Is baseball ready for the Pirates to be good again?

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

The Pittsburgh Pirates are 21 games over .500 at the halfway point of the 2013 Major League Baseball season.

(This space is meant to serve as extra time to allow that first sentence to sink in.)

At 51-30, the Pirates are just six wins shy of their win total for all of 2010. They’re seven wins shy of reaching their 1995 win total. Two more wins and they’ll have as many as they earned in 1994, though that was a strike-shortened season.

But the true magic number might be 31, because that’s how many wins the Pirates need to clinch their first winning season since 1992.

(Also read: Bad news for one Atlanta landmark)

It’s one of the most incredible active streaks in sports, and it makes you feel truly bad for Pittsburgh. At this writing, they have 51 wins and are clinging to the best record in baseball. With nine wins in a row, the Pirates have a two-game lead in the National League Central division, one of the most loaded divisions of this season’s first half.

This is great news for Pittsburgh fans that have waited two decades for a solid Pirates ballclub, but it’s also fun for another fanbase — Braves Country.

Sure, it won’t be fun if the Braves have to face this Pirates team in October, but for now, it’s nice to see the Buccos playing good baseball. We’ve heard it from our Pirates friends for the longest time about how that fateful night at Fulton County Stadium in 1992 changed the direction of two franchises. The Braves went on to be a dynasty of sorts, at least within the National League, while the Pirates would never sniff victory again.

Not until 2013, at least.

To be thorough, I must mention that the Pirates have threatened to be good in each of the last two seasons before trailing off into mediocrity, or worse. However, this team looks different — they’re solid all-around and the youth has grown up over the last three years. This story could have a different ending.

There’s still a long way to go, but the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates seem poised to erase two decades of crappy baseball.

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