- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Determined Pirates press on after ending “Streak”
Question of the Day
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Toast them with a bottle of Iron City. Wear that 1970s-era Pittsburgh painter’s cap with pride. Celebrate the end of “The Streak.”
Just don’t expect the Pirates to join in the fun. There’s an NL Central title to win.
The Pirates ended their 20-year run of losing baseball Tuesday night, reaching the 81-win mark with a 4-3 victory at Miller Park.
“I’ve won 81 games before, and this team is going to win more than 81 games. A lot more,” newly acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd said before Wednesday night’s game at Milwaukee.
“It’s about changing the culture, and they’ve done that the past two years,” he said. “This was inevitable that this team was going to get to this point.”
Easy for him to say. He recently joined the club, obtained from the Mets in a deal to bolster the lineup for the playoff push.
Second baseman Neil Walker, on the other hand, is a little more passionate. He grew up in Pittsburgh and still lives in the Steel City.
Walker was bombarded with messages on his Twitter account Tuesday night.
“To be part of this group that has righted the ship, per se, in the win column is pretty significant. I don’t think anybody is going to admit that too much in here just because baseball players are so superstitious,” Walker said.
“But the fact that I’ve lived and breathed Pirates baseball since I can remember, being a baseball fan since I was 5 or 6 years old, it holds a little more significance to me.”
Their latest win gave the Pirates a two-game division lead over St. Louis, and Cincinnati is 3 1/2 back. Pittsburgh is aiming to finish first and avoid a best-of-one matchup between wild cards.
No matter what, at least the Pirates don’t have to answer any more questions about the drought.
In western Pennsylvania, “The Streak” made one segment of fans miserable. Others viewed the franchise like lovable losers, the “Bad News Bears” of sorts of the majors.
The Pirates went 20 years, 11 months and 26 days since they last had 81 wins in a season.
More perspective on the two-decade run of misery since 1992:
_The Pirates were 1,374-1,796 during the streak for a .437 winning percentage.
_The Penguins and Steelers had seven losing seasons combined during that period.
_The franchise went through three ownership groups and seven managers, including current skipper Clint Hurdle.
Hurdle said he was humbled by all the messages that he had received.
“And they’re not from my buddies. They’re actually from people that we’ve come to know in the North Hills (suburbs) and the city of Pittsburgh that have reached out,” he said. “The emails and texts are quite meaningful.”
After the win, Hurdle said he was especially happy for the family of Roberto Clemente, the late Hall of Famer who wore No. 21.
“They told me earlier in the season that we can’t have 21 losing seasons, that we’ve got to find a way to not have Roberto’s number tied to that,” Hurdle said. “I told them we’d find a way to take care of that. It’s been taken care of.”
The Pirates seemed loose before Wednesday’s game, but there were no cases of champagne waiting on ice. No trophy in another room waiting to be presented in a pregame ceremony.
Outfielder Travis Snider, whose pinch-hit homer in the ninth led to Tuesday’s win, talked fantasy football. Others watched the ever-present baseball highlights on the big-screen TVs.
Outfielder Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates’ MVP candidate, put it best. He posted a simple message on his Twitter account shortly after the Pirates got win No. 81.
“Keep going …”
Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- ON THE RUN: Competition for Redskins backup running back is heating up
- Obama vows veto of House border bill
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors