PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Waiting out Monday’s torturous rain delay in Chicago symbolized what watching the on-field product lately has been like, but Pirates team president Frank Coonelly is trying to remain upbeat.

Times are strange, to say the least, for the ballclub. In their quest to end their record streak of losing season, the Bucs have blown a 16-game surplus, and escaped Wrigley Field a mere two games above .500, needing eight wins in 16 games to clinch a winning season.

In spite of their recent struggles, however, the Pirates remained very much alive, at least mathematically, for the second National League Wild Card spot, staring at only a 2.5-game deficit entering Tuesday.

“I can assure you nobody on 115 Federal Street has been pleased with the way the team is performing, at least in August, and in this recent stretch. It’s very painful, very frustrating, and aggravating,” Coonelly said Monday evening. “But personal pain is never something I ask our fans to care about. My sole focus has been trying to help Neal, Clint Hurdle, and his staff turn this around.”

Meanwhile, the Pirates announced the end of a six-year relationship with the State College Spikes as their short-season Single-A affiliate. The Spikes will begin working with the St. Louis Cardinals next season, while the Centre Daily Times reports Jamestown of the same New York-Penn League will replace the Spikes as the Pirates’ affiliate at that level.

Among the players who suited up for State College in 2012 were 18-year-old right-handed pitcher Luis Heredia, once one of the most coveted international prospects in the majors.

Multiple sources indicate the Pirates may move Jamestown franchise, which had been partnered with the Miami Marlins, by 2014.

Connelly says the split between the Pirates and State College was amicable.

Check out this sample of his comments on the latest developments surrounding the Pirates, as heard on the Pirate Preview Show with Dan Zangrilli and Kevin Orie:

The Pirates return to PNC Park to host another (sudden) Wild Card challenger, the division rival Milwaukee Brewers, at 7:05 Tuesday on your flagship home for Pirate baseball, SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan.

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