Blog Entry

At the End of Every Hard-Earned Day

Posted on: April 26, 2009 7:37 pm
At the end of every hard-earned day people find some reason to believe.
The boss, Bruce Springsteen, sings those inspiring words.  And that song is starting to personify our 2009 Buccos.

Yes, everyone will remind us that it's only April.  But 18 games is 11% of the season in the books.  Certainly enough games to get a feel for a ballclub.

And this ballclub feels like a special ballclub right now.

No true major league baseball pundit should examine the series win in San Diego and write it off as nothing to be excited about.

The Pirates went across the country and took two of three games; the lone loss an extra-inning battle to the finish.

They upped their record to 11-7 and remain right behind the front-running Cards in the NL Central, the same Cards they split a four-game series with in St. Louis to open this promising campaign.

They accomplished the series win in San Diego without three of their veteran regulars in the lineup for most of the games; up-the-middle stalwarts in Ryan Doumit, Jack Wilson and Nate McLouth.

The heart of the order may have been unable to play, but the heart of this team, from top-to-bottom, was beating right along.

When a team starts winning without their regulars, that can have an untold, magical effect on the entire organization.  Chemistry, confidence and unity are terms that start being peppered in most of the articles written about them.

It happened with the Steelers in 2004, when three quarterbacks started and won games and all 50+ guys on the roster came through in some way to help the team to an AFC all-time best 15-1 record.

This 2009 Pirate team, you can take just about every guy that's been on the active roster so far, I think it's been 28 or 29 men now, and if you look at each of the games they have played, you'll find something positive that each one has done to keep them in a game or help them win it.

I think the pitching staff as a whole and the bench are really stepping up right now.  A lot of credit has to be given to the coaching staff. JR brought in some key teachers in Perry Hill and Joe Kerrigan.  Those additions are paying immediate dividends at the major league level.  Also, we've recently learned that Tony Beasley has taken over the batting-coach duties of the pitchers.  And it seems like Ian Snell has already surpassed his career hit total in under a handful of starts!  There are great stories to be told on this club, and the nation will discover them soon enough as long as they keep winning as many series as they can.  Jim Leyland always used to say (and I'm sure he still does in Detroit) that if you win two out of three in most of your series, you'll write your ticket to the playoffs easily.  So far, so good for the Bucs this year.

I know I'm a homer, I know I love this team win or lose.  I know I see this great start through black, gold and rose-colored glasses.

But, to paraphrase the boss, I don't see any reason not to believe.

Since: Aug 15, 2008
Posted on: July 3, 2009 10:09 am

At the End of Every Hard-Earned Day

It has been awhile since the Blue Jays have been a legitimate contender... in fact, you have to go all the way back to when they won two in a row World Series, in 1992 and 1993, to find their last playoff berth. But spring always brings with it a sense of optimism for the season to come and although almost all experts predicted the Jays to be in the cellar of the AL East at the end of this season, they have shown remarkable resiliency thus far in maintaining a level of play that is at least keeping them within striking distance of the Yankees for the wild card. They got off to an amazing start, 27-14, but a 9 game road losing streak brought them out of the dream and into more of a realistic level for their talent. But, even with four out of their five projected starting pitchers at the start of the season on the disabled list (McGowan, Marcum, Litsch, Janssen), they still somehow have been able to right the ship and find themselves only 3 games behind the Yankees for the wildcard heading into their four game series this weekend. So, if your Cito Gaston, you have to be feeling pretty good about yourself and your ballclub... the worst is definitely behind them, with the nine game losing streak, and they are only going to healthier as the season goes on. Thus, I have no reason not to believe that my team will remain competitive for the rest of the season and for the first time in awhile, be playing meaningful baseball games in September. I truly believe that you should judge the level of a team based not on how they deal with the winning streaks but rather how they recover and show resilience coming back from adversity (ie a nine game losing streak like the Jays had earlier this year). Looking forward to seeing how the season pans out! GO JAYS GO!

Since: Jan 23, 2007
Posted on: June 17, 2009 5:35 pm

At the End of Every Hard-Earned Day


People who neglect their blogs should have their TOP1K status removed immediately.

How do you feel about it jabronie?
Lets see how long it takes him to answer this folks........

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2009 7:45 pm

At the End of Every Hard-Earned Day

You Go Pirateball!

I'll tell you what, we have nothing to go on at this point but the first 18 games like you said.  And 11-7 is a heckuva lot better than anyone thought they'd do.  Well, anyone but themselves.

And that is the key.

At an old job I had as a member of the cream of the national sporting press (I kid, I kid) I remember a colleague once asking Ken "The Hawk" Harrelson in an interview (I think it was during a good start to their '04 season) if he thought they could keep contending.  The Hawk said, "Son, it don't matter if I think they can contend, or if you think they can contend, or if the fans think they can contend.  They think they can, and if they think they can, then they can."

It was a classic answer and it really does sum up the essence of the game.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or