Joe Vitale was jokingly referred to as “Public Enemy No. 1” inside the Penguins locker room Thursday afternoon.
Because Vitale, who hails from St. Louis, Missouri, was the only Penguins player that was cheering for the Cardinals in Wednesday night’s deciding NLDS Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Vitale’s Cardinals triumphed in the contest, 6-1. While Vitale was excited about the win, he gained a lot of admiration for his second favorite team, the Pirates.
“It was a great series,” Vitale said. “I have a lot of respect for Pittsburgh as well. They’re my second team. They had a great year. I was really proud of them. They did the city great. The city was excited about their year. We really look forward to this ball club doing something great next year, too. It was a great series. I’m really looking forward to next round.”
Vitale watched the game at his home with his wife, Brianna.
“I wasn’t giving her a lot of attention,” Vitale joked. “She was fine with it. We watched it together. She went to sleep in the seventh inning. I couldn’t go to sleep until it was over.”
Next up for the Cardinals, who won the World Series in 2011 after defeating the Texas Rangers in seven games, is a NLCS showdown with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“We had our hands full with the Bucs. It took a lot of steam out of us,” Vitale prognosticated. “It’s going to be a great series (against LA). I think it will go seven (games) again. I think the Dodgers are a dangerous team right now.”
So what’s his prediction?
“Going all the way this year,” he said.
The Penguins practiced Thursday afternoon at Southpointe. All of their healthy players participated.
The team used the following lines/D-pairs: