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Ever heard of the expression Caveat emptor? It means ‘let the buyer beware.’ Meaning, that buyers typically have less information about the good or service they are purchasing, while the seller has more information.

Such a phrase could apply to the 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates whom after 4 games, are 4-0. It’s the first time that they’ve started 4-0 since the 1983 season. That season was a decent one for the Pirates in which they finish 84-78 and spent some time in first place of the NL East Division before the Philadelphia Phillies ran away with it. The “83” team  was a good team that could’ve went further that season as they had proven players. Can’t say the same thing about this year’s team, at least right now.

Why? Because they are unproven.

Just in case you were sleeping under a rock, you have to remember that the Pirates made some very unpopular moves in the offseason which included trading the Face of the Franchise ( Andrew McCutchen) and their one-time ace of the pitching staff (Gerit Cole) with out getting  as much in return. They also lost troubled infielder Jung Ho Kang and then the front office basically made it plain that ‘being cheap is in.’ Although their serious about contending like they did in 2013-15. The latest moves have people looking at the front office like their nuts and in denial, because you have to spend money to win, not leave the door open for players to waltz out to greener pastures. But the Pirates ownership uses the Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays as examples to counter that debate, because they didn’t spend much money to get to the World Series. Well, those teams had to get out of their financial comfort zone to succeed. The problem with the Pirates is, they don’t.


Please note: After winning 98 games, the Pirates kept none of their expensive talent and settled for reclamation projects and have missed the playoffs the past 2 years. Although they did trade for All-Star (They honestly keep emphasizing that) Out Fielder Corey Dickerson from the Rays.

Nevertheless, this team is currently 4-0 after sweeping the Detroit Tigers (2 games in a doubleheader) and beating the Minnesota Twins in Monday’s Home Opener. In 2 of those wins vs. the Tigers, they trailed 2-0 before coming back. They also fought to a 13-10 victory in extra innings. So far, First Baseman Josh Bell leads with a .438 batting average. Out Fielder’s Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte, Third Baseman David Freese, Second Baseman Josh Harrison, and Third Baseman Colin Moran each have a HR, in fact Moran (who came to the Pirates in the Cole trade) amazed the PNC Park crowd when he hit a grand slam to lead the Pirates to a 5-4 victory over the Twins.


If each of these players maintain their consistency, then there’s hope for the Pirates, on the offensive side anyway. But the key is the pitching and so far, their starters aren’t looking too shabby. Starter Jameson Tallion, Trevor Williams, Chad Kuhl earned their first victories of the season. In fact, Williams no-hit the Tigers for 6 innings Sunday. Steven Brault won a game in relief and closer Felipe Rivera has saved 2 games. If this unit can catch fire in a miraculous way, then this team will make some waves.


But that’s a big if.The reality of it all is the fact that the Pirates Still haven’t played the National League yet and the Tigers and Twins won’t pose the threat that the Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, LA Dodgers will, so those are the teams that the Pirates must conquer to be taken seriously. And to be honest, any team can start 4-0. Now if the Pirates are 10-0 in a week or so, then we can talk, but until then, watch this team with caution and be careful not to buy into this team yet. They have 158 games to go. Don’t buy into this team yet.

Caveat emptor.

Notes: A day after unveiling their 2017 championship banner, the defending champion Houston Astros gave out their championship rings.

Please e-mail Ray at
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