Pirates are funny. Granted, they weren't much fun to encounter when they sailed the seven seas back in the day, or even nowadays for that matter. Nasty brutes. And folks like Microsoft and the RIAA get mighty steamed about software and music piracy. But the whole pirate ouevre, the parrot and the pegleg and the cutlass and the yo-ho-hoing -- that's funny (see pirate joke, below). Pirate movies are splendid bombs at the box office (Hook, Cutthroat Island, and Pirates of the Caribbean any day now). Overboard is a pretty funny pirate comic strip. And those old Pittsburgh Pirate uniforms in the '70s, the black-and-yellow bumblebee numbers they'd stuff Willie Stargell into, they were pretty stinking hilarious too.
So yeah, pirates are funny, but not when they score eight runs off your #2 starter, as Pittsburgh did last night. It was a rare offensive outburst for this somnolent team: the 2003 Pittsburgh Pirates are 4th from the bottom of the National League in runs scored, 2nd-last in home runs and 2nd-last in team OPS, at 702 (would you believe the Dodgers are dead last, at 669?) Expect this group to revert to its usual form tonight against Roy Halladay, seeking a team-record ninth straight win. Doc will face The "Good" Jeff D'Amico, the gargantuan (6'7", 255 lb) hurler who's as fragile as ice crystals (he's never started more than 23 games in any of his seven seasons). This should be pretty straightforward for the home squad. But pirates are sneaky folk; look alive, Mr. Halladay!