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McCutchen shuns Zoltan 'Z' for new team sign

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The "Z"oltan is dead. Long live the …

"… Water pistols. And we're not shooting them -- just twirling them," Tony Sanchez said about the Pirates' latest bonding mechanism, careful to keep it politically correct.

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CHICAGO -- The "Z"oltan is dead. Long live the …

"… Water pistols. And we're not shooting them -- just twirling them," Tony Sanchez said about the Pirates' latest bonding mechanism, careful to keep it politically correct.

View Full Game Coverage

When a Pirates player gets a key base hit to drive in a run, he pulls into his base, makes like Wyatt Earp twirling his Colt .45s and -- this is the dramatic part -- thrusts both hands down as if holstering his weapons.

"They're not heavy artillery; they're Super Soakers," explained Andrew McCutchen, who besides being in charge of center field apparently is also in charge of team image. "We just got tired of the Zoltan. New beginnings. That's all … just having fun with it."

After two years of flashing the "Z" -- inspired by the character in the film, "Dude, Where's My Car" -- Pirates players have taken to the new gimmick.

And the instigator was the same player who a year ago was responsible for the revival of the "Z," which had made its first appearance early in the 2012 season.

"Captain Cutch," Sanchez said, grinning. "He's got a bag full of tricks, and this was one of the options we talked about, and we all agreed on it. We thought this would bring us together the most.

"We twirl 'em and throw 'em in the holster when we drive in a run. Hitting is contagious. Any way you can up the vibe, it's a good thing."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Andrew McCutchen