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Pirates above .500, Pens in the playoffs.

by David Rath
If you are a Pittsburgh sports fan, be glad. The Pirates won today, 10-2, in Cincinnati. The Penguins also won, on the strength of two shorthanded goals, both scored during one Montreal Canadiens power play.

Ryan Doumit, with his first career grand-slam, cleared a bases loaded situation in the top of the ninth to extend a 5-1 Pirates lead to 9-1. Adam LaRoche stepped up for the next at-bat and also hit it out, making it 10-1 Pirates. Jesse Chavez gave up one in the bottom of the ninth that meant nothing, and the Pirates left the game still tied for first in the NL central, with the St. Louis Cardinals. Paul Maholm also continued his great pitching, going 6+ stellar innings in his second start and wrangling his well-deserved first win of the young season.

While in the next few weeks I will continue to track Pirates baseball, forgive me if my attention is diverted to playoff hockey from time to time. The NHL playoffs are, in my opinion, the best time of the year...and i do genuinely feel that the Pens have a legitimate shot at the cup this spring. To my friend who is GDFlyers fan, I called a Pens-Flyers 4 seed vs. 5 seed first-round matchup after the Pens lost the cup series last season. Turns out I was right, and all that is left to be determined is which keystone team will have the home-ice advantage. So, as much as it might go against yours or my norms, any Pittsburgh fan tomorrow will be a Rangers fan. At least for this sunday, go Rangers.

Baseball is and always will be my favorite sport. At this time of year, however, I wear my playoff beard and my Pens jersey proudly. I will represent my city, the city of Pittsburgh, in the way that it most needs me, and at this time I feel that the dismantling of the Philadelphia Flyers in seven or fewer games is of utmost importance. I have little doubt that our home-ice team will take care of business, taking us a round further into the Stanley Cup playoffs, and then a round further, and then a round further, and finally back the finals.

After these Penguins bring the cup home, or don't(God forbid), then I will divert my attention fully back to baseball, and I do hope that the Pirates continue upon or improve upon the mild success that they have had up to this point. I would not be ashamed to be the only person in the world who thinks that this baseball team can be a contender. Godspeed, Ian Snell.