With a 4-3 loss to the National Central Champion Cincinnati Reds Sunday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates clinched their 20th consecutive losing season.
The Pirates’ last winning season was all the way back in 1992 when they won 96 games in the regular season and came within one game of reaching the World Series.
The 2012 Pirates progressed record wise slightly from 90-loss 2011 season that came to a crashing burn following a blown call by Jerry Meals in a marathon 19 inning game .
Who is to blame of the collapse of the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates?
General Manager Neal Huntington? Manager Clint Hurdle? Was the team just playing over their heads?
There is little doubt that this is the most painful of the last 20-years as the Pirates entered August looking like a lock to play over .500 ball. Not only did it appear that would be an over .500 team, they appeared to be serious playoff contender this season prior to things going south in August and September.
On August 8th the Pirates were a season high 16 games over .500, from that point forward they’ve compiled a 14-35 record. According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, no team has been 16 games over .500 after 108 games and finished with a losing record until the 2012 Pirates.
The 2012/2013 offseason will be a big one in Pittsburgh. They’ll need to acquire some veteran help for the rotation & bullpen. Andrew McCutchen has proven himself one of the sports best players but he can’t do it alone. The Pirates will need to upgrade at various positions going into 2013.
Notes about 1992:
The NL Central did not exist.
The Milwaukee Brewers were in the American League.
The Washington Nationals were still the Montreal Expos.
The Angels were referred to as the “California Angels”.
The Miami Marlins & Colorado Rockies had never played a game.
The Arizona Diamondbacks & Tampa Devil Rays were 6 years away from playing baseball.
Tim Wakefield and Miguel Bautista were rookies on the Pirates.
I was in second grade.
The Washington Redskins were defending Super Bowl Champions.
Bryce Harper was born October 16, 1992, 2 days after the Braves defeated the Pirates in Game 7 of the ’92 NLCS
George H.W. Bush was President just prior to Bill Clinton.