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Curve players enjoy Pirates' success

July 20, 2013
By Darian Somers - sports@altoonamirror.com , The Altoona Mirror

Alex Dickerson was 2 years old, Gregory Polanco had just turned 1, and Jameson Taillon wasn't even 1.

Those were the respective ages of some current Curve players the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates were in the playoffs, or in the hunt for a playoff berth, or finished a season over .500.

Now more than 20 years later, the Pirates - barring a giant collapse - will finish the season above .500 and be in the hunt for a playoff position. And the idea of being part of that is something that Taillon, Polanco and Dickerson can enjoy - not only because they are all more than 20 - because they are players.

As the Pirates begin the second part of the season, not only fans, but players are getting excited about the major league team's possible success.

"It's cool to be a part of it, even if we are only in the minor leagues," Tallion said. "It's cool to see them doing well. Around this clubhouse, we know most of the guys up there so it's great to see them have the success that they are having."

While it may be a few years, Taillon, Dickerson and Polanco, among others,could potentially be a part of what is happening in Pittsburgh.

Despite the Pirates collapsing in the second half the last two seasons, many like Jared Hughes said this year is different.

"It's good to watch," Dickerson said. "All three years I've been here, they have been good so I don't really have as good of perspective of how bad they have been in the past. They've been solid, and we all knew this was coming."

That idea of playing for a team that is in pennant races also excites Dickerson.

"It would be awesome," Dickerson said of possibly playing for the Pirates in a few years. "As you grow up, you always think about playing in the big leagues and playing in the big games in October. To be a part of an organization that is probably going to be there is also an added plus."

Taillon, a former No. 2 pick overall, is most likely on the Gerrit Cole path and could be in a Pirates uniform next season.

Polanco could be in Pittsburgh within the next two seasons, and if Dickerson keeps performing like he has lately, it could be a short time before they are all in black and gold.

"It would be fun," Taillon said of helping with a potential pennant race. "Getting drafted and seeing where they were at the time and where they are now, it's a cool process to be a part of. If I got to help out, that would be great."

With contract situations locking up key guys like Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Pedro Alvarez, who are all signed until at least 2016, the several members of the Curve team can help make an impact.

"That's a big thing for me," Polanco said of how he'd like to be part of the future. "I wish they call me up in September or whenever they want. That is one of my dreams [to be on a major league team and compete for a title]."

Both Dickerson and Taillon have seen the Pirates when they have struggled, much like many of the team's fans.

"When I first signed, it was like a dark time," Taillon said. "There was not much energy around Pirate City when I was down there. Now, you are down there, people are buzzing, and people are really excited to be there. There is competition. The coaches are all really excited to be a part of."

While nothing is guaranteed for the Pirates, seeing them do well is something that Dickerson and others can get excited about, even though the Curve may not be in line for a playoff spot.

"It's to that point now where we are right there on the cusp and the big league," Dickerson said. "They are going to make a push for the playoffs this year. They are going to contend for a championship."

 
 

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