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The Vault

May 24, 2010
May 24, 2010

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May 24, 2010

GOLF PLUS
LEADING OFF
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
2010 WORLD CUP
2010 World Cup
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Every SI Story ... Every SI Photo ... Ever SI.COM/VAULT

This is an article from the May 24, 2010 issue

EXCERPT | May 4, 1992

Bonds Away!

The retooled Pirates again overpowered the NL East

After two straight trips to the playoffs, the Pirates endured a major shakeup before the '92 season. But even without such former stars as Bobby Bonilla, Pittsburgh kept right on winning. Steve Rushin reported for SI.

You've heard of the Mudville Nine? The Pittsburgh Pirates are the Vaudeville Nine. Yes, we have no Bonilla, they'll tell you. Pirates prospects aren't merely sent to Triple A, they're shuffled off to Buffalo. Who's in first? The Pirates, who are so far out front in the National League East that it's hard to tell What's in second. I Don't Know? Third place.

The Pirates, two-time defending division champions, have the best record in baseball: 14--4 through Sunday. They've been so dominant of late that even after losing 5--4 to the Cubs on Sunday in Chicago, the manual-scoreboard operator at Wrigley Field reflexively recorded a 5--4 Pirates victory. The error remained there long after the players and spectators had departed.

At first blush these Pirates look like the same guys who won the East last season by 14 games. The early 4½-game gap between them and the second-place New York Mets at week's end looked so large you could have driven Cecil Fielder through it. Pittsburgh has already had a nine-game winning streak this season, equal to its longest run of a year ago. Leftfielder Barry Bonds continues to go long, like an Oscar acceptance speech, seemingly every time he steps to the plate. Pitchers Doug Drabek (3--1), Randy Tomlin (4--0) and Zane Smith (3--1) are racking up W's like unlucky Scrabble competitors.

The Bucs won another division title but fell for the third year in a row in the NLCS. They haven't returned to the postseason since.

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Editor's Choice

Bowl of Chilly

SI.com's Don Banks mulls the idea of the Super Bowl coming to New York

Start spreading the news, it's gonna be cold. There's no way around it. But it's not really the hard-core fans at the Super Bowl the league is worried about, because roughly half of the NFL's 32 teams play outdoors in some cold conditions for a good bit of the season and have fans who know how to stay warm. Rather, it's the fat-cat, big-money corporate element that has made the Super Bowl its own private event in the past two decades. So how will it react to sitting in the elements for four to five hours?

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PHOTOPhotograph by JOHN IACONOBIG STICK Bonds, in his final season in Pittsburgh, hit seven homers in the first 18 games. He finished the year with 34 and won his second MVP award.PHOTOJOHN G. ZIMMERMANTWO PHOTOSWALTER IOOSS JR.PHOTODAMIEN STROHMEYER (WARNER)PHOTOLOU CAPOZZOLA (TOEWS)PHOTOBILL FRAKES (PREAKNESS)PHOTOBOB ROSATO (RONDO)PHOTOGREG NELSON (FREDETTE)PHOTOSIMON BRUTY (GIRARDI)PHOTOJIM O'CONNOR/US PRESSWIRE (MARTINEK)