Sunday, July 31, 2011

History, Pirates VS Orioles

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

First baseman Derrek Lee, 35, was traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday Night for minor league first baseman Aaron Baker.

The last time that I remember these two teams mentioned in the same sentence was when the Pirates defeated the Orioles in the 1971 and 1979 World Series.

I can't believe that I'm writing this, but the surprising Pirates are 54-51 and are looking to snap an MLB record of 18 consecutive losing seasons, the longest in all professional sports.

If the Pirates come close or get into the playoffs, The Manager Of The Year Award should be handed to Clint Hurdle! It could be the biggest landslide in the award's history.

In 2007, Hurdle led the Colorado Rockies to the franchise's first World Series appearance against the Boston Red Sox.

Speaking of the Red Sox, on June 26, 2011 during an interleague game at PNC Park (Capacity 38,496), the Pirates set a new attendance mark of 39,511 in their new ballpark that opened in 2001. Boston won the game 4-2.

It's hard to believe that a team which is known for making Fire Sale's at the end of July is trading for a Rental Player since Lee signed a one-year contract. But that's what they're doing and more power to the Pirates. I'm really delighted for the great fans of Pittsburgh. I wish the Pirates well and hope they make a great run.

Once upon a time, they had players like Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente. Most of, if not all of their current roster, weren't even born when these Hall of Famers starred.

This franchise has won five World Series titles, has nine National League Pennants and made 14 Playoff Appearances. The Pirates All-Time record is 9,864-9,735.

Pittsburgh doesn't lack major championships. The Steelers have won six Super Bowls while the NHL's Penguins have added three Stanley Cup Championships.

While I doubt the Pirates will win their sixth World Series, it will be neat to see how this feel good story unfolds. But for Pirates fans, if they're looking to find some real hope in the post-season, they should go back to 2003.

The Florida Marlins (91-71) with a payroll of $54 Million defeated the New York Yankees, who spent $164 Million to be runner-ups. We're talking about a difference of $110 Million between the two payrolls, but in the end, the Marlins had won their second World Series Championship in franchise history.

Ironically, Lee won a World Series Ring with the 2003 Marlins, who made the playoffs as a Wild Card Team.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

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