September 2009 - Pittsburgh Pirates Wiretap
Selig Feels Badly For Fans In Pittsburgh
Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig says that he feels badly for fans in Pittsburgh. "I know how painful this is for the fans in Pittsburgh," Selig told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "But, in watching this management team the past couple of years and how aggressive they've been and how they're restocking the farm system, that's where they had to start. And if they weren't doing it, you'd hear from me." The Pirates have drawn criticism from fans for trading off a majority of their good, more expensive players this season.
G-20 Summit Keeps PNC Park Buzzing
President Barack Obama's motorcade passed in view of PNC Park in the eighth inning, and military helicopters buzzed over the ballpark all day. The paid attendance was 15,892, but the turnstile count was about 3,000 as two bad teams and the G-20 summit held down the turnout. The crowd was so small that the Pirates closed PNC Park's upper deck for the first time since the 38,362-seat ballpark opened in 2001 and allowed fans to sit in the lower level. The smallest turnout at PNC Park is believed to be the estimated 500 who watched an Astros-Pirates afternoon game on Sept. 28, 2006, that was delayed by heavy rain for 3 1/2 hours. While thousands of protesters are believed to be in Pittsburgh for the G-20, there were no security issues at PNC Park, although all spectators went through metal detectors or were screened.
Pirates Claim Anthony Claggett Off Waivers From Yankees
The Pirates have claimed RHP Anthony Claggett off waivers from the New York Yankees. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Pirates transferred RHP Jose Ascanio to the 60-day disabled list. In 39 games with Triple-A Scranton Wilkes/Barre this season, the 25-year-old Claggett went 7-7 with a 3.07 ERA. He went 5-4 with a 2.91 ERA in 34 relief appearances and 2-3 with a 3.47 ERA in five starts. Claggett also made two appearances with the Yankees in 2009, making his big league debut on August 6 vs. Boston.
Pirates Expected To Target Ankiel
The Pirates are expected to pursue free-agent center fielder Rick Ankiel this winter. "We will look into the free-agent market, and we have some money to apply to the right situation," general manager Ned Huntington told the Post-Gazette. "We go in not feeling that we have a desperate hole to fill but that, if we can find someone who makes us better in the short and hopefully the long term, we can do that." The Post-Gazette reports that Ankiel, who is having a down year, is on Pittsburgh's radar.
Pedro Alvarez Hits Three Homers For Team USA
Pedro Alvarez, the Pirates' top prospect, hit three home runs and had six RBIs in the United States' 14-3 rout of Chinese Taipei today in Italy.
Pirates Set Dubious Record For Losing
The Pittsburgh Pirates are assured of a losing record for the 17th consecutive season after losing 4-2 on Monday. The string of losing seasons is a major league record and the longest for any team in the four major North American pro team sports. Only the Phillies (1933-48) have had as many as 16 losing seasons in a row. The Pirates won five World Series from 1909-79 and sent 13 players to the Hall of Fame, but did not mention the dubious record.
Pirates One Loss Shy Of Professional Record
The Pirates are one loss away from ensuring their 17th consecutive losing season. St. Louis defeated Pittsburgh 2-1 on Saturday despite a strong pitching performance from Russ Ohlendorf. Another loss would make the Pirates the first team in any of the four major American pro team sports to endure 17 consecutive losing seasons.
Agent: Doumit Isn't Pouting In Pittsburgh
Agent Matt Sosnick has strongly rejected claims that Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit hasn't been giving his best lately. "In reading a couple things, there's a lot being said about Ryan dogging it or not playing as hard as he could. Ryan's shocked about that," Sosnick told the Post-Gazette on Tuesday night. "He's also shocked that there are people saying he isn't happy playing in Pittsburgh or that he's gone into some shell. It is true that a lot of his closest friends on the team got traded. But he understands it's a business. He'd be the first to tell you he makes as much money in a year as he'd hoped to make in his life." Doumit is in the first year of a three-year extension that guarantees $11.5 million. "He likes being in Pittsburgh," Sosnick continued. "It's tough not being competitive this year, and he takes that kind of stuff very personally. But he came back from an injury probably before he should have."