Pirates hoping to avoid fire sale

The Pirates need to keep playing at .500 or the front office will decide to off-loaded talent.

Updated: May 4, 2004, 11:33 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
Here's a list of records after 23 games:

14-9: 2002
13-10: 1994
12-11: 2004, 1997
11-12: 1999, 1996, 1993
10-13: 2003, 1998
9-14: 2001, 2000, 1995

What, exactly, does this represent? It's what the Pittsburgh Pirates have done out of the gate over the last dozen years. As you can see, their decent 2004 start is their third-best since 1993, or, as it is known in Western Pennsylvania, "the year it all went to seed." Regardless of how they start, the Pirates have ended up under .500 in each of these seasons. Will 2004 be any different?

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at bottlebat@gmail.com.