Jul 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez (left) is greeted at home plate by second baseman Neil Walker (18) after Alvarez hit a three run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Hop On The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Bandwagon While There’s Still Room

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Is your favorite team having a down year?

The last two months of the season can be pretty depressing when your team’s out of the race. Sure, there may be a few interesting September call ups, but once the trade deadline passes it’s pretty easy for fans to stop paying attention to losing clubs.

So why not put your fandom up on the trade block?

Being a Minnesota Twins fan, I’ve essentially been a rental player the past three seasons. I’ll still keep an eye on their box scores and an ear to the ground in case there’s any exciting news coming out of the minor leagues, but there’s little incentive to following the big club at this point in the season.

Instead, I’ve decided to trade my fandom to the Pittsburgh Pirates for the rest of this season. I’m actually the fan to be named later from an earlier trade that sent a Bucs fan to the Twins back in 2002.

After 20-consecutive losing seasons and two-straight second half collapses, the Pirates finally look like they’re going to get the monkey off their back. That history of ineptitude means you can get behind Pittsburgh and not feel like a frontrunner fan, despite the fact they have the best record in baseball.

What’s been lost in all the trade deadline drama and suspension speculation this week is the Pirates have taken four-straight over the division rival St. Louis Cardinals, regaining first place and even building a 2.5 game lead.

Most importantly, as far as my fandom is concerned, they’re fun to watch. Players like Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Starling Marte make their offense dynamic, and their pitching staff has the best ERA in baseball. Even their stadium gives an aesthetically pleasing background for a ballgame.

So as long as there’s still room on the bandwagon, I’m hopping aboard and going to enjoy the ride the rest of 2013. Raise the Jolly Roger! Zolan!

Pirates fans, this is going to take a little getting used to. Bandwagon jumpers are going to drive the diehards especially nuts. After awhile, you can start to feel an ownership with your team. But you guys know what it’s like to be hopeless as a fan. Us jumpers are just looking for something to get excited about again. I appreciate how geeked out the Pirates’ fanbase is on Twitter right now, and how the crowds at PNC Park are starting to get big and loud.

All the negativity surrounding the Hall of Fame and Biogenisis scandal can make baseball especially demoralizing right now when your team isn’t giving you much to root for. If you’re not ready to switch into football mode, there are plenty of good stories and fun teams to follow this season.

Best way to jump on the bandwagon? Cheer on McCutchen, Alvarez, and Marte in person at PNC Park. You can find MLB tickets at Vivid Seats for the remainder of the season, including all 14 Pirate home games this August. You can also see Pittsburgh play in Colorado, St. Louis, San Diego, and San Francisco this month so there’s ample opportunity to see one of the most exciting teams in baseball play.

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