Mt. Vernon Register-News


July 5, 2013

Pirates could present real challenge to Cardinals


A funny thing happened in the sports world while I was on vacation a week ago.

The Pittsburgh Pirates became the best team in baseball.

The Pirates went on a tear and took the top spot away from the St. Louis Cardinals.

For cursory fans of the sport, it might just seem like innocuous mid-summer jostling between two teams. For people who remember anything about the early 1990s in baseball and what has happened to the Pirates since, it's something a bit more significant.

The Pirates haven't had a winning season since 1992. But during a three-year run from 1990 to 1992 Pittsburgh won 90-plus games every season. It culminated with their 96 wins in 1992. That set the stage for one of the most memorable moments of baseball's illustrious history.

The Atlanta Braves, another 90s dynasty, clashed with the Pirates in the NLCS. The series went seven games. The Braves won in the most dramatic way possible with little-used Francisco Cabrera knocking a single that scored two-runs and winning the game. Sid Bream scored the final tally and just slide home safely past a a throw from Barry Bonds. A season later Bonds left for San Francisco. The Pirates have been terrible ever since.

Just twice since 1992 have the Pirates even threatened to complete a winning season. Pittsburgh won 79 games in 1997 and again last season.

The Pirates were in a similar situation a year ago. They appeared on their way, not only to a winning season, but also contending for a spot in the playoffs.

It could be a different story this year.

They appear to have a solid blend of offense and pitching. They have several youthful star powering the offense and took a chance on the reclamation project of A.J. Burnett. It's paid off.

Text Only
  • Kane leads Blackhawks past Blues, 4-3 in OT

    Patrick Kane had his shot all along. Same for his dazzling puck-handling skills and the vision that sees the plays before they happen.

    April 24, 2014

  • Brian Gamber resigning as Spartans basketball coach

    Brian Gamber is resigning as Spartans basketball coach after two seasons.

    April 23, 2014

  • Boyd Ballard Ballard takes over Rams wrestling

    Boyd Ballard has wrestled at the highest levels and now he's taken over the Mt. Vernon program.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodlawn-Patoka baseball Patoka knocks off Woodlawn

    Patoka built an early cushion against the Cardinals and hung on for a 5-3 win.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • MTV-Centralia baseball Rams outlast Orphans

    The offensive floodgates finally opened in the ninth inning for Mt. Vernon's baseball team.

    The Rams piled up six runs in the ninth inning to claim a 7-3 extra-inning victory Tuesday.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mt. Vernon looks to move quickly on basketball opening

    The summer is a critical time period in the development of a high school athlete.

    With the resignation of Mt. Vernon boys basketball coach Scott Gamber becoming official at Monday's school board meeting, Mt. Vernon will look to move quickly to fill the position with summer workouts approaching. MVTHS principal Wes Olson said Tuesday the school will try to have a candidate at the May board meeting.

    April 22, 2014

  • Gamber resigns as Rams coach

    Scott Gamber has resigned as Rams basketball head coach after six seasons.

    April 21, 2014

  • Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in triple overtime

    Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • MTV-Flora boys tennis Rams edge Flora

    The Rams tennis matchup against Flora on Thursday came down to the final match.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • MTV-Salem tennis Rams sweep Salem

    The Rams tennis team swept past Salem 9-0 Wednesday.

    It was the opening match of the season for Mt. Vernon after three cancelations to start the year under first year boys coach Randy Knox.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Tom Lindley Sports