Wasn't all bad for reeling Pirates this season
The 2011 Pirates season will end just as the 18 before it did — with a losing record.
Yet despite the continuation of the streak, the season wasn't entirely a collection of failures, blunders and embarrassment. Some good things happened, too, not the least of which was the fact that the Pirates were competitive for the first four months of the season.
Even if it didn't last as long as anyone hoped, the team was in first place in the division July 19. They hadn't been on top that late in a season since 1992. Along the way, they captured not only the attention of the city but also the nation, which found compelling, feel-good storylines in the team's dramatic first-half turnaround, in new manager Clint Hurdle, in the overachieving pitching staff and the rebound of Charlie Morton.
Yes, it all fell apart after the All-Star break.
But a team full of guys who hadn't won at this level before learned what it felt like to compete and have success, and how tough it is to maintain that over the course of the season. If they can use that to their advantage and sustain success even longer in 2012, that will be the greatest positive of 2011.
"You look around this room and you see, what, three guys who've been on a winning team before?" said closer Joel Hanrahan, who was the first of three players named to the All-Star team this year. "Guys know what it takes to play in games like that now, big games. It takes a little more out of you, and we know what it takes to do that and how to prepare in the winter to be able to handle that."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.