Are you ready for some baseball?

My usual Steeler-crazed, mid-winter, over-ten-losing-seasons-in-a-row driven apathy toward the Pirates is starting to erode, as it inevitably does each year after the Superbowl. This year, this is mainly a function of my disinterest in the NBA, the lack of an NHL season, and the fact that the Hawkeyes basketball team just dismissed their best player (with good reason.) In any case, excitement about the 2005 baseball season is beginning to germinate within me. Sure, the Pirates have a young, inexperienced team. But, they've also got good prospects, good arms (Oliver Perez and Kip Wells) and the returning rookie of the year (Jason Bay). Since they will unlikely be able to keep any of these fine players for more than the next few years, they better make a run for it now. The team played solidly through most of last year, and then they unloaded Benson. They still have a good rotation, and have added some decent prospects in the offseason, notwithstanding the inexplicable signing of geriatric Benito Santiago.

All in all, the Bucs should have enough to stay in the race until the All Star Break, by which time the NFL preseason camps will be heating up. Since the All Star Game is at PNC Park this summer, it will add to the excitement about baseball around the city. I am traveling to Pittsburgh in mid-April for my grandmother's 80th birthday. The Cubs happen to be in town that weekend, so I hope to make it to a game.

I'm looking forward to MLB's opening day, if for not other reason than the NFL schedules come out at that time.

By the way, I found an excellent blog devoted to Pittsburgh sports, but mostly devoted to the Pirates. I will probably be visiting this blog during the season more than Pirateball.com, where the discussions often turn juvenile, and trolls abound.

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