Tag Archives: PITTSBURGH PIRATES

PIRATES BACK TO .500 MARKET SQUARE RALLY TO FOLLOW

The Pirates have won four games in a row.

Pedro Alvarez looks like he’s starting to come around.

Their starting pitching is looking as good as it ever has.

And the Pirates are a .500 team.

Where do they go from here? Will they make a surge like last season and spend some time in first place?

It’s Memorial Day. I’m too tired to look it up, but I’m guessing that there have been very few Memorial Days in the last 20 years when they’ve been above .500.

Let’s give this group some credit for not being as pathetic as most of the teams of the last 20 years have been, but let’s hold off on the parades and the celebrations over getting back to .500

Sorry, but .500 still stinks. The only thing that this team has proven is that it can look pretty good in spurts.

The trick is not to get tricked into drawing too many conclusions from the spurts- including the bad ones.

Last year I said let’s wait until July and by then they were in first place and people were buying “I Was A Pirates Fan Before It Was Cool” t-shirts.

I said then that it was all about the 162. It still is. They proved that last year by tanking worse than any team in MLB history.

I’ll give you this: It could be worse.

PIRATES AND FLAG ETIQUETTE

Nice gesture by the Pirates to wear American flags on their sleeves.

Unfortunately, it’s not appropriate. Not to be critical.

Thanks, to Jack Haller for the heads up.

 

Flag Etiquette

STANDARDS of RESPECTThe Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:

  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
  • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Note: Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Many Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Girl Scout Troops retire flags regularly as well. Contact your local American Legion Hall or Scout Troop to inquire about the availability of this service.

 

 

Displaying the Flag OutdoorsWhen the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.

When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag – of a state, community, society or Scout unit – the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.

When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag’s union should be farthest from the building.

When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor – to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.

When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.

 

Raising and Lowering the FlagThe flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.

 

Displaying the Flag IndoorsWhen on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.

The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.

When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.

When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag’s union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag’s own right, and to the observer’s left.

 

Parading and Saluting the FlagWhen carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.

 

The SaluteTo salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National AnthemThe pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.

 

The Flag in MourningTo place the flag at half staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.

The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.

When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.

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PIRATES SHOULD MAKE A TRADE OR QUIT

Are the Pirates a real Major League Baseball team or are they, as I’ve been saying for years, a Major League Team in Name Only?

They stink again this season.

They’re going to have their 20th consecutive losing season.

Let’s pause here and think about how long that is.

JFK was assassinated in 1963. It was 21 years between that event and the Penguins drafting Mario Lemieux.

Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980. George Bush was elected in 2000.

The last time the Pirates had a winning season, I was 43 years old. I’m 63 now and have six grand kids.

When you’re living through something that drags on like this, you tend to lose sight of just how bad it is because one year is just layered on top of another.

We’re talking a failure of epic if not biblical proportions. (What’s worse epic or biblical?)

As Joe Starkey points out in his column, this year’s team is on pace to become one of the worst offensive teams in the history of baseball.

Stop and think about what “in the history of baseball” means. We’re talking about the turn of the previous century.

Think about how many groups of 25 men have been joined together to form a Major League Baseball team in the last, oh, let’s say 112 years.

The Pirates have a chance to be worse than any of them when it comes to, you know, actually hitting the ball.

Last year they made it into first place.

What did they do?

They put together the worst collapse of any first place team in THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL.

So, now they have a surplus of pitching. They’re one of the best pitching teams in the Major Leagues.

There’s talk of making a trade.

But there’s also lots of calls for caution.

“You can’t trade Player X. He’s off the table. That would be giving up too much.”

If the Pirates were a real Major League Team, they would be spending every minute of every day trying to locate a hitter.

Not a guy who used to be a good hitter — a real Major League good hitter. There has to be a team out there that is deep in hitters and desperate to find a pitcher.

The Pirates are still very much in contention for their division.

Did I mention that they haven’t had a winning season in 20 years?

One more real Major League hitter in their lineup the last month and a half probably would have had them in first place right now.

They have a plan in place that includes some really promising young pitchers in the minor league system. A couple of them might even start making a contribution next season.

It’s almost the end of May. They are in contention. Teams that are in contention and have obvious flaws that need to be corrected in order to stay in contention, make bold moves.

They risk sacrificing a little bit of their future for a big piece of the present.

Sometimes they risk a big part of their future.

What do teams that have had 20 consecutive losing seasons do?

Nobody knows because it’s never happened before in the history of baseball.

If the Pirates are to be taken seriously, (I stopped a long time ago and only pay attention because I have to.) they will make a trade for at least one hitter before they fall out of contention. And they’ll give up whatever or whoever it takes to get him.