Results tagged ‘ steelers ’
- Only 10 days until the Pirates pitchers and catchers report to Bradenton, FL. For spring training. On Friday, the buses left for sunny Florida. The seasons almost here! Get Ready!
(Picture via @bucsinsider)
- Neil Walker won’t be spotted in Dallas this weekend for the Superbowl, as he is staying in Pittsburgh for a friends wedding and will watch the game at home with friends and family.
“I’ve been to the last two, so it’s a tough bullet to bite right now,” joked Walker, when asked about his absence in Dallas. “I told my friend [on Tuesday], ‘You know how much I like you since I’m not going to the game.’ He knows.”
Joel Hanrahan might not have been rooting for the Steelers as long as Walker, but he will be wearing a James Harrison jersey at the game on Sunday. Hanrahan’s mind, however, is on still on the bright future of the Pirates.
“Hopefully,” Hanrahan said this week, “they will be asking us for playoff tickets this year.”
- On Thursday, Roberto Clemente’s son, Luis, threw out the first pitch before Puerto Rico’s match up against Mexico during the Caribbean Series.
“My father played in many of those [Caribbean] Series, and to be recognized still today and for us to be invited is a great honor,” Clemente said. “Our family has worked hard to make sure that his legacy is still strong.”
“I suffered a lot with Dad’s death and, eventually, I came to a point in my life where I had the know-how and the contacts to honor my commitment to his memory,” Clemente said. “I see what Dad meant to people, and how he truly was an inspiration to millions of people. I made a promise to his memory and that he would not die in vain. I’m going to keep it.”
- General Manager Neal Huntington on whether they have approached Andrew McCutchen on a multi-year deal:
“We won’t negotiate publicly with anybody. Whether we approach somebody or not, we’re not going to acknowledge. We hope the first time it’s heard about is when it happens.”
- On whether some Pirates prospects will be called up and play a large roll this season:
“Tampa is the model organization for a lot of reasons. They’re a successful, small-market team that develops its own players. They do a tremendous job of letting their pitchers develop over time. They don’t rush a pitcher to the big leagues because they have a need. They let a guy spend a full year in A ball, then a full year in Double-A, then maybe a full year in Triple-A and bring him to the big leagues when he’s ready. That’s what we’ll try to do. We brought some guys up last year who didn’t hit the ground running and had some early struggles. We’re going to figure out why they weren’t ready and help them get better. We want to learn a lesson to help the next guy come through. As hard as that is, we can’t bring a player to the big leagues because we have a need.”
On who is the closer; Joel Hanrahan or Evan Meek:
“We explored the (free agent) market, like we did a year ago when we brought in Octavio Dotel. It’s a nice feeling to have Evan and Joel to mix and match in the seventh and eighth innings. We explored the market, but nothing came to fruition. We continue to look if there’s a veteran we can add to the bullpen. We’ve got some great arms internally. It’s not something that Clint and I have sat down and talked about just yet. But I’d expect we’ll have that decision soon, whether we’re going to go with both guys (as closers) and let them battle it out during the season or if we’re going to set a guy at the beginning of spring training.”
After watching the Steelers defeat the Ravens Saturday night, Pirates Josh Fields (@OkieFields) had this to say:
What a game! Steelers just grinded and found a way to win! We are going to transfer some of that mentality to the diamond this year!
Bucco closer Joel Hanrahan’s high school jersey was retired on Friday at his former school–Norwalk High, in Iowa.
Hanrahan chatting with kids in first and second grade.
Kids lining up to ask Hanrahan questions.
Hanrahan talking to the Norwalk high school baseball team.
Pictures curiosity of Mark Harahan.
Hanrahan also chatted with 1460 KXNO in Des Moines where he discussed Cliff Lee signing with the Phillies, on the Nationals future, his arbitration process and why he enjoys chatting with fans on twitter. You can listen to the entire interview here.
On if 2010 was his best year: “For a full year, yeah. I feel like my half year in Pittsburgh was really good, after I left Washington. Obviously, I would have loved to have my ERA a little bit lower. I had one game where I gave up six runs in one inning. But the accomplishments I’ve had likegetting the 100 strike outs, was awesome for me. I don’t know if that’s a big deal for anybody else. I felt like that was pretty neat. I felt that pitching in 72 games was also good. Especially after missing the first week and really missing all of spring training. “
On his mentality as a reliever compared to when he was a starter: “Everyday is different. You never know. And that’s the beauty of being a reliever. You go to the park and you know you have a chance to play. Where as a starter, you pitch once every fifth day. As a bullpen guy, you never know what your job is going to be that day. You may have to come in and pitch six outs, finish up a one-hitter. That’s kind of the beauty, you never know what is going to happen. It brings some excitement and you got to be ready everyday.”
On National League pitching, and how he studies the players he faces: “We do a scouting report the first game of every series. They can tell you what Ryan Howard is hitting on a 0-1 breaking ball, when it’s 72 degrees and partly cloudy (laughs). They have stats for everything. Being around for a couple years, facing a lot of the same guys, you start to know what the hitters want to do and are looking for.
On how he gets Albert Pujols out: “You just really got to mix it up with him. He’s one of the best hitters in the game –if not the best. You gotta be aggressive and challenge him. Show that you’re not scared.”
On Pittsburgh: “Pittsburgh has been through a lot. I feel bad for what the fans have gone through. That’s part of the motivation though. You want to be a part of that team that brings a winning season back to them. I went to a Steelers game and a Penguins game this year, and it was ridiculous. People were fighting before the game even started, that’s how passionate they are. I feel like once we starting winning in Pittsburgh, it’s gonna be like that for baseball games.”
Hanrahan on how the Pirates will decide who will close next year: “I really have no idea what they are going to make that evaluation on. I know they want to make a decision before spring training. The main thing they are going to look for; who’s the most consistent. I think it’s going to have a lot to do with the past. And who they feel more comfortable with. I talk to Evan [Meek] once every two weeks and we don’t really look at it as a competition. We wanna win. We want to do what’s best for the team. We feel like we can be the top 8-9 combo, whichever way it goes.”
On the rumors that Ryan Doumit will be traded: “I hope it’s not [true}. I'm a fan of Ryan Doumit. We get along pretty well, on and off the field. I hope Doumit's still around. He's looking for a bounce back year, that's for sure."
On Pirates new skipper: "Clint Hurde is going to be great. I met him at the Steelers game. He did a great job [with the Rockies], same with Texas. Led those guys to the World Series as the hitting coach. He’s very motivational, very passionate about what he’s doing and he really wants to win, wants to turn this thing around. He’s been sending me a motivational text message everyday with a different quote. He’s in this for the long haul. I think he’s going to be great with our young guys and getting them motivated and keeping them going for 162 games.”
On offseason conditioning: “I took off October. I was in DC for a little bit. Then, moved back down to Texas and starting working out November 1st. I’m up at 7:30 every morning, I workout at eight for about two hours. I started throwing December 1st. Once I get back from the holidays, I’ll get back in the throwing program a little bit. After New Years, I’ll starting throwing off the mound every once in a while. I have a Pirates mini-camp going on in January. Then going to Pittsburgh for the Pirates caravan, going to my teammate Pedro Alvarez’s wedding. Then, time to go to spring training.”
On what he wants to improve on for 2011: “I need to get left-handed hitters out better. I felt like I was pretty good against righties. I gotta find a way to start pitching inside a little better and getting lefties out.”
Clint Hurdle is aware of the huge challenge he faces: becoming the 39th Pirates manager in history, the fifth straight with a losing record. But he remains positive, and also excited.
“Every one of these players I’m talking to now, externally and internally, I’m reminded there is not a greater sport opportunity available to anybody than rebounding this city with a baseball team,” Hurdle said on Wednesday. “That, to me, is a luxury.”
Since being named as the new Pirates skipper less than a month ago, Hurdle has wasted no time in getting to know the players. In fact, he has either met, or chatted with most of the current players.
“It’s easy for a player to grab and scratch, make an excuse, point the finger somewhere else,” Hurdle said. “I’ve had none of that with one player so far, not one player, not one excuse, not one distraction, not one coaching issue, anything. That has been very energizing.
“My conversation that I’m having right now, that is probably the biggest energizer I’m getting, is listening to the players talk about what they’re doing to prepare, what they’re going to do better for next season and how they’re going to do it together. I think I’m a very fortunate guy to be in the position I’m in it right now with this organization.”
Hurdle has also been spotted at both Steelers and Pens games in the steel city recently. He understands why so many people in Pittsburgh are skeptic of the team and hopes to change things around.
“They don’t want any BS,” Hurdle said. “Tell them the truth. When you’re right, you’re right. When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Admit it, don’t repeat it, and learn from it. We want to develop, and it’s already in place in a lot of areas in a no-excuse ball club. Don’t make excuses. I’m the manager — we will not use excuses. We will not use injuries. We’ll play the game. We’ll be respectful of our opponent and respectful of the league. We can’t fear anything. We have to respect everything.
“I truly think the people of Pittsburgh value guys that roll their sleeves up and get some dirt in their cleats and play smart, good baseball and win games. That is the plan.”
Clint Hurdle was formally announced as Pirates Manager on Monday afternoon during a news conference. He is the 39th in the rich history of the Bucs and the fifth in part of the 18 consecutive losing seasons. It’s no shocker that Hurdle has a lot work to do, but he seems to generally believe in the organization, players and the future moving forward.
“This wasn’t about taking a job because it was a sure thing,” Hurdle emphasized. “This was about taking an opportunity that felt sure. And it fit right. I felt comfortable with the people that I was going to be getting after the job with. “There is not a doubt in my mind that this is eventually going to turn. I wanted to get on board now, because I believe this is the time it’s going to start turning.”
“I’m not going to shy away from talking about a championship,” Hurdle said. “I really don’t care what people think. You have a young nucleus of good players that grow up together, they learn together, they stumble together, they fight together, and through it all, they emerge as champions together.
“We’re headed in the right direction. It’s not about taking our time to get there. There’s some urgency.”
The Pirates finished the season with 105 losses as well as last in both pitching and fielding. The organization has discussed adding to the payroll for the 2011 season and that they would be attacking the free agent market.
General Manager confirmed on Monday that after firing John Russell, Hurdle was the guy they had their eye on. He asked around approximately 30 different people on Hurdle’s philosophy and credentials.
“We had been told that he was going to be a remarkable interviewee just because of the presence and the intelligence and the passion,” Huntington said. “But the alignment of where he is philosophically and where we are philosophically was a terrific fit right away.
“He has the ability to help young men grow up and mature and be ready to take the next step, yet he’s also a person that can relate to veteran players and help them get better. He believes in being unified. He believes in cohesion. He believes in a lot of the same things we believe in.”
Hurdle may have gotten fans to like him already. He was in attendance at the Steelers game on Sunday night (where he met Pirates players Neil Walker and Joel Harahan) as well as the Pens game on Monday night.
“I’m going to be upfront. I’m proud to be a Pirate,” Hurdle said. “We’re not going to back down from anybody. We’re going to show up and we’re going to play. Our focus is going to be on a commitment of excellence that is unique and that is real. We’re going to hold ourselves to a very high degree of accountability and responsibility.
“I’m all in.”