Despite their hot start, the Pirates drew their lowest opening day attendance in PNC Park history and the lowest attendance for a home opener since 1982. The announced crowd of 30,186 seemed to be a generous figure as large swaths of seats were visibly empty.
Prior to 78 and 75 win seasons, the Pirates were one of the best teams in baseball. They won 98 games and were a legitimate World Series contender in 2015.
After that season, the Bucs traded Neil Walker, let home run leader Pedro Alvarez walk, traded Charlie Morton, and didn't pony up for second half stud J.A. Happ. Ryan Vogelsong and Jon Niese replaced Happ and Morton in the rotation. The Pirates won 20 less games in 2016.
This offseason, management traded the face of the franchise and the teams best starting pitcher.
Bucs' fans are fed up. From 2005-2010 the Pirates won 67, 67, 68, 67, 62, and 57 games respectively, yet they drew 39,000 + on opening day 2011.
Pirates' fans have seen what it's like to be a contender. They're experiencing their "Flowers for Algernon" moment. Sometimes it's a necessity to first take a step backward before moving ahead.
Clearly Pirates' fans don't think the roster upheaval in 2016 or the cost-cutting measures this offseason were a necessity. They're right. That's why nobody showed up for opening day.
Forget the Jolly Roger, management has been raising the white flag. Pirates fans followed suit yesterday.
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