Results tagged ‘ Brewers ’

Buccos hit the road

The Pirates took their show throughout the tri-state are of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia this past week. The region that I like to call “my home.” The Youngstown-Pittsburgh-Morgantown area is where I’ve grown up and have many memories throughout. 

I created a new one in Uniontown, PA on Monday. 
Buddies of mine took the quick, 20 minute trip from Morgantown up and were spooked by the odd nature of the city. I’ve been to Uniontown before but am always taken aback by the unique, but odd set up of the city. Its almost like a big crater is splashed in the middle of town and a cross section of one way roads make it disturbing to drive around. 
The event was held at the Uniontown Mall and was to start at 6:30 p.m. 
We arrived precisely at 6:30 and found that nearly 300 people beat us to the punch. 
PC1.jpg
Bet you didn’t think Roberto Clemente would show up. The wait was actually enjoyable as its not often you find hundreds of people decked out in Bucco gear together in one place. Not just in January, its sparse in the middle of summer at PNC Park, too. In the line we mingled with other patrons sharing stories of memories at the park. Pirate fans are such a close knit community. However, you find three distinguished groups. The first being the die-hards. I have a blog. I am a die-hard. These also include people at the Caravan who know the players, can understand what the front office is doing in an attempt to get the Pittsburgh baseball train back on its tracks and the people who cheer for wins and success at games they attend, watch on TV and wins in off season moves. The second are fans. They really are. The Penguins and Steelers come first but they are loyal because its a sporting event in the city they love. These people are uneducated, but need to be appreciated, nonetheless. Thirdly are the imbeciles who take any opportunity to trash the Bucs and everything that has to do with baseball. There is no hope or willingness to believe that one day the Pirates will be respectable. 
I despise that third group, almost as much as the Phillies and the University of Pittsburgh-it runs deep. 
PC2.jpg
Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.
As we approached the line, we were there for a little more over an hour, we were greeted by Tim Neverett.  
PC3.jpg
The Pirates broadcaster has a beaming personality to go along with his booming set of pipes. We had a nice chat regarding West Virginia sports. I had seen him during WVU football season at the Mountaineers game against UNLV. I was in the press box covering the game for the school newspaper while he was up there for FSN West representing the UNLV broadcast. He also covers basketball games for Versus. Neverett also praised Morgantown and the university for having top-notch facilities and a warm, homey atmosphere. Always good to hear that from an outsider, I know its true and its great to be recognized. In fact, when in Morgantown for the caravan stop around lunch time they stopped at the football weight room and got in an afternoon workout. 
We finally got to the table where team members were signing autographs. Pitching coach Ray Searage had some very interesting stories to tell.

PC7.jpg

He, too, has West Virginia ties. He went to college at West Liberty, a small school in Wheeling, WV. He obviously played baseball for the Hilltoppers and went on to have a thriving Major League career, most notably for the Brewers. Searage went on, in a very intimidating tone, to address his party days at the small school even going as far as saying “there were keggers every damn night!” now I go to a top five party school in WVU. We have never gone to Wheeling for a kegger. 
He really denounced any form of education and really seemed to enjoy chatting it up with some college aged kids. Maybe we brought him back to his glory days, too bad he didn’t offer to buy us a beer after the event. 
Now we got to the players.
I had James McDonald sign a photo taken at the season ticket holder shopping spree held in the Pirates clubhouse just a few days before Christmas. His game used jersey was for sale, I pickedit up, my brother got a picture of me holding it. When I presented it to him to be signed he was flabbergasted.
“How the heck you get a hold of this,” McDonald exclaimed. “I don’t even have one.”
The fun didn’t stop there.
Wearing my “Wiz Khalifa” gray and yellow bill hat, McDonald wanted a piece of it. In fact, he called it “too, too fresh.”
PC8.jpg
He wanted to wear it. I let him.
PC9.jpgMcDonald even went as far as to pull out his camera phone and snap a pic of himself with my stylish cap. It fit him better than it fit me. In all honesty, it looked better on him than me. I said, “When you get your hands on your own game used jersey, let me know. I’ll trade you.” He didn’t like that very much. 
He really wants his game worn jersey.
Next guy up was Jeff Karstens. 
The picture with him came up a little blurry, so its not worth putting up. This is him anyway, you be the judge if it was worth putting up in the first place.
karstens0917_330.jpg
Last, but not least, was the “Pittsburgh Kid,”
Neil Walker. Perhaps, the most famed Bucco currently on the roster, Walker is a hot commodity. A majority of the people at the Uniontown Mall were prepared with cards and photos of Walker while wearing his jersey. A notorious stand up guy Walker was everything and more. Complimentary to everyone who came out and honored by my congratulations to him.
He was recently engaged. 
PC13.jpg
An excellent night was capped off by a superb Italian meal at a local Uniontown eatery. The fun doesn’t stop here as Friday night begins Pirate Fest in Pittsburgh. As always, stay posted for a post recapping what is sure to be an unforgettable night and follow twitter (@pittpeaswv) for updates from the event. 

Up in Smoke

Per my twitter I predicted a sweep in the Astros-Pirates series.

I recieved just that, just not as I predicted. In what was dubbed a “Battle of the Basement” the Astros outscored the Pirates 14-5 to deliever in a three game sweep.

Chalk up the broom company franchises to 11. Yep, the Pirates have been swpet 11 times this season.

Not to quote Rascal Flatts but “what hurts the most, was being so close.”

Close as in close to turning the corner. The Bucs had a great four game series against a much powerful team in the Philies over the weekend. Not that Pittsburgh had a chance to move up in the division but to be swept by a divisional opponent, especially the one that is in a race out of the cellar is anything but good.

The Brewers are up next.

I hate the Brewers much thanks to this man.

 

ryan-braun2.jpgNo that is not a “***** Eye for the Straight Guy” cast member it is Milwaukee’s own Ryan Braun. His attitude, swagger and downright slummy-ness overshawdows his decent looks and stellar talent. He has called out the Pirates for no good reason on many seperate occasions. 

The Pirates and Brewers have had a budding rivalry over the past three or so seasons. Always picking fights and being competitive. Alas, The Brew Crew almost always have the upper hand especially in a 20-0 beatdown of the Bucs earlier in the season in which I could say I had the pleasure of watching live.

To release my disdain of the Brewers my buddies Marc and Andrew assisted me in a ceremonial ritual that would hopefully send up bad omens to those residing in Miller Park.

 

burn brew.jpgI did enjoy that hat. It was comfortable and was a great companion to me on the softball field. However, I think we put it to much greater use. I can only hope it pays off and the Pirates can squeak out a win against the hated Brew Crew this weekend.

You had to be there to believe it

 


Thumbnail image for 20-0 015.jpgTake that in for a moment folks.

20…..to zero. That was not a Packers-Steelers score where the extra point was blocked. That was a Pirates-Brewers score. It was the worst loss in the history of the Pirates franchise.

And I was there to witness it.

20-0 016.jpgPre game I was joking around with the Pirate Parrot, obviously not knowing the horrors of the game to come, which was a joke as well.

Some friends and I came to the park on a whim on Thursday. Some of my classes were canceled due to a journalism conference my professors attended in Baltimore. I couldn’t think of a better way to sepend my semi-day off than at PNC Park. Outside the stadium it looked like many others had the same idea.

 

20-0 001.jpgThere was a packed line for tickets. Whether it was the gorgeous spring day, playing hookey or killing time before the Penguins playoff game later in the day fans flocked to PNC Park. At least thats what it seemed like on the outside. 

13,634 fans actually turned up, which is abysmal. Maybe we as fans deserved the pain that would be bestowed upon us for the next three and a half hours.

The Brewers looked like a team filled with baseball legends. They treated the Pirates like Little Leaguers teeing off for hit after hit which turned into run after run.

Four homeruns were hit in the ballgame. All off the bats of the Brew Crew. Jim Edmonds, George Kottarras, Prince Fielder and public enemy number one in Pittsburgh, Ryan Braun all blasted bombs into the bleachers.

 

20-0 011.jpg“Cryan” Braun as he is referred to in Pittsburgh had 5 RBI. Ten players had at least one RBI including pitchers Claudio Vargas and Manny Parra. All but two Brewers who stepped to the plate had a hit.

The Pirates were swept by the Brewers and Pittsburgh natives let other Pittsburgh natives know it.

20-0 012.jpgI mean, really, what the heck? Dude in a Marc Andre Fleury t-shirt shows up with a broom to signify the Brewers accomplishment.

I just had to laugh at the guy who was rubbing the broom in every Pirate fan’s face around him, but really, what the heck? This is why I can’t be a diehard Penguin fan. I bet this guy did not cheer for the Pirates in the late 90’s early 2000’s. Yet they start winning and hes a full-fledged fan. Give it a few years, the Pirates are competitive, he will be back with avengence in a Pedro Alvarez t-shirt.

After that game however, how can I be so sure that my Bucs will ever be competitive? In that Brewers series the Pirates were outscore 36-1. The Pirates have a Majors worst 7.35 team ERA. More than one run higher than any other team. The offense is below NL average in most categories across the diamond according to Post Game host Rocco DeMaro.

There is no light at the end of the tunnel it seems. Watching that game hurt me, the few hundreds who joined me to see the final out, and 25 men who donned that Pirate jersey.

Reliever Brendan Donnelly said they should be ashamed to wear the black and gold. I can’t help but agree. Starting pitcher Daniel McCutchen cried while being interviewed. Outfielder Ryan Church simply said “I got nothin’, I’m embarrased.” 

We all are Ryan, we all are.

I’m not letting go of that ticket stub. The worst loss record stood for 100 years. I will be sure to tell my grandkids about that day, the day I witnessed the worst loss in Pirates history. My grandkids won’t believe there were actually bad years as a Pirates fan, whilethey are celebrating a World Series dynasty. 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.