The question is not whether the Pirates will set a professional sports record with their 17th consecutive losing season in 2009. That's a cinch. The question is whether every other baseball team makes the playoffs during this storied stretch of futility.I think Pittsburgh is safe from the Nats and Royals for at least another year, but given how quickly teams have been able to turn things around in recent years, I don't think they can be certain about 2010 and beyond.
With the Tampa Bay Rays and Milwaukee Brewers in the playoffs this week, that leaves the Pirates, Kansas City Royals and Washington Nationals as the only teams not making the post season at least once since 1993.
Either way, I think the Pirates have the best GM of the three teams and the most mid-to-long term promise, so perhaps they can avoid this rather randomly dubious achievement.