Pittsburgh Pirates Voice Their Hope For The Season

Melissa Block hears from fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates — which has a reputation for being a terrible baseball franchise.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

For baseball fans, the wait is over. Opening Day is here. Today is the day when the slate is wiped clean, and every fan can believe, at least for a few hours, that his or her team is the best in the league, even fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

They finished last season with the worst record in baseball. And they haven't made the playoffs since 1992. So we thought we'd check in with a few fans in Pittsburgh to see if hope really does spring eternal.

Here's Emma Orbin.

Ms. EMMA ORBIN: If you're a Pittsburgher, you start every, you know, opening day thinking this is the year of the buck, this is the year we're going to do it. Our young talent will develop.

And so yeah, I think that's part of the cycle of that relationship. I was going to say the abusive relationship because it felt like that, but that's the cycle. You start with this great hope, of course.

BLOCK: Not every Pirates fan agrees. The team is near the bottom of the majors in attendance, despite a relatively new ballpark. Local Randy Roberts explains why he's staying away this year.

Mr. RANDY ROBERTS: You know what, it's been a long time since I got, for lack of a better word, pumped up for a Pirates season. You know, when I was younger, you knew everybody in that lineup, and you couldn't wait, and you looked forward to going to the games.

Now it's like the ownership, they're not concerned with trying to bring a winning team. And it's hard to see your baseball team not at least being competitive.

BLOCK: Still, Derek Zanetti(ph) says he's willing to stand by his woebegone Pirates.

Mr. DEREK ZANETTI: You can always say that the grass is always greener on the other side, and maybe if I was a Yankees fan, my grass would be greener. If I was a Braves fan, my grass would be greener. But I believe that if you work really hard at your own grass, then maybe your grass can be okay too sometimes.

BLOCK: And the Pirates try to end two decades of brown grass tomorrow in their season opener against the Chicago Cubs.

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