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And Another Thing

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Associated Press

That losing feeling

OK, so there are three things in life that are sure, then.

Death.

Taxes.

My Pittsburgh Pirates playing losing baseball yet again.

Yes, that's right, the Pirates are 79-82 with one game left to play in 2012, which means they've assured themselves of a 20th straight losing season. Twenty in a row! Do you have any idea what that means?

It means the last time the Pirates were winners, George Bush was president. No, not that George Bush. His daddy.

It means the last time the Pirates were winners, Washington Nationals' star Bryce Harper hadn't yet been born. No one, or almost no one, had ever heard of Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, LeBron James, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter or Jeff Gordon. No one had yet forgotten Vanilla Ice and Tone Loc.

And then came Francisco (Bad Word) Cabrera and Sid (Same Bad Word) Bream, and it all went to hell. Barry Bonds left. Bobby Bonilla left. Jim Leyland left. Major league baseball left, for all practical purposes.

And the worst thing about all this?

This was the year the Pirates looked like they were for real. Or kind of for real.

They had a stud pitcher to blow up losing streaks. They had an All-Star closer. They had one of the best young players in the game in Andrew McCutchen. And for good long while -- oh, glorious June and July, you seem so far away now -- they were hanging in there with the Reds and Cardinals at the top of the NL Central.

At one time, somewhere in there, they were 16 games over .500. People were talking playoffs, and those people were actually sober.

And then, the Pirates turned into the Pirates.

They went 11-17 in August. They went 7-21 in September, when even the 100-loss Cubs were better. That's 18-38 the last two months of the season.

Some playoff push. Same old Buc-nos.

'Scuse me while I scream.

Ben Smith's blog.

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