Results tagged ‘ Denny Bautista ’

6-5-10 PNC Park

Today was once again ruined by rain.
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A storm hit around 4PM, totally washing away any hopes of batting practice.

Here’s a brief video of the storm, for you fans of bad weather.

I would get shut out for the first hour or so, until I discovered that there were three balls laying on the visitor’s bullpen bench.

The balls had become soaked by the storm, so when things cleared up, a few groundskeepers came out to check things out around the warning track.  I asked one of them for a ball, and he handed me balls #1 and #2. 
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STATISTICS:
Game:  4 balls (4 thrown)
Season:  170 balls (90 hit, 47 thrown, 11 device, 22 found)
Games: 28 games
Average:  6.07 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  748 balls
Streak:  124 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 36,687

9-27-09 PNC Park

Today would be my final game of the season at PNC Park. 

After missing yesterday’s (Saturday’s) game due to rain, I decided that I had to make it to the park one last time, even though it was raining when I left my house.

When I arrived at the park, there was basically no one there at all.  Many people stayed away early, which turned out to be a good thing. 

Around 11:15, pitchers began to meander out of the Pirates dugout and head toward the bullpen to sit and await to rain to ease up. 
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I stood by the fence above the bullpen and hoped someone would begin to throw.

Eventually, Charlie Morton (hidden by the bullpen roof) started to throw with Luis Dorante, the Pirates bullpen coach.  I watched them finish up at 11:29, one minute before the gate would open to allow me to get close enough to ask for a ball. 
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There were two pairs of Dodgers playing catch.

I noticed that Ramon Tronsoco didn’t have a partner.  I held up my glove and asked him if he wanted to throw a little bit.  He nodded and tossed me a ball.  Wow.  I was finally going to play catch with a major leaguer.  In uniform.

We began to throw, and after about ten tosses, I handed my p
hone off to a random guy behind me to take some photos.  He had been asking me questions like, “Do you play for the Pirates?  Are you friends with him?  How do you know him?” 

He got the following photos of me:
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When I got home, I checked out Youtube for #1 Joe Beimel fan TroyfromWV, sure enough, he had uploaded a partial video of me and Ramon throwing together. Click here–> VIDEO PROOF!
URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tytId_U-9vQ

After we threw for awhile, Troncoso’s throwing partner finally emerged from the dugout, and Troncoso tossed me the ball and indicated that he was done.   I had ball #5.  What a way to get it!  I thanked Troncoso, and gave one of my decoy balls to the daughter of the guy that snapped some pictures of me.

When the game began, center field was too crowded to have a great chance at toss up balls. 
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Plus, the usher told me I had to stay out because I didn’t have a ticket.  He was nice about it, and told me there was a big issue on Saturday Night where someone was injured in a fight for a toss up ball.  He said the man was going to sue the Pirates, and that outfield between inning toss ups would be discontinued after this year.  I was hoping he wasn’t serious, but he seemed to be.

In the second inning, I went up on the right field wall, and got Garrett Jones to pick me out and throw me ball #6 – oh wait, he grossly underthrew me, and the ball hit some guy that was sitting down.  The ball caromed off of him, and rolled behind his wife’s backside and sat on her seat.  It took them about 10 seconds to find it – and I could’ve easily grabbed it, but it would’ve been too awkward.  I watched them oodle over the ball they had just snagged by accident, much to my frustration.
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I decided to quit ballhawking and went up to sit in my season ticket seats one last time.  I hadn’t sat there much at all this year, but I felt like I needed to say goodbye.
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Even though the seats are cheap, and offer no chance at getting a ball – I always liked to just sit and watch a game there.  In my seats you’ve got a great view, and they are in the front row of the section.
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In the 7th inning, I sat behind home plate,
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in hopes of snagging some promotional items from Pirates announcer Steve Blass in the “7th inning throw down.”  Blass threw out a bunch of left over giveaway hats, grocery bags, Pirate dolls, candy, etc. 
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I got my finger tip on a Pirates Alternate hat, but it was just out of my reach and floated down to a lady two rows below me.  I didn’t come away empty handed – I caught a piece of Double Bubble bubble gum.  Yay. 

For the 8th inning, I snuck down and sat behind the Pirates dugout.  The Pirates ended up scoring four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to acheive a walk off win.
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photo(502).jpgI was expecting the players to toss their hats and a few baseballs into the crowd as a thank you to the fans – they’ve done it the past three years on Fan Appreciation Day.

It didn’t happen.  The players disappeared into the dugout, gave their jerseys to those fans whose seats had been chosen, and
disappeared for good.  Nothing was thrown into the crowd.  Very disappointing. 
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I stayed around until almost everyone was gone, and took one last look at PNC Park.
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Was this my last game of 2009?  Maybe…

Today’s baseballs:
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Sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  5 balls (5 thrown)
Season:  405 balls (211 hit, 124 thrown, 70 device)
Games: 80 games (10 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  5.06 balls per game
Career:  571 balls
Streak:  95 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  26,831

8-22-09 PNC Park

Today was going to be a large crowd due to a post game performance by KC and the Sunshine Band.  I enjoy weekday games much more – its almost like having your own personal batting practice because there’s no one there.

The first 30 minutes of each game are for season ticket holders only – and I would go on to get a majority of my balls in that time frame today.

Upon entering the stadium, I ran to look for Easter Eggs in left field foul territory.  That turned out to be a bad choice.  Not only did I find any, I found out that there were a couple in the left field bleachers.  Bummer.

I got ball #1 of the day from Denny Bautista.  I asked him for a ball in Spanish.  He looked at me, turned around for a minute – then turned back and threw me the ball.  I then told him, “Gracias.  Buena suerte hoy.”  I waved his hand.  I do believe that’s my first career ball from Denny.

I soon got ball #2 of the day off the bat of Andrew McCutchen.  He hit a high fly ball towards the bleachers.  I positioned myself in the fourth row back, and waited for the high hop off of the warning track. 

Ball #3 was a home run off the bat of “Mr. Smooth” Luis Cruz.  He hit a shot that I chased down to my right.  My wife snapped a picture of me on the way back.
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Then wanted me to pose with the ball, but I was afraid to take my eyes off of the batter’s cage.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  5 balls (5 hit, 1 thrown)
Season:  316 balls (166 hit, 92 thrown, 59 device)
Games: 65 games (7 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.86 balls per game
Career:  482 balls
Streak:  80 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  32,570

3-29-09 GMS Field, Tampa FL

Unfortunately, batting practice was wiped out by thunderstorms that rolled through last night.  When we arrived at the field just after 11AM, the tarp was still on.  My only hope of getting a ball would be to have one thrown to me. 
100_0362.jpgI was sort of miserable during this game due to some severe burning on my hands that I guess came from the sun.  When we went in, 4/5′s of the Yankees starting rotation was warming up in right field: Andy Pettitte, Chien Ming Wang, CC Sabathia, and Joba Chamberlain.    After warming up, they threw their balls to a few little kids in the Tampa Tribune Deck area.  They went over to the bullpen and threw their side sessions. 
100_0369.jpgSecurity was ridiculous for a spring training game.  There is a circular walk way that is above the bullpen.  There were three security guards walking back and forth and enforcing a rule that all fans had to stay at least 2 feet back from the railing.  I mean, seriously?   I didn’t attempt to get a ball from Sabathia or Chamberlain after their side sessions because there were so many fans.  I had also noticed that the Pirates pitchers came out to stretch.
100_0370.jpgThey soon started throwing along the left field line.  I politely asked an usher if I could go down to the front behind where they were throwing.  It was sprinkling, and there was maybe 10 fans in all of the sections along the 3rd base line.  He told me I had to have a ticket, no exceptions.  So, I stood above the Pirates bullpen, along a railing.  Craig Hansen was throwing with some minor leaguer, Denny Bautista was tossing with #83, Chris Bootcheck was tossing with strenghth coach Frank Velazquez, and Sean Burnett was tossing with Jason Davis. 

Hansen finished tossing first.  My dad and I were the only ones along the railing by the Pirates bullpen.  I called down to him, “Craig, could you toss that ball up!”  He looked and me, and threw it with some nice authority.  It was ball #1.  Hansen then ran his sprints.
100_0372.jpgI asked Burnett, Velazquez, Bautista and #83 for their warm up balls, but was ignored.

We left and got something to eat and found our seats.  Before game time, the Pirates came back out and started tossing, so I went back over to the railing.  I noticed bullpen catcher Heberto Andrade had a few balls in his glove.  He looked up at me and tossed one up. It was ball #2.    There was many more fans along the railing now and some of them looked puzzled, “How’d you know that guys name?” 

Zach Duke then started throwing his bullpen session before his start.  I was waiting for him to get finished so I could ask for the ball.  However, a security guard appeared and told everyone to go to their seats.  The game wasn’t going to start for another 15 minutes.  He didn’t care.  Don’t the Yankees get that this is Spring Training?  Is there really a need to be that strict?

Among signs I saw posted were No Standing (posted everywhere), No Loitering, No Diving from the Railing, No throwing objects from the pedestrian walkway, etc.  If Spring Training was this military style in enforcing rules, I’d hate to see how strict they will be at the new Yankee Stadium during Batting Practice.

A side note:  had there been batting practice, I was planning on going into the right field Tampa Tribune Deck to chase home runs.  However, you can’t get in there without a ticket (of course).

On to the game:
100_0373.jpgThe Yankees would go on to win the game 9-8.  They played most of their regulars until the 7th inning.  Zach Duke was shelled by the Yankees, giving up 8 runs in 3.1 innings.  Duke had been looking much better this spring until this start.  Eric Hinske, Ryan Doumit, and Robinson Cano hit home runs in the game.

Here are some action shots:
AJ Burnett vs Freddy Sanchez
100_0375.jpgNate McLouth takes a look at a pitch:
100_0377.jpgRyan Doumit hits a ball to the right side:
100_0378.jpgDer-ek Je-ter
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100_0380.jpgTampa Tribune Deck (if going to BP, you’d better have a Deck ticket!) Cano’s home run hit off the blue restaurant roof.
100_0386.jpgHideki Matsui:
100_0390.jpgJorge Posada:
100_0396.jpgStands to my right:
100_0404.jpg“The Boss” George Steinbrenner
100_0423.jpgGeorge was taking in the game with Mr. October, Reggie Jackson:
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“The Sandman” Mariano Rivera
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100_0440.jpgBrett Gardner Caught Stealing:
100_0428.jpgEx-Pirate Xavier Nady (The X-man!)
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Tomorrow I’m headed back to Bradenton.

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