Day 14: A different kind of numbers game
Only in Spring Training:
The travel squad the Yankees brought to McKechnie Field was so heavy with young prospects, the uniform numbers of their starting lineup averaged 66. Going with their regulars, the Pirates lineup averaged 27.
DH Andrew Lambo was high man for the Bucs, No. 57. Six Yankees starters wore higher numbers than that.
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An item in the Yankees pre-game notes highlighted the fact there are 11 players in their camp 6-foot-4 or taller. Sounded like a challenge, so we checked: The Pirates have 12 in camp 6-foot-4 or taller. So there.
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Joe Shula, who hosts the “Leading Off” talk show on WFBG in the Bucs’ Double-A home, Altoona, had a fascinating guest Wednesday, on multiple levels.
Chuck Goggin is distinguished as the most decorated veteran of the Vietnam War to ever play in the Majors. The Marine was awarded both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star following his 13-month tour of duty in 1966-67.
Goggin, now 68, had a brief big-league career with three teams, playing 72 games and collecting 29 hits, the first with the Pirates on Sept. 30, 1972.
That date should sound familiar. It is the game in which Roberto Clemente got the 3,000th and last hit of his career.
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Bovada, the Las Vegas voice everybody seems to be listening to, lists the over-and-under for wins by the Pirates this season at 83 1/2. So if it all goes as it did last year, the Bucs should have 100 wins: Bovada missed by 16 1/2 a year ago, when it had that line at 77 1/2.
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