PITTSBURGH -- Did dredging up one of the most wretched episodes in Pirates history make a cosmic contribution to the 2012 club's downfall? During the Bucs' early-season visit to Atlanta, they were inundated by replays on Turner Field's giant video board of "The Slide," by Sid Bream, which gave the Braves the comeback 1992 National League pennant. As if that wasn't bad enough, fans were also incessantly reminded to come back on June 9 for a bobblehead depicting the event. And if that wasn't bad enough, the Bucs invited the haunting to their own front door.
On Aug. 24, in the opener of the Pirates' previous series against the Brewers, Bream took part in a season-long promotion by serving as the guest bartender at a PNC Park pub. His image was on the scoreboard, and an interview with him interrupted the game telecast. The Pirates took the field that night with a record of 67-57, one game out of a National League Wild Card playoff berth. They lost, 6-5, and have kept on losing, going 7-16 since then. Sure, Bream spent most of his career -- 1985 to 1990 -- with the Pirates. But didn't he do more against them than for them? Apparently, he still is.