Helping a newcomer to the sport to pick their MLB team, possibly for life, is quite a responsibility.Â With that in mind, the Pirates’ strong showing did leave us feeling a little guilty.Â ‘Maybe we should play around with the standings?’, we thought, ‘we could be condemning someone to years of misery!’.Â We resisted the temptation though and on reflection there are some very valid reasons for picking the Pirates.
No one could accuse you of being a glory hunter, for a start.Â
Team Picker Scores
|Roots and Tradition||Underdog Status||Hope for the Future||Following from afar||Road trip potential||Total Score|
Pittsburgh’s high scores in the ‘Roots and Tradition’ and ‘Following from afar’ categories are easily explained and well justified.Â The Pirates have been a one town team for 126 years, longer than many football teams have been in existence, and that’s definitely something that should appeal to a British fan who might be wary of joining up to a franchise that has moved from place to place.Â The Pirates play in a wonderful new ballpark that is often seen in glorious sunshine, with the Buccos playing a fair amount of working week games during the afternoon: a perfect time for Brits to follow the action in the evening over here.
However, their top ranking in the the “Underdog Status” category could be the source of some debate.Â Their score is the product of a lack of success in recent years and a low payroll.Â So, their underdog potential is clear, but perhaps for our purposes we should be looking more at a team’s current success in battling against the big spending teams despite having a low payroll?Â It would be fair to say that the Pirates would receive a much lower scoreÂ if this was factored into the category.
Pittsburgh’s ‘Hope for the Future’ score isn’t great, although this doesn’t take into account their recent first round draft pick Pedro Alvarez.Â And for a baseball fan, the aforementioned beautiful PNC Park might make a road trip to Pittsburgh more enticing than their 6.5 score suggests.Â Therefore, even if a future change to the “Underdog status” category could drop the Pirates down the pecking order, they are more than worthy of consideration.Â
Indeed, the fact that they initially appear to be an off-the-wall choice (i.e. don’t expect to be celebrating a World Series victory any time soon) may well be a big plus point for some Brits looking to root for a team that could do with the support.