Florida Wood Versus Pennsylvania Iron

Poor Pittsburgh Pirates. Their city is two-for-two in sports championships this year, following a dominating romp through the NFL playoffs by the Steelers and an improbable (and epic) comeback march by the Penguins in the NHL playoffs. The Steel City hasn’t been this ecstatic since, well, it was actually making steel. And wouldn’t a trifecta of professional victories be the stuff of legend? Yes, but it ain’t coming from these 2009 Pirates, not after 17 straight losing seasons and the recent deportation of star center fielder Nate McLouth. (Some two weeks after the deal, McLouth was still leading the team in RBI’s.)

But the Pirates did sweep our Florida Marlins back in April, initiating the six game losing streak that erased any hopes of the Fish being the powerhouse their 11-1 start seemed to suggest, so they can’t be taken lightly. See if HanRam and company can dish out a little payback this Sunday at 1:10 p.m. at LandShark Stadium (2269 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami Gardens). Tickets start at $12. Call 877-MARLINS, or visit floridamarlins.com.
Fri., July 3, 6:10 p.m.; Sat., July 4, 7:10 p.m.; Sun., July 5, 1:10 p.m., 2009

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P. Scott Cunningham