Cubs eager to start next chapter while Pirates hoping to take next step after breakout season

The Associated Press

Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro fields a ground out hit by Arizona Diamondbacks' Eric Chavez during the second inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game, Saturday, March 29, 2014, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

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By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates will embrace their past before Monday's season opener against the Chicago Cubs.

Former Pirate Barry Bonds will present current star Andrew McCutchen with the National League MVP Award the speedy centerfielder captured in 2013. Former Pittsburgh manager Jim Leyland will do the same with Clint Hurdle's NL Manager of the Year Award.

The ceremony will put the finishing touches on a breakout season for the Pirates, who won 94 games and made the playoffs for the first time since 1992.

The Cubs are still in the midst of a lengthy rebuilding process after losing 96 games a year ago while the Pirates are eager to show their magical summer was no fluke.

Jeff Samardzija will start for the Cubs against Pittsburgh's Francisco Liriano.

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