Just two games ago, the Pirates ended the longest consecutive losing season streak with a win over the Texas Rangers. After watching this team play all season long, and especially after Wednesday’s game, this team reminds me of one that I have seen before: The Cleveland Indians team from the movie Major League!
Now, I know comparing a team from Pittsburgh to a team in Cleveland is almost punishable by tar and feathering where I live; however, I want you to consider some personalities and you will then see what I mean.
First, let’s discuss the pitching and veteran starting pitcher, the heart and soul of the team – A.J. Burnett.
Just like Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, Burnett has this “I’m a bad mother” attitude about him, especially when he is on the mound. I remember a few weeks ago, Burnett was arguing a call that an umpire made, and when the umpire came over to talk to him, he told him to back off. This is something Vaughn would do, especially after hitting a guy after a home-run was hit off of him.
Heck, instead of a Wild Thing shirt, Burnett has a Batman shirt that symbolizes his personality.
Now what about the supporting cast? Well, those are easy. If you have seen the movie, which you probably did if you’re a baseball fan, then you know that the lightening rod of the offense in Major League is center fielder Willie Mays Hayes.
Hayes can run and hit (especially in Major League II), and Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen embodies that same player, only better. McCutchen or “Cutch” is a Gold Glove center fielder who makes unbelievable plays in the outfield. He also is the flair of the team without having to show boat. Now, I know Hayes liked to show off, but I think Cutch’s play has that one under control.
Finally, the team depended on players today that many major league teams passed up on. The team’s starting pitcher Burnett was given away by the New York Yankees and he pitched a great game on Wednesday until the final inning. Clint Barmes, a shortstop that the Pirates’ fans wanted out of town at times, hit a huge home run for the Pirates that was movie-like. The best part about that home run is that it was not scripted. It was real.
This 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates are a team that you have to love and want to root for every time they play. They are hardly ever dull — the team plays with passion, and they remind me of the Indians in the movie Major League. They are filled with a few All-Stars, and in the words of Jake Taylor, “not bad for some has-beens and a couple of never was-es!”