Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



There are five stages of grief.

But, as their team stumbles toward perhaps a third straight 100-loss season, Pirates fans can’t get past the first stage. 

That’s denial. 

I keep seeing projected lineups and rotations that will turn the Pirates around. Manufactured optimism. Fanboy fiction.

Whether it’s next week, next month, next year, next decade, or next century, the Pirates will always be terrible. It’s in their blood. The Pirates have fecal matter in their DNA. 

Not only do the Pirates stink, but no individuals are having good seasons beyond pitchers Mitch Keller and David Bednar. 

All the hitters are some degree of disappointing. Even Andrew McCutchen, who had been solid and then some before a recent slide. Bryan Reynolds and Ke’Bryan Hayes are doing the most regrettably given their paychecks. 

Yeah, I know…they’re hurt. There’s always an excuse. 

Rookie Henry Davis is an odd study. 

He’s hitting .271, tops among Pirates regulars that have compiled his sample size or better. 

But Davis has just two home runs in 85 at-bats. Davis is supposed to provide power. He isn’t. 

Davis also has yet to catch. He was exclusively a catcher when he played college baseball at Louisville. If he’s a right fielder now, not a catcher, his offensive value goes down. 

It’s very early in Davis’ MLB career, but he’s not setting things on fire. 

Remember when Rodolfo Castro and Roansy Contreras were projected for better? They’re in the minors now. The Pirates just DFA'd Travis Swaggerty, their first-round pick in 2018.

Do the Pirates make bad draft picks and player acquisitions? Or are the Pirates failing developmentally? 

The organization needs to take a good, long look at itself. Because this season started better than this, was supposed to be better than this, and it’s turned into an epic fail. 

But the only thing the organization really looks at is profit. 

If the Pirates lose 100 games after starting 20-8, this would be worse than either of the prior two campaigns. 

To lose 100, the Pirates would have to go 21-47 from here on out. That’s in play. They’ve lost 11 of their last 13 and looked horrible doing it. 

Quinn Priester came, he saw, he got his ass kicked: Seven earned runs in 5-1/3 innings. Endy Rodriguez was zero-for-4. The Pirates lost 11-0 at home to Cleveland last night. 

It was the first MLB game for Priester and Rodriguez. Two big-time prospects.

They fit right in. Welcome to Pittsburgh.

Cleveland Guardians v Pittsburgh Pirates

Photo: Justin K. Aller / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

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