Just How Crappy Have the Pittsburgh Pirates Been for 18 Years?


The Pittsburgh Pirates intrigue us for one reason and one reason only.  Okay, two reasons given those lovely stove pipes hats in the late-’70s.  Those things were tremendous.

We love the Pittsburgh Pirates because they play in the National League Central and the Cardinals play them 15-20 times per season.  Given that they just sealed up their 18th consecutive losing season, that fairs well for division foes.

Just how bad have the Pittsburgh Pirates been during their 18-season losing-season streak?

Oh, let us count the ways….

- The Pirates didn’t have ONE day over .500 in the ’95, ’00, ’01, ’05 and ’06 seasons.  Not one day.

- The Pirates losing-streak began in ’93, one year before the National League moved to a three-division format.  Since their inclusion to the NL Central, they’ve finished in second and third place only once….and fifth place and last place six times each.

john-smiley-card- Despite sporting a 79-83 record in ’97, the Pirates finished in 2nd place in the NL Central behind the Houston Astros (84-78).  It was their best season of the 18-year streak.  They spent 32 days in first place and were 68-68 on August 30th.

- The Pirates have finished in the bottom half of National League attendance every year since ’92.  They’ve finished last or second-to-last (hat tip: Florida Marlins) in average game attendance 10 times during that span.

- The Pirates have been outscored by their opponents every year since ’92.  Their biggest gap in run differential came in ’01 when they gave up 201 more runs than they scored.  This year, they’re on pace (-250) to destroy that number.

- During the streak, the Pirates reached the century mark in losses (just) once in ’01 (62-100).  Side Note: the Pirates lost 100 games in every season from ’52 – ’54.  Sheesh.

- At 41-84 through 125 games, the Pirates are on pace to go 53-109 this season – which would stand as a record during their 18-year losing season streak and the worst single franchise record since 1952 (42-112).

barry-jones-card- During the streak, the Pirates have finished over 30 games back of the NL Central lead five different times (’98, ’01, ’04, ’05, ’08).  The furthest the Pirates finished out of first place was 33 games – which occurred in ’98 and ’05.

- In ’06, the Pirates were in last place ALL season until September 5th, when the mighty Chicago Cubs dropped into the cellar and finished there one-game behind the Pirates.

- Since ’92 (and prior to ’10), the Cardinals are 149-96 (.608 WP) against the Pirates.

- The average price of bread in ’92 was $1.50.  Today, it’s $2.49.  This 60% increase is consistent with the change in average price of eggs (64% increase) and postage stamps (65% increase) during that time frame.  One thing that is not consistent?  The Pittsburgh Pirates payroll; which was $33,944,167 in 1992….and $34,943,000 in 2010.

- Just slightly less than a $1,000,000 payroll increase for the Pirates in 18 years of suckitude.  If we’ve proved one thing here, it’s that the Pittsburgh Pirates are impervious to inflation.

- Signature moment for the Pirates throughout the past 18 years?

Randall Simon and Sausagegate.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.


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