Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

| Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Laurel: To the Pirates. The Battlin' Bucs this weekend can avoid the embarrassment of a 21st-straight losing season by picking up their 82nd win of the year. And they certainly appear to be on the road to what for so long was the unthinkable — the playoffs. No, it's not a glide path but it's a solid one. The Pirates open a critical (and their last) series with St. Louis on Friday. The next goal — win the National League Central Division outright and better take control of their post-season. Let's go Bucs!

On the “Watch List”: The Steelers open the 2013 season on Sunday at home against the Tennessee Titans. Pittsburgh is coming off a less-than-stellar preseason (it went 0-4) and hoping to improve on last year's disappointing, no-playoffs 8-8 season. But some are wondering if things will get worse before they get better. Sure, maybe we didn't see much of the A-team playing its A-game in the preseason, but this team faces significant challenges. Here's to overcoming themselves. Here we go — we hope.

Lance: To A.J. Richardson. The erstwhile Democrat Pittsburgh mayor candidate is in trouble with the law. Again. Mr. Richardson, 37, of Sheraden, is charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest in a neighborhood brawl. When he was running for mayor in the spring, he was charged with driving under the influence after police found him slumped over the wheel of a running vehicle. That case is pending. Get some help, A.J.

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