“Yes, unbelievable,” said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. “I can’t believe they really think this is legit. How have they not realized that we’re letting them win? It’s sad. But, you know … whatever. It’s nice to see a smile on their faces. That’s why all of the other teams in baseball agreed to do this this year. Hopefully they don’t find out. It would crush them. They think they’re good now. It’s precious. It really is.”
According to Matheny, the other 29 MLB teams agreed at the winter meetings to let the Pirates win in 2013 after seeing the team suffer through 20 consecutive losing seasons, including back-to-back, late-season collapses in 2011 and 2012.
“Major League Baseball is professional baseball at its highest and most competitive level,” said Reds manager Dusty Baker. “But as competitive as we are, even we have hearts. It’s hard to watch these guys go out year after year and just fall on their faces. We decided as a baseball community … no, as human beings … to take it on ourselves to end their suffering, even if it’s just for one year.”
With that goal in mind, all MLB teams signed a contract vowing to lose games to the 2013 Pirates via errors, poor baserunning, and mental mistakes, in addition to throwing poor pitches and swinging through strikes.
“It sounds like a foolproof plan, but it’s been harder to lose to the Pirates than you might think,” said Brewers manager Ned Yost. “This is a team that opened the season with a roster that included Brandon Inge, John McDonald and Jonathan Sanchez. It’s hard to lose to guys like that, even if you’re trying to. Thankfully, all of them are gone now. The job has definitely gotten easier.”
Sources with several teams also admitted that MLB teams have, in past years, agreed to let the Chicago Cubs win.
“Even that didn’t work,” said Matheny. “They’re just that bad. Credit to the Pirates for at least not being as miserable as the Cubs.”