Finally, massive Stargell lumbered up. He has 21 home runs and 75 RBIs. He twirled his big bat as if it were a majorette's baton, then settled into the left-handed batter's box and effortlessly propelled three balls into the distant territory beyond right center field. He was followed by Dave Parker, a towering 6'5" junior Stargell, but still a part-time player. He launched a ball into the right-field upper deck.
The Giants wisely resisted watching this chilling spectacle, preferring the warmth of the clubhouse where they read the boxscores and ruminated on past humiliations. The Pirates are finished with rumination. One season is already behind them, another is in the works. They have lived the Robert Louis Stevenson tale in reverse, downing the magic potion to transform themselves from bad to good.
"We lost a lot of games early that we should have won," says Reuss, the starting pitcher with flowing blond hair and a 14-9 record. "Now we're winning those games. Water, as they say, seeks its own level."
The Pirates know their level. They've almost reached it.