It's a real shame that International Talk Like a Pirate Day came just a couple weeks too early, falling on the 19th of September rather than the first day of October. (Fun, very nerdy Aaron fact: I once submitted a pirate - or at least nautically-themed list of songs to 105.7 The Point's What's the Point? feature years back when Donnie Fandango was still doing it in honour of Talk Like a Pirate Day. I recall using VAST's "The Blue" and "The Mariner's Revenge Song" by the Decemberists, but would have to think a bit on the other songs. I do recall the biggest challenge was doing a list of nautical songs and only using one Decemberists song.) It would have been rather charming to have had the whole of America -- well, the ones who care about Talk Like a Pirate Day, anyway -- all seemingly supporting the Pittsburgh Pirates on their big night. Oh, well. I'm sure the city of Pittsburgh isn't too awfully upset this morning.
So it's the Pirates. I can't say I'm altogether pleased to see them opposite the Cards in the divisional bracket, considering the trouble El Birdos had with El Buccos for much of the season, not to mention the looming spectre of facing Francisco Liriano in PNC Park, but on the other hand, I have to admit I was rooting for the Pirates in last night's game. Part of it, of course, is simply the fact I actively dislike -- and that's probably far too soft a word for it -- the Cincinnati Reds, but most of it is the Pirates themselves. I wanted to see the city of Pittsburgh get that win, and to see those fans have that moment. Even if, in the harsh light of a Wednesday morning, I feel worse about my own team's chances
We Cardinal fans tend to be rather spoiled; we've been forced to slog through one really miserable season since the turn of the millenium (2007), and that's it. Beyond that horrific, Kip-Wells-and-Adam-Kennedy-free-agent-signings-fueled shitfest, it's been mostly sunshine and morning oral for those of us here in Redbird country. Just think, imagine for a moment if you will, what it would feel like to live 2007 over, and over, and over again, for two decades. That's been the life of a Pittsburgh Pirate fan since the early 90s.
As much as I would have preferred to play the Reds, I can't feel the slightest bit of resentment toward the Buccos. Looking ahead, considering the quality of the players Pittsburgh still has on the horizon in their farm system, I can easily picture long seasons of tough games against them in the coming years, learning to despise them as I do so many other teams who lack the common courtesy to simply roll over and let our boys in red use them as human stepping stones on the way to championships, but for now, it just isn't in me.
I would have rather played the Reds, but I'm glad it's the Pirates. And I would be lying if I didn't also say I'm glad we'll only have to see Liriano once in the series.
I thought of doing a list of five things I think the Cardinals need to do to win this series, or perhaps a list of five things that truly terrify me about this opponent (aside from the aforementioned Francisco Liriano, a seemingly rejuvenated back end of the bullpen for the Pirates ranks right up near the top; I'm scared of A.J. Burnett, as well, but at least we'll see him in Busch), but I don't feel like doing the brass tacks thing today. It's one day before the Cardinals kick off their postseason run. If ever there was a time in life to simply sip deep of the antici.............................................................................pation of the moment, this is it.
We get one of these days a year, one of these days when we all know where we're going, but haven't yet started on the road there. It's kind of a special day in that way, don't you think?
Congratulations to the city of Pittsburgh. It's been a long time coming, and I couldn't be happier to see the Pirates playing in October again. I hope the good people of the Steel City won't think less of me when I say I hope it's a painfully short, utterly unsatisfying end to their season over the next few days. The lamentations of the women, and all that sort of thing. Sorry, Pittsburgh, my good will only goes so far.
One more day, and then playoffs.