Hey guys! I just wanted to alert all my fellow Pirate fans:
I’m so excited and very fortunate to have season tickets, and its not realistic to make it to every single game this season. (I work, go to school, act, and have acting classes) so for the few of you guys that read my blog, spread the word. On days when I know I can’t make it to a game, I will give my ticket away for free, cause I’m nice like that, to random readers! I only have one seat, but my seat is unbelievable.
A view at the end of the season last yr, after I bought them.
Anyways, no catch, just love spreading the love of baseball. Wed are tough days for me to make it to games. I’ll try to post them in advance too If i can.
So spread the word, check my blog out and you can win a free seat to an upcoming Pirate game!
6 Days 15 Hours 23 Minutes!!!!!!!!
Articles are blurry. I don’t understand why! I have a new camera. Ugh, anyway. If your interested in reading the Article from Sporting News Magazine on the Pittsburgh Pirates I’ve typed it below:
How low can they go?*
With their streak of losing seasons now at 17, the Pirates have become the league’s offical poster child for futility.
Anything that happens repeatedly without fail becomes cliche. And Pittsburgh has become baseball’s cliche for ineptitude.
True, the Pirates (barely) saved themselves from a 100-loss season (62-99) under second year manager John Russell in 2009, but they were powerless to avoid and industry-record 17th consecutive losing season. Pittsburgh has not witnessed winning baseball since Atlanta Braves pinch hitter Francisco Cabrera’s two-out, two-run single off Stan Belind wrested Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS away from then-manager Jim Leyland. The transformational game occured so long ago that the Pirates left fielder was Barry Bonds, whose throw just missed beating the lumbering Sid Bream.
Managers Gene Lamont, Lloyd McClendon, Jim Tracy, and now Russell and three ownership groups have been unable to reverse the ensuing negative momentum.
An entire generation of Pittsburgh fans has never experienced the rush of a winning season. The Pirates haven’t tasted even third place since 1999. (They’ve won more than 72 games just once since.)
Third baseman Andy LaRoche led last year’s team with 64 RBI’s and 135 hits. Utility player Garrett Jones had a team-leading 21 home runs in only 82 games. The Pirates have only 79 at-bats to players older than 31 (Craig Monroe, since released) .
Regular first baseman Adam Laroche, second baseman and former batting champion Freddy Sanchez and left fielder Nyjer Morgan were traded off before season’s end. After escaping June with a credible 36 total wins, the Pirates managed eight, nine and eight wins in the schedule’s final three months, respectively, and were outscored by 121 runs in their last 73 games.
If hope and change were the political themes for 2009, the Pirates can at least offer change in 2010.
Still nobody’s idea of a muscular team, the Pirates can at least market a dynamic young talent in 23-year-old center fielder Andrew McCutchen (.286, 12 HR, 54 RBI) who needed only 108 games to merit a fourth-place finish in Rookie-of-the-year balloting. IT was the best finish by a Pirates since Jason Bay won the 2004 award.
General manager Neal Huntington recognizes that the franchise needs (another) fresh start. Last summer he purged eight players, including the popular Sanchez, to receive 15 less-experienced ones in return.
Future hopes for a turnaround rest in youngsters such as McCutchen , outfielder Jose Tabata (21), righthanded pitcher Brad Lincon (24) and middle infielder Chase D’Arnaud (23).
The Pirates lack the financial capacity to swim in the deep end of the free agent pool; however, they do have the resources to increase their investment in player development. Pittsburgh ended last season with a puny $25 Million payroll–roughly half it’s opening day level–but expectantly awaits the arrival of 2008 frist-round pick Pedro Alvarez at third base. The franchise has invested more than $18 million in signing bonuses the last two drafts, and industry high.
It’s not a mixed message, because if the Pirates are ever going to contend within their small-market environment, it must be by building from the bottom up.
An abused fan base no longer flocks to PNC Park. The pirates drew only 1.57 million last season to rank 15th in the league.
Those who attend saw a team that actually led the NL in fielding but ranked last in runs scored, 14th in home runs and 14th in one-base percentage. The Pirates won only 12 one run games all season. A team that scored 99 fewer runs than its last-place predecessor can only move up offensively.
The Pirates did very little to address their lack of power before the new year. Andy LaRoche hit 12 home runs in his first full season as a regular while batting .258. He and catcher Ryan Doumit are the only holdovers from last season’s opening-day alignment, as Ronny Cedeno projects at shortstop and free agent signee Akinori Iwanmura comes over from the Tampa Bay Rays to play second base. Iwamura, 31, struck out 131 times in 2008 before managing one home run in 231 at bats last season.
First base offers an intriguing choice between Steve Pearceand Jeff Clement, who was part of a seven-player trade that sent shortstop Jack Wilson to the Seattle Mariners last July. Clement spend all of last season at Class AAA, where he hit 21 home runs with 90 RBI’s in 119 games. His lefthanded bat also has a better chance at PNC Park, which is heavily biased against righthanded hitters.
In the outfield, McCutchen projects as a franchise centerpiece alongside Lastings Milledge and Jones, who had played in only 31 major league ames for the Minnesota Twins before finishing seventh in NL Rookie-of-the-year balloting as a 28-year-old Pirate. Of Jones 92 hits, 43 were for extra bases, an eye-catching ratio within a team that labored for big innings.
Doumit, a switch hitter, struggled with injuires as a follow-up to his impressive offensive campaign in 2008. He served as the Pirates cleanup hitter before suffering a broken right wrist in late April. His absence not only complicated Pittsburgh’s offensive problems but also left a young pitching staff on it’s own. Neither fared well.
Lefthander Paul Maholm, 27, returns as the Pirate’s staff ace after allowing 221 hits and a 4.44 ERA during an 8-9 campaign in 2009. Maholm has averaged almost 200 innings the last two seasons but also carries the dubious distinction of allowing 200 hits or more in each of his four full major league seasons. Maholm won three of his first four starts in 2009 before managing only three more victories in his next 20 outings. Three times he failed to earn a win when his team broke out for at least eight runs. His talent, however, suggests there is better stuff to come.
Fellow lefthander Zach Duke (11-16, 4.06 ERA) surrendered 231 hits and became especially hittable after leaving July with a 3.26 ERA. Opponenets strafed him for 10 homeruns in his last 11 starts, which inclueded five outings in which he allowed five or more earned runs. There was little middle ground for Duke, as he allowed 16 home runs and a .331 average in his losses compared with four homers and a .226 average in his wins.
Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton, and Kevin Hart will likely fall in behind the two lefthanders in the starting rotation. Jeff Karstens, who was signed to a minor league deal in December and invited to spring training, could resurface after making 13 starts last season.
The Pirates lost closer Matt Capps to the Nationals in free agency and will give Joel Hanrahan the first crack at filling that vacancy. The former second-round pick of the Dodgers prospered after a midseason trade from Washington.
Evan Meek and Steven Jackson return from offering solid 2009 seasons from the right side. Fellow righthander Jose Ascanio will likely join that duo in the bullpen.
Donnie Veal and Javier Lopez are the leading lefthanded options.
Like much of what surrounds it, the Pirates bullpen struggled last season, yielding the sixth-most total bases despite working the third-fewest innings in the NL.
Pulling the Strings
John Russell enters his third season as a manager, this time with a team stripped of its most veteran position players and a bullpen missing closer Matt Capps. Russell was a highly successful minor league manager and will now use those same skills in what is hardly a fair enviorment. Russell does not complain and provides a low-key, firm manager that has served him well, but no Pirates manager has survived three straight 90-loss seasons. General Manager Neal Huntington, 40, brought a strong background in player development when he was hired away from the Cleveland Indians in 2007. The Pirates apprear ready to trust their minor league system as its top prospects ripen.
Andrew McCutchen- OF
With four months of major league servive time, McCutchen is an unlikely leader. But this is an unlikely situation. The Pirates have sought a signature player since trading Jason Bay, and McCutchen fits that discription. For a player so young (23), McCutchen has a presence and a strong sense of responsibility to himself and his team. He handled atention conected to his Rookie-of-the-year candidacy with grace. Some believe there are comparisons with what Troy Tulowitzki meant to the Rockies in 2007. The Pirates small-market status does not bode well for carrying many veterans. Leadership often becomes an issue. McCutchen, who already serves as a symbol for a revitalized player-development system, may fill another void as well.
Pedro Alvarez 3B (6-3, 240)
Alvarez is considered a cornerstone of the Pirates future. That shouldn’t be a stretch for a player who commanded a $6.35 million bonus as the second overall pick in the 2008 draft. Few disagreed when Baseball America ranked him as its top minor league prospect last Decemeber. Alvarez spend only a half-season at Class A Lynchburg before being moved to Class AA Altoona last June. The Vanderbilt alum finished with a combined .288 average, 27 home runs and 95 RBI’s.
Alvarez is expected to reach Pittsburgh at some point this season. The club would like him to improved his conditioning, as Alvarez carries 240 pounds on a 6-3 frame. The Pirates look forward to seeing the fruits of an intensive offseason workout program.
For a franchise that has sorely lacked righthanded power since moving into spacious PNC Park, Alvarez represents the face of its future.
View from the Other Dugout
(How a rival scout sizes up the Pirates)
”The Pirates moved a lot of bodies last year to future stock their minor league system and to create oppurtunities for some players they believe are close. It’s easy to be negative about them because they’ve been bad forever, but to have a young player like Andrew McCutchen is invaluable. He’s a potential superstar. …
“Ownership apprears commited to (scouting) the Caribbean and spent big time to get (top prospect) Pedro Alvarez two years ago. It’s hard to project significant improvement this year because they have so little power, no depth and few roles withhin the bullpen. Garrett Jones and Bobby Crosby are the only players on the roster who have hit 20 homeruns in a season. Catcher Ryan Doumit isn’t a prototypical cleanup hitter. Left fielder Lastings Milledge has always been viewed as a guy with talent and some baggage, but he may be maturing both on the field and in the clubhouse. …
“Letting Matt Capps go via free agency and trading John Grabow removed their two most consistent relievers. People forget they got Ross Ohlendorf and Jeff Karstens in the same 2008 deal from the New York Yankees. Ohlendorf pitched very well at home (8-2, 2.64 ERA) but was a different guy on the road (3-8, 5.56). …
“The Pirates were an underrated defensive team much of last season but weren’t the same after trading Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez. They’ll be missed.”
*Article from Sporting News Magazine Baseball 2010
Sorry, the pictures are a little blurry. Sporting News Magazine’s Baseball 2010 issue came out. Thoughts on the World Series? I sure hope they are wrong. I don’t want to see NYY vs PHI again!
Other Highlights from the magazine:
- Five Fearless Forecasts:
- There will be one heck of a Hall of Fame class in 2016. -The Players likely to retire after this season include Ken Griffey Jr, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Jim Thome, Andy Pettitte, & Gary Sheffield.
- The 600 Homer club will welcome a new member. -Yankees 3rd Baseball Alex Rodriguez needs 17 homeruns to become the seventh player to reach 600. He has hit at least 30 in each of the past 12 seasons.
- Minnesota will regret not putting on a rectractable roof on new Target Filed. -Outdoor baseball is great as long as it isn’t played in football weather.
- Bobby Cox will leave by himself. -Of the four 60 and over Hall of Fame managers, this will be the last season for only Cox. He has already annouced that 2010 will be his swan song. Look for Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland, and Joe Torree to all return in 2011.
- Three streaks are sure to extend. -First, Cardinals 1st baseman Albert Pujols will again hit at least .300 with 30 homers and 100 RBIs for the 10th consecutive season. Second, Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki will finish with atleast 200 hits for the 10th straight year and, finally, the easy one: The cubs won’t win the World Series for the 102nd consectutive time.
(Note: They didn’t say anything about the Pirates extending the loosing streak to 18!!! Could this be the year they finally break it?)
- American League:
- Yankees- They have a ton of money to spend, but give them credit for spending it on the right players.
- Red Sox- Their talent is tick below New York’s but still superior to every other team in the AL.
- Rays- The best third place team in baseball. Too bad that won’t earn Tampa Bay a spot in the postseason.
- Orioles- Baltimore is heading in the right direction, but this is a deep hole it’s trying to escape.
- Blue Jays- Cutting payroll in this division is a recipe for a last place finish.
- Twins- Minnesota fans are fired up for outdorr baseball. Let’s see what they say about it in October.
- White Sox- Their rotation should be the best in the division, but their lineup is lacking.
- Tigers- Detroit has rookies penciled in for a second base and center field. That will make a contending a challenge- even in this division.
- Royals- They were a trendy pick to suprise last season and lost 97 games. Such expectations won’t be a problem in 2010.
- Indians- Cleveland will spend this season paying for the financially driven departures of Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, and CC Sabathia.
- Angels- They lost a lot in the offseason but still have Mike Scioscia. And Torri Hunter. And Jered Weaver. And Kendry Morales. And more.
- Mariners- It’s great to see the Northwest so excited about baseball. With a break or two, the buzz could last into the playoffs.
- Rangers- They will be better than this if Rich Harden and Josh Hamilton stay helath and their young starters progress. That is too many “ifs” though.
- A’s- All their good young pitching is lacking in one important area: offensive support.
- National League
- Phillies- The NL’s most potent lineup will be even better with Placido Polanco’s ability to play smart ball.
- Braves- Bobby Cox’s final season will be a good one, thanks to a rotation as strong as any in the game.
- Mets- Improved health, more than offseason pickups, will help make them a winner agian.
- Marlins- They will have a bunch of good young players who will somehow keep the team in contention. In other words, business as usual.
- Nationals- Stephen Strasburg’s arrival will bring excitment but won’t keep Washington from a third consecutive 100 loss season.
- Cardinals- As long as they have Albert Pujols, they have the edge. Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright don’t hurt, either.
- Cubs- New ownership means new hope, but Mr. Ricketts can’t play right field or lead off.
- Brewers- New pitching coach Rick Peterson will help, but he doesn’t have enough talented arms with which to work.
- Reds- Dusty Baker, in the final year of his contract, needs a fast start to avoid becoming the first manager on the hot seat.
- Unfortunately, new manager Brad Mills couldn’t bring some of the talent he worked with as the Red Sox’s bench coach.
- Pirates- Extending their record losing streak to 18 season is as certain as their trading of veteran players. (ANNDDD there is it!
- Rockies- With practically the entire team returning and Jim Tracy in charge from the start, they should continue to prosper.
- Dodgers- A messy ownership situation is a distraction, but LA still has as many up and coming stars as any club.
- Giants- Great pitching would carry the team in October, too bad they don’t have enough offense to make it there.
- Diamondbacks- The return of Brandon Webb and Conor Jackson will make them better, just not good enough.
- Padres- You know a team is in big trouble with you can’t name more than three of its regulars.
- Pedro Alvarez
- Jose Tabata
Were optioned to AAA Indy
- Jonathan Van Every
- Doug Bernier
- Tyler Yates
- Craig Hansen
- Jimmy Barthmaier
- Neal Cotts
Were all reassigned to minor league camp
Yates, Hansen, Cotts & Barthmaier will start the season on the DL
- Kevin Hart
- Neil Walker
- Chris Jakubauskas
Were optioned to AAA Indy
- Myrow, Burres, Ledezma, Machi, Gimenez were reassigned.
- Zack Duke is the opening day Starter for the 2010 Season followed by:
Ross Ohlendorf, Paul Maholm, Charlie Morton, & Daniel McCutchen.
I’ve been waiting since Thursday (THURSDAY!) for FedEx to bring me my tickets. All I did was stare out my freaking window waiting for them. This morning, they FINALLY CAME!!
I now know how Jimmy Fallon’s character in “Fever Pitch” felt when his tickets arrived.
Of course, he got lost (my road/address can get a little confusing) I saw him drive by the house so of course I threw on my ugg’s and ran after him. He must have thought I was a lunatic but when he said “Must be a Pirates fan?” I screamed “They are my season tickets!!!!!” I gave him a huge hug and jumped around. (How embarrasing right?) He said he hopes they have a good season this year. (Don’t we all?)
Lol, I look a little crazy here. I was just so excited!
14 Days 30 mins!!!!!!!!
I was invited to the Trib hall of fame club at PNC park today for lunch and to watch the Bucco’s spring training game against the Rays.
I was pretty excited to see some of the ST Holders and to watch the game and quite frankly to be at the park again. Sadly, the game was cancled due to rain. I started to wonder around the park but a lot of it was blocked or locked. A little dissapointing.
Lunch consisted of Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and cookies. (Since im vegetarian i snacked on my larbar and starbucks coffee)
It was a beautiful day, and I took some pictures of the view from the Hall of Fame Club.
I have been to a lot of different ball parks but I think PNC Park has one of the most beautiful views. It’s even more breathtaking in person!
I also got a signed Maz Ball as a gift. =)
Only 14 Days 17 Hours and 35 Minutes until Opening Day!!!!!!!!!!!
On sunday the Pirates made the first round of cuts of the season. The not so lucky guys:
- Brandon Jones and Argenis Diaz were optioned to AAA Indy
- Ronald Uviedo, Ramon Aguero, and Gorkys Hernandez were optioned to AA Altoona
After the cuts, the Pirates were down to 54 active players.
Seven more were cut yesterday:
- Brad Lincoln, Tony Sanchez, Donnie Veal, Bryan Morris, Jeff Sues, Justin Thomas and Virgil Vasquez. They will spend the rest of ST at Pirate city.
More Pictures from the Pirate website from Spring Training.
18 days 17 hours and 23 mins until opening day!
I found a bunch of great pictures from the Pirates website. Since (tears) I’m not there this year. Can’t wait for the season to start!! 19 days 22 hours and 30 minutes!
I got a fun suprise in the mail late last week.
Deffinitly something to look forward to. Anyone else going??