Results tagged ‘ jeff banister ’
On Sunday, the three day indoor baseball carnival –known as priatefest– came to a close. Whether it was the excitement for the young Bucs, the bright future, or the love the city of Pittsburgh has for black and yellow, fans flocked the David L. Lawerence convention center this weekend. 16,839 were in attendance –the highest since 2003.
“That was probably my and [general manager] Neal [Huntington's] greatest recruiting tool to get Clint [Hurdle] to come to Pittsburgh — the fans,” Frank Coonelly said at PirateFest this weekend. “This is not just a great sports town. It’s a great Pirates town.”
“These fans are still passionate about what we do,” Neal Huntington said. “As we start to win, they’re going to come out and fill this place, and it’s going to be an electric place to be.”
Ross Ohlendorf, Garrett Jones, Evan Meek, Neil Walker, James McDonald, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, Jeff Karstens, Kevin Correia, Charlie Morton, Brad Lincoln and Paul Maholm were the players that attended this years Piratefest.
Here are some highlights from the Q&A sessions:
- On what career they would peruse if they weren’t a ballplayer: Charlie Morton- Something in music. Andrew McCutchen- I’d be Morton’s producer (Morton is actually a pretty good singer/guitar player. He played at last year’s pirate fest. Click here for videos from it.)
- On Morton’s rebound season in 2011: “I’m excited and I’m ready to move on from last year.”
- When the players were asked who their favorite football team was, Jose Tabata said: “My name is Jose Tabata and I’m from Venezuela and I like black and yellow.”
*Reports during mini camp were that Jose Tabata had bulked up this offseason in hopes to add more power to his bat. They weren’t kidding. I took a close up of Tabata so you could see just how much muscle he packed on.
Here are some highlights from the Management Q&A sessions:
- General Manager Neal Huntington mentioned pitchers Rudy Owens and Daniel Moskos as two prospects that have a good chance to make major league appearances in 2011.
- Clint Hurdle has known left-hander Joel Beimel for 17 years. “He has a heart for the area. He wants to be a part of the group that turns this thing around.”
- On if the Pirates will break the 18-year losing streak in 2011: “I can’t see why not. Why can’t we?” -Clint Hurdle
- On the way Pittsburgh has really embraced Clint Hurdle as the new Manager: “I’m humbled by the reception I’ve gotten. I’m proud to be a Pittsburgh Pirate.”
- On a comparison of the Pirates to the San Diego Padres team from 2010: “They had a winning mentality, we didn’t.” -President Frank Coonelly
- In order to help the Pirates play better on the road, Hurdle said he was going to have the players write down their home vs. road routines in order to adjust the mind set.
Manager Clint Hurdle and Bench Coach Jeff Banister taught a youth baseball clinic on Sunday.
Some highlights during the young camp:
- “I don’t have a world series ring either (referring to when a fan asked if Bench coach Jeff Banister had a World Series ring) I’ve been to the world series three times. Four times a charm. I’ve heard that somewhere.” -Manager Clint Hurdle
- A fan asked Manager Clint Hurdle about Pedro Alvarez’s recent weight game due to Holidays, offseason and recent honeymoon, “I’d be 40 pounds over weight…Pedro’s going to be fine.”
Here are several more pictures from Piratefest:
These are the new 2011 batting pratice jersey’s for the Pirates.
Pirates Double-A Altoona Curve had a station set up for the weekend. Here is the 2010 Eastern League Championship flag.
*On a side note. I was overwhelmed by how many great fans came up to me that said they are a reader of my blog. I can’t thank you guys enough for all the support. I hope to continue covering the Pirates and bringing you all the buzz all season (and offseason) long.
Pirates Caravan kicked off on Monday (be sure to check out the schedule here, to see when the Pirates will be stopping near you).
There are three groups this year.
Group one: Andrew McCutchen, Evan Meek, Ross Ohlendorf, third base coach Nick Leyva and broadcasters Bob Walk and John Wehner.
Group two: pitching coach Ray Searage, James McDonald, Jeff Karstens, Neil Walker and broadcaster Tim Neverett.
Group three: bench coach Jeff Banister, Garrett Jones, Joel Hanrahan, Jose Tabata and broadcaster Greg Brown.
Here are several pictures from day one of the Caravan:
James McDonald and Jeff Karstens chat with a fan who has been collecting autographs since 1944 (Via @BucsInsider).
Joel Hanrahan and Garrett Jones sign autographs from fans (Via @BucsInsider).
Neil Walker talking baseball in Morgantown, West Virgina (Via @BusInsider).
Evan Meek signs autographs on day one of the winter caravan (Via @RobBiertempfel).
The Pirates have announced what players will be at Piratefest this year. The indoor baseball carnival features live events, autograph sessions, prizes, games and much, much more. The event runs Friday, January 28th(for season ticket holders only), Saturday, January 29th (10-8) and Sunday, January 30th (Noon-5). You can purchase tickets here.
Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Evan Meek, Garrett Jones, Jose Tabata, Paul Maholm, Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf, Brad Lincoln, Kevin Correia and James McDonald, along with new manager Clint Hurdle, pitching coach Ray Searage and bench coach Jeff Banister are scheduled to attend.
Yours truly will also be at Piratefest all day on Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to say hello.
The Pirates have released the 2011 Winter Caravan Schedule. The Bucs will make stops in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia during the week of January 24th through the 31st.
Players, coaches, broadcasters and the Pirates Parrott will be in attendance.
“The Caravan gives our players and staff an opportunity to travel throughout the tri-state area and thank all of our fans for their continued support as we prepare for next season,” said Pirates President Frank Coonelly. “In addition to visiting many cities in the outlying areas, this year we added a number of public events close to the city of Pittsburgh that will allow fans to come see our players and staff.”
There will be three different groups. Those in attendance will be: Andrew McCutchen, Evan Meek, Broadcasters Bob Walk and John Wehner, Pitching coach Ray Searage, James McDonald, Garrett Jones, broadcaster Tim Neverett, base coach Jeff Banister, Neil Walker, Joel Hanrahan, Jose Tabata and broadcaster Greg Brown.
The Pirates have finally announced their coaching staff for the 2011 season.
Jeff Banister will return for his 26th season in the Bucs Organization as third base coach. Banister took over as bench coach for the Pirates in 2010 when Gary Varsho was fired. He has also served as a coach and manager in the minors as well as a field instructor at both levels.
Ray Searage will return as Pitching coach. Searage took over as pitching coach after Joe Kerrigan was fired in August. He has spent the past seven years as pitching coach in various minor league levels. Searage has been in professional baseball for 33 years.
Heberto Andrade will return as bullpen coach for his eighth season with the club.
The new additions to the coaching staff are: Nick Leyva (third-base coach), Gregg Ritchie (hitting coach), Euclides Rojas (bullpen coach), Luis Silverio (first-base coach) and Mark Strittmatter (coach).
Ritchie joined the Pirates organization before the 2006 season as minor league hitting coordinator. Ritchie previous spent 10 years as the White Sox minor league hitting coach.
Rojas became the Bucs Latin American field coordinator in 2005. He also spent two seasons as the Red Sox bullpen coach,
Levya spent the last three seasons in Toronto as the club’s bench coach and third-base coach. He has a decade of managerial experience in the majors.
Silverio will handle the out fielding and base running for the 2011 season. He has spent the past 35 years in the Royals organization.
Strittmatter will serve as Hurdle’s extra coach as well as work as well as the pitchers hitting coach. Strittmatter will also assist with the catching staff and help with the hitting staff.
Tony Beasley, Luis Dorante, Carlos Garcia and Don Long were asked to not return to the Pirates staff.
According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, The Pirates are set to make the following four moves to Clint Hurdle’s coaching staff: Ray Searage as pitching coach, Gregg Ritchie as hitting coach, Jeff Banister as third base coach and Nick Leyva as bench coach.
Searage took over as the Bucs pitching coach when Joe Kerrigan was fired. Since then, players have made improvements and spoken out on how they enjoy his “old school technique” where he focuses on things one pitch at a time. (Brad Lincoln and Charlie Morton made huge strides while working with Searage)
Ritchie has spent the past three years as the Pirates minor league hitting coordinator. He has worked with the teams young players and according to sources was important to management. This will be Ritchies first job in the major leagues.
Banister has spent the past 25 years in the Pirates system and took over as bench coach after Gary Varsho was fired. Banister was also the other finalist for the Manager position.
Leyva served under Cito Gaston in Toronto since 2008. He is a former minor league player and has spent over a decade as a major league baseball coach.
The Pirates still need to fill positions for first base coach and bullpen coach, as well as the titles for infield and outfield instructors.
After meeting with the media and being formally announced as Pirates new skipper, Cint Hurdle sat down with General Manager Neal Huntington to discuss the coaching staff for next season.
John Russell’s staff –Third base coach Tony Beasley, Bullpen coach Luis Dorante and hitting coach Don Long were all told after the 2010 season to explore other opportunities. It is not yet been determined if any will stay or go as Clint Hurdle has a huge part in who he wants to be with him for the 2011 season.
Ray Searge (who took over as pitching coach for Joe Kerrigan) and Jeff Banister (who took over as bench coach for Gary Varsho) are said to be considered by Hurdle.
“It’s a huge part for me to make sure that there are people internally that are available that we keep in place or that we promote from within,” Hurdle said. “I think it sends a huge message to our player development program. There is some familiarity there that I don’t have.
“There are some very qualified people. None of them do I know very well. That being said, that doesn’t back me off of them whatsoever. We’re going to make decisions that are going to show our belief in our player development people.”
Jeff Banister was interviewed by the Bucs for the managerial position and has spent 25 years in the Pirates organization.
“Jeff has done some unbelievable things for this organization,” Huntington said. “He has made an impact, and it’s certainly our hope that he will make an impact for us going forward.”
After a month and a half of interviews (eight) and waiting, the Pirates finally have a new manager. Former Texas Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle will become the next skipper for the Bucs replacing John Russell.
The deal is for three years and the Pirates will formally announce him during a press conference on Monday at 11 AM ET.
Hurdle –most notably known for his time spent in Colorado as the Rockies Manager– has a career record of 534-625. Hurdle has had experience with a young team and the Pirates hope that he can be the guy to lead the Bucs to not only a winning season, but also to a World Series.
According to John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times, he has other reasons to want to move to the Steel City. Hurdle’s eight-year-old Daughter suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome. The Children’s hospital that’s located in Pittsburgh’s neighbor hood of Shadyside is the nation’s best for children with Prader-Willi.
Clint Hurdle is scheduled to interview with the New York Mets on Wednesday. The Pirates have yet to name a new manager and it is unknown how long the organization will hold out to get Hurdle –the first choice.
Hurdle interviewed with the Pirates on Thursday and is the front-runner for the job. (Jeff Banister is also in the mix, being the second choice if Hurdle decides to sign with the Mets).
You would think Hurdle could make his decision by the end of the weekend, but that may not be the case.
John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus said this on Tuesday:
@JPerrotto: #Mets may not hire manager under Dec. 1. With Hurdle involved, it mean #Pirates may not have manager announcement anytime soon.
It’s been a very long search for the Pirates. Russell was fired on October 4th and the Pirates interviewed their first potential manager (Eric Wedge) on the 5th. Time will tell just how long they are wiling to wait for the right guy.
The Pirates interviewed Clint Hurdle for the vacant managerial job on Thursday afternoon. He was the first to be interviewed in the past three weeks and the eighth to be considered for the job.
Hurdle was unavailable to be interviewed until the Rangers finished their run at the World Series (He is the Rangers Hitting Coach).
Hurdle, 53, was previously the Colorado Rockies manager from 2002 until he was dismissed during the 2009 season. Hurdle lead the Rockies to the World Series in 2007 and finished with a record of 534-625 during the eight seasons as skipper.
Drafted by the Royals in the first round of the 1975 players draft, two years later made his major league debut. Hurdle’s career spanned 12 years and he played five different positions. He spent time in a Royals, Reds, Mets and Cardinals uniform and finished his career with a .259 average.
Hurdle’s managerial career started in 1988 when he managed the Class A St. Lucie Mets. He managed the Double-A and Triple-A teams for a combined four years before being hired by the Rockies’ in 1994 as the organization’s Minor League hitting coordinator. He was then named hitting coach in 1997.
Hurdle is also rumored to be interviewing with the Mets for their open managerial position as well.
The Pirates could make a decision by Friday. Jeff Banister is also still in consideration for the position. He ended the 2010 season as the Pirates bench coach after Gary Varsho was fired. Banister has been in the Pirates organization for the past 25 years.