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Most minor league teams have more wins than Bucs

No. 39.

Dave Parker, one of my favorite Pirates growing up, wore No. 39.

Willie Parker, a favorite of mine from the Steelers, wore No. 39.

I like the number. Unfortunately, 39 doesn't suit this year's Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates have been stuck on 39 wins for a few days now. That wouldn't be too bad if it were June. It's mid-August and they have the worst record in baseball.

How bad is it?

A quick look at minor league baseball tells the story.

In the Pacific Coast League and International League in Triple-A, no team has fewer than 46 wins. That's 30 teams total.

If you go to Double-A and examine the Eastern League, Southern League and Texas League, the lowest total is 34 by the New Britain Rock Cats. Everyone else has at least 43 wins. That's another 30 teams covered.

Add it all up, and there are 88 of 90 teams with more wins than the Pirates.

These Bucs are so bad, they could challenge the worst record of all time.

Normally, fans could hang their hats on the opportunity of having the No. 1 pick in the draft.

There are problems with that, however.

First, there are no standout phenoms to take No. 1 overall like the Washington Nationals have done the past two years (Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper).

Second, we're talking the Pirates. They could easily pass on a coveted player to get one who doesn't demand as much cash.

So expect the losing to continue.


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I never understood the Steelers' fascination with their backup quarterbacks.

They've had either Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich for what seems like ages now.

And when the Steelers really needed a backup, Leftwich couldn't deliver.

Leftwich rambled 31 yards for a touchdown Sunday against the Ravens, but other than that burst, the Steelers couldn't do anything on offense in a 13-10 loss that puts them in a bad position in the AFC North.

Leftwich, with his long delivery, looks better suited for the Pirates' bullpen than behind center.

He went 18-for-39 passing for 201 yards, but couldn't help a Steelers' offense that looks lost right now.

The Ravens came into the game with a weak defense. The thought was Leftwich could manage the game, the Steelers could find a running back to rely on and they'd escape with a win.

It didn't work out that way.

And it looks like we could see Batch at QB this week -- or someone else.

The Steelers are worried about Leftw…