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Pirates will try anything to distract us

Sep 8, 2009, 9:07 PM EDT

arnold_palmer_090908.jpgThe Pittsburgh Pirates are doing their best to distract everyone from this, their 17th consecutive losing season. And while I’m not one to say their streak makes them the worst sports franchise in history, I’m also not above picking on them, or old people, for that matter.

Which brings us to Tuesday’s pregame ceremony, in which the Pirates honored Arnold Palmer in celebration of his 80th birthday, which is Thursday. Palmer, who hails from Latrobe, about an hour east of Pittsburgh, was interviewed by Jim Nantz on the field and shown a video tribute. Then the circus continued

Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm, team broadcaster and former pitcher Steve Blass and professional golfer Peter Jacobsen took part in a “closest to the pin” contest on the field while players from both teams watched from the dugouts.

Jacobsen was the only participant to hit the “pin” — really team mascot the Pirate Parrot — in center field on a shot from near home plate, earning money for charity.

The good news is that PNC Bank made a $1 million donation to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh in Palmer’s name.

The bad news is that after the game finally started – 11 minutes late – it was back to reality, and the visiting Cubs tied a major league record by beginning the game with eight straight hits.

Sigh.

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If you Twitter, and also like the ’74 Eldorado, follow me at @Bharks.

  1. Ebb - Sep 8, 2009 at 10:17 PM

    Major league baseball should force the Pirate owners to sell the team to people who are willing to spend money. Sure, the Pirates trade for good prospects, but once they are eligible for arbitration or free agency, they let the players go or trade them for younger, cheaper talent. They’ve been doing it since 1993.
    ps – I’ve been following them for 47 years. I no longer go to any of their games nor do I purchase any Pirate stuff. I follow them, not support them. I will continue it this way until major changes are made.

  2. John - Sep 9, 2009 at 5:41 AM

    The commenter above clearly has NOT been following the Pirates for more than a year. The past 14 months has been the FIRST time the Pirates have ever traded for good prospects. Prior to that, their clueless GM’s consistenlty traded for over-the=hill veterans such as Matt Morris and signed washed-up free agents. They are clearly moving in the right direction, and I who have rooted for them since 1856 am happy about it. They have more quality arms at A and AA than at any time in their history.
    They have also spent more money signing draftees the past two years than at any time in their history – by a wide margin. Prior to this new regime, their drafts were solely predicated on whom they could sign cheap, i.e. Daniel Moskos was taken ahead of Matt Wieters.
    When it comes to trades, look back at the trade of late July 2008 with the Yankees – a trade that was supposed to be a “giveaway” to the Yanks. The Yanks got Xavier Nady, a fairly good outfielder who was going to leave Pittsburgh shortly as a free agent, and Damaso Marte, an aging situational reliever who was also going to be a free agent. Both of them have been constantly injured since they left Pittsburgh. In return, Pittsburgh got Ross Ohlendorf, who has pitched very well the past four months; starter Dan McCutcheon, who had a very good year at AAA; reliever Jeff Karstens, who is OK; and Jose Tabata, a great OF prospect who has hit well in AAA despite being only 20-years old when the average player in AAA is older than 25. Tabata will end up being better than Nady and the Pirates will control him for at least six years, as opposed to Nady, who was going to leave anyway.
    Give the new regime some time.

  3. Grant - Sep 9, 2009 at 7:40 AM

    Just to be clear (you hint at it but don’t right out say it), Nutting’s group just bought the team in like 2007. Hardly enough time to condemn them.

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