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Bound for Pittsburgh: a team in the pits

Gotta be quick this morning, because I'm driving up to Pittsburgh -- my hometown. If you're part of the caravan heading from DC to the 'Burgh, ala the line of markered vehicles that treks across Texas during high school football season, I'll recommend the following destinations for your time in the Steel City.

1. Fathead's -- Located on Carson Street, the primary spot in town where gritty is also cool, this bar/restaurant might be the best spot in the world to go if your main objective is obesity. Fathead's has about 40 beers on tap, maybe more. It also has sandwiches that are roughly the size of WNBA basketballs. One (which I've devoured) has a fried egg, a pierogie and kielbasa all combined into some unholy caloric punch. But mmm, it's good.

2. Mt. Washington -- Check it out just for the view. You'll get to the top, and you'll change your mind about Pittsburgh. Promise. Try driving up there through the back streets of the South Side Slopes. You'll find some of the narrowest, steepest streets in the US back there. Some are borderline undrivable.

3. PNC Park -- Of course. It's a gem. Perhaps the best in baseball. I read in the Onion not so long ago a story that PNC Park was threatening to leave town if it didn't get a better baseball team.

Well, as it happens, the Pirates are actually flirting with .500.

The Nats are not. For my gamer, I kind of pulled back with a big picture analysis; every once in a while, it helps to zoom out far enough to assess where things stand. The basic conclusion I tried to draw: Right now, the Nats stand almost no chance. I'd estimate about a half-dozen visiting ballwriters (some vets) told me this weekend that the Nats had the worst lineup they'd ever seen. Yup, ever.

Only encouraging news from yesterday came from the Zimmerman shoulder saga. His meeting with Dr. Shaffer was quick, but it did give the green light for Zimmerman to go forward with his training rehab program. That ought to kick off today.

By Chico Harlan  |  June 10, 2008; 7:32 AM ET
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