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Tim Benz: No need for infighting, Pirates fans. You can have it both ways. | TribLIVE.com
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Tim Benz: No need for infighting, Pirates fans. You can have it both ways.

Tim Benz
| Friday, May 18, 2018 6:42 a.m

The Pirates are 26-17. They are in first place. All is well!

Until you get to baseball fans and media in Pittsburgh.

Since the Penguins got eliminated, there has been a big uptick in Pirates discussion. Reading online, being on social media and listening to sports talk radio, Pirates fans and media seem to be cannibalizing themselves these days.

The big arguments seem to be about how to best interpret and react to this surprisingly hot start.

There are three distinct groups.

Group 1: “Hey, the Buccos are in first place. Enjoy the ride! Jump on the bandwagon! Go to the games. Watch on TV. Let’s talk about them like they are the top story in town until the Steelers start the regular season.”

Group 2: “It’s just a hot start. Wake me up at the trade deadline. Let’s see if they are still in contention then. And if they are, let’s see if management bothers to add payroll to get them over the top.”

Group 3: “Who cares!? I’m boycotting because I’m mad at management for being cheap and selling off Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole for mid-level prospects.”

I can’t do anything about that last group. If you are going to protest, then protest. You’ll probably give yourself an excuse as to why you’ve changed your stance if they stay in contention. And I imagine that excuse will occur somewhere around Aug. 1.

To the other two groups I say, “Why can’t it be both?”

Why can’t we be happy about the Pirates early success and have a wait-and-see attitude at the same time? These don’t appear to be mutually exclusive options to me.

After all, this is the same franchise that fell apart so tragically in 2012 and so rarely makes a move to get over the top at the deadline.

Sure, I will watch more intently moving forward. And the team should be praised for a good start. But they have played 43 games. Not 143.

Let’s keep some perspective.

It appears most of the public agrees with me. Go ahead and add your vote.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review sports columnist. You can contact Tim via Twitter .


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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates left fielder Corey Dickerson celebrates with shortstop Jordy Mercer after defeating the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates first baseman Josh Bell drives in a run with a single during the fifth inning against the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Pirates center fielder Sean Rodriguez slides into second base with an RBI double next to the Padres' Jose Pirela during the fourth inning Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Padres right fielder Travis Jankowski collides with center fielder Manuel Margot on a ball hit by the Pirates' Gregory Polanco during the fifth inning Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl lays down a sacrifice bunt during the third inning against the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
The Pirates' Starling Marte works the crowd before a game against the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl delivers during the first inning against the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
The Pirates' Sean Rodrigues patrols center field during the first inning against the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates first baseman Josh Bell scores during the fourth inning against the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl throws during the third inning against the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage talks with pitcher Chad Kuhl during the third inning against the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Fans wear masks behind the Pirates dugout during a game against the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Fans wear masks behind the Pirates dugout during a game against the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates left fielder Corey Dickerson celebrates with shortstop Jordy Mercer after defeating the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez celebrates after defeating the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates left fielder Corey Dickerson gets a run home during the seventh inning against the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli runs down the Padres' Raffy Lopez between home plate and third base Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Steven Brault celebrates his double during the sixth inning against the Padres Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates left fielder Corey Dickerson gets into third base next to the Padres' Cory Spangenberg during the seventh inning Thursday, May 17, 2018, at PNC Park.
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