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A Pirate's Life for Me

We root for the underdog. The players or teams that defy the oddsmakers and the so-called “experts” to prove anything can be done. I'm a life-long Yankee fan and people always ask me, "Well how would you know how it feels, Mike? The Yankees are never the underdog."

It's true the Bronx Bombers are not known for being "The Little Engine that Could." But that doesn't mean I don't pull for the teams that are. It is good for the game to see young teams play to form earlier than anyone could have predicted. There's nothing like a team of so-called "Nobodies" going toe-to-toe with Superstars. When that happens, it brings us all in. It shows that winning baseball is more dependent on chemistry and heart than the almighty dollar. Sure, bigger market clubs will always have money to court the top players in the game, but it doesn't guarantee them titles. It just doesn't.

Getting to watch all the games this year has been great. I remain a die-hard Yankee fan and want them to win just as much as any other year, but seeing other clubs and the way their fans get behind them is something I never truly appreciated.

The thing that I'm seeing this season is that the Pittsburgh Pirates are playing great team baseball. They are an exciting team to watch. They are giving their fans a reason to go to that beautiful ballpark. And at the deadline they were buyers for the first time in years. The Pirates have come to play, and it's awesome to watch.

I remember those Pittsburgh teams of the early 1990s. The outfield of Bonds, Bonilla, and Van Slyke was arguably the best in the game at one point. The old Three Rivers Stadium was a tough place for visiting clubs to pick up a "W." The Steel City was a great place for baseball.

In recent years the Bucs have been less than an "Also Ran" to their fans and those around baseball. They served as a major league farm club for contenders to snap up their best players in exchange for prospects and cash considerations. There has been more joy in Mudville than in Pittsburgh as of late.

But seeing veterans Derek Lee and Ryan Ludwick go to the Pirates at this year's deadline made me actually say aloud, "Damn, look at the Bucs making moves."

Sure, they weren't deals for Cliff Lee or Prince Fielder, but they were moves to bring guys in to help them compete in the NL Central. And any step forward is a step in the right direction.

I tip my cap to these Pirates. They are going to take their shot and try to prove to us all once again, in baseball, anything is possible. Good luck, Bucs. Give 'em hell.

We now return you to “Pirates of the Allegheny,” Starring Joel Hanrahan and Kevin Correia.

We root for the underdog. The players or teams that defy the oddsmakers and the so-called “experts” to prove anything can be done. I'm a life-long Yankee fan and people always ask me, "Well how would you know how it feels, Mike? The Yankees are never the underdog."

It's true the Bronx Bombers are not known for being "The Little Engine that Could." But that doesn't mean I don't pull for the teams that are. It is good for the game to see young teams play to form earlier than anyone could have predicted. There's nothing like a team of so-called "Nobodies" going toe-to-toe with Superstars. When that happens, it brings us all in. It shows that winning baseball is more dependent on chemistry and heart than the almighty dollar. Sure, bigger market clubs will always have money to court the top players in the game, but it doesn't guarantee them titles. It just doesn't.

Getting to watch all the games this year has been great. I remain a die-hard Yankee fan and want them to win just as much as any other year, but seeing other clubs and the way their fans get behind them is something I never truly appreciated.

The thing that I'm seeing this season is that the Pittsburgh Pirates are playing great team baseball. They are an exciting team to watch. They are giving their fans a reason to go to that beautiful ballpark. And at the deadline they were buyers for the first time in years. The Pirates have come to play, and it's awesome to watch.

I remember those Pittsburgh teams of the early 1990s. The outfield of Bonds, Bonilla, and Van Slyke was arguably the best in the game at one point. The old Three Rivers Stadium was a tough place for visiting clubs to pick up a "W." The Steel City was a great place for baseball.

In recent years the Bucs have been less than an "Also Ran" to their fans and those around baseball. They served as a major league farm club for contenders to snap up their best players in exchange for prospects and cash considerations. There has been more joy in Mudville than in Pittsburgh as of late.

But seeing veterans Derek Lee and Ryan Ludwick go to the Pirates at this year's deadline made me actually say aloud, "Damn, look at the Bucs making moves."

Sure, they weren't deals for Cliff Lee or Prince Fielder, but they were moves to bring guys in to help them compete in the NL Central. And any step forward is a step in the right direction.

I tip my cap to these Pirates. They are going to take their shot and try to prove to us all once again, in baseball, anything is possible. Good luck, Bucs. Give 'em hell.

We now return you to “Pirates of the Allegheny,” Starring Joel Hanrahan and Kevin Correia.