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BRADENTON, Fla. (KDKA) — There has been no shortage of drama behind the scenes for the Pirates in the off-season.

But somehow, the crack of the bat and the smell of the grass has a negativity-cleansing effect.

“It’s been good. Anytime you can get back on the field and be together, it just means baseball season is right around the corner,” Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison said.

Two of the team’s top stars last year are gone. The team finished 32 games under 500, 17 games out of first place, but these players and this team can do nothing about that.

“So you just come here and play and not even think about last year,” Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco said.

There’s a lot of talk about the new guys and the young guys, and on the pitching staff, Felipe Rivero says the newbies have been very productive.

“There is more than was expected, so that’s pretty good,” closer Rivero said.

But good enough to compete in the National League Central? Some of the players say you might be surprised. That’s why they play the games.