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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- Former Pirates catcher Mike LaValliere was a guest on The Fan Morning Show on Tuesday morning as the Pirates prepare to play their first playoff game since “Spanky” was in uniform in 1992, when he supposedly missed the tag on Sid Bream to send the Atlanta Braves to the World Series and sending both organizations in complete opposite directions.
“We are excited again” says LaVelliere. “All of us consider ourselves still Buccos and the City of Pittsburgh still lives in our hearts and we are excited even more for the fans than the organization.”
LaValliere says that game in 1992 still hurts and may have been the low point of all of their careers because they should have won that game and went on to the World Series.
“It was nobody’s fault” LaValliere said of the loss. “We just didn’t win.”
He said it was one of the greatest games ever played. It’s just that the wrong team won.
But this year is another opportunity. The first one in 21 years.
LaValliere says he had the opportunity to be with this team in Spring Training and he could sense that this team had what it takes. He said they believed in themselves and they were the only ones who probably did, but that have carried that all season.
He said this team has been good the past two seasons, but only failed because a lack of depth. This team was able to make it because of the extra horses.
He told Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington in Spring Training that he helped half of the Pirates roster with the addition of one of those horses – catcher Russell Martin. He said he was an immediate upgrade for the catching position, but also a big help to that pitching staff.
LaValliere says that he would like to be in Pittsburgh tonight to see the game, but he has been doing a nice job from where he has been watching at home – not that he is superstitious or anything.
Listen to the full interview here.