The Reds are in Pittsburgh this weekend to take on the currently 2-5 Pittsburgh Pirates, only the Buccos' second home series of the year following their opener against the Cubs. I am going, of course, but I receive a surprising warning vis a vis the opening game:
Pshaw, say I. This is the team that has given me, over the years, at least a half-dozen t-shirts, most of which celebrate an achievement prior to 1980. At least one of these, I'm convinced, was a reject from a batch of t-shirts wherein the vat of Pirate "gold" dye was contaminated by someone's wayward ham-and-mustard sandwich. This is the team that has given me 3 (three) pieces of memorobilia featuring Bill Mazeroski, including a screen-printed canvas that would probably be considered too poorly designed to hang in a man cave. I know a friend that has a shelf full of probably two dozen Pirate bobbleheads that he's collected since he moved to Pittsburgh in 2005. With the exception of Andrew McCutchen, not one is still on the team.
I am WELL FAMILIAR with Pirates giveaways, say I. And I'm someone who thinks it's hard to make AJ Burnett look worse than he does in real life. How bad can this shirt possibly be?
I thank you, Pittsburgh Pirates. I thank you for your bottomless well of surprise and delight.
Incidentally, if the Reds don't take at least two out of three this weekend, I will mail this shirt to the Reds front office with a note that they should hang it in a prominent place until the Reds have a winning record against the Pirates.