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Morning Java: Greatest baseball crowd ‘ever … anywhere’

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …


>> The Wednesday column from PNC Park celebrates the greatest baseball crowd ever. And that’s not according to just me. Ask the Pirates’ veterans and even a couple of the Reds.

And here’s my tour of the postgame, champagne-soaked clubhouse, with interviews mixed in there of Russell Martin, Clint Hurdle, Ray Searage, Marlon Byrd and A.J. Burnett. Think you’ll like this one …

A game story that’s ‘Worth the wait,’ by beat man Rob Biertempfel.

Francisco Liriano was masterful through a sinus infection, by Travis Sawchik.

The game slipped out of Johnny Cueto’s hand, too, by Karen Price.

Those Stargell stars were Jeff Banister’s idea, by Biertempfel.

The pregame buildup is covered by Tony La Russa and Chris Togneri.

And man, did our photo staff knock it out of the park. There are two photo galleries, one for the game, the other for the scene as a whole. You must click on these.

Here are a couple samples, the first from our Andrew Russell


This panoramic rotunda shot by Philip G. Pavely


Cutch and Mrs. Cutch after her rousing anthem, by Chris Horner


And Walker’s RBI double to left, by Chaz Palla


Here’s our full Pirates coverage.

Here’s Reds news from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Here are official game highlights from And if you want to skip right through to the phenomenal Cueto-Martin sequence, you’re welcome.

>> The Steelers address their lack of tackling, by Mark Kaboly.

They also address Mike Tomlin talking of job loss, by Ralph Paulk.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including an update on Ben Roethlisberger’s finger.

Here are official game highlights from

>> The iffy goaltending is examined by Josh Yohe as part of our weeklong Penguins season preview.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage, with always welcome Olli Maatta stuff.

Pucks opened last night with a nice trio of games, not least of which was a rousing Jets-Oilers clash I was able to catch for at least the third period. Here are official game highlights from

>> The TribLIVE Radio show will air from 2-3 p.m., featuring talk on all three teams.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.


  1. Great column DK. Obviously one you had to complete on the fly as it happened and you captured the moment perfectly. Really a testament to your talent. I don’t think anyone could have described the emotion more exact and complete. The fact that you did it so quick is an amazing achievement.

    DK: Thanks, Nate. In that sense, it’s not any different than any other night-game column in that one version is due immediately after the final out, and the final version one hour after that. Been doing that for a long, long time.

  2. As per usual, will wait to read your column Dejan, till I get home from work tomorrow.

    But your headline hit it right on.

    I was in awe of the crowd for the first few innings

    And I loved your tweet about 40,000 willing them to win.

    There were a few nervous moments for me, but I remember thinking, the Reds have no chance, 20 years of karma and hidden vigorish raining all over them

    Cardinals? Bring them on

  3. • Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post
    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation – at the Trib,
    Afghanistan – skeetermc*
    Arizona – Tucson, Chandler, Phoenix, Sunnyslope, Davis-Monthan AFB*
    Arkansas – Rogers
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    Brazil – Vitoria, São Paulo
    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Yuba City, Solana Beach, Yorba Linda, Yuba City*, Edwards*, Long Beach, Modesto, Davis, Santa Monica, Solana Beach, Canyon Country, Burbank, West Hills, Encino
    Canada – Toronto, Winnipeg, Moncton – New Brunswick, Ontario – Muskoka, Perth – home of the Ottowa RedBlacks
    China – Beijing
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    Colorado – Ft Collins, Estes Park*, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs
    Connecticut – Cos Cob, Bridgeport, Wallingford, Norwalk, NEWTOWN
    Costa Rica
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    District of Columbia
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    Florida – Palm Harbor, Orlando, Valrico, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Oviedo, Tampa, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Palm Beach Gardens, Cape Coral, Coco Beach (Major Nelson and Mary Ann), Niceville (Red Neck Rivera) and a*, St Petersburg, Pembroke Pines, Ft Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, W Melbourne, Melbourne
    France – Strasbourg,
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    Germany – Leverkusen/Cologne
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    Indiana – Indianapolis, Burns Harbor, South Bend, Bicknell, Ft Wayne, Westfield, Munster
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    Massachusetts – Boston, Tyngsboro, East Gloucester*, 617 Strong*, Medford
    Mecca – Slienmann*
    Michigan – Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Mason, Battle Creek
    Minnesota – Yinzer, St Paul
    Mississippi – Biloxi
    Missouri – St Peters***
    Nebraska – Omaha, Lincoln
    New Hampshire – Barrington
    New Jersey – Chesterfield, Princeton, Roxbury, Lebanon, Lincoln Park, Berkeley Heights, Somerville, Hammock, Barrington, Delran, Pennsville, Hammonton, Mullica Hills, JERSEY SHORE, Montclair, Monmouth Beach
    New Mexico – Mike, Albequeque, blazer
    New York – New York, Smithtown, Manhattan, Long Island, Nyack, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Lewistown
    Nevada, Las Vegas, Henderson
    North Carolina – Asheville, Hickory, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, High Point, Winston Salem
    Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbiana, Westerville, Green, Hilliard, Toledo, Louisville, Columbus, Perrysburg, Pickerington, Youngstown, Cleveland, Olmsted Township, Liberty Township, Warren, Oregon, Wintersville, Austintown, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base*, New Philadelphia, Powell, Canton, Salem, New Albany, Bloomingdale, Powell, Howland, Grafton, Northwood, Middletown
    Oklahoma – Tulsa – OKLAHOMA CITY/MOORE
    Oregon – Roseburg
    Pennsylvania – Downtown, Hopewell, Indiana, North Wales, Franklin Park, Forest Hills, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Du Bois, Reading, Crafton, Arnold, Wexford, Mt Lebanon, Canonsburg, Lancaster, Huntington, York, Boiling Springs, Philly suburbs, Morningside, Harrisburg, Lawrenceville, Bradfordwoods, Norristown, Hanover, Clearfield, Sewickley, Plum Boro, Slippery Rock, Wilkes-Barre, Sharpsville, Bessemer, Greensburg, Washington, Imperial, South Side, Duncansville, Newville, Sheppton, Grove City, Butler, Allentown, Ross Township, Blairsville, Flood City (Johnstown), Overbrook, Danny’s Hoagies, Baldwin, Economy, Sharpsville, Erie, North Huntington, Bellfonte, West Mifflin, Kennywood, Pleasant Hills, Beechview (Mad Turk, No 200), Macgunie, Mechanicsburg, Uptown, Cambria County, Mon Valley, Salisbury, Coraopolis, Emsworth, Cranberry Twp, Garrett, O’Hara Township, McCandless Township, 115 Federal Street, Bethel Park, Harrison City, Penn Hills, Kittanning, Dover, Lebanon, Upper St Clair, Rennerdale, Oakland, Scranton, Moon (RMU), State College, Erie, Penn Twp, Stowe, Elizabeth, Hermitage, Easton, Carlisle, Finleyville, Belle Vernon, Madison, Sellersville, Waynesburg, Warren, Beaver Falls, Chambersburg, Green Castle, East Freedom, Leechburg, Banksville City, Ellwood City, Hollidaysburg, Bethlehem, Mars, Verona, Philipsburg, Phoenixville, Hippos Pond, Oil City, Verona, Hookstown, Squirrel Hill, Greencastle, Natrona, Charleroi, FREEDOM, Denver, Midland (the home of good food and many bars), Selinsgrove, Dormont, Scott Township, Blawnox, Arnold, Ligonier, Wells Tannery, Swoyersville, St Mary’s
    The Philippines
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia, Bluffton, Greensville, Charleston, North Charleston
    South Korea – Seoul, Mike
    Tennessee – Smithville, Nashville
    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio, Belton, Houston, Katy, Plano, El Paso, Cedar Park, Pleasanton
    United Kingdom – Haslemere
    Utah – Salt Lake City, Provo
    Vermont – North Bennington
    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Warrenton, Springfield*, Virginia Beach, Fairfax, Arlington, Yorktown, Henrico, Aldie, Manassas, Newport News, Clifton, Glen Allen, Roanoke, Vienna
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane, Sammamish
    West Virginia – Martinsburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Mt Olivet, Huntington, Parkersburg
    Wisconsin – Madison, Oshkosh, Hortonville
    Wyoming – Caspar, Lander
    Unknown – killa_cam7*
    411 confirmed locations represented in the blog, and a couple of strange places
    Lunatic Nation Hall of Fame, people that have, in our opinion, made a difference, either thru talent or character or deeds.
    Nominations are always welcome
    Any Allegheny, Pirate, Crawford, Gray, Steeler or Penguin player in the League’s Hall of Fame, although if Jagr makes it some day, we gotta talk
    Stan “The Man”, from Donora
    Lemonade Guy
    The Gunner, Mr Bob Prince
    The Great One, he stays regardless
    Mike Lange
    Myron Cope
    The Honorable Mayor Richard Caliguiri
    Kevin Mcclachety
    Mike Emerick
    Commander Hadfield, courtesy of the Space Station
    Fred Rogers
    Mario Lemieux, ditto to the Great One, he stays as an owner
    Chuck Noll
    Eddie Johnston, aka EJ
    Badger Bob
    Chuck Tanner
    Dick Groat, the best darn multi-athelete and announcer from Wilkinsburg/Swissvale
    Steve Blass
    Danny Murtaugh*
    Rocky Bleier*
    John Challis – Courage + Belief = Life
    All Servicemen and women that have been in battle, ever
    Sgt Doug Vitale
    Gary Sinise and the Lt Dan Band
    Barney Dreyfuss
    George Benson
    First Responders***
    25 countries
    46 states, plus the District of Columbia, missing 4 states, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, and Kansas
    Two planets, at least confirmed, and the Space Station
    Then there was that Cold day in Hell place
    Honorable mention, England – London – Lisa
    “Terrorists will always lose in America, the sooner they figure that out, the better”- truer words have never been spoken
    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    10/2/2013 1:41 AM

    Sorry, am too wired tonight to see who we need to add

    Good night all, and good tidings to all

  4. No question that this was a stupendous show put on by the Pirates and fans.
    Truly incredible performance from start to finish.
    This team is heading to St. Louis with some elimination game experience and a whole lot of confidence.
    Thanks for the effort Pittsburgh…….We’re movin’ on!

  5. Just a very nicely written column, Dejan. You really captured the essence of what transpired last night. The Pirates were superb, and the energy from the fans was amazing.

    DK: Thanks, Skip.

  6. DK: Thank you for the video coverage and interviews in the locker room! It’s GREAT to see players and coaches in that atmosphere!

    DK: Glad you watched. I haven’t looked at it yet, but I remember waving the camera around a lot and looking for actual interviews.

    • DK, your camera work in the clubhouse last night was first rate. No swish-pans like most people, good framing, fine audio and steadiness all around in that madhouse atmosphere. Along with your tour guide of London Bridge last week, you have the makings of a professional filmmaker. Give us more. Oh, yeah, and the column was excellent. You saw stuff the rest of us missed.

  7. A wonderful night for the Pirates and the fans. Glad to be moving on from a one and done to an actual series. Couldn’t be there last night but can’t wait to be there Sunday and Monday.

  8. Sorry I missed you guys earlier – but I had a ball game to go to….

    It was awesome. Took my little sister and we had a great time – part of which was the walk to and from the stadium on the Clemente Bridge. The atmosphere and enthusiasm was awesome.

    Never been prouder to be a Burger and a Pirate fan – hoping I get to see the clincher this weekend in the next series – Sunday would be great – but I can live with Monday…

    Only disappointment of the night is we never got a good view of the Duck ;-)

    • “Took my little sister and we had a great time.”

      Good for you, BD! Glad you both had such a great time and a great game to see.

  9. Very nice column, Dejan. Well done, sir, well done indeed. You nailed it. One of the TBS TV broadcast crew said: “now I know what 21 years of frustration dressed in black sounds like.” He was close, that was 21 years of unrequited love on display. The team finally gave them a reason to unleash all that emotion…….

  10. I’m going to put this very bluntly – GREATEST BASEBALL GAME EVER that I have ever witnessed before. The screaming, cheering, absolutely into this game fans were the definiation of the 10th man! And I can proudly whisper today that I was there as I have no voice at all. It hurts to talk. My head is still pounding from last night and I had nothing to drink but the ice teas at dinner and the pop I had during the game.

    The fans where into this game from well before first pitch and well after the last out was recorded. The fans were everywhere. From my vantage point, you could see the crowd become larger and larger on the bridge as the game went on. The fans inside the stadium became louder and louder as each pitch was delivered. When we started screaming “Cue-to”, you could see him become rattled immediately. I was surprised that no one came out to talk to him right away after dropping the ball. Toothpick let him flaunder out there.

    Anytime a new pitcher came in for the Reds, they were greated with chants. I am so glad that I was able to witness this game in person. I hope that the fans that watched this game on TV last night, felt the energy through their TVs. The nation got a great look at the pysche of this team last night. And I have no doubt in my mind that the Cardinals watched and began to immiedately think – we better not go into PNC Park on Sunday down 0-2 because they are going to be loud, they are going to be vocal, they are going bousterious. If the fans were on top of them in the doubleheader a couple of months ago, I can only imagine what its going to be like Sunday when they come back to PNC to play.

    When the final out was recorded last night – none of the fans wanted to leave. Almost everyone stood and cheered the highlights that were being shown on the screen. As we left the stadium last night and head back across the bridge – fans were standing on the bridge cheering and screaming as loudly as they could. It was a tunnel of noise and jubulation to leave the stadium. Anytime a Reds fan walked through this tunnel – they were sang Na-Na-Na-Na, Hey Hey Hey Good Bye and you could hear that go up and down the bridge.

    My god, just writing this has re-amped me up from last night. I know that I will be racing home on Thursday from work – to get home by first pitch to watch this game. I’ll have the towel they handed out to everyone next to me, and everytime the Bucs make a play, get a strikeout, or score a run – that towel will be flying in the air as I wave.


  11. I nodded off during the 8th, which is probably good. Had I stayed up, don’t think I would have been able to sleep for hours. I DVRed it so I’ll catch the end and celebration. I cannot WAIT to watch.

    Last night I was texting my lunatic son, posting to the lunatic blog, and generally being a lunatic.

    Kinda having having an emotional reaction this morning.

    Dejan, your column was, well, lunaticly fun. I mean that as a compliment. On another day from another column, I’d post:

    “Francisco Liriano, whose slider was criminal enough to have him sent to the Hague.”
    - What would THAT prove? We all KNOW Matt Hague can’t hit MLB pitching.

    But not today.


    (And that was also for former poster Free-You-Know-Whoo.)

    Many of you know I don’t use the first person to refer to the teams I follow. I don’t play so I don’t think I should say “we”.

    We Won.

  12. It’s going to be a fun ………B-U-C-T-O-B-E-R :-)
    Great column DK….thank you.
    Beat Em Bucs !

  13. And did you all see the Penguins playing Ice Wiffle Ball in Pirate shirts yesterday?

    Looked a whole lot like how the Pirates played in 2010.

    Or the Reds last night.

    But a whole lot more fun.

  14. I stayed up and watched some of the worst postgame show ever.

    Cincinnati Reds, suck on it long and hard today.

    In the most family-friendly way possible.

  15. I was pretty ambivalent about getting a home playoff game because, generally speaking, home field advantage is not worth as much in baseball as it is in other sports. After last night, I was wrong about that one. The crowd was remarkable, the blackout was a great visual. It’s almost too bad that Sunday and Monday are likely to be day games because the black may lose some of its effect. Can’t wait for Thursday.

  16. PNC Park far exceeded my expectations last night. I couldn’t even put the experience into words so I won’t.

    And what has really impressed me is how Hurdle has these guys ready to play these 4 games with the Reds. Relaxed, confident, intense and prepared.

    • My dad who played mainly minor league ball and once managed used a term:

      “Relaxed Concentration”

      That always seemed about right to me. Too much in any direction doesn’t seem to work, at least over the long term. John Russell Relaxed. Larry Bowa Intense concentration.

      There are plenty of exceptions but I wholeheartedly agree with your point.

    • Perfectly stated, my PMB friend! I was thinking of you, Kovie, Doc and the gang while I watched on TV. I think the place was loud enough for Bones and TBK to hear it!

  17. Pittsburgh made me proud last night. Thank you to all those fans who unleashed 21 years of love and frustration. It was an incredible display. Somewhere The Great One and Pops are smiling. Lets go Bucs!

  18. Louder than any crowd in any sport! Pens fans and Steeler fans take notes. Thats how you cheer your hometown team on.

  19. JAL’s My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Pirates Advance to Face the Cardinals in the NLDS

    The Pirates Bought a Wild Card Win Against the Reds

    Fourth Inning the Key to Liriano’s Outing, Pirates’ Wild Card Victory

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Francisco Liriano, Pirates fans key terrific 6-2 win as Bucs advance

    6 Rumbunter

    Fire Up The Pumpkin, Cinderella Pittsburgh Pirates Headed To NLDS


    NL Wild Card: Pirates 6 Reds 2

    8 The Green Weenie

    Meet You In St. Louis – Bucs Roll 6-2

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 6, Reds 2

    10 City of Champions

    2013 MLB Playoffs: Pittsburgh Pirates deliver perfect game in postseason return

  20. *****ATTENTION*****
    Newbies, lurkers, and those from “the other paper”, we want to chat with you!
    If you post your hometown, Biz will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum.
    Show your pride to be a Bucco fan :)
    Don’t be shy, we don’t bite!

  21. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Wall Street Journal

    Pittsburgh Pirates Beat Cincinnati Reds 6-2 in First Postseason Appearance in 21 Years

    12 USA Today

    17 awesome things about the Pittsburgh Pirates

    13 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: “The Burg” Has Always Been A Baseball Town

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds fall to Pirates in Wild Card game

    Daugherty: Reds got what they deserved in Pittsburgh

    15 New York Times

    OHighlights and Analysis: 2013 N.L. Wildcard — Pirates 6, Reds 2

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates power past Reds in wild-card game; Cards next

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards leave road games to youngsters

    Mujica seeks fresh start in October

    18 PBC Site

    Buctober begins: Pirates advance to NLDS

    Fans as much a factor in Bucs’ win as players

    Martin rewards Pirates’ faith with multihomer game


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Nine Players Who Could Back into World Series Rings

    20 Fangraphs

    Francisco Liriano’s Dominating Slider

    Pedro Alvarez, Edwin Encarnacion, and Usable Power

  22. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Kelvin Beachum will replace Mike Adams at left tackle, according to ESPN report

    Ben Roethlisberger dislocated index finger on throwing hand in loss to Vikings

    22 Steelers Gab

    Le’Veon Bell Is The ‘Crown Royal “Reign On” Player Of The Week’ For Week 4


    23 London Evening Standard

    Martin Jol has the raw talent, so why is he getting it wrong?

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 1st October, 2013


    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Wednesday: Season Opens with Goals, Fights


    Greatest column ever…Anywhere!

  24. Wow – what a night! The crowd was incredible and so was the team on the field! Fear the Bones indeed…

    The national guys on MLB network were talking about the crowd, the TBS guys, everybody! The flags, the blackout, the fantastic Cue-to chants….

    The column really summed it up well and Clint and his crew really get it. They are looking good.

    Enjoy the day. I am on cloud 9.

    Can’t wait for the Cards series to start!

    Let’s go Bucs!

    Randy in RVA.

  25. Just read the column. Thanks, Dejan, you made me cry :)

  26. *****ATTENTION*****
    Newbies, lurkers, and those from “the other paper”, we want to chat with you!
    If you post your hometown, Biz will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum.
    Show your pride to be a Bucco fan :)
    Don’t be shy, we don’t bite!

    • You continue to fib like this, you will lose your wings !!

      We all know you have had your shots, so just admit you bite! ;)

    • I’ve been lurking for the past few months, just happened upon this blog when I went to the other paper looking for DK’s column back in April. First off, what an amazing atmosphere last night. Watching on TV I’m sure does not do it justice, but it felt like a playoff atmosphere at my house. Amazing effort by the crowd and the Bucs. Secondly, I am thankful for this blog and those that post regularly, trying to get Bucs news out here in the desert isn’t easy especially with the success of the Giants lately, they are the de facto hometown team here in Reno.

      I have been a Pirates fan since ’79 (I know, I know I jumped on the bandwagon but hey I was six and the pillbox hats and stars looked awfully cool to a six year old) and I have been to PIttsburgh five times exclusively to see the Bucs play. The ’91 season was my first visit to see the first two games of the NLCS and I fell in love with the city and its fans. I’ve been back four more times since PNC opened and I have never failed to have a great time watching the Bucs. Last season was the first home game win I had ever witnessed (Marlins) and this year I got to see 2 of 3 in LA (Angels series)when I convinced my wife we had to see Cole pitch in his hometown on our way to Las Vegas. Ended up staying a couple days and saw the amazing comeback on Sunday as well.

      I have to admit, as a lifer I gave some serious thought to sending my son down the path to being a Pirate fan when he was born four years ago but we stuck with it. His first MLB game was Pirates at Giants and his first NHL game was Pens at Sharks, ironically both teams lost 5-0 but it was still worth the trip. This season and last night renewed my faith and I think he may be hooked. His favorite sayings right now are Lets Go Bucs and Lets Go Pens…he chanted along last night until sleep got the better of him. Just wanted to add my name to the list and thank this team for last night, amazing and emotional considering how long it had been. I told my wife that the last time the Bucs played meaningful baseball in October I was a freshman in college…how cool it was to watch their next meaningful game last night with my son. Can’t wait until tomorrow and thanks again to all that post here….Lets Go Bucs!

      DK: Welcome, Reno!

  27. I was also at the game last night. I really can’t begin to describe it.
    The word “awesome” won’t do it justice. I have never seen or experienced anything like that in my life.

    I was proud of our city, of our team, …and proud to be a Pirate fan.

    Near the end of the game and the crowd was going crazy and chanting something (again) I turned to my friend and said “This is like one of those crowds at soccer games. I think”

    • Good stuff, Thunder.

      I looked at my wife and kids last night around the 7th inning and said, “That’s it, we’re going Sunday. Who’s with me?” Everyone raised a hand. I’ll find a way.

      • I am so jealous. lol
        But…bring home the W!!!!

      • I so wish I was going on Sunday but I will be sitting on the beaches of NC for a week. My wife and I take our scheduled OBX vacation the first full week of October. Never once in my mind thinking of October baseball. We make the reservations the previous October, so our vacation was already pretty much paid off already.

        Just by the outside chance that they won the division and didn’t have to play last night and played on Thursday night instead, we bought tickets for the first game to the NLDS. Since we played last night, I have a good buddy at work that bought my NLDS tickets for game 1.

        We have already decided that next year, our year OBX trip is going to take place in mid September or early November so we don’t have to miss any of the October madness that is taking place today.

    • I was at the game as well and agree with your description.

      The best sporting event I have ever and probably will ever attend as I don’t plan on being able to make many, if any, more games this postseason.

      The sequence of chanting Cue-to, him dropping the ball, the fans jeering him as he slouches over to pick it up, and on the very next pitch serves up a homer to Martin….the feeling in the crowd…..anarchy, ecstasy, bedlam, pandemonium, insanity, nirvana….all rolled into one. My only reaction was to let out a gut busting laugh because it was all too well scripted, and it was the only reaction that captured my joy. My brother, standing next to me in the last row on the clemente wall, was jumping so high that if I wasn’t hugging him he would have floated away. I’m going to forever call that moment “The Drop.”


      Well, I took off yesterday afternoon and this morning to be at the game. Drove up from Hagerstown, MD and just got back about 40 mins ago. Even though I’m swamped at work and debated taking the PTO to attend the game; Best. Decision. Ever. Off to work. LET’S GO BUCS!!!!!

  28. thanks for that link to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Cliff Radel column is a must read for any Pittsburgh sports fan. What a hate letter he wrote to the city. Wow bitter does not even describe it.

  29. Congrats to every Pirates fan everywhere. You waited a long time and you deserve all the joy this morning. The atmosphere at the Park even came through the radio. I am not particularly a bob walk fan, but it may have been his bes broadcast ever. Before the first pitch Brown asked him how he felt, and he said he was more nervous than he had ever been for a game he had played in. Only downside to the event was fans in outfield reaching for probable home runs. Everyone wants to catch a ball, particularly on a night like that, but you can’t impact the game.

    And DK thanks for the short note of last night’s NHL openers.

    Looking forward to your radio show today. I expect the spirit oflast night to carry through your broadcast today. And as a Red Sox fan, I am also interested in tonights AL Wild Card too. But I don’t think the Indians fans can be anywhere near as electric as the folks at PNC were last night.

    With a wonderful wife who happens to be a Cardinals fan, it will be an interesting few days around our house.

  30. I thought one thing that hasn’t been mentioned about last nights game was when Frankie didn’t come out for the 8th the crowd stood and shouted “Liriano, clap, clap, clapclapclap, for 5 minutes. He had to feel the love.
    what a game…. a shared memory with my 2 children and 41,000 others that I will never ever forget
    ps. Mrs. Cutch has some pipes!!!

  31. The thing that struck me most about the game was the energy of the crowd.
    Listening to it on TBS (horrible), I heard the crowd really get into it even before the game started. 21 years of frustration, then love came right thru the set. Just by listening to the noise level, it rivaled anything I have heard from hockey arenas, to soccer stadiums.

    Cueto said the crowd didnt effect him. Yeah, right Johnny. And I have a HUGE rubber duck to sell you. Cheap too.

    Byrd proved to be evry bit a catalyst Frankie was. That HR sent the crowd into a more fevered pitch, that just had to scare the Reds. They will deny this, but you could just see how their catcher hung his head after bad pitches, how Votto looked absoBUCNlutely lost at the plate, how Phillips just didnt even appear to try last night.

    And, classless Dusty Baker, true to form, made excuses after the game, instead of giving credit to the Bucs. Dustball (errr, dirtbag), said Fraziers foul ball was the most important thing in the game. Nevermind the crowd, Frankie, Byrd, Martin, etc………… a foul ball was the top play. Yep, glad to see he is still delusional……. he obviously ididnt watch the same game we did.

    Now onward!
    Very happy from last night………………………….. as we all should be.

    • +++

      Dusty Baker = Tool

    • “We were mentally prepared,” he said. “I don’t care how mentally prepared you are, they got every hit imaginable. They got check swings. They got infield hits. Got nothing to do with mentally prepared. It’s a different ballgame if Frazier’s ball stays fair. That’s a totally different ballgame. No, it has nothing to do with my club not being mentally prepared. I know it’s easy to say, but that wasn’t the case.”

      I suppose complete and utter denial is an understandable response when one has just finished cementing his team’s legacy as playoff choke artists.

      Not to take anything away from Liriano, but what in the hell were the Reds doing at the plate last night? Mentally prepared? I have never seen Choo and Votto flail at so many balls.

    • I don’t really think anyone thought Frazier’s ball was going to be fair. It ended up foul by 15 feet from what I could tell. I listened in stunned disbelief as Dusty said all those things. He really is clueless. He’s been in MLB in some capacity for over 40 years, and he still doesn’t know how to lose gracefully.

      I don’t like Brandon Phillips. He looks to start trouble, he had the reprehensible incident with Hughes, he overplays injuries to get sympathy, and he always tries to make it look as if his plays in the field were greater than they were. I think he’s a fraud. But, I’ll give him credit for being honest last night. He said he choked and let his team down. He asked the reporters to tell him what he did to help the team win. No one could come up with anything.

      • Baker’s comments were so bush league! What a pathetic “little” man. I couldn’t be happier that he and his thug team ate OUR DUST!!

    • Offseason memo to Baker: EAT MY DUST!!

    • Geez, all Dusty said is that it would have been a very different game if Frazier’s ball had been fair. That happens to be a truthful statement. And you take offense? Good grief. Some of yinz need to let go of a lot of anger and stop being so oversensitive.

      • Wrong-o-mundo Scott.

        It was the fact that Dustball wasnt a gracious loser in any sense.
        It was the fact that Dustball couldnt say one positive thing about the Pirates effort……….. he blamed the game on a foul ball. You need to let go of a lot of anger toward Pittsburghers, and get a clue. fast.

        Oh, enjoy your day, as we celebrate, and you bad-mouth.


  32. What a night Pittsburgh. I would have done anything to be at PNC last night. That crowd was amazing. I don’t know what announcer it was last night but he summed it up best when he said that’s what 20 years of frustration, dressed in black sounds like. Now off to St. Louis for some unfinished business. What an amazing year this has been. I had 2 work friends who are die hard Philly fans texting me last night saying they never heard a crowd so loud before. It was truly amazing. I felt that energy all the way down here in VA. Thank God the game was not close when Steve Bartman or Steve Bartman’s dad contributed to Choo’s HR or he might had had to walk the plank literally.


    • The guy tried to catch a HR ball. He didn’t reach down over the fence and affect a ball in play. It looked like the ball was going over the wall, anyway. I wish he had thought quickly enough to move out of the way and let it land, but I think people should cut the guy some slack. He didn’t do anything differently than just about anyone else would have, IMO.

      I actually know someone who is related to Bartman. What the city of Chicago, Cubs fans and the Cubs organization did to that guy was awful. They basically ruined his life, and all he did was try to catch a foul ball in the stands.

      • he didnt wear BLACK!! for that he deserves a swirly. As to catching the ball, it was a HR in my book so no big issue there… but he stood out with his stupid blue shirt and the “about 20 IQ” look he had on his face. lol

  33. As much as the crowd was awesome last night, so was our little community here on the blog. For those of us who could not go, it was fun watching the game with fellow Bucco fans. It felt like we were all at the same house party! Thanks, guys!

  34. Magnificent column, almost as good as the team, which was almost a good as the crowd. What a night! Now I have to deal with needing to turn down a former student’s incredible offer to share his box seats on Friday night in St. Louis. ARRGHHH . . .

  35. Watching last night from here in South Carolina was an unmatched experience in all my 49 years. Steelers beating Peyton Manning in the playoff game when Ben tackled the DB when the Bus fumbled was the last time I came out of my chair like that.

    When the Cueto chant started, then he dropped the ball, I jumped out of my chair.Then, after the Martin homer, it got very dusty in my living room for about 10 minutes. Driving in to work today here in Charleston SC, all the local and national radio shows were talking about it. Well done Buc fans, well done

  36. FABULOUS column!! I live 50+ miles from PNC Park and I swear, I could hear that crowd from here!!


    And imagine the smile on my son’s face as he awoke on this (his 31st birthday) exhilarating BUCtober day!!

  37. I just read the Sincinnatti column and was not outraged. What did you see that was not within the pimping realm of truth? If you want pure vitriol, go back several decades to a fine sportswriter, named Jim Murray, who could really spill vile bile about your city and, especially, about the brew he called “Iron Stomach.” I was a young Pirate fan back then, checking the daily papers to see whether Matty Alou or The Great One got the most hits the previous night.

    In sum, I thought this guy did a decent job of whining and he even drew parallels with his own city — fair game, obviously well played, given the reactions, here. IMHO.

  38. I posted yesterday that I hoped the Bucs and fans would be aggressive without being ugly.

    Well done, all, except maybe for the treatment of Mrs. Latos by some idiot.

    One of the coolest games I ever saw on TV, and Cal Ripken seemed jazzed by it.

    You guys who were there are so lucky – what a memory! And DK, the column was awesome.

    • Regarding Mrs. Latos:
      In no way do I condone violence at a sporting event, but, does anyone know if that fan had provocation? I mean, c’mon. It’s her word…how do we know she is lily white in the entire incident?
      Anything is possible.

    • Billy Ripken had said on MLB Network a day earlier that he had adopted the Pirates and that he was a believer. We seem to have locked up the Ripkens, FWIW.

  39. Leave it to ESPN. I turned on Mike and Mike to see if they were talking about it, and the scroll at the bottom said the Pirates advanced in the post season for the first time since 1979. Said they had lost the first series they played in the last three times. (Referring to 1990-1992). Maybe the intern from the FAA who confirmed the names of the Korean pilots in that crash over the summer is now working for ESPN.

  40. It’s a good day to be a Pirates fan. Anywhere.

    I must be the only 37-year old Pirates fan who’d never seen a playoff victory before. :) Glad it was on TV.

  41. @DK

    I know you said of today’s column : “it’s not any different than any other night-game column in that one version is due immediately after the final out, and the final version one hour after that. Been doing that for a long, long time.”

    But it was different. It was resonant with the chord that was struck by 40,000 at PNC, and the diaspora of Pirate fans across the country…in bars, in offices, in living rooms like mine where my high school daughter chastised me.. “you know Dad, the other pitcher can’t hear YOU yelling his name.” I didn’t care. It was different. It IS different.

    Thank you for that column. Thank you very much.

  42. Thinking back to last Monday when the Pirates & Reds both clinched. Some of the Reds ridiculed the Pirates for celebrating while they just showered and went home (not exactly sure where Chapman went). Looking back, maybe the Reds should have celebrated, considering that was the last game they won.

  43. Great column DK! It was awesome watching everything go down on TV, but I can’t even imagine the way it felt (when it is that loud, you feel it) being in that stadium.

    I had to leave my house to go pick up pizza during the game. While listening to the game on the drive, Byrd came up and I said to myself, “Just crush one out of here.” Sure enough, Byrd crushed the ball and I was actually happy I was in the car listening to Greg Brown. It sounded like his head was going to explode. More exciting than Brown’s call, was the crowd after the hit. Brown made his call and then he and Walk shut-up for what seemed like a couple minutes and the noise the crowd was making coming through my radio was remarkable. I have never heard anything like that on the radio before in my life listening to sports.

    Awesome night for the Buccos and the city of Pittsburgh. Keep it rolling!

  44. DK I read the final version per your suggestion. Even better! Thank you. Loved the AJ stuff.

  45. I got deleted for complimenting Jandy? Seriously?

  46. Nearly 1200 posts in the game thread from yesterday.

  47. Awesome atmosphere at PNC last night. And just think how much better it would have been if the Penguins didn’t own this town.

  48. We would be remiss if we didn’t once again thank Walt Jocketty for not claiming Marlon Byrd.

    • All together now:


    • That man is going to have his hands full this winter.

      Gotta imagine the realization has set in that the core players he chose to build the team around simply are not winners. Three strikes.

      • Hope he doesn’t fire Dusty. Hope he never fires Dusty. :)

      • One of the worst GM non-moves I can ever remember. Claiming Byrd so that (1) the Bucs don’t upgrade a desperate RF situation or (2) the Reds get a decent option to play LF is flat-out awful. If the shoe was on the other foot, and NH had done what Jocketty did…and the Reds had eliminated the Bucs in the wildcard game….um, well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty.

        As to Dusty, he just has to answer for how his teams always underperform in the postseason… maybe it’s not mental preparedness but it is something. And if he isn’t gonna throw his team under the bus (cue Jim Tracy), then he needs to be gracious and ‘tip his cap’ to the Pirates, like maybe 29 other major league managers would’ve done.

        As to the Reds, they may be the only team that would’ve signed Choo to leadoff and play center field (FAIL). They have gaping holes at Catcher, third base, left field, and shortstop. LOVE IT!

    • I know. I was reminded of that last night as Ryan Ludwick chased flyballs all over PNC Park’s leftfield – to no avail.

  49. Reposting this from late last night because I feel even more amped than I was then…..

    Back from the North Shore. I have been to three AFC championship wins, a Pens game seven, NCAA tournament games, the US Open. NOTHING….. and I mean NOTHING… compares to this game tonight. The best crowd, the most well run event (Steelers take note), perfect managing , great defense and offense. It was all there.

    The atmosphere was beyond electric. I can not even describe it. I was humbled to be there and I was moved to near tears several times. So proud of Pittsburgh baseball fans. I wish every lunatic could have shared it with me. Thank you Pirates. LETS GO BUCS!! The dream continues. WOW! It really is happening.

  50. I was raised on stories about Willie Stargell, both on and off the field. Reading that the were giving out Stargell’s Stars before the game was such a tribute to the man. This team has come together as a family. Reading the article from Rob Biertempfel very nearly brought tears to my eyes. I was wondering what was on their caps last night…

  51. Where’s Mr. Hasis? Barmes played a defensive gem last night..and he also had a hit :)

  52. Jenifer Langosch finally gets to be a part of covering a winning Pirates baseball club.

  53. Alot of you folks are talking about the winning pirates and the one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Rightfully so. I expected they were good for 6 runs and they were. We could have had more runs if we hit with runs on base but whatever. Homeruns work well too for now.

    I’m kinda disappointed in the reds. They were not fantastic last night. I mean.. I was expecting Cueto to crack and he did. I was NOT expecting Phillips or Votto to oh-fer and leave 8 stranded between the two of em. The difference was also quite clear in left field between Starling Marte and Ryan Ludwig, who wasn’t terrible at the plate, but was unable to make a play on two balls that Marte easily fields.

    • Well done by CB, indeed.

      I still think we will need Jordy’s bat at some point, but CB was the right call last night for sure.

      • Don’t know why this got duplicated here. Strange goings on with the blog today. I’m guessing we have some traffic snarls.

        • Blog is just hung over from the near 1200 posts last night on the game thread. The hamsters that run the servers at the Trib are tired and need a long nap, so they are only allowing posts to come across when they can muster up enough strength. Thats why we are getting awaiting moderation approval messages. Thats my story and I’m sticking with!

      • I agree Barmes was fantastic last night. We got the defense CIN wish they had.

  54. I have been a sports junkie my whole life. I’ve had some very high highs. (Sneaking away from my job to the W.T. Grants next door just in time to see Franco make the catch and dancing and hugging a store Santa from Pittsburgh). And some low lows (Sid Bream). But last night was right up there with them all. I would have loved to have been in that stadium, but even watching on TV in Florida I felt a kinship with all those people and with you Lunnies that only we can understand. l don’t know where this ride is going to end, hopefully with a parade, but wherever it does it has been so, so special.

    Go Bucs!

  55. Stargell Stars, indeed. Great stuff.

  56. I hate how the Friday game is on at 1PM. Did Selig do this b/c he feels that someone with no life and no responsibilities is going to sit in front of their TV and watch the Bucco game at 1 PM, the red sox game at 3PM, Dodgers/Atlanta at 6PM, and then the Tigers/As at 930?

    I think the majority of us would rather see the Bucco game in the evening and miss three other games as oppose to having the option of watching four games in one day but missing the one game we care about b/c the majority of the country haven’t left the office yet.

  57. I still don’t understand the demands for Mercer and, to an extent, T. Sanchez to start. Mercer’s 100 or so starts and Sanchez’ couple dozen starts just don’t make sense in a playoff game or a playoff atmosphere.

    Neither of them has done enough to be reliable for a one-game playoff scenario. I’d give Mercer a start v. St. Louis, but if he can’t record an easy out in the 9th inning of game 153 (v. the Reds), what’s he going to do on this big playoff stage? Hope it’s good, but Barmes is the call. You just can’t give away outs and extra at bats in big games.

    • T. Sanchez or G. Sanchez? Nobody wants to sit Martin that I can tell. And after the last week, I’d be hesitant to sit Morneau. Maybe move him down in the order, maybe not. But his defense and baseball instincts have been superb, and crucial.

    • I thought Barmes was great last night, Naje. And I respect defense as much as anyone. But, I also think Mercer has added as much with his bat this year as Barmes has added with his glove. I would love it if we could get to a situation this post-season where we can utilize Barmes’ glove and Mercer’s bat at the same time, if you catch my drift.

  58. So, a very good friend of mine texted me last night and asked if I wanted to join him in a box for Thursday in St. Louis. He is a St. Louis resident and lifelong Cards fan. He’s one of the classiest and best people I know, and I’m sure he and I would get along great for the game. I asked him if there were going to be any other Pirates fans in that box, and he said “Not likely.”

    I don’t think I can do it. Cards fans truly are very gracious, in my experience, and I’m sure this would be a corporate environment in that box. The guy who invited me is a friend, but does business with me. I would be there with 15 people in Cardinals red sweaters, I’m quite sure. I would be the only one cheering when the Bucs do something good, and the only one frustrated when the Cards do something good.

    Anyone else ever face a similar situation? How would you handle my dilemma?

    • Take your family (didn’t you say you are going to do that) and stay home for this one…keep the friendship :)

    • GrRrrr!!! Moderation Schmoderation!

      Take your family (didn’t you say you are going to do that) and stay home for this one…keep the friendship :)

    • There would be some weenie pulling, for sure, Jim. Could they all take it? Could you?

    • I was invited to be in the box of the local Fox TV affiliate in Cleveland for the Steelers vs. Browns on Christmas Eve the year we won our 5th Super Bowl. I had 2 tickets, so my wife stayed home with the younger kids and I took our oldest daughter, who was about 8 at the time. We were the only Steelers fans in the box, but everyone could not be nicer. The Browns were awful, & their fans in that box were not real jazzed up about the game. My daughter was all decked out in her Steelers gear, waving her Terrible Towel to Bus and Ben down on the field in pre-game warmups. During the game, I had to remind her to be polite, as we were guests in Cleveland. I remember one guy saying, “Just let her have fun. She’s not bothering anyone in here. We all know who is going to win this game.” As it turned out, the Steelers won about 40-0, and it was actually a pretty tense atmosphere between the rival fans in the stands that day. I was glad we were in a box where people were very cordial. It was unpleasant leaving the stadium.

    • I’ve been to StL a number of times for games. Their fans are great baseball fans and appreciate baseball fans in general. I’ve even been there for Cubs/Cards games and there was some good natured ribbing but little overt hostility.

      However, they might have learned a thing or two from the Pirate faithful last night and might break out into their own chants.

      Me? I always go to the game if given the chance and it fits my schedule. Just no face painting. :)

    • Marketing gold mine, Jim!

      Nothing more endearing to sports fans than a humble winner or a gracious loser.

      You strike me as both.

  59. For all the shots we take at ESPN, I must admit Jayson Stark has a nice article about our game on the web site this morning. Worth seeing.

  60. I am still having a difficult time putting into words how great last night was.

    I did say to someone here at work that I’ve been to and watched and listened to a lot of Pirate games this season. And the pace of each game has been nice.

    Last night was out of control from the very beginning – in a very good way. The crowd was in to every pitch and play.

  61. There is a beautiful red cardinal on my bird feeder this morning. I’m trying to restrain the urge to throw a rock at it.

  62. “The crowd was in to every pitch and play.”

    I agree, TC. Sometimes that’s almost a cliche or hyperbole, but last night it was literally true. There weren’t even any lines at the concessions to speak of. Few left their seats.

    I have never before, and probably never again, will be at a game like that.

    • We’re there any Reds fans there, AW? On the tv I think I might have seen one.

      • Very, very, very few that I saw. And by the end of the night, many of the few seemed to have black jackets on over their gear. There was a young lady who was coming up the steps with a white striped Cincinnati jersey on over a black outfit underneath, but no one was going to complain, based on the black outfit underneath.

        But no, it seemed 98%+ black.

      • There was one in the section over from us. He stood up during player intro, waved his red towel and cheered for them. Everyone within 50 feet of him directed their boos at him. During the Pirates intros, it appears that he just slunk real low in his seat. By the 6th inning, he was trying to leave it looks like and no one was letting him out of the row as basically everyone was standing on their feet and chanting, cheering, and having a good time. I think by the 8th inning, he was able to leave and never seen from again the rest of the game.

  63. From MLB Public Relations …

    33.7 local rating in Pittsburgh last night. Highest for any MLB game ever recorded, anywhere.

    Overall National ratings 3.4 (+3% vs. ’12).

  64. Wow. Moon landing ratings.

  65. RIP Tom Clancy
    66 is waaaayy too young…

  66. Just because it is sooooo much fun and I can’t let it go:


    You can’t see it, but I am smiling like Jandy’s camel. WOOP WOOP

  67. The Steelers have acquired left tackle Levi Brown from Arizona. My God, it’s Kevin Colbert’s Matt Morris.

  68. DK, just read the column. Awesome!

  69. Boy, what a freakin game! DK, you did an amazing job capturing the clubhouse scene and you described EXACTLY what every Buccos fan feels today! I still have goosebumps thinking about it. I was getting texts from people all over the country (and not just Bucs fans) and they were saying how electric the stadium was, even on tv. Luv it!

    And as for that Cincy article about hating the Burgh and all our fans, that writer is just jealous that we win championships and he has the Bungles!!!

  70. I took my 82 yr old grandfather to the game last night – full circle, he’s been taking me since I was 7. His first live game was the 19-inning game in 1955(when Law pitched the first 18). He told me that he’s never heard a crowd like that in his life. REALLY cool experience! what a game, what a moment for Bucco fans!

    • Good stuff, Dave :)

    • You got me with that one, Dave! Gonna need a minute. (Closing door to office, grabbing tissue).

      Very cool!

    • On a conference call with an engineer in Cincinnati as I read your post. Glad I had a couple of minutes to regain my composure before I had to speak again. Not sure I could have explained to him why I sounded choked up.

      Probably because the first Pirate game my dad (who died in September 2001, but would be 81 now) ever took me to was against the Padres in July of 1971. 1-1 after nine innings. A solo shot from Stargell in the 13th to re-tie it at 2 and a shot by Roberto in the 17th t win it 3-2. That was an awesome childhood memory.

      After reading your post about taking you grandfather to the game, I realized how much I miss my dad to share moments like last night with.

      • Such a good memory to share, Jax! I’m blubbering a bit again.

        My dad has taken a turn for the worse in the last year. I’m the youngest of 5, and he is 84 now. I can’t wait to see him this weekend in Pittsburgh. I’m glad we still have him for however long.

        It makes me a little sad that my son didn’t really get to see his grandpap in his prime. I wish we could have gone to Bucs games all together more often. Only got to a few with all 3 generations.

        Thanks for sharing.

        • I’m the youngest of four, and all my neices and nephews still have good memories of their grandpa. Enjoy that time while it lasts. Try to reinforce some key memories with your son. My son was only 2 when my dad died and he doesn’t really remember him. Of my six children, only my two oldest daughters have any real memories of their grandpa.
          I can imagine that my dad and I would have been on the phone with each other during the game last night, if he was still around.

  71. DK – Great job with all the pics and video!
    This was a spectacle second to none in Pirate history….
    And certainly ranked right up there with the best of Steeler crowds.
    I’m laughing with excitement about what I witnessed on TV last night.
    Keep it going!…..

  72. Great article DK. It brought tears to my eyes. Mahalo.

    I couldn’t watch the game because I was traveling. I kept up with box score through end of 4th, then had to shut down; found out Buccos won after touching down in Kona.

    Lets go Bucs!

  73. Still can’t get over last night. Tough to describe how awesome it was to be at that game, but I’ll try. I won’t even go into much detail of the players because it wasn’t just the game.
    *It was the fans.
    *The atmosphere.
    *McCutchens mother singing the National Anthem
    *All the standing room fans packing the rotunda.
    *Very few fans got up to leave seats during play. Aisle ways were empty.
    *Didn’t have people going nuts over every fly ball as if it’s leaving the park.
    *For the first couple innings, people clapped and cheered after EVERY pitch.
    *Then there was the Cueto chant. My favorite part of the night. I don’t care what any of the Reds say, the fans got in his head and we all went nuts when it was realized.
    *Celebrating with anybody and everybody within my vicinity.

    Even reading numerous articles by local and national media has me all giddy today.

    This morning I was sore from clapping so much, lost my voice from cheering all night, and was exhausted from staying up all night. It was all worth it. To steal A friends word for the game last night, it was MAGICAL. Now I know that sounds weird, but to me it was. See growing up most kids would probably associate that word with theme parks and vacations. My parents took me on those trips just the same and they were fun, however I never really had that moment on a trip. Baseball has always been my favorite sport and finally my favorite team was on the big stage. To be completely honest, I teared up twice last night (After National Anthem & during celebration after final out) and I’m not afraid to say that.
    You see, last night was my Disneyland.
    Last night was a long time coming.
    Last night was just the beginning.
    Last night… was perfect.

  74. Vokoun out 3-6 mo per DK at Shero/Vokoun meeting in locker room.
    No on ice work as long as he is on blood thinners. Could be 3 mo
    if blood thinners have desired effect.

  75. This is pretty cool! Found the three of us very quickly!

  76. Kobasew signed for $550M, Bennett recalled. Connor and Ruopp send to WBS.

  77. Hello Fellow Lunatics! I just woke up. With a major headache. Most likely due to a large number of beers and countless loud chants of “CUE-TO, CUE-TO.” I was at the game last night, dressed entirely in black, with black shoes, black sweats and a black Pirates’ hoody purchased at Dick’s a few hours before the game. THE ATMOSPHERE WAS INSANE!!! I’ve been to meaningful Steelers’ games and Pens’ games but nothing — NOTHING — compared to last night. I had chills the entire night. Fans were high-fiving, fist-bumping and cheering like they were all 5 year olds on Christmas morning. Dejan’s column hit the proverbial nail on the head. I could not have described the atmosphere any better. Good job, DK, and much love and respect to the Pirates fans who made last night an unforgettable evening.

    • Hope the headache lets up, casper…glad you had a good time :)

      • Much thanks, Jandy! I popped two Advil, so I should be fine in an hour. But I gotta tell you, I’m still high from the adrenaline buzz. Can’t wait till Thursday! Thank goodness for split screen TV though, so I’ll be able to catch the Bucs and the puck drop. Who woulda thunk that I’d have to split screen the TV for the Bucs and Pens in October?

  78. That Parros/Orr fight was awful. Makes me cringe when I see Parros’ face hit the ice. Out with a concussion on opening night, all because he was a tough guy.

  79. Levi Brown?!?! Guess that fixes all the problems. Super Bowl here we come.

  80. I thought it was great when they showed Michael Keaton, late in the game, downing a tall Yuengling.

    • Heck yes that was awesome. What was even better IMO was the 95 year old usher they found and interviewed. I think they said he had been an usher since what 1930′s? He was funny when he made the comment about still doing it until he ends up at the football field when he should be at the baseball field.

  81. Anyone else feel bad for Cueto yesterday?

  82. Dk, great column, but I think your colleague Rob B. summed it up best with this line:

    “Pittsburgh always has loved its Pirates. It just forgot how much.”

    That 1 got me misty-eyed right there.

    So happy for everyone involved. Players, coaches, management and most importantly the fans.

    But business is not done. 11 more. All you gotta do is believe.


  83. I would say that after this season and last night’s game that it has been a great investment in Russell. It is almost like we already got $17 million in value already

    • And Liriano. And Byrd. And Grilli. And Melancon. And during the two games that clinched home field, AJ and Morton.

      Obviously others, too. But you notice the acquisition pattern of my comment, don’t you? And that, with the exception of Morton, most have been over the past two seasons.

      And don’t expect me to count the occasional RECENT misses. When the team just advanced in the playoffs. Unless anyone can site some teams that never miss.

      I’ve SLAMMED Neal and team for MLB talent acquisition suckitude for YEARS.

      If I’m going to be honest, at least to myself, I have to acknowledge the recent and dramatic improvement.

  84. Today is one of those rare occasions on the blog where peace and harmony rule throughout the land.

    There really is not much of anything to quibble about from last night. Every guy played well. It started with a stellar, shut down start by Frankie who was battling a sinus infection as much as the Reds. Even Bob would have to admit, Barmes was very good. He got a hit, almost had another hit, and was slick at SS. Pedro did not have a hit, but rifled a bullet to deep CF his first time up and got a key sac fly. Morneau drew a key walk off a tough lefty. Marte, Walker, Cutch, Byrd, Martin – all were great. Tony Watson did make one mistake, but at that point he was protecting a 5-run lead and it was no time to nibble. Grilli had a 1-2-3 ninth. The Bucco at bats took forever. They battled well on almost every AB all night long. I thought Frankie did a good job of maintaining his rhythm with all of the waiting he had to do.

    • My only worry from last night was Wanton’s outing, but I chalk that up more the nerves, and as soon as the announcers made the comment that Watson hasn’t allowed a run in his last 20 outings you almost knew he was going to give one up. Going forward I think he’ll be fine.

      Did anyone else wonder why Cole was throwing pitches last night after the game was over?

      • His day, I assume. He didn’t get in to pitch, but still needed to get the work in?

      • If we’re digging for signs of trouble, I could see worrying about how Cutch was pitched last night. Pretty clear that he wasn’t going to get anything with men on base.

        I have a hard time seeing last night’s lineup scoring consistantly without Cutch driving in runs.

        • I agree. Byrd might need to move up to #4. And, if they want to maintain the L-R-L pattern, then just swap Justin and Neil, as we have been discussing.

      • We did notice that Cole was warming. Weird sight.

        And Bob Walk did confirm that it was Cole getting his sideline work in after the game (Walk was on the Fan this morning)

      • We wondered, defil, but came to the same conclusion as JimS. The post game guys speculated that maybe he would start against the Redbirds, but AJ will start unless he’s injured, I would think.

  85. DK – very good article. I didn’t even know Drabek threw the first pitch until I read your article. I would have loved to see that. I found a crowd version of it on youtube but its only 16 seconds long and just shows Drabek walking up to the mound and waving his hat and the crowd going nuts.

    • Mustache and all.

    • Yep. TBS did not show player intros, anthem or honorary first pitch. Used to love that stuff as a kid. Gives me goosebumps to see ballplayers lined up on the foul lines while the anthem is performed. First pitch gives one an appreciation for history and those who fought the good fight.

      Not sure why baseball and television producers don’t get that.

  86. Too bad the Pirates and Pens don’t play at the same time tommorow night. I was looking forward to a blog debate about television ratings between a meaningful Pirates game and a regular season Pens game.

    • I got a kick out of reading the replies by butthurt Pens fans when a hockey blogger tweeted that PNC had 1000x more energy than CEC.

      • Are you suggesting they were SENSITIVE? I REALLY REALLY hope so.

        A “sensitive” Pirate baseball fan.

        :-D. :-D. :-D

        • as a pens fan, how is that really a surprise… I agree, penguins fans are very subdued…

          I noticed one other difference. Usually, in hockey, you only really hear the crowd chant a guy’s name when he fails. Like the Fleury chants in Philly when he gives up a goal. The Cueto chants started up right away and with almost no cause to them. Obviously there was plenty of cause after Byrd AND Martin.

        • Upon further review, there did appear to be some ruffling of their collective flightless feathers… :)


          A completely objective, emotionless, “dispassionate” Pirate baseball fan :)

    • anyone see the tv ratings for the pirate game from last night?

      • 33.7 in Pittsburgh, Kevin. Highest ratings every for any MLB game, anywhere.

        3.4 Nationally, + 3% vs. 2012.

        • I don’t know what that last bit means… 3.4 nationally +3% vs. 2012. I know I’ve been trying to get my friend to watch. He’s not really a Pittsburgh sports fan… he just likes his motocross and thats about it. He’s the type of fan that if you held him at gunpoint and forced him to pick a team to root for, he would say Pittsburgh. Well, he’s originally from the area.. I dunno. I don’t understand it.

  87. Has anyone seen the graphic that the Pirates tweeted out? It has a black background, gold letters and gold drawing of the city in the center. It says, “When you play Pittsburgh, you play the whole city.”

    If that doesn’t send chills down your spine … nothing will.

  88. So the Pirates have yet to name their Game 2 starter….read a tweet from 24/7 that says his money is on Cole….has to be right?

    That would set Liriano and Morton for 3 / 4 back in Pittsburgh.

  89. One thing I noticed last night is there seemed to be a lot of “single” parents with a single kid in tow. (and I don’t mean single parents in any political sense-/for all I know, they were both there). Fathers/sons, fathers/daughters, mothers/sons, mothers/daughters. Probably had to do more with availability of tickets, but it struck me. And I was there with my son. Seemed kind of neat. On a little different note, after the game a guy close had a group hug with 3 younger people, which I assumed were his children. And I also ran into some friends who had season tickets, so they were there with their 3 sons.

    I think the future is bright for the Pirate fan base.

    • +++++++++++++, Arriba!

      Good for you taking your son! Nothing beats a day at the ballpark with your son. Can be the worst game of the year, in the crappiest of weather, and still beats most anything else. Your son will undoubtedly never forget it. I was lucky enough to be able to take my son to Tampa for the Super Bowl vs. AZ. Best weekend we ever had. I’m trying to bring the whole family to Sunday’s game. I have to do it.

      • I took my boy to his first game the Sunday before the All Star break when we played the Mets, and unfortunately we lost but I shared with him stories of my dad taking me to games almost every Sunday at 3 Rivers during the summers when I was a little kid. It brought back so many good memories. Though I will admit I had to give him a hard time since they lost, and when I took him to his first Steelers game last year versus the Bengals we lost that game as well, so I told him he was bad luck.

        Watching last night’s game made me remember my dad taking me to 1 playoff game every year from 90-92. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to take my dad and son to a playoff game, and World Series victory parade.

  90. The Rams released Max Starks yesterday, so the Steelers must REALLY not want to bring Max back since he was available. I say bring him in and drop Whimper….

  91. Milo… could be that signing Levi Brown portends the cutting of one of the Tackles…it really has to happen. An underperforming starter is going to either get cut or get demoted. Brown, I believe, is here to help facilitate that process.

    Not one offensive player is playing above average… yeah, you can site A. Brown, but I watch him let punts drop five yards in front of him and roll for 20+ yards right by him… and that’s just selfish. I watch him make great plays and draw attention to himself on a losing team or a team that is behind… that’s stupid. I watch him gripe and moan and create more problems than he solves…that’s just an immature baby. I see the team try to run a counter and Brown misses his crack-down block and the RB gets blown up and we blame the OG who is pulling to hit the safety while the WR is supposed to blow up the LB and it doesn’t happen… that’s just not doing your job.

    I do love what he is capable of doing…just wish he’d do it in a way that lifts the team rather than lifts his meager little profile.

    Ben? He’s got to play better. Much better. And from the looks of it, he and the rest of the offense has to practice better. They just look so sloppy… so scared that they’ll make a mistake, a turnover, a penalty that will hurt the team.

    Have no idea who will be let go, but it sure smells like an OL will get demoted or cut in the next week or so.

  92. Sunny day on the prairie.

    Couldn’t sleep last night, came to work late today wearing my Pirate hat, and then discovered that there was real work to do.

    Oh, well.

    Now what would really make this an ideal season would be sweeping Atlanta. Just for old times sake. These guys have some swag (er — make that swagger) and I just have the feeling that they’re going to take it to St. Louis. Let’s put some icing on this cake.

    .211 hitter!!!!!

  93. Just a quick hi to everyone…busy day at work. Hope everyone is “smiling like a butcher’s dog” today! I suspect that is the case. Will have a chance to read through things later. Still……last…night…! Awesome night. C-ya later…

  94. DK will be on the Mark Madden Radio show at 4PM!!!

    Make sure you all listen!

  95. ESPN continues to be a joke. Go over to their site just now and guess what… There is not a single story on the front page about the Buccos game last night. Not one mention of the game at all. That is just mind boggling to me. There are mentions of A-Rod and countless NBA and NFL articles, but not one mention of the Pirates winning the wildcard game. The only mention of the Pirates at all on the front page is a small listing at the bottom of the page for a Kuirkjan article titled “5 questions for Pirates-Cardinals.”

    Unbelievable if you ask me…

    • I went there this morning, and there were 5 stories about the Bucs.
      On the TV side, the “Baseball Tonight” crew did multiple pieces on them also.

      Normally i slam them. but today, they did a good job. Not a Yanks/Sox/Dodgers good job, but better than they normally do.

  96. Mark Madden just said that they have identified Mrs. Latos’ attacker—Manti Te’o's girlfriend.

  97. This is for Biz, if you get to read it…………………….

    I hereby nominate Mr. Phil Coyne for the Lunatic HOF.

    I also nominate a “3rd” planet…………. Pluto.
    In honor of the poster Juan Martinez yesterday…… he was wayyyyyyyyyyyy out there.

  98. Cue-toe chant still has me floored.
    Done all the time at hockey games, never , ever heard it like that at a baseball game.
    It really shook the guy, Never have seen a crowd get to a guy that bad before.
    Still sitting here say Wow, over and over.

  99. So the 0-4 Steelers trade for the 60th rated tackle to replace the 69th rated tackle puts them $1 million over the salary cap. I usually have a line to follow something like that but I can’t seem to come up with anything.

    • I’m numb. Someone named Rooney, please make them stop!

      • Art sure as heck wont.

        I am at a loss for what they are thinking.
        This is an even further damning of their talent development.

    • The thing that puzzles me is that Adams actually wasn’t horrible last year at RT (was Steelers ROY, for what that’s worth) so they move him to LT two days into training camp. Why? Cause they thought it was best fit or because they couldn’t play Gilbert there? And in the last game Gilbert wasn’t horrible either (at RT).

      So does this mean Adams goes back to RT? Or is it open competition at both tackes for all 4 of them (including Beachem)?

      No question…strange goings on. Seems like they got 4 RTs and no LTs….

      FWIW, the guy that baltimore traded for, in the same ranking, was 55th – owed the same money for this year AND is a FA after this season. At least Brown has another year, IF he works out.

      So it will be interesting to see have it all works.

      DK: Very fair point.

  100. You know, as much as the “CUE-TO” chants actually made an impact to the play of the game (IMHO), I was just as floored with the “LIR-I-ANO” chants as Travis Snider pinch-hit for Frankie in the 7th. Classy recognition of a stellar performance…and one I’ve never heard before.

    Was hard to hear through Ernie Johnson’s annoying, inaccurate and phsyically nauseating commentary, but it was remarkable.

  101. for the Cards series–Burnett, Cole, Liriano on Sunday, and Morton if needed–that is official from the Pirates

  102. NBC, God bless ‘em, is trying their best to convince me that Detroit Red Wings/Buffalo Sabres is a rivalry.

  103. Vokoun out 3 to 6 months. He is being treated with blood thinners for that clotting issue. Yikes. Prayers and vibes to him and his family.

    Fleury…you have quite the challenge ahead. Prayers and vibes to him as well.

    Levi Brown could be Colbert’s Martin or Liriano. Do I believe that? No, but would we be enjoying Buctober baseball if Clint Hurdle did not say “What if?”

    I do not want this ride to end. It has been beautiful seeing people brought together by a magical ride. I will be sad when the season is over, but I know I am honored to have seen the chapters of the story unfold.

    I can’t wait for multiple sequels!

    • Great post Brandie. It has been a beautiful ride. So cool to share it with my favorite Muppet and all of our blog family!

  104. Apparently, Mia Farrow’s son Ronan was fathered by Frank Sinatra in 1987, some 20 years after they divorced. How’d I miss this ?

  105. For some laughs I decided to look at some of the readers’ comments in some of the stories in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

    Here is one of my favorites:

    ‘I made the comment here in March and was ripped for it, I made the comment on Docs blog 2 weeks ago and was ripped again, I will make it one last time…The Reds and Pirates switch managers and the Reds win 100 games.’

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