Results tagged ‘ Sean Burnett ’
It was Easter Sunday, so a big crowd wasn’t going to be on hand, which was a bonus. However, the previous night’s game had ended around 11PM, and since today was a day game, the chances of batting practice were slim. Add to the fact that it had drizzled all morning, and there was virtually no chance of batting practice whatsoever.
I got to the ballpark at 11:05 AM, just in time to see three Pirates leaving the bullpen after a side session. Two of the folks at the bullpen fence had baseballs. I had missed an early opportunity.
PNC Park makes everyone stay on the Riverwalk for the first 30 minutes on Sundays, so there wasn’t too much to do. I noticed that someone doesn’t like Andrew McCutchen so much:
I met a couple ballhawks from Ohio. It was a father and son duo. They were friendly and snagged several balls of their own throughout the day.
I set up behind Sean Burnett throwing with Drew Storen. I got Sean Burnett to toss me my second ball of the day after they finished up.
I camped out near a third ball and waited patiently. I asked a coach for it, and he asked if I’d gotten a ball yet. Since it was Easter Sunday, I couldn’t lie. I told him I’d already got one today, but wouldn’t mind another. He threw the ball to another ballhawk, but I was hoping that it would give me some good karma.
After the Nationals were done, I walked around the park to take pictures and look for easter eggs.
Right Field Upper Deck:
Looking out towards the Point:
Abe was in the park, along with the other Nationals mascot Presidents.
Once the game started, I got Andrew McCutchen’s warm up ball in the first inning,
and Garrett Jones’ in the fourth.
That was pretty much it.
A few more random pictures:
Presidents vs Pierogis:
The Build a Bunny we got for our baby girl:
The sweatshirt Amy bought me:
And today’s four baseballs:
By the way, afterwards, we colored easter eggs:
Game: 4 balls (4 thrown)
Season: 65 balls (25 hit, 15 thrown, 16 device, 9 found)
Games: 10 games
Average: 6.50 balls per game
Career: 1,187 balls
2010 through 10 games: 69 balls (4 balls behind last year’s pace)
I woke up at 6:45 AM in Philadelphia, left my hotel about 7:20, and was in New York City just shy of two hours later. This was the first time I had driven to New York City, so I didn’t know the ins and outs of where to park, so I parked in a stadium lot for $19. I was the first car in the entire lot.
I took a few pictures of the exterior of Citi Field from the parking lot:
I told Capps that we missed him in Pittsburgh. When they finished up, Burnett had the ball and tossed me ball #5 on the day.
Since the umpires let the play go, I got to see Adam Dunn bowl over the catcher, and then watch Willingham get thrown out trying to stretch the play into an in the park Grand Slam.
Of course, the umpires got the call right, and much to Mets’ fans dismay, Willingham was awarded his grand slam.
You can watch the play below if you’re into excited bases clearing hits:
After a couple innings, I went exploring and took a few pictures of the concourse:
View from the upper deck:
Walking towards the right field foul pole:
Right field corner concourse:
Walking towards the Shea Bridge, under the Pepsi deck in right field:
The Shea Bridge:
View from behind the center field seats:
Food court area behind the center field score board:
Under the left field deck:
Left field corner:
Main concourse behind home plate, near the Jackie Robinson rotunda:
And the pearl of Citi Field, the Jackie Robinson rotunda:
I only stayed about half of the game, because I needed to try and get home before 10 PM, as I had to be up for work the next day.
Game: 5 balls (2 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device)
Season: 17 balls (10 hit, 2 thrown, 5 device)
Games: 4 games
Average: 4.25 balls per game
Career: 595 balls
Streak: 100 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
2009 through 4 games: 17 balls
It rained for most of the morning in Pittsburgh, in fact, it was still raining when I arrived at the ballpark at 11 AM. This could mean only one thing: no batting practice. I was faced with possibly being shut out for the first time since August 2008.
When the stadium opened the gates to the seating areas at 11:30, I went over to the left field foul line. The rain had subsided. Several bullpen pitchers from the Pirates were warming up. I placed myself behind John Grabow and Ross Ohlendorf and waited for an overthrow.
Directly to me. I didn’t even have to move.
Its not like he randomly tossed the ball up and I got into a scrum and stole the ball away from ticketed patrons. He usually picks out people. I caught the ball, waved thanks, turned and left the section. I could hear some snooty lady and her rotund husband getting on the usher. “He doesn’t have a ticket. He shouldn’t be allowed to do that. Don’t let him back in here. Check his ticket.” Blah blah blah.
I went over to left field for the fourth inning to try and get a warm up ball from Nyjer. I avoided the right field seats thanks to the afore mentioned rudest-usher-in-PNC-Park.
Left Field has a lot more sections and people, so I had very little chance. The ball went to a group of people near the foul pole.
Inning 5. I went back to center field. I stood at the far edge of Section 140, away from the snotty lady. I looked over and they were both staring directly at me. I stared right back at them. I should’ve walked over and offered their spoiled kid a ball. “Excuse me, would you like a ball? ….. Then bring a glove!” and walk away. That’s what I felt like doing, I was in such a bad mood.
I didn’t get the 5th inning ball because it was tossed to the second row. Predictably, the ball fell back onto the field. The same thing happened in the seventh inning. That’s why Nate prefers to throw the ball deep.
Anyway, the miserable family got on the usher again after the fifth inning because 3 of us ballhawks entered the section. The usher came over and told me that I wasn’t allowed to try for warm up balls anymore. He said come back and try tomorrow when there’s different people around. He told Nick and Bryan the same thing. If you’re wondering, here’s what those “folks” looked like:
(To be civil, I am editing this paragraph from what I originally wrote. I’ve taken out most of the colorful adjectives I originally had written.) Its the guy eating, his son, and the lady in the orange.
I could’ve tried in the seventh and ninth, but out of respect for the ushers, I went and sat behind the Reds dugout to see if I could get some foul balls. There are nice ushers at PNC Park, the ones in center field were just doing their job because the supervisor somehow got involved.
I didn’t get any foul balls, and I got shut out at the Reds dugout, so my day ended on a sour note.
To make it worse, the Pirates looked awful again, getting shut out. They haven’t hit a home run now in a week.
Adam LaRoche’s body language tells the whole story:
A few shots from the game:
Johnny Cueto deals to Nyjer Morgan:
Evan Meek (a big Dave Matthews Band fan):
Jesse Chavez (tossed me my first ball of the day:
And the sweet spots:
Game: 3 balls (3 thrown)
Season: 67 balls (26 hit, 34 thrown, 7 device)
Games: 14 games (11 with BP, 3 without)
Average: 4.79 balls per game
Career: 233 balls
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.
I 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.
Security 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.
They 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.
I 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:
The 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
Nate McLouth takes a look at a pitch:
Ryan Doumit hits a ball to the right side:
Tampa Tribune Deck (if going to BP, you’d better have a Deck ticket!) Cano’s home run hit off the blue restaurant roof.
Stands to my right:
“The Boss” George Steinbrenner
George was taking in the game with Mr. October, Reggie Jackson:
“The Sandman” Mariano Rivera
Brett Gardner Caught Stealing:
Ex-Pirate Xavier Nady (The X-man!)
Tomorrow I’m headed back to Bradenton.
Today was the kick off of the Pirates Winter Caravan which will travel through four states and make numerous stops, mainly at areas farther away from Pittsburgh. I decided to attend the kick off of the Caravan outside of Somerset PA at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort.
My wife and I stopped over at my parents’ house for lunch since it was on the way. The roads were pretty bad on the way there as we received about 5 inches of snow overnight. Just as we were about to leave for Seven Springs, Holly noticed a herd of deer in my parents’ backyard.
Notice that there are two deer in the above photo. There were two more that are hidden by the columns on my parent’s back porch. They were eating berries from that bush
Something startled the herd, probably the flash, and they ran away. I was able to take a pretty good picture at one as it was leaving past the kitchen window.
It was about 1:45 and we left my parents’ house for Seven Springs. We allowed ourselves about an extra hour of driving time in anticipation that the roads would be bad. We mainly traveled the highways, so the roads were clear until we got on the local roads that headed to Seven Springs. They were pretty bad, so we took our time and still managed to arrive 45 minutes early.
We parked in the main lot near the Convention Hall and walked towards the two giant Pirates Caravan buses. There was no activity around the buses. Apparently, they parked in front of a building and the Pirates players were probably inside the building. I took the opportunity to get my picture taken in front of one of the buses.
When we entered the Convention Hall, there was already a large line formed. We unfortunately ended up standing between the main doors and the stairs that lead down to the lifts. Therefore, dozens and dozens of skiers and snowboarders kept squeezing past us to go down the stairs. It got rather annoying after awhile. The man in front of us kept getting shouldered as people went past and kept muttering and swearing under his breath. The highlight of standing in the line was when some late 20′s guy came up to the beleaguered man in front of us and asked, “What is this line for?” The man responded in an annoyed tone, “The Pirates.” Even though there were large signs welcoming fans to the Pirates Winter Caravan, the man followed up his original question with, “Is there a game or something?” The man in front of me rolled his eyes, shook his head, and didn’t respond. Think about it, a baseball game… with 26 inches of snow on the ground at Seven Springs… in January… inside of a Convention Hall? I heard the guy in front of my mutter, “F*c**n R*t**d.”
At 3:30, the doors finally opened and we were allowed in. The Convention hall was about 1/5 the size of the hall the Pirates use at the David L Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. At one end of the hall there was a movie screen playing Pirates video highlights and Pirate player autographs. At the opposite end there was a stage set up for Pirate Trivia and Pirates Deal or No Deal. In the middle, there was a large inflated jungle gym for kids, a booth to get your face painted, a booth to have a caricature drawn of your face, a ticket booth, a raffle booth, a guitar hero booth, a spin-the-wheel booth, and a 104.9 radio table.
Upon entering, we went straight to the autograph line. It wasn’t a very long wait, maybe 15 minutes at the most. Signing first was manager John Russell, pitcher Sean Burnett, catcher Ryan Doumit, and third baseman Andy LaRoche. I snapped a few photos while I was in line waiting:
Ryan Doumit (below)Sean Burnett (below)
Andy LaRoche (below)
The autograph line (below)
After getting autographs, we wandered around for a bit and made our way over to the stage area. There would be a Pirates trivia game at 4:15, followed by Pirates Deal or No Deal at 5:00. On the way over, I snapped a picture of Ross Ohlendorf being interviewed by 104.7 wpgb radio personality Rocco DeMaro. DeMaro hosts Extra Innings after every Pirates radio broadcast. I make it a point to listen to his show after every home game. He also hosts a weekend show.
When we settled in for Pirates Trivia, I became unsettled because the battery in my camera died, and I didn’t have any extra batteries. Even though my wife brought her camera, I moped as we did Pirates Trivia.
The game was hosted by Pirates announcers Greg Brown and Bob Walk. They asked 10 Multiple Choice Questions to the crowd. The crowd had a piece of paper and a pencil to record their answers on. Afterwards, the Pirates season ticket reps and members of the Bucco Brigade collected the papers, graded them, and revealed the winner. Only one person got a 10/10. It was some 15 year old girl. She won 2 Pittsburgh Baseball Club seats to a 2009 game for winning. Some of the questions they asked were:
1) What group sang the 1979 Pirates theme song, we are family?
2) Who did the Pirates draft first in the 2004 amateur draft?
3) What Pirate won their first game on Aug 8 2005?
4) What minor league team did Tony Beasley manage before coming to the Pirates?
5) What are the color of the seats at PNC Park?
6) Who is the right field wall named after at PNC Park?
7) How many different Pirates have won batting titles in Pirates history?
8) Who was the Pirates representative at the 2008 All Star Game?
There were 2 other questions that escape my memory.
The tie breaker question was to name the 3 game combined attendance for the home games of the 1979 World Series.
By the way, I got an 8/10. I was wishing I had my Ipod touch with me to look up an answer or my med
ia guide, but that would’ve been cheating.
After Pirates trivia, Deal or No Deal was to follow. Holly and I had seen this game before at Piratefest and were aware of how it worked. Pirates announcer John Wehner was the host for Deal or No Deal, and Sean Burnett was the banker. Wehner asked one of the Pirates Season Ticket reps to pick her first contestant. All 200 or so fans put their hands in the air. I didn’t put my hand up, but then Holly hit me and said, “You put your hand up!” So I did.
And guess who they picked?
The lady must have liked my Pirates outfit. I wore my Pirates batting practice hat that Ian Snell threw me on 9/21/08, my Pirates hoody, and my Pirates Dugout Jacket.
Pirates Deal or No Deal is similar to the NBC version with Howie Mandel. There are 12 boxes, or “cases.” Under each box is a prize. The goal of the game is to win the best possible prize, either by seeing the game the whole way through and accepting whatever is in the case you’ve chosen to begin the game, or by accepting an offer from the banker.
Wehner asked me to place a Pirates hat on the case that I wanted to choose. I chose #2, since Jack Wilson is Holly’s favorite player.
The prize board was as follows:
On the left side of the prize chart (crappy side)
-Pirates pocket schedule
-Pirates giveaway hat
-Pirates Parrot Doll
-Two Tickets to a game
On the right side of the prize chart (good side)
-Two Tickets to opening day
-Two Pittsburgh baseball club tickets
-Two Lexus Club Tickets
-Two 10 game season ticket plans
-Two 20 game season ticket plans
Wehner asked me to open 3 boxes. I forget the numbers that I chose, but I ended up eliminating the 10 game plan, 2 tickets to opening day, and 2 tickets to a game.
Sean Burnett, the banker, gave me my first offer. It was 2 tickets to a game, and a private tour of PNC Park, which would include the managers office, clubhouse, and Pirates press box. When asked to choose Deal or No Deal, I paused, letting the crowd weigh in, and said No Deal.
I went on to open 2 more cases and received my next offer. Since I kept the 2 20 game plans in play, the offer went up. Burnett offered 4 tickets to a game + I would get to deliver the line up card with John Russell and meet the umpires and opposing manager at home plate before a game.
Although that would’ve been real cool, I wanted to see what else they would offer. I said No Deal.
I opened 2 more cases. Burnett’s third offer was 4 tickets + a Jack Wilson autographed authentic game ball. I didn’t have to think long. No Deal! Sea
I opened another case. I kept the 2 20 game plans in play. Sean Burnett upped the offer again. He offered me 4 tickets + the opportunity for myself and friends to watch batting practice from the field, directly behind the batting cage. This sounded awesome to me. I would’ve been able to enter the park early at 4:15 when the Pirates start hitting and talk to the players as they stood around waiting to take their cuts. Selfishly, I said No Deal.
I opened one more case. Wouldn’t you know it? It was the 2 20 game plans. I hung my head in shame. I knew that I had just thrown away the chance to watch batting practice on the field. The best remaining prize on the board was 2 Lexus Club seats ($300 value). I had sat in these seats before, and they are very nice, so I was tempted to keep going. I was expecting Burnett’s offer to be something like, a Sean Burnett signed baseball and a bobblehead.
I was surprised when his offer was: 4 tickets to a game, plus be introduced before the game to the crowd and change 3rd base with the groundscrew during a game. I felt this was a pretty fair offer. Of the five offers I’d received, I would rank it second best. So, I said “Deal.”
I got a nice hand from the crowd and met with one of the Promotion Representatives who gave me a form to fill out and send in with my request of any game from Mon-Thur. He said the earlier I get it in, the more likely I’ll get the game that I want.
Holly and I stayed at Deal or No Deal to watch the next contestant, a 10 year old kid, play Deal or No Deal with Ryan Doumit and Andy LaRoche as the guest bankers. I forget what he won. It might’ve been a personalized jersey + 4 tickets + 2 signed baseballs from LaRoche and Doumit.
Afterwards, we walked back to the autograph line and got autographs from Nate McLouth, Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, and Tony Beasley. Maholm had been standing around, so we already got his autograph on our baseballs that we had every play sign, so Holly and I got him to sign Pirates Wall Clocks that we won at the Spin-the-Wheel game.
We went back to the wheel and played one more time. I wanted to get an Ian Snell banner for my classroom. I won a bobblehead instead, but the worker let me exchange it for the Snell banner.
We left around 5:40 or so and drove home to watch the Steelers beat the Ravens.
Holly took a brief video of Deal or No Deal which can be seen by clicking the link below: