Pittsburgh Pirates 2023 Season Preview
The Pittsburgh Pirates franchise has been around since 1882 when the Pittsburgh Alleghenys began play in the American Association. In 141 seasons, they have only lost 100 games in three consecutive seasons one time (1952-54). They are in danger of doing exactly that this season. After going 61-101 in 2021, the Pirates improved by one game and went 62-100 in 2022. That was on the heels of going an abysmal 19-41 in the COVID season. The bar is probably as low as it's ever been.
In fact, with the expectation of three straight playoff appearances from 2013-15, the Pirates have ONE other winning season since 1992. They were 82-79 back in 2018. The apathy from the fans can be seen in the attendance numbers. PNC Park is widely-regarded as one of the top stadiums in baseball and the backdrop of downtown Pittsburgh makes for an incredible view behind home plate. But, fans aren’t going. The Pirates drew well under 1.3 million fans last season and under 1.5 million in 2018 and 2019.
There is a high level of disgust among fans regarding owner Bob Nutting, who will run out a bottom-five payroll for the sixth consecutive year. Manager Derek Shelton is entering the last year of his contract with a roster that isn’t ready to compete regularly at the MLB level, but is starting to show some signs of life.