Sports Magazine

Breathing Easier

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
I should probably be excited by 4 out of 5 from the Cardinals, or a first in the NL Central standings, or a best record in baseball, but somehow I, like many of you, have been waiting for the swoon. You know, the collapse; the reliving of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates end of the season nightmare. You somehow knew it was gonna happen. These are the Pittsburgh Pirates after all. This is the franchise that has put 20 consecutive mind numbing losing seasons in the record books. How could they possibly not crush us again?!
And then came July 31, 2013. I live way out here in Sillies/Yankees/Mets country and only get to see an occasional Bucco game when they are playing one of those teams or when I'm in the Burgh and venture to the North Side, more to enjoy the greatest ballpark that is or ever was, than to see a baseball game. But, no, my TV listings tell me that the Pirates will be on a nationally televised game on ESPN. This happens, what...about once every 20 years, right? I set out my chips, beer and crying towel for yet another version of "there is no baseball in Pittsburgh" and settle in.
What a difference 3+ hours can make. I'm a believer. They are not going to swoon, collapse, whatever you want to call it. They are not going away. On this night one of their better pitchers was being treated rudely and they were up against one of the better pitchers in the NL. They got down early and came back, came back and came back again. In the end they won with smart, daring fundamental baseball, not some spectacular but all too lucky smash into the upper deck. They told their primary competitor, anyone who hung with the game for those 3+ hours, and, most importantly, me, that they are for real.
October baseball that involves the Pittsburgh Pirates. Whoda thunk?!!

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