PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Remember July 2011, when the Pirates had a winning record heading into the All-Star break? The Bucs seemed like they finally turned a corner, but then came the 19-inning loss to the Atlanta Braves, the one where catcher Mike McKenry appeared to tag out Scott Proctor at home plate, but the umpire Jerry Meals called him safe. After the loss, the Pirates went into a slump that many said was because of that loss.

This season, the Pirates hope for a winning record, and Mike McKenry says they’re ready for the challenge.

“We have a very stable lineup with a lot of power in the middle of it and a lot of speed,” says McKenry. “I think it will be a lot of fun to watch this year.”

“The Fort” talks to KDKA-AM’s Larry and John live in Bradenton, Fla., at Pirates Spring Training. McKenry talked about the players getting cut from the team, what this year’s team will look like, and looking ahead one game at a time.

“We want to play today, and worry about tomorrow tomorrow,” says McKenry. “We don’t want to focus on September, or August, or the dog days.”

McKenry and the Bucs return to Pittsburgh for their April 1 home opener.

“I can’t wait for this year, it’s going to be a blast to see all the Pittsburgh loyal fans come out and support us,” says McKenry. “We’re going to do it together- we expect the fans to be on our side the whole way through, and we’re going to run with them.”

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