Results tagged ‘ Neal Huntington ’
Today was the first day of a weekend long event at the David L Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh known as ‘Piratefest.’
Piratefest has been going on since the late 1980′s, as I remember going to a Piratefest in Monroeville and getting a baseball signed by Jim Leyland, Bill Landrum, Mike LaVailliere, Randy Kramer, Bobby Bonilla, Jeff King, etc.
The Pirates dedicated this first day to season ticket holders only. Earlier this month, I received four tickets to this day, plus 2 additional passes that could be used for any of the three days this weekend. In essence, I was given six tickets. So, I sold two of the for $25 earlier in the week. Leaving me two for today, and two that I would use on Sunday.
I asked Garrett Jones to sign one of the balls from my decoy collection (which is slowly dwindling away.) Decoy balls are balls I take to games to give away on occasion.
I didn’t ask Correia to sign anything, that was probably a jerk move, and in retrospect, I should’ve had him sign the Pirates 2011 Calendar that was given away.
Speaking of that Calendar, it was the highlight of Piratefest for me. The Pirates passed out a bag that included the Piratefest schedule and program along with a full 12 month 12 page Color calendar.
Here’s the front:
It included coupons, which are pretty useless to me.
The $5 off at the Pirates Clubhouse store is only valid on non game days. Also, the buy one get one free ticket offer doesn’t really help me out since I’m a season ticket holder.
Pedro Alvarez, April,
Jose Tabata, August
Andrew McCutchen, October
Pirate Parrot, December
After getting Jones to sign, we headed over to the Piratefest stage and watched ‘Minute to Win It’ Pirates Edition.
The game was hosted by PNC Park ballpark host Joe Klimchak and featured contestants trying to complete tasks in less than 60 seconds with every day household items. For each challenge that a contestant successfully completed in less than 60 seconds, they were awarded a prize and given the option to continue to the next ‘level’ or accept their prize and walk away.
The first two contestants were duds. The first was a young boy who was about 7 years old and was outmatched by the first game, known as Vacuum.
The boy had to transport five M&M’s from one side of the stage to the other using only a straw and his lung capacity to suck an M&M onto the end of the straw and keep it there until dropping it into a bucket at the other side of the stage. He couldn’t manage to get one M&M to even stay on his straw.
The second contestant we dubbed as ‘Perfume Lady’ because she had so much perfume on that it was overpowering. We could smell her from four rows away.
She managed to transport one M&M, which Joe Klimchak decided was ‘good enough,’ then failed miserably at the next task, which was blowing 20 cups off of a table using only a balloon that they could blow up multiple times.
The most successful contestant a fan named Bob, who went through all of the Minute to Win it tasks, before failing to keep three balloons in the air for a minute.
I recorded several of his challenges.
‘Bucket Head’ with Garrett Jones
There are four other videos that I’ll link instead of embedding in this blog of the fan’s other Minute to Win It Challenges. Click the links below to go to see them on youtube:
Defying Gravity (keeping three balloons in the air)
Junk In the Trunk (dancing around to empty 8 ping pong balls from a Kleenex box on one’s hips)
Quick Draw (empty a box of Kleenex using only one hand)
Cup Blow? (blow 20 cups off of a table using a balloon – not sure of the name here)
The other entertainment at the Piratefest stage included an ask the Pirates management session:
It featured Manager Clint Hurdle, General Manager Neal Huntington, and President Frank Coonelly.
We really didn’t hang around to watch because it was rather packed.
On the other side of the convention center, Garrett Jones was challenging fans at Guitar Hero. Yawn. No interest here.
Nearby were the Pirates promotional items for 2011. There aren’t as many as in years past, but here’s what you can expect in the coming year at PNC Park:
The most useful giveaway, and the only one that I ever keep will be Pirates T-Shirts, given away every Friday. Here are several of the shirts that you can look forward to in 2011:
There will be a 1971 Pirates World Series Celebration Canvas Photo Wrap:
A Neil Walker bobblehead (the only one of 2011) and a Pirates Stars and Stripes Floppy Hat:
An Andrew McCutchen Action Figurine and a Pirates hat:
And several of the kids Sunday giveaways:
The Friday session of Piratefest ended at 10PM, but we ended up leaving around 8, having seen enough.
Before taking off, I did the strike zone challenge, and threw two balls from about 15 feet away towards a 1 foot by 1 foot strike zone. One ball in the zone won a PNC Park photo wrap, while two out of two through the zone would win a Pirates T-Shirt.
We’ll be back at Piratefest on Sunday. An entry will be forthcoming.
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.