Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pirates Playoff Pictures from PNC Park NLDS vs. Cardinals

More Pirates playoff pictures...

We all kept rubbing this guy's Byrd jersey for good luck. Because ... Byrd is the word?

 Plenty of jolly rogers wave in the stands these days.

Huh-huh, 69 homeruns.

Keep Doing It

Let's just keep doing this. PNC Park! 

Take a look at what an RBI single looks like at PNC Park these days.

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Peep Jason Grilli entering the game at PNC Park in October.
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Winning a playoff game at PNC Park looks like this.
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Folks on the Clemente Bridge enjoy post season October winning baseball. Take a look.
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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

ARE YOU SERIOUS?

THAT WAS INSANE. Have you ever, EVER, heard a hockey-goalie-taunting-style chant at a baseball game? CUUUUUEEEETOOO CUUUUUEEEEEETOOO. Insanity.

SEE YOU SUNDAY. 

Wearing the Colors

Those of you who know me know that I don't usually play dress up for sporting events. For example, you won't see me dressing up as another grown man by wearing his name on the back of my shirt. I mean, really, I'm a grown man, I'm not dressing up as Ben Roethlisberger just to watch a football game, you know what I mean? It's not Halloween, it's football. But I'm an event guy, and today is an event! (On a side note, looks like I need to do a little yard work.)

 
 


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Enjoying Final Games from Afar

Wednesday I flew to Seattle for a very good friend's wedding, so I get to enjoy the final Pirates games from the Pacific Time Zone. Saturday and Sunday, the final 2 games of the series (and season) that will determine home field advantage in the one-game Pirates-Reds Wild Card playoff, start at 1pm Eastern ... which means 10am Pacific! 

Two years ago I came out here to visit and got to watch a Steelers-Ravens game at 10am, my first time experiencing East Coast sports from the West Coast. I loved it. Instead of pacing all morning waiting for Garret Cole to take the mound, I can hop right out of bed and into baseball watching mode. No fucking around, just wake up and get right to it. Sunday morning promises to be a religious affair as this historic 2013 season comes to a climax, hopefully concluding with the promise of at least one more game at PNC Park! Ground Chuck, baby! The Cole Train! #LGB

Friday, September 20, 2013

Biggest Series at PNC Park, Again

The biggest series in PNC Park history occurs this weekend as the Pirates host the Cincinnati Reds in a 3 game series, the final home games in this historic 2013 season. So, Pixburgh sports fans, step away from your 0-2 Stillers for a few weeks (and God help you if you watch preseason exhibition hockey, I mean, come on). Make sure to indulge in these final 9 (plus post season) Pirates games as the best sports story of the year continues to unfold. Not only do you get a free shirt Friday, fireworks and a concert Saturday, and a scarf on Sunday, but you can witness these 2 Central division opponents square off in an epic battle for playoff position, setting up next weekend's season ending series in Cincinnati. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Eight Straight?

Today I embark on an eight day journey -- the conclusion of a lifelong dream, an ambition of adulthood coming to full fruition. I plan to attend all 8 of the Pirates remaining regular season games, officially concluding my Summer as a season ticket holder (baby!) for a winning baseball team. I set this goal for myself (to become a season ticket holder, baby, for a winning baseball team) in adolescence, and it represents the first time in my life that I set an actual adult goal for myself. Interestingly, I couldn't reach it on my own -- because the team involved has to hold up their end of the deal, the winning part. Since I've spent all of my adult life in Pittsburgh, I've actually never had the opportunity to even consider this goal until now (or until last season, when they got close, and I did get season tickets (baby!) as well). So, although it took until my 35th year to accomplish, I actually achieved the goal at the very first opportunity I had -- the first winning baseball season in Pittsburgh since 1992. It's not earth shattering, but still interesting, to conclude, then, that my adult life has been, far and away, much more successful than the Pittsburgh Pirates Major League Baseball franchise. Of course almost anyone under the age of 40 can make that claim, but still, great job, Joe. Way to be. Frightfully bully. #LGB

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pirates All the Rage

Media outlets all over the information superhighway have focused their spotlights on your Pittsburgh Pirates this week, as they enter September in first place, poised to make the playoffs after 20 losing seasons. Take a look at some of the articles:

Dawn of a New Era

I want Pennant Races
NOT Pierogi Races!!
The future of Pirates baseball has officially arrived. Now, technically speaking, even though they reached 81 wins, they could end up 81-82 by finishing the season in a tie for the final Wild Card spot and then lose the 1 game playoff, thus perpetuating the all time world record of futility and general suckiness for another year. But that won't happen.

Well on their way to their first winning season since 1992, your Pixburgh Pirates find themselves not only sitting on 81 wins, but sitting atop the NL Central, 2 games ahead of the Red Birds and three and a half in front of the Red Legs.

Two years ago I bought a 10 game package in July/August, hoping to usher in the new era of Pirates baseball. Last year when they strode into the all-star break like a Clydesdale I bought a prorated full season ticket package for the remaining 40+ home games -- poised, I thought, to finally welcome winning to PNC Park for the first time ... ever. But, as you all know too well, they fell straight in the pooper.

But as the win totals climbed from 55 to 72 to 79 over those years, this franchise started to taste success. Now, they hadn't devoured it. They didn't even really bite into it. Even to say they tasted success takes a stretch of the imagination. Let's say they licked it. After licking success during 2012 (and subsequently vomiting all over themselves), they've finally come all the way around to getting a full taste this year. The Pirates, the Pittsburgh Pirates, have ended their 20 season losing streak and all but guaranteed at least a wild card playoff appearance, leading the division by 2 and the wild card by a stout 11 games.

By the end of the week I will have ponied up over $2,000 to secure my playoff seats for 10 potential home playoff games. Right now they still have 11 home games left in the regular season, and I probably plan to attend all of them. Why not, right? Yes, maybe even the 2 remaining SkyBlast and Fireworks games. The countdown to 81 has ended, and by the time the Bucs return for their final homestand of 2013, they will have officially secured their first winning season in over 20 years. Now begins the countdown to the playoffs. And perhaps -- gasp -- the countdown to November...

Friday, August 30, 2013

So Far, So Good

Even though the Pirates entered last September playing meaningful baseball games, within striking distance of a playoff spot, this year feels entirely different. For one thing, I've become reluctant to sell my tickets. I paid about double for the tickets this year as I did last year, but it hasn't bothered me a bit. Last year, as they collapsed and fell out of contention, I didn't care financially because I had already sold so many and made back two thirds of my initial cost. So I could skip games and not worry about it. I could just say fuck it when they played like garbage over the final 6 weeks.
My spot. Section 107, Row C, Seats 13 & 14

This year I don't really feel like selling any. I want to go to almost every game. Wednesday, it rained all day, and I easily could have skipped, but decided with a friend to go at the last minute. I wanted to see Marlon Byrd's first game. And what did he do? He hit a three run homerun! 

Thursday -- a beautiful night -- I took another friend and we had a great time. Friday, free shirt Friday, I went with a third friend, and we saw a shut out of the first place Cardinals. I have tomorrow's SkyBlast tickets to sell, and someone just texted me after the game to buy them. 120$ in the pocket. And Sunday I will probably go again.

I don't really have anything to say! I haven't posted in awhile because things have gone smoothly. Sure, the Pirates have only played about .500 since the beginning of July, but they still have a share of first place, a strong hold on a playoff spot, and a fantastic home winning percentage.

Free Shirt Friday!
I have great season ticket neighbors to the left of me on the aisle seats. I have the third and fourth seats in from the aisle, in Row C, Section 107 -- near first base. And an older couple, Steve and Sarah, has the full season ticket package for the two seats to the left. So we instantly became pals. They showed me the secret tunnel exit that leads out to the RF entrance, so I don't have to walk back up the crowded stairs to the concourse after the game. Phenomenal. 

Since young adulthood I've aspired to become a season ticket holder (baby) for a winning baseball team. I've done my part so far. The rest remains up to the Bucs. Also, since childhood, I've always wanted to have a place that I could walk into and order "my usual." Back then I always imagined a diner, but these days a bar seems apropos. I go to this place around the corner from my apartment called Lot 17, and I've become friendly with one of the bartenders, Pat. So the other day, I walked over and wanted to sit outside on the patio. I could see Pat through the window, so I just gave him a wave and sat down, hoping he would bring a beer out for me. A moment after sitting down, I hear him call, You want a Magic Hat and a menu, Joe? I have truly become an adult.