NL Wild Card Game: Go Bucs

October 1, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

pncparkAs we wait — endlessly, it seems — for the Dodgers and Braves to get their NLDS moving on Thursday, potentially without Dan Uggla, the playoffs start tonight in Pittsburgh, and I’m struggling for a single reason why any one of us should be hoping the Reds beat the Pirates here.

Frankly, when you look at the rest of the National League field this year other than the Pirates, you’re left with a whole lot of ugh — as my pal Emma Span outlined nicely in a flow chart recently — and the betting action at MLB lines seems to indicate that America feels the same way.

Reds
Pirates
CF
Choo
LF
Marte
LF
Ludwick
2B
Walker
1B
Votto
CF
McCutchen
2B
Phillips
1B
Morneau
RF
Bruce
RF
Byrd
3B
Frazier
3B
Alvarez
SS
Cozart
C
Martin
C
Hanigan
SS
Barmes
P
Cueto
P
Liriano

You can’t root for the Braves because that means the Dodgers don’t win, but also because Brian McCann and that horrid Tomahawk chant would. You can’t root for the Cardinals because of the Tony LaRussa connection and the fact that @BestFansStLouis exists. You can’t root for the Reds because of Dusty Baker and “Brandon Phillips, MVP” and buntbuntbuntbunt.

That leaves you with the Pirates, and I’m not sure how anyone can hate on a team that hasn’t had a winning season in decades, has one of the nicest parks in sports, one of baseball’s most under-appreciated superstars in Andrew McCutchen, actually turned A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano into valuable pitchers, and relies on advanced thinking to improve their defense. Our favorite Albuquerque correspondent, Chris Jackson, is an avowed Pirates fan, and I’m finding it hard not to be on his side, at least for tonight.

Obviously, I hope the Dodgers go all the way this year. If not? Color me black and gold. Go Bucs.

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