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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Say it: The Pirates are in first place

Go ahead. Speak the words out loud, even if no one else is around, even if you feel a little foolish.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place.

Nah, come on, that was lousy. Try it again, this time with the energy of Andrew McCutchen rounding second on his way to a triple.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place!

Well now, how does that feel?

You know, I remember writing last August, while the Pirates were pathetically pushing their way to 105 losses, that I had run out of adjectives. I had used just about every abysmal, awful, wretched, wickedly horrific adjective by that point, and my thesaurus was running on empty.

I’m that way now, too, but it’s for a wholly different reason.

With his 83-pitch gem tonight in Houston, Jeff Karstens just passed Roy Halladay for third on the National League ERA list. McCutchen is a legitimate rising star. Joel Hanrahan is baseball’s best closer. The fresh-faced top of the order in Alex Presley and Chase d’Arnaud has finally given the offense its needed spark. Ten guys are on the disabled list making $15 million, but someone named Mike McKenry, who looks like he should be bagging your groceries, hits the biggest home run in PNC Park history.

Honestly, I’m not interested in projections anymore. Mine were wrong. Yours were wrong. Everyone’s were wrong. I’ve given up trying to figure out when Karstens is going to tire, when Hanrahan is going to go Washington wild again, when Neil Walker will stop coming up with big hits, when the Pirates are going to look in the mirror and see the glass crack again.

I’m just taking it in. I’m taking in the team’s enthusiasm, its pitching, its overall improvement in other areas, and I’m taking in that kid walking down Sixth Street this afternoon Downtown with a T-shirt that read: “I was a PIRATES fan before it was cool.”

Say it out loud, Pittsburgh. And enjoy it.


  1. diehard says:

    This is awwweeeesssssoooommmmeee!

  2. Calvin says:

    Yeah it’s pretty wild.. Love the blog DK!

  3. JDelSignore says:

    Well said. What a feeling this is. I’m a sabremetrics guy and know a lot of this success doesn’t make sense but who cares?

  4. pipecock says:

    If I think about this too much it makes me almost cry. I hope for my 9 year old’s sake that we do well, I remember how magical the early 90s teams were for me when I was 10-12 years old. I want him to experience that, for me that was better than any of the Pens’ Cups or Steelers Super Bowls and we didn’t even make it to the World Series!!!!

  5. CWalton_67 says:

    Presley and D’Arnaud must stay in lineup. They ignited Pirates run.

  6. Dave says:

    I was at the McKenry HR game, but watched tonight’s game on TV, obviously. For me, it’s now a transition to where I expect the Pirates to win games like this, and watching tonight was more “satisfied, they are taking care of business,” than “holy crap, Scrappy Doo.” I was able to watch the end of the Rockies game as well, and was excited to see it made official, but over the past week, the Pirates have become less of a pleasant, ongoing surprise and more like a legitimate threat to win every night. Early in this game I told myself that it was time to stop wondering whether Karstens would keep pitching well, in part because if I started reflecting on it or thinking of reasons why he wouldn’t continue to dominate, the game would already be in the seventh inning.

  7. Derek B. says:

    I was eight years old when Sid Bream broke my heart. I remember crying on the couch next to my mom and watching my hero, Andy Van Slyke, sitting in the outfield. I have been waiting for this—a competitive Pirates team—ever since. I have no words for this, Dejan. It’s just…incredible.

  8. David Conway says:

    I really cannot believe this!! Such a great start!! We have a rough schedule ahead for July, but for the first time, I cant wait to see how the Pirates handle success!

  9. Matt says:

    It is getting to the point where I expect to turn on my TV when I come home from work to see a 4-1 or 5-2 Pittsburgh lead. Even if the pitching does regress, the offense only has room to improve. These two will end up balancing out, which gives me no reason to believe they can’t keep on winning.

  10. Eric Bowser says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

    In the offseason after another lame round of acquisitions, I figured Correia would be a nice third or fourth starter and Overbay was useless as a bar of soap in jail. All that has happened is our PITTSBURGH Pirates are 5 games over .500 and percentage points ahead in first place of the NL Central.

    I went into this thinking 95-105 losses was a slam dunk, we had a horrid pitching staff, little power, and fear of a down year for the young guns.

    Even after all those injuries ($15 million), our PITTSBURGH Pirates are in first place in the NL Central.

    Enjoy the ride because Shawon Dunston just might return to Pittsburgh to hand the keys over for the “trade deadline acquistion” house.

  11. Sharon says:

    Happy birthday to me!

  12. aglebagel says:

    I haven’t been able to stop giggling like a little girl ever since the Brewers game went final. Who knew that worrying about .500 would become an afterthought so quickly???

  13. Steve W. says:

    I have been one of the few that was always looked at as a crazy person for always supporting PBC through the years, but it’s been a family tradition passed onto me through my dad. We both sat there on couch watching another great performance from Karstens and we just looked at each other and said first place. This could be the season my dad always wanted me and my brother to see one day since we both have seen our other hometown favorites win big already. And maybe this will be the year we see the third do it too.

  14. Brenden says:

    I want to believe. Really, I do.

    But these are the Pirates. I can’t help but feel that no matter how I celebrate, there’s a 9 game slump right around the corner.

    I hope they prove me wrong.

  15. The Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place!

  16. Dan says:

    Dejan — What is the sentiment in the city about this team? As a native of Pittsburgh who recently relocated, I only wish I could be there to be a part of this.

    Thanks and keep up the great work.

  17. Eli says:

    First place Pirates I wonder how much longer ESPN can ignore the fact that the perennial joke of the league is contending this season. Finally after 18 yrs of saying maybe next year, it is officially next year. LETS GO BUCS

  18. Heather B. says:

    I was a Pirates fan living in Braves country back in 1992, and to my 12-year-old self that made those losses to the Braves seem especially devastating. The 12-year-old is pretty darn happy right now. What a great feeling to really fall in love with a team again. I haven’t stopped saying “The Pirates are in first place” and probably won’t as long as it’s true.

  19. It feels incredible right now. The Pirates are in first place right now at the latest point in 14 years, and no one can take this moment away from us fans.

    That said, the statement “I’m not interested in projections anymore,” seems extremely short-sighted, especially from a smart guy like you, Dejan. Statistics that project that certain players will regress don’t affect my enjoyment of the game once the first pitch is thrown, but those types of stats are an important way of looking at how a team is performing. Projections are merely estimates, forecasting what will happen in the future. They’re not guarantees, but they have their place in analyzing baseball, for you and for all of us.

  20. Scott says:

    I sat here for a couple minutes and thought how I could put what I feel into words and I just cant. As a 20 year old who has never seen the Pirates actually compete I can’t get enough of this team and I love how the city has responded. Knew all this time, even how bad we were that the city would fall in love with the team again.

  21. Baywatch says:

    Great, wonderful thoughts, DK! I feel like driving all night to Pittsburgh just so I could dance in the street. Wait a minute … I’m in Texas, so it’ll take longer than the night. SNAP! I’ll just drive the four hours to Houston and dance in THEIR street!

  22. CK says:

    Last time the Pirates were in the playoffs, I was 5. I remember the “freakshow” of 1997 and how fun that summer was. I was there for the first exhibition game at PNC Park against the Mets. Years of bobbleheads and broken hearts followed, but I stayed true. It’s been tough to be a Pirate fan growing up, hearing about the good old days from your folks and others but never getting a chance to see the glory days firsthand. I don’t want to get ahead of myself and say that we are were we need to be just yet, but my goodness does it feel good to be a fan of this ball club at this point in time. I believe. You should too. It’s about time.

  23. Mark says:

    This is the greatest baseball day I’ve had in 18 years.

  24. vandelay industries says:

    Hmmm, so this is what the view looks like from up here…

    I think I’ll stay a bit.

  25. JimY says:

    I really wanted them to take 1st going into the All Star Break, and they didn’t. This might be better. I think happening after the break is better because it shows us, right off the bat that this is real. This can happen. History can be made. If you were thinking at the magic might be over for the second half, you might be in for a surprise. Go Bucs.

  26. Dave says:

    Always a pleasure reading your columns even when they were losing you kept me coming back to the post gazette now that your over here your work is the best Pirate information a person can get and ask for its even better now that they are doing so good as a fan thank you for all you do.

  27. vandelay industries says:

    Also, party like it’s 1992.

    Someone put some Jon Secada on the radio…

  28. Empchaz says:


    I have been going to upstate new york every year since 1994 to visit my wife’s family. They are all yankees fans and I have received nothing but abuse for the past 17 years. Today I arrived in all my glory with my buccos hat proudly displayed. As the Yankees were losing to the Blue Jays, I had the Pirates game on the ipad. Words cannot express the fun I had talking about the season the buccos are having and watching Karstens pitch the gem tonight.
    PS – Keith Law can go pound sand.

  29. diehard says:

    For all the sabremetricians out there, the talking heads seem to be very high on the Brewers, yet their run differential is -14 right now. The Bucs are at +12, Cards are at +25.
    Moew improtantly, right now, THIS IS FUN!

  30. FormerSoxFan says:

    “Honestly, I’m not interested in projections anymore. Mine were all wrong. Yours were all wrong.”

    Speak for yourself. I TOTALLY saw this coming.

    OK, that’s a lie. I’m about as speechless as you are.

    But while a lot of folks are concerned about whether the pitching can hold up, I can’t help but think about the fact that the offense has room to improve considerably. Besides Tabata, Pearce, Pedro getting back, the addition of Presley has been a godsend, and I do have faith that the FO will find another bat for 1B, or maybe a corner outfield spot. This is just so much fun.

  31. Brett says:

    I moved away from western PA in 1988. It was a scary time for an 8 year old but I had my Pirates. I can still vividly remember Sid Bream who I cheered for just a few years before, break my heart. My favorite player Andy Van Slyke was distraught just like me, but I thought its okay. We have next year. Little did I know it would be 18 years without a winning season. I’m not kidding when I say this is the happiest I have been watching baseball in nearly two decades. History will be made.

  32. Mason says:

    The Pirates can’t waste this opportunity. This division is winnable. I’m not suggesting trading the top guys but Huntington needs to do whatever is necessary to upgrade 1st base and 3rd base(if they don’t see Pedro contributing this year) as soon as possible.

  33. Pezman1961 says:

    Karstens pitched one of the best games I have seen in a very long time and the offense came through. We are in first place, can’t believe it!! Gave me goosebumps! Great!!! Beat ‘em Bucs!!

  34. eron says:

    Dejan- All I can say is that this night jay be better than may wedding night. If the Pirates are in first place on Sept. 25, that WILL be the best night of my life.

  35. Mario Lopez says:

    I leave Pittsburgh for better job, Steelers win SB, PENS win SC, & now Buccos are exciting. LOVE IT, these “kids” don’t know 18 yrs (well Neil Walker does) of losing, they know today & tomorrow. Speed, Defense, more SPEED, we just need alittle more OFFENSE@ 1B & C, LETS GO BUCS…nothing will erase chico lind’s error or Sid Bream, but we love the buccos down here in NC

  36. Steve says:

    I posted that (Pirates are in 1st place) to my FB page. It is so hard to believe but so much fun to believe in. Everybody pitches in to help the team win. Even Ciriaco, whose slide set up McKendry’s HR, is in the mix. The kids have injected more energy into this team than we have seen in almost 20 years. They ALL have great attitudes, they never feared the 3rd deck – not for a moment. Everybody is running full speed (and that is a LOT of speed). OK – I’m rambling. Sorry. I am mega-excited for 2 reasons. One, because the Bucs are in first place on 15 July. Two, because I believe this team is STILL learning how good it is and that it will be filling PNC in September.

    Beat ‘Em, Bucs!!

  37. Aaron says:

    First off, Stan…Guy…love the blog!

    Dejan, first time poster but I’ve been reading for years. Thanks for the coverage. As a 31 year old closeted Pirates fan I have truly felt for years that I exist in the worst generation to be a Pirates fan. I fell in love with the team and sport in the early 1990’s listening to Lanny call a Barry Bonds homerun off Lee Smith at my grandparents in Slippery Rock. When I turned 16 years old I attended 25 games and usually didn’t pay more the five bones to sit in general admission. I miss those prices. I got excited in 97. I’m scared to buy in. I’m gun shy from too many years of Josh Fogg, Jermain Allensworth, and Turner Ward. Is this legit? Can they keep this up? Did Jeff Karstens look like Greg Maddox tonight? What the hell is going on? I’m confused. This makes no sense. Please help?


  38. Mason says:

    Pearce has hit Home runs in back to back games for Indy. Gotta figure he’s not to far away with the way Overbay is playing.

  39. FormerSoxFan says:

    The last time the Pirates were in first place this late in the season, the #1 song in the country was Baby Got Back.

  40. Scott C. says:

    You can’t believe many people come up and congratulate me on how well the Buccos are doing this year. It is a good feeling and quite a change from all butt of jokes in the past. Wear that gold P proudly Pirates fans! The Buccos are in first place!!!

  41. PII Stingray says:

    Wow! All I can say is I wish they’d have done it last year, when I was back in the Burgh for the first time in 10-years. I knew Clint Hurdle would have this team playing better than John Russell, but this is better than I ever could have imagined. Now the front office needs to walk the walk, after years of saying they’d add pieces to a team when they were in contention……

    “What a rush”; Hawk and Animal (Road Warriors)

  42. Kevin_W says:

    What an unbelievable season so far. From Walker’s grand slam on opening day, winning their first three road series, to Phillies series, to the Red Sox series, to McKenry’s unbelievable HR against Marmol it’s all been great.
    We’ve waited so long to have this kind of season. Kudos to Neil Huntington for bringing in Clint Hurdle. He’s been exactly what the team needed. They now have talented players who are growing in confidence. The game winning HR by Cutch back when the .500 mark was in doubt was an exclamation point. It was like putting a flag in the ground and saying we are here and we’re here to stay.
    This team has warts, most teams do, but the trait that I like best is that they play hard and don’t mail it in. As Clint says they play for all 27 outs. Can’t wait to see where this Bucco bandwagon ends up.

  43. Buc power says:

    Just the beginning. We believe, but more importantly, they know. This is the year.

  44. Baywatch says:

    I’m spoiled by Facebook. I wanted to click “Like” by more than a few posts here. Vandelay, I especially LIKED yours:

    “Hmmm, so this is what the view looks like from up here…

    I think I’ll stay a bit.”

    And, MARK, congratulations on “the greatest baseball day” you’ve had in 18 years!

  45. Baywatch says:

    Aaron! Welcome to the show … This IS real life!

  46. Jerry says:

    It feels great. Especially since I watched most of those absymal, awful, wretched terrible games last year. It was even worse on the road. 17 road wins. Out of 81 games. That is nasty.

    Now it feels good to be a Pirates fan. I got a Pirates magnet on my car. I wear my Pirates shirts regularly. Damn it feels good to be a Pirates fan.

  47. ddom says:

    I sat in the outfield of Three Rivers Stadium for the last Pirate playoff series and now I’m imagining myself at PNC for one. I know, with the schedule they have ahead and the stats and all, I am just happy that they have everyone asking me the Pirate score this late in the season. But seriously…could you imagine a playoff series at PNC. Think about it.

  48. dom says:

    Bucs are in 1st! Live for the day and enjoy the moment. This is the beginning of the Pirates being in contention for many years to come!

  49. buccos since '04 says:

    Been Buccos or nothing for me since 04. I’m 20. What citys having more fun then the steel one.

  50. Imsorree says:

    I can clearly remember where I was watching that horrific game in ’92 — on a business trip to Marion, Indiana, sitting in the Icehouse bar with a business client originally from Altoona, both of us decked out head to toe in full Buccos gear. I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest and stomped into bitty pieces. Now, I am giddy with excitement, and find myself checking the standings on MLB app over and over and over. I LOVE going to work and talking about the Pirates and not having my coworkers smirk or roll their eyes at me! I LOVE walking my dog around Shadyside and seeing all sorts of folks in Pirates shirts and hats! I LOVE this blog! Let’s Go Bucs!

  51. Kraig K says:

    Is there a doubt who is the best, unbiased and all-around champion writer in this town? I think not. But enough about him, he agrees that this night translates to: Let’s Go Bucs!

  52. Matt Weaver says:

    As a devoted 18 year old Buccos fan, I can honestly say this is the proudest I’ve ever been to be a Pirates fan. After years of ridicule from friends who all turned to the Red Sox or Yankees, I can finally say that my team, who I love, is finally in first place and a contender. I believe in this team, and I know I’m not alone (Keith Law isn’t going to bring me down!). Dejan, I hope you see this, because I want you to know you’re one of the biggest reasons I’m going to school to pursue sports journalism.

  53. Dennis says:

    I refuse to get overly excited on July 15th for an organzation that has broken my heart time and time again. I’m happy for the players but this ownership has made me bitter. I cannot allow myself to truly jump back on the wagon until the Purates put a CONSISTENT winner on the field.

  54. JPG says:

    Unsustainable but I don’t even care.

  55. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    I humbly submit that none of this is official until DARYLE checks in with whether or not this qualifies as real life.

  56. Jon says:

    I keep saying that things are going to get worse because I dont want to jinx this team. But I think the reality is they are getting better and developing. I still believe from a logic standpoint we should make some trades to shore up the farm system but when you are playing like this just let everything ride.

  57. Karen22 says:

    I posted it on my Facebook Profile before you told me to say it, Dejan, but I’ll shout it again:

  58. Karen22 says:


  59. buccos since '04 says:

    DK doesn’t care but MLB tonight just had a beautiful discussion about the buccosB ESPN Baby

  60. Megan Seese says:

    Every couple of years I make it to spring training and once again I convinced my husband that this year it was worth the trip. I watched the Buccos beat the Red Sox and tweeter away my happiness while I took the usual ribbing that it was only spring training but oh the sweet glory in watching those big wins come to live in the regular season. Watching and listening to the Bucs is what I grew up doing with my dad, I played centerfield bc of Andy Van Slyke. Like every other true fan out there I’ve hoped and hung on for years and this season so far has been what we’ve all been longing for. I kept saying I’d be happy with .500 and now here they are, in first place, there are no words. To see these guys working hard and winning gives me goosebumps! Just taking it all in and enjoying this awesome ride!

  61. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Buccos: You’re right that I don’t care. And neither do they, apparently. They listed KARSTANS as the pitcher in their accompanying graphic. And this for a former Yankee.

  62. PHook4000 says:

    I am 21 years old.

    I remember going to games in Three Rivers with my dad when we were visiting my grandparents and I remember making huge signs to try to get on the jumbo-tron in PNC when the Pirates were playing the Expos.

    I became a hardcore Pirates fan two years ago when I spent the summer up at school in State College and actually got to watch all the Buccos games for the first time in my life (I grew up in Tennessee).

    I asked for a McCutchen jersey for my 20th birthday and got a GI Jones jersey shirt for my 21st birthday from my girlfriend. I couldn’t be any happier right now. This is incredible.

  63. buccos since '04 says:

    Just saw it myself. Inexcusable. Especially for a former Yankee

  64. PI Stingray says:

    Just e-mailed the article on the Pirates being in 1st place to a friend of mine here that is a diehard Indians fan and added that it’d be great if the Bucs and Tribe would meet in the World Series. He emailed back that that would happen before the Browns beating the Steelers for an AFC North title…..

  65. Pflugerville says:

    DK, in your list of adjectives, how could you leave out “hapless?” The PBC is loaded with haps nowadays!

  66. david says:

    i was serving in the persian gulf(desert storm!!) the last time i felt this good about baseball!!!

  67. Karen22 says:

    I haven’t been this excited since 1984 and the “Bless You Boys, this is the year” World Series Detroit Tigers. They were the ONLY reason I ever admit to having lived there for six years! My son was TWO and he doesn’t remember going to a playoff game at the late and wonderful Tiger Stadium. This baseball family is a LOT older now and finally remembers why we LOVE baseball so! (I’m still so wound up I can’t make myself go to bed)!

  68. tmoe says:

    strange feeling – to say the least. It’s been twenty long years since i was consumed with the battling bucs. Consumed with going to games, tailgating in a sea of parking spaces now occupied by hotels. Consumed by hating the mets and braves as much as the ravens and patriots. Seeing this team play it’s heart out is a fantastic feeling – but in a strange way, it’s making me a bit more disgusted about how long it’s been. I love this game, love this team – welcome back buccos…raise it.

  69. Duncan says:

    Where is DARYLE? We need to share this experience with him. He is probably out YELLING in the streets. I should be too.

  70. Bob from mt lebo says:

    Every year no matter what i start off with the naive optomism (sp but who cares right now) that this will be the year the bucs win. Every year i reach a point in july/august i just stop. Its hard to believe that i have watched more this year because of how much ive watched in the past, just ask my wife.

    This has been a wild ride that ive been able to enjoy with the rest of you thanks to our man DK. Dejan i would like to thank you for all youve done, from the columns to the blogs to the tweets. It is awesome to have someone in the media that is so accesible and willing to communicate with the fans like you do. Appreciate it so much.

    Im taking my 4 year old boy to the cincy game tuesday and would love to still be able to say these are the 1st place Pirates.

  71. Dave says:

    Love it love it love. Watching this team was a chore for the last few years, I admit that I lost interest from 02-06, but this feels great. I used to count down the days to Steelers training camp, now I couldn’t care less. GO BUCS!

  72. The Pirates are in first place? I’m not feeling it.

    What I get excited about is the memory of the Bucs battling the Phillies for first place in the NL East in the late 70s, the thrill I would feel listening to the radio as HOF’er Bert Blyleven was striking out opponents (assuming he got through the first inning). And I was so happy for John Candelaria when he got his no-hitter.

    The Buccos are a storied franchise, and I won’t diminish that by advancing the notion that first place in mid-July is something to shout about.

    Then again if I were, oh, 18 years old instead of 44, I’d be shouting, too.

  73. pattonbb says:

    Somebody needs to check on DARYLE. We may need to take up a collection for a defibrillator.

  74. Badger says:

    Unbelievable. I love my stats and projections, but we watch sports to see teams defy the projections, and this is beautiful. I’ve had friends who are Red Sox fans marvel to me about this team, and most Red Sox fans don’t like to admit that any other team even deserves to exist.

  75. steve r says:

    This is a real life version of major league. A bunch of guys no one thought would do anything suddenly has a city and soon a whole nation of people rooting for them. It’s easy to be a Steelers fan they are always a playoff favorite. With Sid and geno the pens aren’t hard to root for either. This team is coming into their own and soon we will have a constant winner in baseball too. Such a great night. 500 seemed like a dream in the begining of the year but this team has proven that underestimating them is going to bite you right in the butt. First place is a great place to call home tonight.

  76. aglebagel says:

    @Heather B
    That’s funny- in ’92 I was a 7-yr-old Braves fan who had just moved to Pirates country! So, this is literally the first time I’ve ever seen MY Pirates in this position. It’s incredible.

  77. buccos since '04 says:

    CSI: Houston

  78. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    18 years we’ve faded
    18 years we’ve waited
    So why not now?
    And why not us?
    Look out League!
    Here come the Bucs!

  79. Stephen in New York says:

    Another way of saying “The Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place” is “The Burgh must be in ashes”
    At least that’s how it feels

  80. Karen22 says:

    Before I head off to snoozeland, I just have to say it:

    Is this heaven?

  81. buccos since '04 says:

    Sept. 26-28 that would be exciting

  82. Brian Leary says:

    When I received tickets back in April to the Pirates game in Dodgers Stadium on September 17 (my 25th birthday), there wasn’t any iota of a thought that the game could be at all meaningful, except maybe to the Dodgers.

    One of my most vivid memories of kindergarten was the day my father picked me up from school, turned to me in the backseat, and told me that Barry Bonds had left the Pirates to play for the Giants.

    Eighteen years later, as it stands today, if the Pirates go 33-27 in their next 60 games, I could potentially be in the seats to witness THE game. THE win so long unseen.

    I don’t know what’s crazier: the fact that I’m thinking about the Pirates record in their next 60 games, or the fact that 33-27 doesn’t actually seem that crazy at all.

  83. pghboyinca says:

    I am in shock but could not be happier. Karstens is insane, he lppks like out of nowhere he is DFA’d to being an ace? Total command, poise, and efficient. Cutch and Walker are both legit and Pressley? I can’t even comprehend the spark that kid brings. I am watching every game glued tot he set and feel the saem feeling i get when the Pens play, I am roooting for them not only because they represent Pittsburgh but I like these kids. Year round compelling sports in Pittsburgh? My girlfriend has always said that i am unavaialble from September until April but she has my undivided attention over the summer. If that is the expectation I will soon be back on the market.

  84. Matt says:

    Great, great article, DK.

    I am enjoying every second of this. Words cannot describe what it feels like as a life-long Pirates fan to see competitive baseball like this. It is too fun for words.

    When McKenry hit that shot, we jumped and screamed and cheered and high-fived. We live in California. Our neighbors likely had no idea what we were cheering about. I was almost too excited to sleep. Is that any way for a 40+ year old man to act?

    I cannot wait to tell my 5-yr olds tomorrow morning that the Pirates are in first.

  85. pattonbb says:

    The Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place……The Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place…..The Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place.

    Oh Auntie Em, I had the strangest dream…..

  86. david s says:

    “Then again if I were, oh, 18 years old instead of 44, I’d be shouting, too.”

    i’m 58. i remember three world championships and i don’t know how many division winners, and i’m shouting it … enjoy it. revel in it. this is what baseball is all about. maybe it goes away, but i’m getting the feeling that we’re witnessing a bit of history that will be as joyous and memorable as the last 18 years were agonizing and forgettable … beat ‘em bucs!

  87. Justin says:

    The Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place. goosebumps.

    PS. Thank You Brandon Phillips!!!!!!!!!

  88. Matty_Ice7 says:

    Truly amazing what this team has done this. A never say no attitude has finally reached this franchise with the help of Hurdle and Searage. This team is winnning the series they should. Taking 2/3 from the Phillies and Red Sox respectively. Pitching staff continues to keep them in the game on a daily basis with Hanrahan closing the door as the best closer in baseball. The no name bullpen is stepping in when called upon even without standout Meek. Can’t say enough of what these catchers have done this year. The infield is scrappy and everyone is jumping in out of the lineup except hometown guy Walker. Which is great to see him be part of this. Cutch has been the only daily outfielder. Finally got his first well deserved All Star apperance this week. The only thing that scares me going forward is this team strikes out too much. Plus, can they finally take some games away from the Brewers. If they don’t they will fallback awfully quick since they face them ten more times. But keep on batteling Buccos. What a story it would be to have them in a fight for October when the Steelers are opening up their season and Crosby returning to the ice for training camp with the Pens.

  89. Drew71 says:


    Cause on so many levels, I’m proud to say i’ve never been cool

  90. Mike C says:

    im watching sportscenter and they just talked about the pirates 3 times in an episode… during the opening bit… the game clips… then later before the show ended talked about the bucs more and dickie v’s tweet… i think thats a record on positive things about the pirates on espn

  91. buccos since '04 says:

    Beware of Pirates

  92. Idahobucsfan says:


    That might be my favorite piece I have ever read of yours!

  93. Dave H says:

    ETA on Pedro Alvarez? I know he’s struggled, but if he can turn it around even a little he could be an asset to this team.

  94. buccos since '04 says:

    Optimism for the faithful DK. Write a piece on why the pirates will maintain this level of success for the rest of the season. #truebeliever

  95. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Buccos04: I’ll have to assume you didn’t read my column yesterday.

  96. Drywitt99 says:


    I am old enough to remember the 1960 Bucs. And memmories of the ’71 and ’79 teams are as fresh and as vivid as if they happened yesterday. But this!!!
    The best comparison I can make is that I was living in Seattle in 1995 when the Mariners came out of their nearly 2 decades of oblivion to make the play-offs. And they did it with Ken Griffey Jr. injured for much of the year, and a virtual one man rotation….named Randy Johnson. And in that one incredible, unbelieveable summer they made Seattle into a baseball mad city (which it had never been) and captured the imaginaton of EVERYONE. EVERYONE became a Mariner fan!! And it is so WONDERFUL to see the same thing happening in the Burgh!!!
    To the Pirates players and management….THANKS….AND WE ARE THERE FOR YOU. And to the fans….ENJOY….AND BELIEVE!!!

  97. Terry Hunter says:

    I sent your fantastic blog entry to many friends. I’ve been a Pirates fan since before 1960. And your writing truly resonates. Thanks a lot.
    Terry Hunter

  98. buccos since '04 says:

    I just about patted myself on the back thinking the idea was innovative. You are the on and only “DK”

  99. buccos since '04 says:

    RBI without the s

  100. Kevin Leary says:

    I am in Eastern Europe for the summer.

    I don’t know what to do right now. I don’t know. I wake up in the morning to an alarm and goosebumps when I check my computer.

    Can I do something? Can I help? I don’t know what to do.
    I feel like these are the end times
    You know how you just keep seeing the sun come up every day and forget that it does? But if it ever DIDN’T come up, everyone would start fearing the worst parts of the bible???? That is my morning…EVERY FREAKING DAY DAY. What is this? Where am I? Is this real life? I’m too far away to actually see it. I don’t know what to do.

  101. HOF Coach says:


    I am a 57 year old man who has been privileged to share the excitement and thrills of 2 Super Bowl Championships and 1 Stanley Cup with my 30 year old daughter and her husband. Every night I pray to God for His mercy to enable me to share with the two of them the incredible drama, followed by boundless exhilaration, of winning a World Series in a do-or-die Game 7! This would be the final jewel of the Pittsburgh’s professional sports teams Triple Crown, thus allowing me to go to my grave a happy and fulfilled father, leaving behind treasured memories of happy times that we shared as Pittsburgh fans. God willing, THIS IS THAT YEAR THAT I HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR!!!

    In preparation for this, last year I increased my Pirates’ Season Tickets from 1 to 3. My daughter, son-in-law and I will be there when we “Raise the Jolly Roger!” at the climatic conclusion of Game 7…BEAT ‘EM BUCS!!!!

  102. Adam says:

    Saw a guy walking around Waikiki today with a Pirates shirt on. We’re crossing oceans!

  103. HalSmith says:

    I have a. model of Forbes field in my den. I had tickets to every home World Series game in early 90s. Both years. I travel back to see the Bucs play every year. I love this team. In 60 World Series Dizzy Dean said that the Pirates were a team that would tickle you to death. This team reminds me of that. They are fun to watch. Let’s Go Bucs.

  104. dave says:

    LONG time pirate fan here (my 1st indelible Pirate memory is watching Harvey Haddix’s gem back in ’59). For those of you hoping the Pirates acquire a slugger, be careful what you wish for. Clubhouse chemistry is oh so important in any team sport, and this team has it in spades. Those of you old enough to remember, know that the Dodgers won two world series (’63 & ’65) with not much more than the Pirates have now: pitching, defense and speed. Granted, the Pirates don’t have 2 pitchers like Koufax and Drysdale, nor anyone like Maury Wills, but they have that something, that never say die attitude that the ’60’s Pirates had. I’d LOVE to see the Pirates stay the course with the team as is and win it all playing small ball. BEAT ‘EM BUCS!!!!

  105. MrB says:

    I’ve read every post in this thread. Let me just state that for all of you, who were kids or tweens in 92, I’m genuinely happy for each and every one of you. You deserve this. I’m one of the older guys, having just turned 50 over the all-star break. So, like others have posted, I have vivid memories of the 70’s.

    All the love and enthusiasm in this thread is wonderful. I can only hope that it is still here at the end of this month. The climb is about to get significantly steeper. So everyone strap-in tight and enjoy the ride!

  106. Mark says:

    This is just fun to watch right now! After all of the the pain & frustration & going from an 105 loss season to this…priceless so far!

  107. Pirates fan in VA says:

    Before the season started, my wife and I were talking about not being in the ‘Burgh anymore and how our kids have little connection to the Pirates because they’re never on the radar like the Pens and Stillers. She said “You know, the Pirates are still my team no matter what.”. I said, “Yeah, but it’s so painful to watch anymore. I’d give almost anything for a pennant run.” >>Fast Fwd>> My son and I were jumping up and down when McKenry hit that big homer. Last night we went crazy for the Cutch triple and I explained to him what Karstens was doing and he saw it and appreciated it more as the game went on. Welcome back, Pirates!

  108. JAL says:

    Some Hot Fun in the Summertime Morning Links

    <b—Pirates Prospects

    Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch 7/15/11

    Tony Sanchez: Down Year or Bust?

    Pirates Show Interest in Kevin Slowey

  109. JAL says:

    Raise the Jolly Roger

    Magic Number: 71

    6-Pirates WFC Blog

    The Romantic Trade Market

  110. JAL says:

    The Green Weenie

    Bucs Ride Karstens Into First 4-0

    North Side Notch

    Jeff Karstens’ gem propels Bucs into 1st place

  111. JAL says:

    –Houston Chronicle

    Misfortunes magnified when he’s on the mound

    Pirates 4, Astros 0: Karstens makes quick work of reconfigured Astros

  112. JAL says:

    CBS Sports

    Pirates move into first place in NL Central


    Fixing The Pirates’ Offense

  113. hooco01 says:

    This is turning out to be one of the great summers in this city’s history. Keep up the great work DK. It is refreshing to follow a winning team who is not in trouble with the law every other month like our Stillers.

  114. Mr. Drums says:

    Dejan, What a GREAT feeling to walk into any store and find NO Pirates merchandise. It’s been along time since that happened!! Love it!!! GO BUCS!!!!

  115. I told Willi about it. He doesn’t have a clue of what it means (even saying in Portuguese), but he saw I was happy and was happy with me.

  116. bman says:

    Great article DK!

    Someone pinch me because I must be dreaming!!

  117. Tony P says:

    LET’S GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!

  118. Thundercrack says:

    This is purely anecdotal, but I have been thinking & noticing it for the past 3 or 4 weeks.
    In previous summers when you would see someone wearing a Pirate hat or t-shirt you would REALLY notice it because it seemed to stand out in the crowd. Just as if Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster walked down Grant Street holding hands. And if you saw a person with Pirate clothing on, you would give them that silent nod. “Hey, I’m a Pirate fan too. We’re in the same club”.

    Now it seems like they are EVERYWHERE!! Yesterday I was Downtown and it seemed like every other person had a Pirate hat or t-shirt on. And a lot of young people were wearing them too! The other cool thing was that the t-shirts are the ones they give away on Friday nights. So you know they are actually going to the games. I’ve noticed this everywhere I go: the supermarket, gas station, restaurants.

    It certainly is cool to be a Pirate fan. But it is much cooler that the PIRATES ARE IN FIRST PLACE!

  119. JOE says:

    Go Bucs .Fan in CIncy. It feels great to see the Pirates finally on top. I was happy to see the Reds win it last year. I will be happier to see the Bucs there. I wear two shirts when I go to the games. Whoever is winning thats the shirt I have on. Pirates rock!

  120. popsfan says:

    A few years ago, at my favorite sports bar, the waitress looked at my Pirate Visa card and said, ” I thought they got rid of the Pirates”. I remarked, “maybe they should.”

    Last night, a different waitress said, “I love those guys!”. I said,”so do I”.

  121. Poz says:

    I too will stop trying to figure out how they are doing it (beyond pitching), or how long it will last……and simply enjoy it.

  122. Erin says:

    This is an absolutely incredible time to be a Pirates fan right now.

    I’m another one of those kids from the early 90’s. I remember my dad taking me to games all the time and we shared a joint love of the Buccos. I remember crying after that fateful game back in 92. My dad had a stroke 9 years ago and lost a lot of his lifelong love of the Pirates along the way. I’m SO excited to finally be able to share winning baseball with him again.

    It’s great to see the city standing behind the team right now!

  123. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    At this moment the Pirates are the lead story on!

  124. Dave G in Mason, OH says:


    Fewest Pitches, 9-Inning Shutout Since 2000
    Year Pitcher No.
    2001 Jon Lieber, CHC 78
    2008 Aaron Cook, COL 79
    2005 Rich Harden, OAK 81
    2011 Jeff Karstens, PIT 83
    2001 Roy Halladay, TOR 83

  125. Drew71 says:

    Don’t get too excited about that. They’ll probably say the difference this year is the veteran presence of players like Lyle Overbay. Since they know so much about the Pirates.

  126. JaxBuc says:

    Even though DK has often said the job is the same whether the team he is covering is winning or losing, I think I can feel giddiness in his introductory words at the top. Or maybe its my own excitement bubbling up as I read about our Buccos. Hap caps all around!

  127. leefoo says:


    Your Top 10 things the Bucs need to do in the 2nd half made our local paper, the Harrisburg Patriot News.

    I hope you get a Royalty Check! :)

    Plus, the Pirates are on the front page!!!!!


  128. Jorge says:

    Watching the Pirates climbing to first place and the Yankees loosing, PRICELESS!!!!!

  129. leefoo says:

    “Someone put some Jon Secada on the radio…”

    Howabout some singing Cicadas?! :)


    Tonite, some Maholm Balm (pronounce it any way you want) and then on Sunday, some apropos Kevin Heaven will seal the sweep.

    Rodriguez can take his ‘magic’ Wandy back to Hogwarts!


  130. mike says:

    I really think a big pat on the back belongs to the folks who hired Clint Hurdle. He changed the culture and he changed the fans attitude of another losing year. I think when he benched Cutch, that was the turning point. To Cutch’s credit he handled it like a man, like he did the all star snub. Well after all that…the buccos are in first. I can only say….well done Mr. Hurdle !

  131. Baywatch says:

    Dave G, Thanks for passing those rankings along:

    Fewest Pitches, 9-Inning Shutout Since 2000
    Year Pitcher No.
    2001 Jon Lieber, CHC 78
    2008 Aaron Cook, COL 79
    2005 Rich Harden, OAK 81
    2011 Jeff Karstens, PIT 83
    2001 Roy Halladay, TOR 83

    In the words of Paul Maholm’s tweet last night, on Karsten’s performance … “That’s ridiculous.”

  132. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    In a strange way, this pitching performance was rarer than a no-hitter….

  133. BurghMan says:

    PICKLE POWER BABY!!!!! We are in first place, playoff’s are just around the corner…..CAN’T WAIT!!!

  134. Jay G says:

    Do we really need to bring in outsiders???….Again, why pay someone large amounts(and give up youngsters) for someone who hits .230???? (Overbay type)…..Or for a 220 pound guy who hits weak singles to right field all the time…(Diaz type)????….That’s what we’re going to get if we make a trade…..We’re not going to bag a Pujols…..If we get Pence, someone like Presley would end up sitting…..Our hurt guys are coming back and will be enough…Pearce at first….Tabata in left….Slide AP to right….Doumit will be back soon, also…..Let’s not get rid of one single prospect…..Pedro will be fine, as well….Go Bucs

  135. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    What will be really neat is for this team to see some great crowds again this week with the Cards and Reds in town. BEAT ‘EM BUCS!!!

  136. Abendigo says:

    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place!

  137. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    And my song for this:

    What a feelin’!
    Bein’s believin’!

    Gotta tie it back to the ‘Burgh!

  138. JollyRogerNY says:

    A great day for Pirates baseball. Go Bucs!

  139. AshevilleJeff says:

    Wow! Baseball is really fun again!! It’s been a really long time. I’m so excited!!

  140. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    All Right! Free local public discourse on the Pirates!

  141. Stuart says:

    Work Fast – Change Speeds – Throw Strikes

    Keep saying it.


  142. Rasstro says:

    For the first time in years I can distort my Pirates jersey and enjoy it for a day. Got. To love it.

  143. Rasstro says:

    Dust off, sorry writing on my IPAD.

  144. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    OK… I just had to know what the record was for fewest pitches thrown in a nine inning game…

    1944, Charley “Red” Barrett of the Boston Braves threw only FIFTY-EIGHT pitches during a nine inning complete game. [ Barrett’s Braves shutout the Reds 2 – 0 and the game set major league records for least number of pitches known to have been thrown by a single pitcher in a complete game and shortest game played at night.

  145. vandelay industries says:

    “The dam’s about to burst on the trade market”

    Good stuff in Olney’s latest blog from about an hour ago

  146. cocktailsfor2 says:

    Not “hapless” any more, eh?

  147. aglebagel says:

    Oh, c’mon now- it’s “refreshing” to watch a winning team without guys getting in trouble with the law? Did you move to Pittsburgh like last month or something?

  148. aglebagel says:


    That’s an insider article- anything in there specifically referencing the Pirates?

  149. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    I warned co-workers 2 months ago to start watching them NOW because this is the most exciting time, to see a formerly poor team turn the corner and become a good team. I told them this is when it’s the most fun, to witness and be part of the improbable, the unlikely. I said if you don’t start now, you’ll be nothing but sunshine supporters when they hit first place, and there is no fun or honor in that.

    For those of you who like me have been with them always, I salute you.

  150. JAL says:

    Olney mentions what we already know, Pirates are asking about veteran hitters. He also does more on Kartens games, such as Jeff Keppinger’s first inning 8 pitch at bat was the only one that more than 5 pitches.

  151. Ron says:

    Somewhere Pops Stargell has a big smile on his face!

  152. vandelay industries says:


    Just what JAL said. Nothing specific, just generalized.

    Tip for you fellow iPhone folks, has an app. I have mine set to give me alerts whenever anything Pirates’ related is posted on the site. Very informative and very timely.

  153. Oscar D says:

    Every year I predict the Buccos will win it all knowing that one year I’d look like a genius.


  154. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    Just a little note –
    I was reading the Pirates statistics page here and it is interesting that Steve Pearce’s numbers before he got hurt were right about the same as Alex Presley’s numbers right now.
    It’s been apparent also that Steve Pearce has looked good at the plate for a couple years now in between injuries. I think if Pearce can stay healthy he can really make a difference for this team and quiet down all the chatter about the Bucs needing to bring in a hitter. Though I would still like to see them do it just to prove they arent all talk. There aint much out there that can really help them that much, but I’d settle for the ultra-versatile Michael Cuddyer (and grab Slowey while they’re at it) or a reunion with Aramis Ramirez.
    But I still have faith in Steve Pearce.

  155. diane says:

    Since PNC has opened; every October, I think what a site it would be if…

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  156. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Thanks to all for incredible feedback in the past 12 hours. As unreal as the topic itself.

    One point for newcomers (or long-lost maters): You’ll have seen a delay in your first post going up. That only happens with your very first post. All others go up immediately.

  157. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    What really amazed me were the post numbers of JAL’s links. Don’t think I’ve ever seem them that high.


  158. David says:

    i saw it written in an article that someone writer had predicted the Pirates are poised to make the playoffs this year, i forget which article it was but i felt optimistic at this prediction, with the Steelers, and Pens doing well for quite sometime now, I had always felt that if the Pirates could join the trend of winning what a feeling it would be. plus Im sure everyone else who covets these 3 pro teams feels the same too, Im glad to hear alot of positives on whats happening and i was hoping they could take 1st before the allstar break, but the first game back and they do what they need to do to reach the top, they didn’t back in to first, they earned where they sit now, and right now. things look pretty good fromn the top, but the season is long from over now all we have to do is win, win and win. I know, easier said, but theres alot of confidence here and I like the team make up here, Here is to the Pirates, congratulations on a sucessful first hapf, and taking share of 1st place……

  159. josh perl says:

    Been a pirates fan my life. Never lived in Pittsburgh. I live in Atlanta today. Over the last 10 years, I lost my ability to watch the games after the all star break with regularity over frustration. This year, I watch daily. Just seeing people where I usually see empty green seats is fun. At the beginning of every season last 10 years, I’ve always said to my father (also a Bucs fan) that a .500 season would be a great one for this team. But 1st place?

    I’m downright giddy.

    My Facebook and Twitter profiles are blowing up with Bucs updates. I proudly put that Bucs sticker back on my car. My dad and I exchange calls and emails nightly about the game. And my friends, mostly fans of winning franchises, are seemingly jumping on board in support of the Bucco’s story.

    Folks, this is a great story. One of the best of the MLB season.

    A realistic view would tell me to be satisfied if we end the year over .500. But in the NL central this year, anything is possible. Maybe we can contend for a playoff spot?

    Could you imagine if the Pirates do contend down the stretch? Would the Bucs become “America’s (adopted) Team”? Wouldn’t that be fun?

    The 2009 New Orleans Saints did it. They showed the world that any team can do it.

    Regardless where they finish, this team has reignited the city’s passion for this team, as it should be. Hopefully, that support sticks. This is just too fun to come to an end.

  160. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    Wow, when was the last time this happened? 4 of the 5 Buccos starters have records above .500! And Maholm, if he’d had any run support in just 2 of his games, he’d also be above .500.

  161. CDBrewer says:

    Been through some pretty compelling sports stuff too – PSU NC in 82 and 86 – Paterno’s voice cracking when speaking after his 300th win, Ranger Stanley Cup when I NEVER thought that would happen…the Steeler SuperBowls are almost too easy…
    Hell, even Wambach’s tying goal this week.

    This Pirate team has choked me up a couple times this year. It does make me miss my Grandfather even more, but somehow I think he might be helping along with Pop’s and Tanner and all of our Bucco fans who have passed.

    Just spectacular.

    And I don’t want one outsider added unless he passes a group interview with the entire team.
    No K Kings like Reynolds or Pena. No loafing.
    If we get somebody, it has to be more than a rental.

  162. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Like: You’re right. Not here or anywhere. We had a ton of overnight traffic, all before JAL could rise and shine!

  163. Eric Bowser says:

    I want to throw a name out there that I haven’t seen discussed much and that is Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton. The Rockies are 8.5 back of first place San Francisco in the NL West and rumors have them listening to offers on starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

    I’d love to see Helton in the third spot of the lineup in front of McCutchen in order to move Walker to 5th in the order.

  164. Keith A. says:

    I’ve been a Pirates fan since my first game at 3 Rivers Stadium in 1970. It was a 10 inning victory over the Padres. My Dad purchased box seats on the first base side and almost caught a foul ball. I was at game 3 of the ’71 world series when Bob Robertson’s 3 run “bunt” was all that Steve Blass needed. Today, July 16th, is the anniversary of another Robertson blast: at the time it was only the 4th ball hit into the upper deck. It sailed high over my head. I was at the Cordova/Rinco no-hitter when Smith’s 3 run homer to left ignited the crowd. I’ve got chills just writing about it. I shook my head dumbfounded each time Bonds, Bonilla and Van Slyke struck out, popped out or grounded out in the playoffs and I was standing in a hotel room watching the bottom of the ninth when Sid Bream slid into home to break our hearts. I was at the first game played after 9-11-01, and caught a home run ball hit into the left field bleachers. Now I live in Kansas City, and the comparisons to the Royals for two decades have been difficult to refute. But now, the Pirates are in first place. It’s a whole new year with a whole new attitude and a bunch of exciting ball players who believe they can win and expect to win. So, in summation: LET’S GO BUCS!!!

  165. Coach Ed says:

    As i read all these whole blog entrys tears have come to my eyes……i too am a lifelong Pirates Fan grew up in northside and walked to games as a kid in the 80’s……I was serving my country in the U.S. Navy 89-93 so was not in town for 90-92 run ……i have waited a long time to root this hard for the Buccos and was just ridiculed early in the spring for wearing Pirates gear all the time and all I kept saying was better times are ahead …….now those same people want to go to games with me……….there is room for all old Pirate fans on this Caravan……….great writing Dejan …FEAR THE BONES….LETS GO BUCS !!!!

  166. Erik says:

    I remember watching Willie Stargell hit his homerun to win Game 7 against the Orioles. I had to go to bed but learned that they won the World Series the next morning. I remember listening to games on a handheld radio. I was at Three Rivers to watch the Pirates lose to Atlanta. I know where I was when Sid slid. I was at Three Rivers to say goodbye to Jim Leyland. I’ve always loved my Pirates and am so excited to see them continue this great run. Go buccos!

  167. JAL says:


    Been doing morning links for several years now and put them up about the same time. Never saw so many posts before. There have been days where they were the first thing on the blog.

  168. Tom says:

    I guess I’m a glass half empty kind of a guy and I suspect that the pitching is unsustainable and the hitting is unacceptable, so it’s only a matter of time.

    Still, I’m staring at that half empty glass, waiting…waiting – and cannot wipe the ear to ear grin off my face.

  169. JAL says:


    Maybe so but people been saying that for a couple of months and hasn’t happened yet. Still may falter but that’s why they play the games, you never know.

  170. SouthSideBucsFan says:

    I was 4 years old when the Buccos last had a winning season, so I of course remember nothing of it.

    But this? Man, it’s unbelievable. I don’t want to say it makes up for the 18 years of losing because that’s absolutely untrue … nothing makes up for that. But I will say that the 18 years of losing makes this feeling especially sweet today.

    What’s been so special about this team is the fact that everyone, 1-25 on the roster, has contributed something. (Well, maybe not Eric Fryer.) But even the likes of Ciriaco with that slide against the Cubbies have made an impact on the team’s success.

    This team isn’t a collection of superstar individuals like the Yanks, Red Sox, Phillies, etc. Perhaps half this team wouldn’t even make the rosters of other teams, and Cutch is the only regular I could confidently say would start for any team in baseball. But this team is just that … a team. They seem extraordinarily close, just from what I’ve seen on TV, and they might be the best in the league at picking each other up. Harrison boots a ball, Maholm gets a double play. Someone strikes out with a man on third and one out, and the next guy up gets a base hit to drive in the run. I’ve seen a ton of situations like that this year, and it no longer amazes me that it’s happening.

    Man, I’d better stop gushing now or I’ll be going all day. Simply put, this has been awesome.

  171. dmc says:

    this current pbc and a good cry, i think, will fully exercise the demons of 1992, francisco cabrera, the atl braves and stan belinda.

    i am so gd happy right now.

  172. We are family I got all my sisters with me, we are family get up everybody and sing!! I love being excited about Pirates baseball again!!! Crank up KDKA radio for the games and walk down the streets bring you back to the day when that was the summer norm. Keep up the good work Pirates, soak it all in and be prepared for success for many years to come!! Go Bucco’s!!

  173. Keith Carlson says:

    How sweet is this season? Sat behind Astros GM Ed Wade last night. Needless to say he was not too happy with his teams performance. I was very happy with my teams performance! LET’S GO BUCS! LET’S GO BUCS! THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES ARE IN FIRST PLACE!

  174. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    What does fear the bones mean?
    Be afraid of Doctor McCoy?

  175. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    @Legs: Fear the Skull and Cross bones. The pirate insigna.

    @JAL: Oh, I know about your link posting. Used to post now and then @PPG(using same name) until DK’s went under the pay umbrella, and read DK’s blog as often as I could. And while a non-subscriber couldn’t post, you could still read the PPG’s pay blogs if you deleted your cookie for “Plus”. So had to settle for being a lurker for a year or so. It just feels so good (Chuck Mangione) to be able to post again, especially with how this season is going.


  176. C-Dub says:

    Let’s hope this run, no matter how long it lasts, brings back a resurgence of baseball interest in the younger fans (more than just fireworks and bobble heads). Paint the leaves orange and pretend it’s the fall baby. Let’s enjoy the ride. Just wish Lanny were here to call games season rather than generic play-by-play guy we got from the Rockies. Go Buccos.

  177. Anthony says:

    Well ….

    I’m a Pirates, Red Sox, and Patriots fan …

    I moved in 1971 – and the Pirates won the World Series

    I moved in 1979 – and the Pirates won the World Series

    In 2004, I was sent to Iraq – and the Red Sox won the World Series.

    In Feb 2004, I watched the Patriots win the Super Bowl while I was mobilizing for Iraq

    I moved in February 2005, and the Patriots won the Super Bowl

    I was sent back to Iraq in 2007 … and the Red Sox won the World Series

    In 2011, the Bucs are in first place …. and I just moved from Pittsburgh …. : ) Hope my history of moving when my teams win continues!!!

  178. Bill Faulds says:

    Growing up in the 60 & 70 with the Pirates, Bob Prince said it the best “How sweet it is”

  179. DavedigsDKsblog says:

    Gametime yet?

    This has become a Bucco summer.

    Can’t wait for the next game to start.

  180. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Kevin: It’s great to have you here.

    @Anthony: Thank you for your service.

  181. Karen22 says:


    DITTO—THANK YOU for your service! God Bless the USA…and the Pirates!

  182. Ken says:

    I wanted to see them lose 120 games. It’s not because I hate the team, the players, the manager or wanted to see PNC Park empty on TV as a national disgrace. I wanted a nail driven into the heart of this ownership group and them run out of town on a rail. I wanted to really like the team I cried over when they lost in the 70’s as a kid and banged my head against the wall for three years when Bonds, Bonilla and Van Slyke batted below the Mendoza line in the post season.

    I however am loving this. The Pirates? The feel good team of baseball in July? Really? I’ll take it but the past 18 years have taught me not to put my heart in it because it can’t last… can it???

  183. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Ken: I’m interested to know if this season has changed your view in any way of the Pirates’ ownership. Not a loaded question. Just curious.

  184. Ken says:

    No it really hasn’t changed my mind on the ownership group. This is a wait and see season for me as far as that goes. We’ll see if they’re willing to pay to add to the picture, keep the players that made this possible here and not trade away the pieces that made it a success because there’s an offer on the table.

    I’m under no illusions that we’ll ever have a $150 million dollar payroll and have big name free agents clamoring to play here. However are we going to be the Cleveland Indians of the 90’s when they were serious contenders year after year or the Florida Marlins that won then firesaled every piece of their chamnpionship team.

  185. Pete says:

    Very very nice !

  186. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Ken: Well put.

  187. deron says:

    I’m not a Pirates, but I am a baseball fan. I love that they’re in first place, and even if they don’t win the division, just being in the race in September would be great. I just hope the starting pitching will hold up. So far this season, they improved more than any other team. I guess I’ll be an honorary fan this season

  188. Gabriel NJ says:


  189. T.J. says:

    You know who two of my “All Stars” are in the Pirates rising again (?) … Greg Smith and Kyle Stark. If we remember that Smith came to us from the Tigers and knows a thing or two about scouting. After all, two gigantic names he was associated with in Detroit are Justin Verlander and Cutis Granderson (now of the Yankees). And Stark has down a nice job once many of these guys have arrived in the Pirates system. For me..ANY rebuilding process begins with scouting and developing.

    Now, all that said, blowing this team up over the past couple years is not looking so bad now. NH, GS and KS and all…really did indeed have a plan. Then getting Hurdle to come here…well, I sure have seen enough in the first half to feel that this team truly is turning the corner.

    For those of us that never gave up and continued going to games all these years…this is just wonderful and baseball really is back in the ‘Burgh!!!

    Let’s Go Bucs!!

  190. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’m happy to see the Pirates doing well, and I’m rootin’ for them.
    However….A half season of decent baseball will not slow down my disdain for the Nutting Regime. They “still” need to be removed.
    The Pirates winning AND the Nutting Regime.
    Two different topics in my opinion.

  191. gmuny2002 says:

    I’d love to get a t-shirt like that kid has! I’ve been a Bucco fan since 1958! I also “closed” Forbes Field and snuck into Three Rivers before it opened. I walked through the centerfield gate onto the field and bent down to see what “Tartan Turf” felt like, plastic grass of course! The Bucs are making me feel so proud of my hometown! I’m a P.I.E (Pittsburgher In Exile)in York, PA. Beat ‘em Bucs! Hopefully we could be like the SF Giants of last year!

  192. Steven says:

    Great job Pirates! Keep it up!!!

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