PITTSBURGH – I feel bad bringing it up, but hey, every other media member did it today: the 2015 Wild Card Game.

You know those unpleasant memories you have of Jake Arrieta slicing through the Pirates lineup? Well, Arrieta, do you remember?

“When you bring it up, yeah,” Arrieta said.

In Don Draper fashion, Pirates fans, Jake Arrieta doesn’t think about you at all.

“It was short-lived, we moved on to play the Cardinals and the Mets,” Arrieta said. “And our season was cut a little bit short.”

That seems to be the way for this Cubs team. Perhaps the enduring memory was that Cardinals series in the NLDS, the first time the franchise ever clinched a playoff series at Wrigley Field — which you might note is a ballpark that’s been around a few years.

The positive memories are stronger for Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations. He got the vibes back taking a run along the Allegheny River on Monday, the same path he took before the Wild Card Game, pointing out where Kyle Schwarber’s home run exited the building.

“It brought back a lot of good memories,” Epstein said. “A lot will have to go wrong in this ballpark before that’s not the sentiment we have when we come here.

“Hopefully that never happens.”

You, the reader, may disagree.

Still, the strongest vibes are how they are with any road team coming to PNC Park — an affinity for the ballpark and the city that seems more genuine than a typical soundbite.

“I love coming here. This is an underrated city,” Epstein said. “Great baseball town, wonderful ballpark what they’ve done with the Riverwalk and everything. It’s a great place to come, and they should be proud.”

Cubs manager Joe Maddon has taken a shine to PNC Park too.

“They nailed it. The bridges, the skyline,” Maddon said. “It’s right up there [among my favorites], top three, probably.”

And while Arrieta may not think of the Pirates often, Epstein has, and he sends his condolences.

“I feel bad for them,” Epstein said. “With what they’ve done, the Wild Card outcomes and everything else. I feel bad for them.”

Later, Epstein asked me where good bars in town were.

I’ll keep my suggestions between me and him — but if you’re wearing a Pirates cap while Epstein is in town, see if his pity is worth a free drink.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. I’m sure it’s just me but something smells funny about the cubs, no team in any sport is that good without a little help. Might be nothing to it but a really good streach, however if the supermEn act continues keep an eye out for disposable needles, just sayin’.

  2. Pity is a a form of power. F off Epstein. Makes me even more disgusted with the Cubs. Today is a new day, go out and kick their asses. I don’t care who is on the mound.

    • Pity for what? Pittsburgh has a very good big league club and a fully stocked minor league system that pretty much ensures us that we will have a contending team for the forseeable future. If anybody should be pitied, it should be the Cubs’ fanbase. True, we haven’t enjoyed a World Series title since 1979. But remind me, Theo, when was the last time the Cubs won the World Series?

  3. lets offer the Cubs Cole for Arrieta even up and then we can throw in every other prospect they want when they turn us down.

  4. Epstein is the master of walking into a loaded organization and taking credit. Let’s see how he leaves the Cubs.

  5. Theo and his pity can shove off.

    Maddon can choke himself. “Plantar fasciatis”.

    At least Cole can throw a changeup… smh.

    Little Salty tonight… GO BUCS.

  6. Spare me the patronizing remarks from Maddon, a lifelong skunk, and Epstein a wunderkind when he has a ton of money to spend on MLB assets.

    I’d like to see what Epstein or Maddon can do with BN as owner, competing for revenue against snow blowing machines and printing presses.

  7. Cole ought to send his condolences to Pirates fans for crapping the bed tonight….could not even outpitch the Cubs #4 starter at home….Cole is a good, often times very good, starting pitcher. But, he needs to step up be the guy – a true ace. I seldom see him totally dominate a lineup and he just seems to lack that killer instinct that you would expect from someone with his stuff. I remember when he was at UCLA, that was the knock on him – that he seemed to get hit harder than he should – for someone who has his stuff and velocity. Very disappointing start to a very big 3 game series.
    Plus, two more errors – 6 now in two games. Three more steals against. The FO failed miserably in addressing the sub par defense, other than at first base, as well as the backend of the starting rotation. It may be early in the season, but these games count as much as the ones in September – and I don’t want to see this team wind up 1-2 games short of avoiding the dreaded and absurd one game wild card playoff game. The Cubs starting pitching, and bullpen, is light years ahead of the Pirates right now. The Cubs have been winning with pitching, because most of their hitters have gotten off to very slow starts – Bryant, Heyward, Rizzo, Russell, etc.

    • Cole was sweating beads almost from the beginning! He got owned and I saw it coming! I predicted he would be lucky to get to 6 innings and he couldn’t get thru 5. In my opinion, he’s still not an ACE! The wildcard game and this game prove it!

      • The best pitcher on the team is their #1, hence Ace. Every team has one, so whom is ours? Frankie “walks a billion” Liriano? I think not.

    • Bryant off to a “very slow” start? Kid has an OPS of damn near .900. The rest of your posts is grossly exaggerated. I knew you Yinzer’s would come on here and act like the season is over.

    • Hammell pitched and has been pitching pretty damn well……..so lets not say he couldn’t beat the #4 pitcher, because that is irrelevant. What is relevant is he pitched poorly. That’s it, move on.

  8. Cole is starting to remind me of Kip Wells, falling behind, throwing tons of pitches and finally giving in and throwing a fat pitch that gets hammered. I’m starting to yell at the screen at Cole like I did at Wells.
    If this guy is supposed to be the ace of the staff he better get his ass in gear and start pitching like one.

      • Nibble, nibble, nibble, walk a guy, allow a bleeder, then a two run double and be at 95 pitches in the 5th. That was the Kip we all knew and Cole’s starts are starting to have a similar look to them.
        He’s supposed to be the ace, that’s the expectation that comes with being the first overall pick and having that kind of talent. It’s time for him step up and produce.
        Let’s not forget the talent Wells had behind him compared to what’s behind Cole.

      • Pitching style man, not outcome. And we were discussing Kip Wells at his best, not his worst.

  9. Maybe it’s just a this year thing but Garrett Cole doesn’t look like the same pitcher this year. His stuff is blah, seriously Nicasios stuff is more consistent and has more snap. Not sure if he’s overconfident or what but he better get his shit together soon.

    • Did’nt get his fat contract, ball players like the rest of us hold grudges. We get passed over for a raise we do the bare minimum in retaliation , same for ball players.

  10. I’m debating whether to show pity for Cole James! Alot of 2-0 and 3-2 counts, steals galore and seeing flashbacks of last year’s wildcard game right on his face! Attach the box Cole!

    • Like I have said. Cole is a great 2 or even 3. He is not and will not be a 1. JT and Glasnow hold that promise. Cole has benefited from our shifts and defense. At least 8-10 other pitchers I would lead with before even mentioning Cole.

      • It doesn’t help either when sports media pushed the ACE tag on him when he can barely get to the 7-8th inning and I can never see him pitch a complete game! It doesn’t help when you have a superstar agent who fills his head w garbage and keeps him from pitching minor league games to properly rehab so he doesn’t blow a game like he did @Cin. SMH!

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