1. It’s been a substantial amount of time since a picture like the one below has been taken of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Justin K. Aller / Getty
2. Specifically, it’s been 21 years since the Pirates made the playoffs. But with catcher Russell Martin cracking two homers tonight to beat the Reds in MLB’s wild-card play-in game, the Bucs are back.
4. Cranky old-timers like ourselves might grumble about MLB’s never-ending expansion of the concept of “playoffs,” which results in things like teams throwing ragers to celebrate moving from the fourth round to the quarterfinals.
5. Still, there’s no denying that, with a 94-68 record, Pittsburgh — led by Andrew “McClutchen” McCutcheon, Francisco Liriano, and a bullpen that will shut you DOWN and OUT — earned the right to play in October. These guys know it…
7. The guys and/or gals who made the “AAAAHHHHH!” sign know it…
9. The anthropomorphic parrot who conquered the pitching mound knows it…
11. And Michael Keaton most CERTAINLY knows it.
13. Well-done, Pittsburgh. The REAL playoffs start Thursday — glad to have you.