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By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - How much fun could it really be?

Baseball fans rejoice at this time of year. They see palm trees and sunshine on television and their boys of summer working off the rust and readying for another season.

It brings hope, which is a wonderful thing. If your team has the cash, and is willing to spend it, your hope is even stronger.

If they don't? Well, that brings us back to the question of fun.

How much fun is it, exactly, to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates? Or the Kansas City Royals?

My guess is not much.

Yes, yes, the Kansas City Royals have a ballyhooed farm system we've all heard about that's going to produce star after star. But will all of those future stars align over the Kansas City sky night after night.

Or will some be in New York? Anaheim? Boston? Helping the big boys before we know it?

I think we know the answer.

For right now, though, Royals fans (both of them) look to have a small window to peer through. Is it big enough to contend for one of the 10 playoff spots now available? Well, anything's possible.

That's a lot better than can be said of the poor Pittsburgh Pirates.

They go and get A.J. Burnett and some eyebrows go up. "Hey, look at the Buccos. They have a starter at the top of the rotation that people have actually heard of."

Then Burnett, practicing his bunting at the start of spring training, fouls one off that catches him right above the eye.

Broken orbital bone.

Out for three months, maybe more.

Doesn't it figure? (and the New Orleans Saints had nothing to do with it).

The one thing the Pirates had going for them, Andrew McCutchen aside, is gone. The Pirates are at 19 consecutive losing seasons and counting, a dubious record they used to share until a few years ago with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Now, Phillies fans make the trip west on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and invade beautiful PNC Park en masse when Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Ryan Howard are in town.



Drew Markol has been a sportswriter and columnist for several newspapers in the Philadelphia area for more than 25 years.

Copyright 2012