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Congrats to the Pirates!

A couple months ago, I was sitting at work basking in the Pirates' first-place standing in the NL Central.

"They'll collapse. They always do," a co-worker said.

I knew it was true, but I wanted to enjoy the moment. How often can you celebrate something with the Pirates?

Since that day, the Pirates have erased anything good from those fun months of the summer.

Since that day, the Bucs have utterly collapsed, shamelessly raised ticket prices and inexplicably extended general manager Neal Huntington's contract.

Talk about promoting goodwill. But, hey, that's how these Pirates operate.

Yet on the heels of all that good news, the Pirates continued their track record by extending their own mark of failure on Wednesday.

The Battling Buccos clinched their 19th straight losing season.

It's been well documented, but just typing those two numbers is unbelievable.


I had to type it again just to get used to that number, because you know we'll see it a whole lot more for another year.

Up next for these record-setting Pirates: 90 losses.

Think they can't reach that milestone?

At 67-82, they need to go 6-7 the rest of the way to avoid it.

Nothing's gonna stop them.


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So much for Byron the great backup

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…