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October 20, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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Monday Mop-Up Duty: Another Wild (Card) World Series

SOUTH HILLS – We knew before and are reminded again this October that entry to baseball’s postseason as a wild card team is not a death sentence. Ideal? No, but it’s not an impossible obstacle. Wild cards have been in …

October 17, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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A new kind of bench coach? And a 9 percent hike

SOUTH HILLS – You have to be happy for Jeff Banister. After spending 29 years with the Pirates, after working his way up from a 25th round draft pick who recorded only one major league at bat, after he worked …

October 13, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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Monday Mop-Up Duty: Is Stewart an adequate plan B?

SOUTH HILLS  – I think we all understand Russell Martin is going to be a tough sign unless he gives a discount in years or dollars to the Pirates. And discounts are usually pipedreams in free agency. In an impending …

October 6, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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Monday Mop-Up Duty: Lessons from 2014

SOUTH HILLS –  A baseball season is a funny thing. It’s something you live with on a daily basis for six months (seven-plus consecutive months if you’re a player, coach, executive, or even a sports writer) … and then it’s …

October 2, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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The sound of silence … and what broke that silence

SOUTH HILLS — As I wrote in my sidebar for today’s print edition, what struck me was the silence. After Brandon Crawford‘s grand slam last night, Blackout II went silent and Madison Bumgarner kept it silent with a brilliant shutout …

September 30, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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Who ya got Wednesday? It’s a tale of two advantages

PNC PARK — Here’s something that might comfort you: Edinson Volquez is probably a lot more relaxed than you are if you’re a Pirates fan. Volquez has had a loose, energetic, positive personality since the start of spring training, and …

September 29, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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Monday Mop-Up Duty: True North

CINCINNATI – Clint Hurdle was right. There was no easy choice in making his pitching plan Sunday. But there were those that thought he should have played the probabilities and saved his best starting option, Gerrit Cole, for their next …

September 27, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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A tactical retreat

CINCY –  There is a military strategy known as a tactical retreat. Not every retreat is a poor decision, a sign of weakness. Sometimes it is prudent and smart, a way to build strength. Sometimes it is a search to …

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