Inside Conditions …Behind the “8” ball


Monday past as far as I am concerned was a date in Pirates infamy because on the night before, the Pirates were swept, swept, sweeeeeeeept…by the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs did not just beat the Pirates, they embarrassed the baseball club from the Steel City.
The Pirates aren’t looking as bad as they looked ten or even five years ago but it does appear as if the Bucs’ are lacking just a bit of energy and hustle.  Meanwhile the Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals are being scorched and left behind by the Cubs.
As far as last weekend’s shellacking is concerned, even “baby” Cubs took the time to whack the Pirates around.  One of the highly regarded prospects for the Cubs, Willson Contreras crushed a pitch from Pirates reliever A.J. Schugel as the Cubs dismantled and destroyed the Pirates. Contreras did everything but jump for joy in regards to his first big league-at-bat resulting in a round tripper. Sporting an ear-to-ear smile Contreras said; “It’s incredible I don’t have the words to explain how happy I am.”
Hey I am also pre…..tttty darn sure that Chicago Cubs manager Joe Madden is at a loss as how to explain how giddy he is to have this great young prospect on his team.
What is wrong with Andrew McCutchen? He is swinging at some very questionable pitches.  He also looks a bit distracted.  Is he getting enough sleep? Is everything alright in his personal life? He just does not seem like he is comfortable in or out of the batter’s box. There are a few “trade rumors” dripping off the lips of those who are supposed to know but I don’t believe Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is about to give up on his All Star centerfielder.  But who knows….Money talks and B.S….skips along.
And another thing, why can’t folks leave Barry Bonds the heck alone? There was a caller on a local radio show who initially had called in to talk about the Pirates shaky pitching staff, when right in the middle of the call, he went off into this rant about Bonds. This “fan” sounded as if, (I am not kidding) he was on meth or crack. I am disappointed that he was not cut off, but this particular host loves controversy.  I think that Pirate fans have enough to worry about than the alleged P.E.D’s used or not used by Barry Bonds over twenty years ago.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta has been and is currently suspected of “getting juiced” by something and the Cubs are beating the Pirates around like they have been caught shoplifting so I suggest that the Pirates fan base worry about our Bucs’ getting healthy so the Pirates can make a run at one of the wildcard spots.
I am confident that the Pirates will turn things around after they get their full starting lineup back but it is going to be a challenge, to say the least. (The source for this story was
Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: or 412.583.6741
Follow him on Twitter@ultrascribe

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