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Manatee Sinks Pirates' Ship

BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 27:  Dinesh Patel of the Pittsburgh Pirates stands in line while waiting for his turn during a pitching drill at the Pirates minor league training facility on March 27, 2009 in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Seattle SportsnetCorrespondent IApril 4, 2009

A manatee is a giant aquatic mammal often referred to as the “sea cow.” I learned this from an episode of "Family Guy."

Manatee is also a county in Florida—named after the mammal, presumably—that is home to Manatee Community College.

Like most community colleges, Manatee houses a baseball team. Unlike most community college baseball teams, however, the Lancers of Manatee can claim victory over a Major League Baseball franchise.

On Thursday, the Lancers pulled off what locals are calling the “Miracle on Grass,” when they knocked off the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-4.

There’s really no way to spin this without just saying it. We knew the Pirates were bad, but who knew they were this bad?

In fairness to the big-league Pirates, the Pittsburgh ball club that fell to the mighty Manatee was considered Major League in name only. In fact, the majority of the Pirates’ big-league roster was playing a split-squad contest in Cincinnati.

Still, the team that Manatee defeated was no slouch of a ball club. They wore the jerseys of their Major League affiliate and boasted a roster primarily composed of Double- and Triple-A ballplayers.

Perhaps the most notable Pirate to crumble before Sea Cow U. was 2005 first-round draft pick Andrew McCutchen, an outfielder with a whole lot of “upside,” as the experts say.

I’ll admit I’m no Baseball America aficionado. I have no fountain of knowledge when it comes to the Minor League systems of various big-league teams, but I would have to imagine that this does not bode well for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system. We all have our bad days, but losing to a community college? That’s tough to comprehend.

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