The Pittsburgh Pirates don't give their fans much to cheer about. They've had 17, soon to be 18, consecutive losing seasons, they have a history of poor trades, their pitching is terrible and they have the worst offense in the National League.
All of these things should not overshadow the one great thing they are doing right now. The mustache challenge.
Utilityman Bobby Crosby came up with the idea, and most of the Pirates are now showing off some of the best (Or worst) facial hair arrangements seen in the majors since Rollie Fingers. But one Pirate is far and away better than the rest of the team, and his mustache isn't even real.
That's right, shortstop Ronny Cedeno was as smooth as a baby's bottom on Sunday, but when Monday came around, he had a wonderful arrangement going on. It was made from eyeblack, so it probably shouldn't be considerer facial hair, but that makes it even better. The fact he had the stones to pull this off made me respect Cedeno a great deal. Who cares if he can't hit worth a lick? At least he's funny to look at.
On a more serious note, the mustache challenge is a good thing for the Pirates. Really. The team is not going anywhere this year. The fans knew it, the media knew, and most importantly, the Pirates organization as a whole knew it coming into this year. The 2010 season, and probably the 2011 season, are bridges to get the team's top prospects closer or to the big leagues. All these players have are themselves right now. The media and fans rip them on a daily basis. I don't care how mentally tough you are, it has to be draining and crushing to face such criticism every day.
Don't take that the wrong way. The team stinks, a lot of the criticism is deserved and I'm not going to go to the ballpark to see mustaches. What I'm saying is this team needs to find ways to have fun, or they are doing to sulk and they will ultimately lose more games. Lots more games. That's why this mustache contest is a good thing. It's a way for the team to come together and enjoy the time they spend on the field.
Of course, winning would be a lot more fun too, but let's be real. Only two players on this roster would have a chance to start on most teams in the league. And that's generous because I included Ryan Doumit in the two (Andrew McCutchen is the other).
Queen - Don't Stop Me Now