Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Bucs, A Burger, and Buddy

It has been a busy week since our return from vacation, and in many respects, we still haven't recovered from that middle-of-the-night drive from Corolla to Pittsburgh last Saturday, so let's cover some selected short subjects, all beginning with the letter B....


It was a wild week for the Pirates, who jumped into first place with an amazing four game winning streak against the Cardinals, and the fact that they have now lost two in a row, one to the Cards and one to the Rockies, in no way  diminishes that accomplishment.  As this is being written, the Pirates have a 1/2 game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central, and are 21 games over .500.  A long, hard road lies ahead, but the goal now is to win the division.  Finishing with a winning record is all but assured and the odds of securing a wild card spot are almost overwhelmingly in the Pirates' favor, but winning the division, well, that will be a long hard slog right through the end of the season if it is to happen.

I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at the Wednesday night 5-4 win over St. Louis, and it was an amazing atmosphere at PNC Park that night.  I am hoping for many more such evenings between now and September 29.

As for the trade deadline that passed without the team making any moves, I am OK with it.  I would not have wanted to see major pieces of "the future" traded away for marginal players (Alex Rios, Bud Norris) or short term rentals (Raul Ibanez), and, as I mentioned in a post a few weeks back, I believe that Neal Huntington has earned a benefit of the doubt for the time being.  Also, what has been credited as one of NH's best deals over the years was acquiring Derek Lee in 2011, and I believe that that move was made at the August 31 waiver deadline, so I am guessing that some move will be made between now and then to shore up what is a glaring weak spot in the batting order at the 1B and/or RF position.


It has been a while since I have written of my Quest to find the best hamburgers in Pittsburgh, but this week, I found an outstanding burger in a surprising place:

Yep, the hamburger at Manny's BBQ in PNC Park has moved into the Top Five among Pittsburgh Burgers.  First off, the burgers is cooked on a charcoal grill right before your eyes, you can choose your toppings, and it is relatively inexpensive for PNC Park concessions: $8.50, and for an extra buck, you can get a side of cole slaw and baked beans.  Of course, you  have to pay for a ticket to actually get into the ball park, so that does add to the cost.  Still, if you are planning on eating at the game anyway, go for the burger at Manny's.

Current Top Five Burgers in Pittsburgh (listed alphabetically because it is becoming too hard to list them numerically!):

  • Manny's BBQ (PNC Park)
  • McFadden's (North Shore)
  • Rochester Inn (Ross)
  • Tessaro's (Bloomfield)
  • Union Grill (Oakland)

We took in our final CLO show if the season on Thursday at the Benedum, "Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story".  Based on the life of Buddy Holly, this was as much a rock & roll concert as a musical play, and it was really a fun show.  Great energy and musical performances by the actors, particularly by the actor portraying Buddy Holly.

This is actually the second time that we have seen this show, and it is one that I would not hesitate to see a third time as well.  The way the show starkly ends at the Clear Lake concert on "the day the music died" is shocking and most effective, and the encore performance that serves as a curtain call is absolutely fabulous.

In the course of this two and on-half hour show you can really see how Holly's music and Holly himself evolved over the course of his very, very brief career.  It makes you realize that the "what ifs..." and the "could have beens..." that surround the death of Buddy Holly are very real and very sad.

A great, great show. 

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