The optimism that comes with the beginning of spring training provides an easy trap to get swallowed in.
At this time of the year, even the worst major league teams believe they have a chance to win if a certain number of factors break their way. It doesn’t matter if a team won 100 games the previous season or lost 100 games.
Considering I just covered the first week of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ spring training camp in Bradenton, Fla., it’s easy to be optimistic about their chances of at least taking a step toward respectability. Even for a longtime Pirate cynic like me.
The first three years of Ben Cherington/Derek Shelton regime included a lot of young players getting the opportunity to show they can play in the major leagues. The Pirates compiled a 142-242 record in that span, making them a symmetrical 100 games under .500.