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Wise words from KC, cautious words from ’79 Bucs

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Harry Wayne “KC” Casey, the founder and lead singer of KC and the Sunshine Band, was onstage at PNC Park last night wearing a Pirates jersey which had to be a size XXXL. “Don’t laugh. I was your mon’s first crush,” Casey told the crowd. “Take a good look. This is how Justin Timberlake is going to look in 30 years!”

The passage of three decades has been equally unkind to the Pirates. I spoke last night with many of the members of the 1979 team, who were honored before the game against the Reds. They all expressed disbelief — with carefully chosen words; no one wanted to repeat Michael Keaton’s 2006 gaffe by ripping the Pirates while in town as their guest — at how far the franchise has fallen. The ’79 greats talked about how the Pirates always seemed to have a constant supply of talent, which earned the franchise a first-class reputation. They all seemed uncomfortable — embarrassed, perhaps — by the collection of inexperienced players with practically no standout, veteran presence which took the field last night.

• Last night, lefty Phil Dumatrait pitched one scoreless inning in relief. It was his first outing in the majors since July 7, 2008. Any butterflies? “You know, no,” he said. “I was excited. My adrenaline was going. It’s been a long road back, with all the setbacks and anything. It was great to be back on the mound.”

• The Pirates will run another “You score as the Pirates score” promotion for the upcoming series against the Phillies. For every run the Pirates score in the three-game set, the price will be reduced by $1 for selected left and right field box seats for the Sept. 4-6 series against the Cardinals. The regular ticket price is $24.

• Lineups for this afternoon’s game:

REDS (51-71) — 1. Chris Dickerson cf, 2. Paul Janish ss, 3. Joey Votto 1b, 4. Brandon Phillips 2b, 5. Scott Rolen 3b, 6. Lancve Nix lf, 7. Jonny Gomes rf, 8. Ryan Hanigan c, 8. , 9. Homer Bailey (2-4, 7.53) rhp

PIRATES (51-70) — 1. Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Delwyn Young 2b, 3. Garrett Jones rf, 4. Lastings Milledge lf, 5. Ryan Doumit c, 6.Brandon Moss rf, 7. Ramon Vazquez 3b, 8. Brian Bixler ss, 9. Kevin Hart (4-2, 4.00) rhp

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