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Kipper : Unlike 1992.. This Is The Start Of A New Era For The #Pirates

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
The first Pittsburgh Pirates Post Season has come to an end and the ride couldn't have been anymore enjoyable. The city of Pittsburgh erased the National Media's belief that this isn't a baseball town by shocking every National analyst out there with the amazing crowd display at PNC Park. The fans erased the abuse the city received in the early 1990's when it couldn't sell out Three Rivers Stadium.
The city of Pittsburgh came alive for baseball, and it was an amazing sight and feeling.
In 1992, the fans new that an era was coming to a close. Baseball's economics started change, where money became more prominent and the ability to hold onto players for their entire careers by virtue of choice was eroding. We saw Bobby Bonilla and John Smiley leave for big (in the case of Bonilla - Huge) contracts and after 1992, we knew Barry Bonds and Doug Drabek would be leaving too.
An era was ending.
We all knee the end was near and it made that Playoff loss in 1992 all that more bitter and difficult to handle. A great era and team seemed to be wasted by 3 tough playoff losses where one can argue that the Pirates should've at least 2 of them. Nothing will erase that memory until the Pirates get into the World Series and exercise those demons but after Sid Bream was safe at Home Plate, that hope was realistically gone.
Wednesday night the Pirates lost to the St.Louis Cardinals. It was a difficult loss. Up 2-1 in the series and only needing 1 win to advance, the Pirates were in charge. Unfortunately the bats decided to slump when they were needed most and the Pirates were eliminated. It was difficult to bear, disappointing to see and feel. It was bitter to watch the Cardinals celebrate..
.. But it wasn't Heart Breaking.
It wasn't Heart Breaking because unlike in 1992 when an era was coming to an end, in 2013 an era has just begun. This is as exciting a time for baseball in Pittsburgh as there has been since the 1970's.
Why not the 1990's?
The 1990's were very short term. By the time Pirates became good, Bonds, Bonilla, Smiley and Drabek were ready to cash out for big pay days. In the 1970's, you had an entire era of players in their primes, draft picks coming into their own early like John Candeleria. It was long term. This 2013 Pirates are long term.
Andrew McCutchen is locked up long term. Gerrit Cole has years of control. Neil Walker hurt his negotiating ability with this past season where he should be an easier long term signing. Jordy Mercer came into his own. Pedro Alvarez is going to cost the Pirates money, but they'll spend it, despite what should be ugly negotiations with Scott Boras. Fransico Liriano is still in his prime. Russell Martin is mentoring Tony Sanchez. Jameson Taillion is a half of a season away from his debut. Gregory Polanco is getting closer to an MLB debut. Tyler Glasnow is a half to a full season away from his debut.
There are so many positives with this franchise in the near and long term future that you can't help but be excited. The Pirates are built on youth with a couple vets peppered in. Players like Andrew McCutchen are just getting ready to enter their prime. Starling Marte is so young, that he's still a couple years away from entering his prime. This is how you build a team. This is what took years to do after having to clean up 12 years of a disaster that Kevin McClatchy created. Now we as fans are seeing the fruits of Neil Huntington, Frank Coonelly and Bob Nuttings labor...
.. and it is a beautiful thing to see..
.. For the near and for the future!

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