Dunlap: Do What You Want, I'm Enjoying The Ride

Negative noise about the Bucs doesn't register now

Colin Dunlap
May 17, 2018 - 1:14 pm

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The other shoe is going to drop!

They'll go on a losing streak!

All these teams they are beating right now suck! 

Even if they're good, later on the season they won't add anyone anyway!

They'll trade all the good players at the deadline! 

It's all being done with smoke and mirrors! 

Yeah, so the attendance stinks and I'm not paying attention and neither is anyone else! 

I'm boycotting this team; I only watched to see Cutch and then I'm done! 

I've heard it. I have heard all of it. I have heard it loud and oh-so crystal clear. Get this: I don't care one bit about all the negative stuff people have to say about the Pittsburgh Pirates who, at just about the quarter pole of the season, head into tonight's game against the Padres atop the NL Central with a 25-17 record and have won eight of their past 10. 

This might seem foreign to some but here's my take: I'm just enjoying this ride. I'm just taking it all in. I'm just appreciating this fun group of guys while the winning lasts --- no matter if it lasts for another day or this is the start of something really big. 

Some people in these parts --- and especially in the media --- seem to be allergic to being happy. I'm not one of them. This is fun and I'm soaking it all in. 

As the Pirates have unpredictably jolted to this start through 42 games (with a 14-6 home record) it feels like too many people just don't want to admit they were wrong, to this point, about this baseball team. No one has any idea where they will end up, but I doubt many prognosticators or general fans had the Pirates in first place in mid-May when they were making their predictions as the team was still hammering away in Bradenton. I was one of them. I was dead wrong (to this point at least) as I had the Pirates pegged to win 72-75 games. I look like a knucklehead right now and, as so many are loathe to do, I'm not afraid to admit it. You hear that? I was wrong. Dead wrong.

And I think that might be the crux of a lot of people --- especially in the media --- holding onto this notion that the Pirates have an inevitable collapse on the 2018 horizon. So many in the media are either too self-righteous, too haughty, too big of jerks and/or such blowhards that they will never in a gazillion years admit they could have been wrong about something. Me? I'm not one of them. If this pace holds, or even falls off some, I was dead wrong about this team. To be truthful, I'm wishing nothing more than to be dead wrong in my prediction. 

Now, as a point of order and matter of fact, do not take me being along for the ride in all this fun as a 100 percent endorsement of the ownership group. Anyone who has ever read this website or listened to The Fan Morning Show understands and knows my feelings about how the Pirates spend money. But I've come to a realization that such a topic, particularly in times like these, is downright exhausting. It's untimely and silly. Yeah, I'd still love for the Pirates to spend some more cash and also go out and get a quality reliever to bridge from the starters to the very back end of the bullpen, but that isn't what rises to apex of Pirates discussion right now.

Know what does? Winning. Winning trumps everything in sports. Every single thing. It doesn't matter how or in what route you got there, doesn't matter how much or little you spent or the players you have --- if you win (as the Pirates are right now) there are exactly zero people who can argue with you. At least that's my opinion on all of this. You can show the Pirates all the negativity you'd like right now and know what they can do? They can point to the standings. And they are right to do so. Winning, again, trumps every single thing in sports. 

So that's why you can talk it, but I really am to the point right now where I'm ignoring it. You can talk about some collapse that's coming and, you know what, if and when it gets here I'll talk about it with you. Until then, I'm enjoying this ride. 

You can talk about how these teams the Pirates are beating right now have abysmal records. OK, you can talk all about that, but I'll just enjoy the ride as they can only play the schedule given to them. 

You can talk about the players they don't have, but I'm not real keen on listening right now. I'll just enjoy the ride with the players they do have; the ones who have been winning a lot. 

You can talk about some other shoe that will drop. Cool. Go ahead. Talk and talk and talk about it. Wait for the terrible times to happen. I'm not interested in such a conversation. I'll just enjoy the ride for now. 

Yep. That's where I am in all of this for this surprising Pirates team --- I'm just enjoying this ride because, to be perfectly blunt, I can't find the negativity in it. If you can, I just think you're being miserable for the sake of being miserable.