Archive for the ‘Pirates’ Category


Burgh Blog archives are back up???!! This makes me one happy, lazy blogger.

Also, I would like to just state for the record that it’s not completely laziness that has led to this being the first post in like 2 months. My whole brain has also been sucked into my extremely interesting but brain-sucking new job, which also does not allow access to WordPress, during the 12 hours a day I’m there. But mostly, laziness.

It’s not like I haven’t had anything to say. I can’t freaking shut up about how mad as hell and not-gonna-take-it-anymore I am about the fact that after the big fire sale, the Buccos’ entire payroll is less than their luxury tax payout. I just haven’t been able to plant myself in front of a keyboard long enough to rant adequately about anything.



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Tuesday night I watched the Buccos play on FSN Pittsburgh and I saw the promotional ad with Nate McLouth that concludes with him saying earnestly into the camera, “I’m a Pirate.” 

Twenty-four hours later, that was a lie.

Pittsburgh’s newest explant motivated me out of my “what is the meaning of my blog?” funk, because it’s clear that the culture surrounding the flow of people into and out of Pittsburgh still needs voices. The diaspora has many good minds helping to analyze it – Jim Russell, Mike Madison, and Bill Toland, for example – who actually understand the civic and economic underpinnings of migration. And then there’s me. Head and heart, I guess. I don’t really get it, but I know how my experience feels. 

And I know how sort of outraged I feel when something happens that subtracts from Pittsburgh, especially when the top headline on the Pirates’ website proclaims, “Trade is history.”  It is? I’ve barely absorbed its implications at all. One rainout and a win later and now we’re in the next chapter? And you don’t even want to see ESPN’s headline. The prophecy of SI’s big write-off fulfilled, I find myself in a familiar position when it comes to the Bucs – looking stupid for my optimism. Jack Wilson’s out with a stomach bug, I don’t feel so well myself.

But as a side effect, I am reminded that I still have a reason to be here. My experience of living away adds something to the city, and makes it just a bit less likely that the overall optimism about Pittsburgh will end up looking as stupid as any specific hope for any specific Pirate all-star.

Godspeed, Nate. 

And all of you who are Out of the ‘Burgh.

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Courtesy Millvale Blog

Courtesy Millvale Blog

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Sorry everybody


The streak has ended, in a puddle of cold wet disappointment. We still have the best ERA in the league, we still don’t have a losing record. But I lost.

Sorry. I’ll do better next time.

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Take me out

Guess where I’ll be June 30th?

Forbes Field 100th anniversary


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Happy Jackie Robinson Day – the anniversary of the first game Mr. TR and I attended together.

He’s at the park tonight (perhaps he’ll run into Professor Madison, apparently my kindred spirit in baseball poeticism). I’m here in the hometown of starting pitcher Ross Ohlendorf. There’s nothing right at all about that.

But there’s everything right about Mr. Robinson, and the strength and grace he brought to the game of baseball 62 years ago today. And I’m proud of how the Pirates have honored him – last year they were one of only nine teams who wore 42 on April 15, this year every player on every team wears it. We’ll keep going to PNC Park on this date, for us, and for him.

“A life is not important, except in the impact it has on other lives.”

– Jackie Robinson

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Oh ye of little faith

Tonight I ate dinner at the PF’s house – a regular occurrence these orphaned days – and Mr. PF had just received the Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview volume. 

Needless to say, there wasn’t much conversation until we had both devoured the edition. That is, other than the groans of disgust at SI’s total dismissal of any hope for even mediocrity from the Bucs. The piece is titled “No Bang for the Bucs.” Subtitled “A 17th straight losing season awaits a club with no pop and a regressing young rotation.” 

Okay, but tell us what you really think.

As much as the Pirates like McLouth, his greatest possible contribution to the current club is in his trade value.

Hey, we just signed that guy! Yes, but, “Pittsburgh has no chance to contend in the span of that deal.” Oh, come on now, that’s just a little too far.

Isn’t it?

The truth is, of course, that I easily recognize the futility of the Bucs’ current situation. What hope do we really have, what with our last-in-league pitching, pathetic depleted farm system, offensive vacuum, and unstoppable losing momentum? Of course we’re going to hit that black magic 17th losing season mark. Probably blow right through to 19 or 20.

But isn’t SI supposed to get people excited about sports? How are we supposed to get excited now that they’ve already put the nails in the Buccos’ coffin? Alas, poor Adam LaRoche. I knew him, Horatio.

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