Day 22: Cards? Shouldn’t you guys be tweeting someone?

Damnedest thing caused by today’s downpour, which cancelled the Pirates’ return engagement with the Blue Jays:

It also turned back the clubhouse clock.

There, in the middle of their McKechnie Field clubhouse, were Pirates players grouped around round tables playing cards.

The lightning and thunder must’ve been interfering with their smartphones and tablets reception.

It was like a scene out of “Bang the Drums Slowly.” And it was wonderful to see.

* * *

I’m still amazed by the fact of the 20 pitchers on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, 19 were with the organization last year. The only newcomer is Edinson Volquez. Stuff like that just doesn’t happen in this era of free agents and non-tenders.

Apparently, Erik Bedard, the ole Buccos left-hander, is equally amazed by such stability. 

Bedard is in the Rays camp trying to earn a job as a non-roster invitee and feels pretty good about his chances because, as he noted, “Every team turns around every year. It’s never the same. Nobody keeps the same guys anymore. They’ll switch, trade, get released. Back in the day, everybody stayed.”

There’s your new nickname for Pittsburgh’s team: The Back-in-the-day Buccos.

* * *

The Budweiser folks, fronted by Ozzie Smith, are fewer than 40,000 signatures shy of forcing a formal White House response to their petition to have Opening Day declared a National Holiday.

If they pull it off, we can deal with the details later. Like, what would be the official 2014 Opening Day? March 22, when the Dodgers and the D-backs meet Down Under? March 30, when the same Dodgers visit San Diego for the first domestic regular-season game? Or March 31, when everybody else — including the Cubs in PNC Park — joins in?

On a National Holiday, fans presumably would be more relaxed to enjoy Budweiser’s offerings. They could be busy emptying memorabilia, since more than six million cases of the stuff are being rolled out bearing images of MLB and 23 of its teams, including this cool number:

* * *

One nice thing about most of the ’13 Pirates still being around: Since the last week of the regular season through the first week of the Grapefruit League, the Bucs have lost only five of their last 20 games.

I know; stupid to draw a string through regular season to playoff games to exhibitions. Yet, whatever the time, these guys could be getting used to winning. Nice habit.

* * *

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