. We just had to endure it since the 1992 NLCS. But in that last 21 years or so, with a few exceptions, this years team is probably going to go down as my favorite team. In the last two decades, no Pirates team has had much in the overall talent pool, virtually no supporting cast for any "star" player to play with, not much by way of a bullpen, and certainly not a winning attitude. This year that all changed.
With any luck, we should see the Buccos playing this type of ball for at least a few years. McCutchen will be MVP (I hope) and will be back in black next year. They will also get to keep Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, and Starling Marte. The only guy not protected is AJ Burnett and frankly, I'm not worried about that. The rest of the bullpen should remain together and Burnett will be replaced (hopefully) by Jameson Taillon.
I, for one, was a skeptic even into August, knowing that "my Pirates" haven't existed for years and "these Pirates" would surely buckle under pressure and play themselves right out of contention. But that didn't happen. They proved me wrong. And for that, I'm PROUD.
When the season came down to the final stretch, they did as much as they could have done to write their own destiny. And for that, I'm PROUD. They were able to pound out the runs they needed and fend off the Reds in their (futile and ridiculous that Bud Selig even allows this to happen) one-game Wild Card playoff. And for that, I'm PROUD. They stood face-to-face with the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, a virtual David & Goliath battle, taking them to 5 games. And for that, I'm PROUD.
Clint Hurdle said not long after the game,
"We were able to take a huge step forward this year in restoring the pride and the passion of the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization, and rebonding our city with a ball team."
So Pirate fans, once you are over the initial pain, be PROUD like me. This team has erased 20 years of futility and done so with class, style, and a flair of excitement like many of us can't remember. These guys have brought the black and yellow pride back to PNC Park and to the city of Pittsburgh.
For that, we should all be PROUD!!