Results tagged ‘ Jason Heyward ’
I was back at PNC Park after a weekend trip to Washington State, and I was out of the swing of things, as I got zero balls during the Pirates portion of batting practice.
At 5:30, I went to center field to look for easter eggs, but there were none. Upon entering the section however, an unidentified Braves player hit a home run into the seats. I had seen the ball land from about eighty feet away as I was on my way into the center field sections, but couldn’t find the ball. Luckily, one of the ushers directed me to the spot, and I found the ball laying in the front row in a little puddle of water.
I decided to stay in center field because the group that was hitting included Jason Heyward (behind cage in picture below) and Rick Ankiel.
Game: 5 balls ( 4 hit, 1 thrown )
Season: 508 balls (247 hit, 117 thrown, 72 device, 72 found)
Games: 79 games
Average: 6.43 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career: 1,086 balls
Streak: 175 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Balls needed to break single season record: 36
I didn’t feel like going through another toilsome batting practice in Cleveland, and storms were in the forecast there, so I drove down to Washington DC.
Two other ballhawks were in attendance at this game – Ian Weir from Pittsburgh, and Alex from New York City.
When the gates opened, the Nationals were just beginning to hit, so there weren’t any easter eggs.
I caught ball #1 on the fly off the bat of Wil Nieves. It was a home run that was caught in this area:
During the second group, I won a scrum for a Ryan Zimmerman home run ball that landed two rows in front of me in this area:
That would be all I would get during the Nationals batting practice. Argh. Did I make the wrong choice by coming to DC?
The Braves first group included Jason Heyward
You’re not allowed to go get those balls, as one kid began climbing over the rail, before a security guard angrily yelled at him. I motioned with my glove and string as if to say, “Is it ok if I throw this out there.” The security guard made the non-verbal signal, “Oh yeah, go ahead.”
I flipped the kid a decoy ball and then threw my glove out and nudged ball #8 close enough to the glass so that I could simply reach other and grab it. It took one fling of the glove.
I was about ready to leave the red seats to go check the left field bullpen when yet another home run landed in the gap in front of the red seats.
I glove tricked that ball for ball #9.
Batting practice ended soon after, and I was stuck on 9 balls – just short of double digits.
I really wanted to hit the road, but there were three balls laying in
After standing and talking with Alex for about 20 minutes, Eddie Perez finally came out to the bullpen. He collected the three balls, and I asked him for a ball in Spanish. He ignored me. I continued in Spanish to say, “There’s also one in the flowers over there near the wall.”
Eddie went over and got it and tossed it up to me. Ball #10.
Here are today’s baseballs:
Game: 10 balls (4 hit, 1 thrown, 5 device)
Season: 347 balls (177 hit, 76 thrown, 41 device, 44 found)
Games: 54 games
Average: 6.43 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career: 925 balls
Streak: 150 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Today was a tough day for all ballhawks in attendance at PNC Park. There weren’t too many home runs, and of the home runs that were hit, most were to right field and either bounced back on the field, or were gobbled up by fans in the front row.
I was flat out robbed twice by fans in the front row. One by a 50 year old who was in the front row and jumped to make the catch, inches in front of my waiting glove, and another by a college kid who was a row ahead of me and caught a home run barehanded about two inches in front of my glove. In both cases, there was nothing that I could’ve done differently, as I was behind them.
On to the balls that I did snag.
My first ball of the day was a home run off the bat of Steve Pearce. I misjudged the ball a bit. I moved down a row, and barely made a snow cone catch, as I should’ve just stayed put.
My second ball of the day was off the bat of another Pirate. I’m not sure of the hitter, but they lofted a high fly ball towards left center. I could tell it would be short, so rather than getting into a scrum in the front row, I ran back a few rows to about the fifth row back. The ball landed on the warning track and took a 20 foot high bounce and directly into my glove.
The Pirates wrapped things up at 5:20, a little earlier than recently.
Game: 5 balls (4 hit, 1 thrown)
Season: 127 balls (79 hit, 26 thrown, 9 device, 13 found)
Games: 18 games
Average: 7.06 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 705 balls
Streak: 114 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
I attempted to attend today’s game vs the Mets. I got there at 4:59, and there wasn’t an employee in sight. Around 5:25, an employee come to the gates and says that they’re not allowed to open the gates until they hear from Pirates “upper” management. He would return 5 minutes later to inform those of us at the gate that the game would be cancelled.
It’s barely been raining since 7:00. This game could’ve and should’ve been played.
Why the cancellation? Simple. The Pirates attendance for the first time games of this series was 11,000 and 10,000. The attendance tonight would’ve likely been in the 8-9,000 range. The Pirates simply wanted to get this game rescheduled later in June or July, when the kids are out of school, so they can get a big draw. They are getting embarrassed in attendance, and rightly so. Even after last week’s sell out for fireworks, the Pirates are DEAD LAST in attendance in Major League Baseball.
So, I’m at home and I turn on the MLB Network and they are reporting on the Braves acquiring Nate McLouth from the Pirates for three minor leaguers. At first, I was shocked. I looked up the prospects and saw that they weren’t even top prospects. We didn’t get their best prospects. We didn’t get Tommy Hanson or Jason Heyward.
This was a salary dump – which is seemingly the motive behind every trade we’ve done in the past 17 years.
The Pirates signed Nate to a long term deal and hailed him as one of the core players that they were going to build around for the future. What a joke. I can only imagine what the players must be feeling in the clubhouse after hearing about this trade. They probably feel like someone just pulled the carpet out from under them. Maybe they cancelled the game because the players revolted. (I wish).
One possible explanation for the trade could be that the Pirates needed to make room for Andrew McCutchen, who was called up after the trade. Why not trade Nyjer Morgan or Brandon Moss? Why not deal Adam LaRoche and move Moss to first base? I just don’t get it. I wanted to see McCutchen called up eventually, but not like this.
So, the Pirates have basically sealed the deal on another miserable losing season, which will set an all time record for futility. While they’re at it, here’s another trade General Manager Neal Huntington is likely considering:
Freddy Sanchez to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays offer of Reid Brignac, Tim Beckham and David Price will be turned down by Huntington, who, after scanning the Rays minor leagues sees two players he likes. Sanchez for Henry Wrigley (because he likes his last name), and Joseph Cruz (because he’s 6’4″, so he probably throws hard)
Sanchez has been one of our best hitters. If he gets 635 plate appearances, his contract automatically renews itself next year. Funny that Sanchez has been getting some random off days. Especially last week, the day after going 6 for 6.
So, what does this trade mean for ballhawking? It means that slightly more batted balls will reach the bleachers in left field. Hopefully McCutchen hits in the last group and hits for power. The trade also likely means less balls in center field. Nate was great and picking out the regular ballhawks and hooking them up during the games. We can only hope that McCutchen will do the same.
I’m mad. I wish I could go to tomorrow’s game with some scathing signs to hold up.