Vitale still fan of Cardinals, but he's fine with Pirates, too

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Penguins center Joe Vitale is a committed St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Often wears a ballcap that proves it.

It's perfectly predictable, then, that Vitale, a St. Louis native, wants to see the Cardinals finish first in the National League Central.

But, if they don't, he seems willing to live with the most likely alternative.

"I hope the Cardinals win the division," Vitale said Monday, after an informal workout at the Ice Castle in Castle Shannon. "But, if there were a team to beat us out, obviously I'd be pulling for [the Pirates].

"I'm a Cardinals fan, but there's a great buzz in the city right now. I consider this place my second home, so the fact they haven't [reached the playoffs] in so long, obviously, if they're the team to beat us out, it would be a good thing."

Vitale didn't attend any of the three weekend games between the Pirates and Cardinals at PNC Park, but he hasn't ruled out watching those teams play again in 2013.

"Hopefully, I'll see a playoff game if [the Cardinals] come back here," he said. "We'll see."

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