This is a fun post at Behind The Steel Curtain about which Steelers jersey to buy this year. Its recommendations are preceded by a bunch of general rules. Try to avoid buying the jersey of the best-known player - that's too obvious. Stay ahead of trends; don't be behind them. Don't buy the jersey of a player who might soon depart. Don't wear a Kordell Stewart jersey. And so on.â†µ
It ends up recommending Mike Wallace, Maurkice Pouncey and LaMarr Woodley, and it's hard to argue with those picks. I'd be tempted to add Lawrence Timmons to that list, since you want to be ahead of the trends and Timmons could soon become better-known, but the post points out that he doesn't have a contract right now. Ziggy Hood is a good choice as well.
Let's try applying these rules to the Pirates. Andrew McCutchen is a fine choice, but a bit obvious. Neil Walker is also fine, but also obvious - he's a good player, but his Pittsburgh roots making him more popular in this town than he would be if he played anywhere else. Joel Hanrahan is great, but as a now-Proven Closer, he's likely to be traded the next time the Pirates decide they need more prospects. Paul Maholm probably won't be with the Pirates next season. Pedro Alvarez would be a bold choice, but right now he definitely violates BTSC's "Wary Rookie Rule," which states that you need to watch out for rookies who haven't proven themselves.â†µ
So who does that leave? Jose Tabata is a potentially interesting choice, as are James McDonald and Charlie Morton. Jeff Karstens would be a cool shirt now, and could potentially have a lot of hipster-y throwback value very quickly if Karstens soon goes back to being a random fifth starter type, which seems likely.â†µ
Eh. What the heck. I'd probably stick with McCutchen. To tell the truth, though, the only Pirates jersey I own is a Craig Wilson road jersey. I'm pretty proud of that one - Wilson has been gone for a while, and he was badly underappreciated while he was in Pittsburgh. Not only does that jersey have throwback value, but it's a way of identifying yourself as one of the fans who recognized him as underappreciated at the time.