He said, “It’s not frustrating, those guys play hard behind me every day. It’s only a matter of time until we start scoring four or five runs a game … 12 runs. You’ll see us put up runs soon.” McDonald being the team player that he is spoke highly of a Pirates offense that has been up to this point in the season, should I say less than stellar. Cleanup man Pedro Alvarez, who went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position, struck out on three pitches with no outs in the ninth inning with the tying run at third base and the winning run at first. Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future. All this talk about we are gonna win soon, well the formula does not seem like it will be discovered or rediscovered in 2013 or any year, anytime soon. Well I must admit the last sentence might have been a bit too cynical. Plus I really, truly believe that in spite of their atrocious start the Pirates still have a chance even though you might not be able to tell by some of the comments of the current crop of players or their manager. As of the writing of this column, the Pirates were preparing to face the Arizona Diamondbacks who were sporting a 5-1 record, exactly opposite the 1-5 albatross that the Pirates were dragging around. The Diamondbacks will be facing Wandy Rodriguez (1-0, 0.00 ERA), who helped the Pirates (1-5) to their only win, 3-0 over the Chicago Cubs last Wednesday. Rodriguez surrendered two hits, one walk and struck out six over 6 2/3 innings. After the masterful shutout Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said; “He’s a pro.” Well what is that saying? Are the rest of his pitchers, not pro’s. Rodriguez who sported a 12-12 record in April before his start against the D-Backs must have been a pro 50 percent of the time and not a pro the other 50 percent of the time. The Pirates have to find and get on a high horse and ride it until it collapses. They may not make it to the finish line but they have to “ride their pony, get on their pony and ride” either to victory or oblivion. Let’s forget all of the talk about big markets, small markets, free agency, salary caps, rich owners or not so rich owners (show me a rich or not so rich owner). Baseball like any other sport has to be about desire and heart; and taking responsibility. Although there has been season after season of the Pirates standing in the “losers circle” now is the time to put up or shut up. The infielders have to dive and do a few cartwheels attempting to stop a ball from leaving the infield. Outfielders have to run over, around and through hail, sleet and rain and scorching sun to track down balls within and oftentimes balls on their way to the stratosphere. The time for woe is me is past. These guys get paid like everybody else and should be expected like everyone else to perform above and beyond their ability. Don’t boycott the team, go to the games buy a hotdog and a soda. Boo them into the next galaxy when their play is less than expected and cheer them to Valhalla when they play well…..nuff said
(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741.)

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