About This Week's Cover

The Pittsburgh Pirates have taken the baseball world by storm and find themselves in the thick of a pennant race. SI's Ben Reiter looks at the Steel City's newfound love for its longtime moribund franchise and its lights-out bullpen.

This Week In SI

A sampling of some of the stories you'll find in this week's issue:

MLB 2013 (Re) Preview: Which surprise teams will stay afloat in the second half and get to October? Will veterans like Chase Utley and Alex Rios be dealt before July 31? SI writers offer their take. Also, Tom Verducci weighs in on the game's most indispensable player: San Francisco Giants catcher and reigning NL MVP Buster Posey.

Basketball in Kabul: SI's Chris Ballard examines the legacy of a young Peace Corps volunteer who in 1965 transformed a nondescript Afghani high school basketball team into a city- and country-wide force.

More From

Tanking for 2014: The 2014 NBA Draft is loaded with potential stars like Andrew Wiggins, Marcus Smart and Jabari Parker. Chris Mannix explains how this is causing many front offices to shoot for losses and a high lottery pick instead of wins.

No fear in the Big Easy: For western New York native Zack Carpenter, living and skateboarding freely within New Orleans' rougher neighborhoods was no big deal. Sadly, the young skateboarder, whose friends feared he was too trusting, lost his life to a botched armed robbery. Richard O'Brien has more on Carpenter's tragic story and what he meant to the burgeoning skateboarding community in New Orleans.

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