Friday, March 4, 2011

The Pittsburgh Pirates: photos from Pirates City and the game vs the Minnesota Twins

My father and I were able to visit spring training this year as a result of my mother winning a Pirates charity auction. As part of this auction, we had the opportunity to throw out the starting pitch of the March 3 game against the Twins.
I was a little nervous. I am not an athletic man, and this also happened to be basically the first pitch I'd ever thrown in my life. And to do it in front of several thousand people, as well as Pirates legends like Mazeroski and Tekulve? This is not a situation in which I am playing to my strengths. Ultimately, however, I pitched fine. I lofted the ball towards the Pirate Parrot; it was low and outside just like basically everyone's ceremonial first pitch tends to be, and I managed not to humiliate myself.
My father, however, really impressed the hell out of me. He basically pitched from the top of the pitching mound, basically threw a pitch without the windup, and got the ball right in the Parrot's glove. The crowd made a collective sound of awe, and it was a proud day for our family.

The Buccos ultimately lost this game, but we'll get to that in a minute. First: more spring training.
Batting practice.

Rudy Owens practices pitching.

The dangers of attending Pirates City. Apparently, you get your windshield replaced for free if this happens.
I'd ask to keep the windshield glass. Maybe get it signed.
And so we have the Twins game. A few grim reminders of the 2010 season resulted in a loss here; Doumit dropped a ball, and despite lots of base runners, we just couldn't get that big hit. But as I said yesterday: the only true loss in baseball is 'no baseball'.

Tabata jumps to avoid a sharply-hit foul from McCutchen.
Don't let the owl see you make an error.

An embarrassing moment occurred wherein Alex Presley was picked off at first during what should have been a look back onto base. He made eye contact with the pitcher, they had a brief staring contest, and he was promptly unable to beat the throw.
Not what you want to have happen while trying to show that you deserve to be playing in the majors.
Justin Thomas and his vividly-bald head.

Ohlendorf was not terribly efficient and had trouble throwing first-pitch strikes, but he still managed to get five strikeouts.

And here, Corey Wimberly fails to get a bunt down.

We also got to see Matt Capps, former Pirates closer. Always a favorite of mine.

Crotta, a Pirates pitching prospect, had a very successful couple of innings. Witness his rather unique mechanics.

And finally, Clint Hurdle puts his arm around Searage and tells him that he will certainly do a better job than Joe Kerrigan.

No comments:

Post a Comment