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The Pirates Are Still the Saddest Franchise in MLB and it's Not Even Close

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 05: Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after striking out in the sixth inning during the game against the Miami Marlins at PNC Park on September 5, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Miami Marlins v Pittsburgh Pirates | Justin Berl/Getty Images

Despite a brief window in the mid 2010s when they fooled us all by going to the playoffs three straight times, the Pittsburgh Pirates have once again regressed to the cellar of the MLB and have re-established themselves as the most hapless franchise in the league. Sorry to say it, Pittsburgh fans.

After Sid Bream's famous slide home knocked them out of the playoffs, Pittsburgh recorded 20 straight losing seasons. After their brief spurt of success, they're back to their losing ways, having lost game No. 82 last night. They have now been below .500 in eight of the last 12 years and 23 of the last 27.

That's what happens when you trade three blue-chip prospects for Chris Archer, who currently has a 5.19 ERA this season.

Having ridden the success of Andrew McCutchen to the playoffs, GM Neal Huntington looked like a genius. However, as the years have gone by, Huntington has been revealed to be increasingly fraudulent with regards to his baseball acumen.

The dysfunction upstairs is spilling down into the clubhouse, where relievers Felipe Vazquez and Kyle Crick got into an altercation that ended Crick's 2019 season.

If ANY team was going to get into a fight in the clubhouse, why wouldn't it be the Pirates?

Pittsburgh has some nice foundational pieces in Vazquez, a rookie in Bryan Reynolds that might win the batting title, and an All-Star slugger in Josh Bell. Hopefully Huntington either builds a solid team around them or does them a favor and trades them, because the current Pirates are a mess.

Not an early 2000's level mess, granted, but still awful nonetheless.