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NBA winds down, MLB kicks up

As the NBA season winds down, the Major League Baseball season inches closer and closer. The NBA Playoffs start in the middle of this month and the professional baseball season kicks off Sunday with the Atlanta Braves vs. the Philadelphia Phillies on ESPN.

This is always my favorite time of the year because my favorite baseball team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, are tied with every single other team in the league and it will be the last time that happens for 162 games.

The Pirates are awful and have the great luck to possibly, and probably, earn the record that no franchise in the sports world wants. If they have a losing record at the end of this year they will have the record for most consecutive seasons with a losing record.

They are now tied with the Philadelphia Phillies with 16 straight losing seasons. That is a long time to be rebuilding. The last good memory I have of the Pirates, if you want to call it that, was when Sid Bream rounded third and chugged for home to beat the Pirates in the playoffs.

That memory was when I was 10 years old and I was crushed. I have not had much to cheer about on the baseball field, but the good thing is the Pittsburgh Steelers have won two of three Super Bowls they have played in during that 16-year span.

So maybe this year the Pirates can defy the odds and not officially become the worst franchise ever.

No matter what happens, the baseball season is near and it should be an interesting year again this year. Last year had the Tampa Bay Rays dropping the Devil from their name and making the World Series.

And this year’s NBA Playoffs should be another interesting adventure.

With Lebron James playing at an MVP-caliber level and Kobe Bryant and the Lakers dominating yet again this year’s playoffs should be some good TV.

Matt Nascone is the sports editor for The Messenger. He can be reached at 670-6315 or online at matt.nascone@troymessenger.com.