There is art and beauty in everything in our world, so long as you bother to look. Sure, this Pittsburgh Pirates tribute/ripoff of the Saturday Night Live opening credits is ripe for the mocking. It wouldn’t take much work to snark on it for a few minutes and then call it a day.
Instead, let’s admire this 2:00 minute video which plays on the PNC Park videoboard to introduce the Pirates lineup for its production values and and loving devotion to the source material. The only thing it’s missing is the Keenan Thompson “bicyclists high five” that I enjoy whenever I catch SNL.
If you still think this video is cheesy, at least admire Pedro Alvarez‘s sweet Thundercats tshirt. He’s just the best.
Hit the jump for another great Pirates scoreboard video, probably the best scoreboard video in the history of the world.
It’s a weird thing, trying to decipher the coded language of baseball player development. Is there a magic elixer which unlocks the full force of a player’s potential? What combination of emotional nurture and technical knowledge best equips a player for a future success? Much is made of surrounding players with positive influences, veteran players with a well-worn playbook spelling out exactly how they made it work in the big leagues.
Yesterday afternoon, watching the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies do battle, the Getting Blanked team could not help but marvel at the magnificence that is A.J. Burnett. Burnett appears, to the outside observer, to be a leader among the young Pirates. Not just the pitchers but all players. Shots in the dugout of Burnett holding court or, as the above GIF shows, reacting to one of his players (Clint Barmes) being hit in the back with a pitch.
We laughed about the Pirates presumed desire to keep top pitching prospects Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole far, far away from A.J. Burnett, a player with a flaky reputation who is known among some fans as the type of player who squandered his talent. Goofy Burnett, don’t let him near the future of the franchise, we chuckled.
Until we remembered two things: A.J. Burnett is the leader of the Pirates and both those players, Taillon and Cole, would KILL for careers even half as good as Allan James Burnett.
We don’t really talk about the Pittsburgh Pirates in today’s edition of the Getting Blanked podcast. But Scott Lewis likes the Pirates and Scott Lewis is on today’s show so we have fun at the Pirates expense for a while off the top. Then, down to business! Talking about Yovani Gallardo’s DUI, Cliff Lee and Bronson Arroyo going toe-to-toe and other stuff.
Then, for reason’s that aren’t clear to even me, we decided Matt Kemp isn’t that good anymore. No chance that comes back to haunt us. No way, no how.
This worked out so well for us a couple of weeks ago that I’m going to give it a shot with Jonathan Sanchez. Drew wrote a great piece proposing that the Blue Jays should move Ricky Romero on the pitching rubber, and it actually happened. I’m almost positive that Alex Anthopoulos stopped by Getting Blanked, then phoned John Gibbons and Pete Walker and asked them to try shifting Romero on the mound. Shi Davidi and/or Barry Davis got to break the news and Blue Jays fans screamed with excitement, but Ricky Romero is still a train wreck so…
However, I would like to propose a shift in approach for Jonathan Sanchez, who was named a starter in the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation this morning. I’m note even kidding, check it out:
Sanchez just confirmed he made the team,is in #pirates rotation.
For the second straight year, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ first half was much better than expected. On August 8 of last year, they beat the Diamondbacks and moved to 63-47 and sat just two-and-a-half games behind the eventual NL Central champion Reds. But their success, just as it was the year before, was unsustainable. Pittsburgh finished the year going 16-36 to finish with their 20th consecutive losing season, but still had their best record since 1997.
It finally appears, however, that the Pirates are on the right track. Center fielder Andrew McCutchen emerged as one of the game’s best players and there’s a decent core of young position players that seem to be coming into their own such as third baseman Pedro Alvarez and second baseman Neil Walker. With two of the best pitching prospects in baseball set to make their big league debuts sometime this season, things are looking brighter for Pittsburgh than they have in some time.
The organization took some flack last year after reports came out that Navy SEAL training drills were being run in the extended spring training, which led to some players getting hurt — including some top prospects. The ordeal ended in an investigation by owner Bob Nutting and a promise to stop the drills. The team also whiffed on signing first-round draft pick Mark Appel who was expected to go first-overall but slipped to the Pirates at number-eight. Appel decided to re-enter the draft next year when the team couldn’t offer him close to his asking price.