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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Dunlap: Don't Take Anger Out On Players

Colin Dunlap
February 26, 2018 - 1:39 pm

Bradenton is in full go.

Pirates season --- or at least the Spring Training portion of it --- has some scuttlebutt to it. People are talking this time of year; hope springs eternal and all that jazz.

There is, however, no Andrew McCutchen and No Gerrit Cole. We know that. We understand it and it seems to be the biggest story. What there is, however, is worry and some apathy from the fanbase, some enormous questions and downright anger.

I understand it. I understand all of it. I am you. I am one of you --- just a regular Pittsburgher who happens to talk into a microphone and write on this website for a living.

So before the team heads North and the real games begin, I ask you to think about something for a few minutes: Think about separation. Think long and hard about that with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Think about separation, which I’ll get to fully in a moment.

I would never --- as it isn’t my place --- tell fans what they should feel, but I think it is important as a fanbase to have full focus on the entire dynamics here.

Do you want the Pirates to spend more money? My answer is “yes” just as yours probably is.

Do you want the Pirates to go out there and bring in big-time free agents? My answer is “yes” just as yours probably is.

Do you wish Cole and, most certainly McCutchen, were still playing for the home team at PNC Park? My answer, again, is “yes” just as yours probably is.

But I think something to keep in mind is that Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison and Jameson Taillon and Josh Bell and Gregory Polanco and Trevor Williams and the such don’t have anything to do with that. They aren't guilty in this.   

All those aforementioned men, and the other guys in Pirates uniforms, are simply baseball players. They don’t really want to get caught up in the financials of the sport and they aren’t privy to the inner-workings of the top reaches of the organization. At the core, they simply are men who want to get hits and get people out. Granted, they are paid handsomely for it, but that is all these guys are. They are men playing a game, trying to entertain and play a game. 

There is separation. If you are mad or outraged or some other feeling at the Pittsburgh Pirates for what you perceive as a lack of spending or dedication to the fans (believe me, I am too) be sure to not let any trickle down fall to these current players. I know it is a very tough dynamic and one in which is an interesting study, but for me it might be the biggest story as the summer will persist and --- almost certainly --- the Pirates won’t fight for the NL Central crown. Fans will want to vent, the paying customer (or ones who won’t go) will be upset and look to yell scream and stammer at all things Pirates. Perspective and separation are of vital importance in all of this, and will be throughout this season.

You can be dismayed by the owner all you want, but would it be fair to take it out on any of these players? To me, I don’t think it would.