Day 30: Rays @ Pirates

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

n15901182_36884191_8270.jpgSo if you’ve never called Columbia, Missouri, home, you’re never going to understand the joys of Shakespeare’s Pizza, Shake’s frozen custard and the quad. And you’re surely not going to understand how sweet a kU loss is to all of us proud Mizzou grads. I’ve already ordered my Northern Iowa t-shirt. It’ll join the collection (Bradley, Bucknell, etc.)

Learning to despise the jayhawks (I mean, chickenhawks) is essentially a part of your college experience. As a freshman you learn never to capitalize the ‘k’ in kU because it’s neither a proper place, nor a proper noun. And there’s just something about that rock chalk chant that makes you cringe.

But all is well in the rivalry that dates back to the Civil War (no joke). Mizzou is still alive in the tourney and kansas is thinking about another failed NCAA run. And I’ve never been so content to have my bracket ruined on the first weekend of the tournament.

Now if only the Tigers could knock off West Virginia later this afternoon. Then this weekend (despite today’s crummy rainy weather) would be perfect. Hey, it’s March — anything can happen, right?

OK, so I know you’re on here for baseball, so I’ll oblige in that department as well…

  • The much anticipated spring debut of Octavio Dotel will happen Sunday afternoon, as long as that aforementioned rain doesn’t get in the way. The rain has stopped for the time being, but it is supposed to pick up again mid-afternoon. Dotel is scheduled to throw one inning (likely the sixth).
  • Right-hander Joel Hanrahan and lefty Wil Ledezma threw live BP on Sunday morning. Hanrahan threw 26 pitches — all fastballs and sliders. Hanrahan is scheduled to throw in a Minor League game on Wednesday. Though Hanrahan could pitch in a Grapefruit League game, the Pirates will likely keep him pitching in the Minors so that they can back date him on the DL to start the season.
  • Ramon Vazquez (sore left shoulder/collarbone) took swings in the cage this morning and said he is fine. He is available to play on Sunday if needed.
  • Reliever Javier Lopez remains away from the team to be with his wife, who is about to give birth to the couple’s first child.
  • Monday may be a team off-day, but it won’t be for everyone. Kevin Hart will start a Minor League game over at Pirate City on Monday. He is scheduled to throw 60-65 pitches. I plan on attending, so I’ll be sure to bring you an assessment later tomorrow afternoon. Evan Meek (40 pitches) and Chris Jakubauskas (30-40 pitches) will also make appearances in that game.
  • Pirate City is hosting an intrasquad game today, with Zach Duke making the start. He’ll be followed by Brendan Donnelly, Jean Machi, Anthony Claggett and Steven Jackson. I’ll bring you the results of those outings later this afternoon.
  • For those of you not glued to basketball, don’t forget that today’s game will be televised on FSN Pittsburgh. You will get to see Daniel McCutchen make his first start in a Grapefruit League game, so it’s likely worth tuning in.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Aki Iwamura (2B)
  2. Ronny Cedeno (SS)
  3. Jeff Clement (1B)
  4. Garrett Jones (RF) 
  5. Ryan Doumit (C)
  6. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  7. Bobby Crosby (DH)
  8. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  9. John Raynor (CF)

Pitchers: McCutchen (4 innings, 65 pitches), Vinnie Chulk, Dotel, Brian Burres, Brian Bass, Jack Taschner

Rays lineup:

  1. Jason Bartlett (SS)
  2. Gabe Kapler (RF)
  3. Evan Longoria (3B)
  4. Carlos Pena (1B)
  5. Pat Burrell (LF)
  6. Sean Rodriguez (2B)
  7. Kelly Shoppach (C)
  8. Justin Ruggiano (CF)
  9. Ryan Shealy (DH)

Pitchers: Andy Sonnanstine

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

3 Comments

The moment I saw Kansas had lost to Northern Iowa, I thought of the ‘kU’ on your profile blurb and laughed loudly.

Not a Mizzou fan but I’m rooting for them on to beat WVU.

I understand exactly your feelings towards kU. Being a graduate and lifelong fan of WVU, it’s burned into us from birth to feel the same way about Pitt. Despite my feelings towards any college team that has those four letters on their jerseys, I’ve also been a lifelong fan of the Pirates, having gone to my first game at Forbes field in 1966.

As for today’s basketball game, I feel your pain. You were just a youngster the last time WVU faced Mizzou, and lost to coach Stewart and the Tigers in the first round of the ’92 tournament.

Keep up the good work reporting on the Pirates. I hope to read your articles for years to come.

Sorry that the Mountaineers had to go and spoil your weekend – but it’s GREAT to be a Mountaineer!!

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