Bums on the seats.

If you watched the Pirates game yesterday late afternoon and early evening, something magical happened.

But first, let me preface that magic by saying the Pirates hit a rough patch this home stand. A real rough patch. The road went from asphalt, to gravel, to dirt, to Mars. Reports of whiplash were running rampant on the bandwagon. Emails and tweets rolled in. “You ready to take a match to your bandwagon?” “You playing with a lighter up there, Ginny?”

My mom said, “They’re falling apart.”

I said, “I’m not worried. They’ll turn it around.”

Fans were scared. The Trib said there was “no end in sight” for the tailspin, which is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. The team held a players only meeting which hinted at desperation. Was this the beginning of the dreaded second-half collapse we experienced last season? commentators bloviated. There was much virtual wringing of the hands over the Pirates’ woes.

Yesterday was a must-win game on more than just the win-loss level. More than just the wildcard level. This was a must-win game on the emotional level. This was a must win game that would decide if my bandwagon kept rocking and rolling along or if by morning light it was just me, Woy, and a half dozen people too drunk to jump off yet.

As the leader of the team, AJ Burnett got a little passionate yesterday.

He gave up a homerun to Hanley Ramirez at the top of the fourth inning. Rounding second base toward home, Ramirez did his signature eyes move to Burnett.

AJ didn’t like this. AJ watched Ramirez do this — watched him round third base and AJ had a look on his face similar to how God looks at Satan. Similar to how I look at pigeons. Garfield looks at Mondays. Lukey looks at Peduto.

Burning. Eternal. Hellfire. Hate.

Then comes the sixth inning. Pirates are up eight to four and AJ strikes Ramirez out swinging.

Ramirez starts arguing with the home plate ump.

And AJ, in an epic burst of badassery, shouts at Ramirez to “Sit the f*#k down! Sit dahn!”

YouTube Preview Image

It was glorious and inspired and life-affirming and it was more.

It was more than just AJ telling Ramirez to sit his ass down on the bench —  to go put his bum in the seat, as my kids’ bus driver tells the kids. “BUMS IN SEATS!”

It was more. It was AJ showing his leadership. His passion for this team. His desire to win. How much he cares about the Pirates.

It was AJ showing how much fight the team still has left despite the rocky road they’ve traveled recently.

It was AJ looking at those of you on the bandwagon who are out of your seats, toeing the edge as pothole after pothole lurches you about and rattles your brain, as the bumpy ground rushes by and you start to think, “I don’t think I want to be here anymore.” And you stand there thinking about jumping off.

AJ’s talking to you. And he’s telling you there are games left to play and fights left to fight and that the Pirates are still willing to go to battle.

He’s telling you to sit the f*#k down.

Kindly oblige the man.





22 Comments

  1. MizzPenz
    August 17, 2012 9:48 am

    It’s my new motto in life. STFD. The whole thing gave me the chills.



  2. Katie
    August 17, 2012 10:06 am

    I’ve been in that seat for nearly 2 years! I’ll be there for another century if that’s what it takes! I want Buctober!



  3. Jane
    August 17, 2012 10:12 am

    Loved your post STFD



  4. Sara
    August 17, 2012 10:24 am

    AJ Burnett has done enough for the Pirates this season that I shall gladly oblige! I confess, I was definitely nervous for them. And I really think that this “showing” by AJ is really what fans AND players needed to fire us up, especially going into the St. Louis series. I am always in favor of a well-placed F-Bomb, I won’t lie. ;)



  5. Karen Beck
    August 17, 2012 10:26 am

    My response to the nah sayers that pop up by the second inning has been …just give’em a little love. And it has worked all season. Hey Pittsburgh…we are NOT fair weather fans! Get out your umbrellas, and …just give’em a little love!



  6. SteelCityMagnolia
    August 17, 2012 10:31 am

    Dear AJ Burnett–

    I too, will gladly oblige and sit the eff down.

    And at the season’s end, Buctober or not, I will proudly stand the eff up. For the ovation you and your team so greatly deserve.



  7. bucdaddy
    August 17, 2012 11:03 am

    I took one foot off the ledge yesterday.

    Hope it carries over vs. Cardinals, but I don’t believe stuff like this does. Every game has to be won on its own, not on what happened yesterday.

    That said: Go, Bucs.



  8. Christina
    August 17, 2012 11:17 am

    If there is a team in baseball I REALLY hate than it is the f***in’ Dodgers. That may or may not be because I have my westcoast homebase in San Francisco and like you know … Giants and Dodgers is like Pens and *PATOOIE* Flyers. The LA crap sweepings the Buccos would have made me sick. Very sick. So glad it did not happen.

    And ….

    Dear Mr. Burnett,

    I am sitting on my too big bum not moving at all and this is a LOT because of you.

    Thank you for playing your heart out.

    Sincerely

    Me

    Let’s have “STFD” shirts!



    • bucdaddy
      August 21, 2012 12:41 am

      I was at Kennywood on Monday and an older man in line in front of me at the Exterminator had on a blue T-shirt with “STFD” on the back, and I thought, wow, that was pretty damn fast. Christina should get royalties.

      And then it dawned on me, that probably stood for something like “Stowe Township Fire Department.”



  9. Butcher's Dog
    August 17, 2012 12:45 pm

    I’m staying on that bandwagon permanently, too, and I’m relatively sober a large part of the time. I’m sticking to my “worst-to-first-in-two-years” statement, by the way. It’s a long season and I’d rather have the down time now than in the last two weeks of September. Go, Bucs!



    • bucdaddy
      August 19, 2012 12:59 pm

      Slim, smart and sober is no way to go through life, son.



      • Butcher's Dog
        August 19, 2012 3:55 pm

        Always ready for an Animal House quote, however altered! Note in my, well, note the words “relatively” and “a large part of the time.” That leaves, of course, the rest of the time.



  10. Jonathan
    August 17, 2012 12:46 pm

    If Jack Lambert played baseball he’d be AJ Burnett. Love it. Love them Buccos.



  11. gunnlino
    August 17, 2012 1:35 pm

    Shades of Russell Crowe , puttin’ bums in seats ! One way or another .



  12. ClumberKim
    August 17, 2012 2:03 pm

    I loved that game, AJ, and this team. And dammit all if dem Buccos haven’t lost exactly ONE game this season when my son wasn’t in our seats. Good.Luck.Charm.

    And Jonathan is a genius. Nailed it.



  13. LeeInIrwin
    August 17, 2012 2:13 pm

    Yes, @Christina! We need T-Shirts! That was the first thing I thought after seeing AJ telling Ramirez what’s what……



  14. Trish
    August 17, 2012 3:13 pm

    As a Yankees fan who got to watch AJ up close and personal for three years I will warn Bucs fans that there is Good AJ and Bad AJ. And you will never know which one you’re going to get. And Bad AJ is VERY VERY BAD.



  15. Just a Simple Man
    August 17, 2012 4:18 pm

    After this AJ moment he’ll never have to buy a drink in the Burgh again……. n’at



  16. bluzdude
    August 17, 2012 6:23 pm

    Ramirez is lucky AJ didn’t stick one in his ear hole.



  17. Craig
    August 20, 2012 10:36 am

    I’m getting tired of the Roots broadcasters referring to the team as “Pittsburgh” instead of the Pirates, Bucs, Buccos, or, better yet, “US”. Maybe they should sit down.



  18. Zack D'Ulisse
    August 29, 2012 1:45 am

    I designed a t-shirt after this great happening.

    http://zackdulisse.wix.com/dulissedesign#!shop/c1u9x

    AJ was pictured wearing it today in the clubhouse after the win

    http://t.co/ErCvJQgp