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Big Bucs fan Bylsma goes 'Sanchezing'

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma re-enacts a catch by Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez.

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Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, 7:27 p.m.
 

Dan Bylsma took time out of his birthday to go Sanchezing.

A self-described “big time” Pirates fan, Bylsma used goalie Tomas Vokoun's glove and the boards at Chicago's United Center on Thursday to mimic the highlight-reel diving catch by catcher Tony Sanchez.

The Penguins posted a photo of Bylsma “Sanchezing” to Twitter late Thursday after a 4-3 exhibition win at Chicago. Earlier in the day on Twitter, the Pirates requested fans do their best impersonations of Sanchez's catch and post them to Twitter.

The photo of Bylsma created a stir among Penguins and Pirates fans on Twitter, even though it did not post until about 11 p.m.

Bylsma, who turned 43, was the Pirates' scheduled guest tweeter Friday night for the opener of their National League Central showdown with Cincinnati at PNC Park.

He predicted Thursday that over the weekend “we'll get that game back” — a reference to the Pirates trailing first-place St. Louis by a game in the division standings.

Bylsma also said he “had some things planned” for Penguins coaches and players to publicly support the Pirates on a postseason run.

Those “things” likely would not be limited to wearing Pirates caps and/or jerseys, Bylsma said, declining additional details. Many Pirates players and coaches donned Penguins jerseys during batting practices while the Penguins played in the Stanley Cup playoffs in May.

Many members of the Penguins are invested in the Pirates' success.

Bylsma is friends with manger Clint Hurdle, Penguins general manager Ray Shero owns partial season tickets to the Pirates, and there are longstanding relationships between members of both clubs' communications staffs.

Note: Goalie Eric Hartzell was reassigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. The Penguins now have 44 players in camp.

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

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