Fantasy Baseball 2009 - Pittsburgh Pirates
PNC Park- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team is a member of Major League Baseball’s National
League Central Division. The Pirates play their home games at PNC Park, in Pittsburgh,
In 1903, the Pittsburgh Pirates played and lost (to Boston) in what has been recognized
as the first Modern World Series. During this period, Honus Wagner played shortstop for
the Pirates, known to be the best shortstop of his time; he helped lead the team to many
successful seasons and its first World Series title in 1909. The Pirates had a slump before
reaching their second World Series and winning their first World Series title in 1925, defeating
the Washington Senators. The Pirates made it to their third World Series just two years later,
but got sweeped by the New York Yankees in the 1927 World Series.
The 1970’s was a proud decade for the Pittsburgh Pirates. During this period, the Pirates
won five division titles and the 1971 World Series. The stars of the team were Willie Stargell
and Roberto Clemente. Clemente was drafted by the Pirates in 1954, and grew to be known
as one of the best baseball players of all time. He was awarded the National League’s Most
Valuable Player (MVP) in 1966, and won 12 golden glove awards throughout his career. The
Pirates finished the 1970’s decade defeating the Baltimore Orioles in seven games in the
1979 World Series. In 1979, the stars of the team included Willie Stargell and Dave Parker.
From the 1980’s going forward, the Pirates have struggled to be competitive in MLB. They
began the 80’s recognized as the worst teams in baseball, despite adding popular names to
their roster, such as Bobby Bonilla and Barry Bonds. Infielder Jay Bell and pitchers John
Smiley and Doug Drabek were other new additions to the roster. In 1988, the Pirates finished
the season above .500 (85-75), for their best record in years. Two years later in 1990, the
Pirates won the division title, stamping an end to being one of the worst teams in baseball.
The Pirates would go on to win two more Divison titles, in 1991 and 1992.
Pittsburgh Pirates of the 2000’s
Since 2000, the Pirates have largely been in a period of rebuilding, searching for a winning
season. The 2009 losing season for the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team marks the longest
losing streak (17 years) in any professional sport in North America.
In 2007, Pittsburgh hired Neal Huntington to be the new general manager and bring in a
new strategy to succeed. Huntington made splashes upon his arrival, trading away many of
the star players for the Pirates. In 2008, Huntington traded away All-Star Jason Bay, and in
2009, traded away Nate McClouth. He argues that the trades build a strong Pirates team,
beginning with their minor league program.
Prior to the 2010 MLB season, the Pirates made a few personnel changes. They released
relief pitcher Matt Capps, and signed four relievers, Octavio Dotel, Brendan, Donnelly, Javier
Lopez, and D. J. Carrasco. To bolster the infield, the Pirates signed second baseman Akinori
Iwamura, and shortstop Bobby Crosby, the 2004 American League Rookie of the Year.
Heading into the 2010 season, the Pirates’ bats are led by outfielder Andrew McCutchen, and
the Pirates pitching are led by ace Paul Maholm.